Standard & Poor’s has taken an unprecedented step in reflecting its opinion that the effectivness, stability and predictability of American policy making and political institutions have been weakened during a time of ongoing fiscal and economic challenges. Driving the nail in the fiscal coffin, S&P reports that the outlook on the long-term rating is negative and that S&P could lower its long-term rating within the next two years. It is S&P’s assessment that elected officials remain wary of tackling the structural issues required to effectively address the rising U.S. public debt burden in a manner consistent with an ‘AAA’ rating.
The Obama administration demurs, responding that the S&P analysis contained ‘deep and fundamental flaws.’ As I have written often about the Obama administration’s fiscal responsibility, the horse has already left the barn. The only thing left behind is the stink. For the first downgrade of America’s credit rating in history, I blame in no special order the complete Obama administration, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, Barney Frank and the Fed. The one group in Washington (and S&P knows this well, like the Tea Party or not) that is committed to doing the things S&P wants done is the Tea Party. In 2012, Americans will have a chance to bring in a new management team. America needs a leader with a long-proven record of fiscal responsibility, along with a long and proven record as a job creator. This, of course, is not brain surgery.
In recent months, you have been bombarded with editorials from the left and the right on the dire status of Uncle Sam’s finances and the prospects for an outright U.S. default. Much of what you have been exposed to is nothing more than posturing by politicians seeking to anger as few voters as possible and to maintain credibility for the 2012 election season. Rarely is what is best for America first on a politician’s mind. And now we have a first-in-history downgrade of America’s credit rating. Read