There is plenty of blaming and finger-pointing going on right now as to just who is responsible for the downgrade. The White House and the Democrat Party have been saying two contradictory things: 1) that the downgrade is a meaningless and baseless act of a discredited Standard & Poor’s and it’s ‘flawed math’; and that 2) that it is all the Tea Party’s fault. I know there are liberals reading this, so I shall explain what should be obvious: why blame the Tea Party for S & P’s flawed math? Or why blame S & P for the Tea Party’s ‘terrorism’??? What you see here is a Democrat Party and a White House who have nothing left but demonization and who are playing every card whether those cards contradict one another or not.
As an example, take Senator John Kerry (who coincidentally is one of the Democrat picks to be on the debt commission), who demonized the Republican Party and its “tea party downgrade” moments before proceeding to “ lament how Republicans insist on pointing fingers and assigning blame in this national crisis.” You’d think his head would explode from trying to contain all the contradictions, but he’s clearly long since become immune to such a malfunction of mal-logic, illustrated by his self-righteously lecturing Republicans that the rich need to pay their “fair share” in taxes while he was trying to avoid paying his fair share on his yacht and while he and his billionaire heiress wife paid less in taxes than the average American family.
For the record, “a top Moody’s analyst reiterated that the United States is running out of time to reduce its debt burden before his company, too, would downgrade the country’s debt.” And Moody’s is basically saying, “We still might downgrade the U.S., too.” Which is to say that MOODY’S is just about to make a math mistake, too.
And yesterday Moody’s just officially lowered its outlook for the United States. Which means a big “oopsie” for Democrats who demonized S & P.
This downgrade was fundamentally due to out-of-control spending:
S&P downgrades US credit rating from AAA
Posted: Aug 05, 2011 7:14 PM PDT Updated: Aug 05, 2011 9:54 PM PDT
By MARTIN CRUTSINGER
AP Economics Writer
WASHINGTON (AP) – The United States has lost its sterling credit rating from Standard & Poor’s.
The credit rating agency on Friday lowered the nation’s AAA rating for the first time since granting it in 1917. The move came less than a week after a gridlocked Congress finally agreed to spending cuts that would reduce the debt by more than $2 trillion – a tumultuous process that contributed to convulsions in financial markets. The promised cuts were not enough to satisfy S&P.
The drop in the rating by one notch to AA-plus was telegraphed as a possibility back in April. The three main credit agencies, which also include Moody’s Investor Service and Fitch, had warned during the budget fight that if Congress did not cut spending far enough, the country faced a downgrade. Moody’s said it was keeping its AAA rating on the nation’s debt, but that it might still lower it.
And the Democrat Party are acting like drug addicts who are lashing out at anybody who gets between them and their next spending fix.
The Democrats are now treating Standard & Poor’s like Republicans, and of course they’ve ALREADY BEEN treating Republicans like “terrorists.”
This whole “Tea Party-terrorist” thing is beyond ridiculous. Especially if the Democrats were to look in a mirror. Here are twelve reasons that put the blame for this disaster precisely where the blame belongs:
1. Obama’s reckless and irresponsible spending was the primary reason for the downgrade. Let me simply state as a fact that the Democrats who demonized Bush for reckless spending have been hypocrites without shame or decency in the Obama era from the very beginning. We find that Obama’s deficit spending DWARFS Bush’s. We find that Obama is pouring more than TWO-AND-A-HALF TIMES as much red ink on top of this country as Bush ever did.
At some point any sane human being must say STOP!!! But Obama and his Democrats simply are not sane human beings.
2. Obama demanded the LARGEST debt ceiling increase in the history of the entire human race:
$2.4 Trillion Would Be Largest Debt-Limit Increase in U.S. History
Monday, August 01, 2011
By Terence P. Jeffrey
(CNSNews.com) – The bill to increase the federal debt limit that has been put before Congress today would increase that limit by up to $2.4 trillion, which would be the largest increase in the debt limit in U.S. history by a margin of half a trillion dollars, according to records published by the Government Accountability Office and the Congressional Research Service.
In fact, according to records published by the Congressional Research Service, if the current bill is passed and the debt limit is increased by $2.4 trillion, the two largest debt-limit increases in U.S. history would come in back-to-back years, both during the presidency of Barack Obama.
Up until now, the largest increase in the debt limit was the $1.9 trillion increase passed by Congress and signed by President Obama on Feb. 12, 2010. That law increased the debt limit from $12.394 trillion to $14.294 trillion.
Up until now, the second largest historical increase in the debt limit was enacted on March 27, 2003, when President George W. Bush signed a law that lifted the limit by $984 billion—from $6.400 trillion to $7.384 trillion.
I’ll wait until my third point to develop the ramifications of this. But suffice it to say, considering that the landslide Republican takeover of the House of Representatives resulted from a fundamental GOP promise to reign in Obama’s reckless spending, raise your hand if you DON”T think Obama’s demand for back-to-back historic debt ceiling increases did NOT guarantee total war.
3. Obama categorically stated that he would not sign ANY short term debt ceiling extension:
Sperling Says Obama Would Veto Short-Term Debt Ceiling Increase
Tuesday, July 26, 2011
July 26 (Bloomberg) — President Barack Obama would veto a short-term, six-month increase in the debt ceiling, the director of the White House National Economic Council said.
“The president has been pretty clear that he does not find that acceptable,” Gene Sperling said in an interview on MSNBC today. Sperling said “a faction” of House Republicans is blocking “this type of compromise, this balance that could get us there” in raising the debt ceiling and avoiding default.
It is without any question a pure demagogic talking point on the part of the left that Republicans or the Tea Party were “terrorists” who held America hostage. BARACK OBAMA HELD AMERICA HOSTAGE. In refusing to sign ANY short-term compromise extension, Obama said he wanted to either get it all, or send this country over a cliff to it’s fiery and bloody doom. That’s one thing. Furthermore, by demanding the largest debt ceiling increase in history AFTER GETTING THE PREVIOUS LARGEST DEBT CEILING INCREASE IN HISTORY, combined with this demand for no short-term extension, if you want to claim you are even a reasonably intelligent human being explain to me how Obama was NOT setting up America for an INCREDIBLY NASTY FIGHT THAT WOULD DRAG ON AND ON.
If you are arguing that this fight was somehow the Republicans’ fault or the Tea Party’s fault, you are frankly either stupid or you are insane.
4. Obama refused to produce ANY plan of his own. A president is supposed to lead. And Obama not only failed to lead, he REFUSED to lead.
Republicans were BEGGING Obama to submit a plan so that the country could have some frame of reference to negotiate from:
SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH): Where’s the president’s plan? When is he going to lay his cards on the table?
Senator Marco Rubio understood this when he utterly destroyed Bob Schieffer on CBS’ “Face The Nation” program after Schieffer – in his masquerade as a “neutral reporter” cited the Obama talking point as the “objective” view:
“OK, so where’s the plan? Where’s the president’s plan? I’ve never seen a piece of paper with the president’s name on it that’s his plan to solve this crisis. I’ve seen press conferences. I’ve seen lectures that he’s given to the Congress. I’ve seen these press avails where the camera comes in and takes a bunch of pictures. I haven’t seen a plan. Where is the president’s plan?“
And President Obama’s failure to lead is undermining negotiations. From ABC’s “This Week”:
MS. AMANPOUR: You also heard what Jack Lew said if there was part of a big deal, it would involve entitlements –
SEN. KYL: But we have no idea what he’s talking about. That’s the problem. Republicans are not willing to make a deal based upon some vague commitment that, sometime in the future, the president might be willing to look at something that he won’t identify.
By refusing to offer any kind of plan of his own, and for being like jello and taking one position one day, and a contrary position the next, Barack Obama created this crisis. Republicans offered several plans, and they PASSED two bills that would have averted a credit downgrade.
5. Obama REPEATEDLY fearmongered the debt negotiations and used reckless and false rhetoric such as “default.” There is absolutely no question that Barack Obama quite literally FORCED this downgrade by using demagogic and flat-out false rhetoric.
The fact of the matter is that Obama repeatedly raised the public spectre of a “default” even as he tried to privately assure the banks that there was no way the U.S. would ever default. What do you call that if not quintessential demagoguery??? Meanwhile, the actual facts of the matter – that the $200 billion in monthly revenue the U.S. was receiving was easily enough to pay all of America’s sovereign debt obligations with enough to pay out on Social Security, Medicare/Medicaid, VA benefits and active duty military pay - proved that Barack Obama was playing an incredibly dangerous game. Just what the hell were the ratings agencies to do about the fact that the sitting president of the United States repeatedly said that the nation might actually DEFAULT on its debt???
Republicans tried to assure the nation, the markets and the world that the United States would NOT default. Unfortunately, the president did everything he could to undermine that confidence.
A Politico hit piece written on August 11th took a remark by an S & P official who specifically did NOT blame Republicans and then distorted it to blame Republicans:
Without specifically mentioning Republicans, S&P senior director Joydeep Mukherji said the stability and effectiveness of American political institutions were undermined by the fact that “people in the political arena were even talking about a potential default,” Mukherji said.
“That a country even has such voices, albeit a minority, is something notable,” he added. “This kind of rhetoric is not common amongst AAA sovereigns.”
Politico is trying to make it sound like it was the Republicans who hyped the fear of a default. That is a flat-out LIE. It was Obama and Geithner and the Democrat Party that continually raised the fear of “default,” even as Republicans continually assured the country that the U.S. could and would continue to make timely payment of principal and interest on its debt throughout any impasse. Just as the U.S. government did the LAST time the government was shut down.
I pointed this fearmongering tactic out on July 18. And on July 23, I pointed out that Obama’s fearmongering with the threat of “default” could very well lead to disaster. I wrote:
This wouldn’t have been such a terrible crisis if Obama had been honest and promised that the U.S. would and could meet its obligations. Instead he used the debt ceiling deadline (said “deadline” already having been changed three previous times) to dishonestly demagogue and fearmonger the crisis ala Rahm Emanuel’s “never let a serious crisis go to waste” advice. In short, OBAMA LARGELY MANUFACTURED THIS CRISIS. Because all the rating agencies have done is take Obama’s demagogic rhetoric seriously.
So it’s just a little damn late for liberals to now try to blame Republicans for something that Obama started doing and then did often.
6. Obama IRRESPONSIBLY did NOTHING for nearly three years while this went from a problem to a crisis to a disaster. Why didn’t Democrats raise the debt ceiling in December after the election when Democrats still had total power over all three political branches in Washington? Look at what Democrat Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said here:
Why Didn’t Democrats Raise The Debt Ceiling Last December?
Doug Mataconis · Thursday, July 28, 2011
As we hurdle toward uncertainly, it’s worth noting, I think, that the Democrats passed on the opportunity to deal with the debt ceiling back in December 2010 when they still had control of Congress. Why, you might ask? I’ll let Harry Reid explain:
Briefing reporters yesterday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said he’s glad the debt ceiling was left out of this tax package. And he was unusually blunt about why.
“That’s something that we talked about,” Reid said. “My personal feeling is that I’m not sure — and a lot of my caucus doesn’t agree on this — but I think it may be better to do the debt ceiling, raise it next year rather than now.”
“I want the Republicans to have some buy-in on the debt,” he said. “They’re going to have a majority in the House. I think they should have some kind of a buy-in on the debt. I don’t think it should be when we have a heavily Democratic Senate, a heavily Democratic House and a Democratic president.”
Reid was responding to questions being raised as to why he wouldn’t attach the debt ceiling increase to the bill to extend the Bush Tax Cuts, a bill the GOP would be unlikely to vote against. His reason? Pure politics. Not shocking to those of us who have watched Washington for a long time, but it’s worth noting that neither side is innocent here.
Basically, Harry Reid was saying, “I want a huge fight. I want to play a big game of chicken with America’s credit and its future. I want a fight to the death so I can turn out my shrill rabid leftwing hate machine out.”
And the Democrats got EXACTLY what they wanted, didn’t they?
There is absolutely no question whatsoever that the Democrat Party engineered this crisis. They should get to wear the result (the downgrade) like an albatross around their necks.
7. Obama REFUSED to consider plans such as the House-passed Ryan Budget and the Cut, Cap and Balance bill. Had we passed the Ryan budget that was passed by the House of Representatives, we would not have been downgraded:
Yesterday on Fox News Sunday, Paul Ryan responded to Standard & Poor’s downgrading of America’s long-term debt by explaining to host Chris Wallace that Republicans in the House “passed a budget, which according to somebody from S&P yesterday, would have prevented this downgrade from happening in the first place.”
That budget had more than $6 trillion in cuts. But Obama would have vetoed that bill even if the Democrats in the Senate had voted for it.
Had we passed the cut, cap and balance bill that was also passed by the House of Representatives, we would not have been downgraded:
Mr. Beers of the S&P said on FNC, ”Cut, cap and balance would have averted the downgrade since it is the only serious outlook on the debt.”
Harry Reid played a procedural game to prevent that bill from even coming up for an actual vote. And – again – Obama said he would veto it if it came to his desk. And when Obama made that announcement, the long-term bond market just went right down the toilet.
But it is REPUBLICANS’ faults that we were downgraded? Versus Obama, who at absolutely no time offered an actual plan of his own?
Someone pointed out that blaming the Tea Party for the downgrade is rather like blaming the Betty Ford Clinic for alcoholism.
8. Obama’s reckless Federal Reserve policies forced this downgrade.
Japan was downgraded by S & P back in January and that fact would have lit a fire under the feet of a wise American president. But nope.
Among other factors in Japan’s credit downgrade was its policy of quantitative easing. We’ve already done QE twice (essentially creating $1.2 trillion dollars out of thin air) and are all but promising to do it a third time.
Quantitative easing reduces the value of the dollar (making each dollar worth less and undermining saving) and sets up obvious future inflation and even hyperinflation if the economy actually begins to revive and more dollars begin chasing the same amount of finite goods and services.
Don’t think that such reckless short-sighted fiscal policies didn’t hurt us and won’t hurt us even more in the future.
9. Obama REFUSED to sign a balanced budget amendment that would have prevented a downgrade. Democrats offer the following as a refutation of this premise, saying that a top S & P official said that a balanced budget amendment would NOT have helped. But what S & P’s John Chambers said was that:
“In general, we think that fiscal rules like these just diminish the flexibility of the government to respond. Also, when Congress has a long track record of trying to bind itself with various rules…But when push comes to shove, they don’t bind very much. So even if you had a Balanced Budget Amendment, you’d have some questions about it’s credibility, and it would just reduce your flexibility in a crisis.”
Here are the facts, however: 1) We most certainly COULD structure a balanced budget amendment that has a “way out” in case of true emergency with some high but not outrageous vote threshold granting an exception. 2) We most certainly COULD structure a balanced budget that was otherwise binding apart from such a declared emergency/crisis. 3. Fourteen states – Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, Utah, Virginia and Wyoming – have AAA bond ratings in America. And all fourteen of those states have particularly rigorous balanced budget requirements in addition to maintaining budgets that do not rely heavily on borrowing. And while their balanced budget requirements are not the official reason for their high bond rating, it is because of that requirement that they do not excessively borrow.
It is morally insane to continue to blame Republicans for massive spending when Republicans want a balanced budget requirement that would prevent massive spending. But the very same Democrats who refuse to allow a balanced budget requirement that would curtail federal spending to get off the ground continue to blame the Republicans who are doing everything they possibly can to curtail spending.
10. Obama CONTINUED to demand tax increases even after the Democrat-controlled Senate abandoned tax hikes. Frankly, Obama has been all over the board on tax hikes, which further demonstrates why John Boehner’s frustration in trying to negotiate with a man who had all the consistency of jello that had been left out of the refrigerator was correct. He’s wanted tax hikes until he didn’t want them only to want them again.
In August 2009, Obama said, “you don’t raise taxes in a recession.”
Well, here we are with an economy that is on the verge of going into a severe double-dip recession – which economists say would be even worse than the last one that we allegedly just got out of - and Obama begins harping on tax hikes and pushing a class warfare agenda as a condition for getting a debt ceiling increase.
Until he backed Harry Reid’s kind-of sort-of plan that didn’t have any tax hikes in it. Until he changed his mind and began to call for tax hikes only hours after backing a plan that called for no tax hikes:
In his White House speech tonight, President Obama renewed his call for a debt-ceiling impasse solution which requires “the wealthiest Americans and biggest corporations to give up some of their breaks in the tax code and special deductions.” In other words, he wants tax increases, even though earlier in the day, he backed Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s “plan” (using the term loosely, as explained here and here) which, according to two separate reports (USAT; ABC), includes no tax increases.
In other words, the President, from all appearances, changed his mind — again. Calling the President’s performance in the debt-ceiling matter during the past several weeks “Jello-like” would appear to be an insult to the referenced food product.
What on earth is Obama’s position? Which was different yesterday and which will very likely be different again tomorrow and then different from that the next day?
One other thing on this point: Democrats were demanding that the Republican House increase taxes when DEMOCRATS didn’t have the political will to raise taxes in late 2010 when they had control of all three political branches. How was demanding that Republicans do the very thing they ran on not doing when even DEMOCRATS wouldn’t do that very thing just a few months earlier doing anything other than deliberately creating a crisis?
11. Obama allowed vile and poisonous rhetoric to poison the climate. Hey, I’ll tell you what. I’m going to be talking about yo’ mamma. I’m going to publicly say that yo’ mamma is a whore and a slut, and that yo’ mamma has no idea who yo’ daddy is because she was doing the nasty with like 300 guys the week you were conceived. But, you know what, after that I hope you sit down with me for a nice quiet negotiation and display a willingness to compromise.
And do you know what kind of “willingness” you’re going to show me? How about the willingness to punch me in the face about a thousand times?
Democrats called us “terrorists” and “bomb throwers.” They compared us to Hezbollah and Hamas and accused us of taking America hostage. Obama’s very own vice preseident called Republicans “terrorists.” And then they’re somehow surprised that we didn’t cheerfully show up at the negotiating table every day with an attitude of “let’s work together”??? And the same people who just rabidly demonized us were saying, “Why won’t they work with us?”
How about because you’re about a hundred million gazillion years from evolving into slime for starters?
The Democrat Party poisoned the negotiations. As I’ve already documented, they could have averted this entire mess to begin with by doing their jobs last year. THEY DELIBERATELY AND INTENTIONALLY SET UP THIS FIGHT. They wanted this poison pit. And they put their fangs on and started spitting out venom right away.
And Barack Obama sat back and let them do it.
For the record, in terms of which party was “terrorist,” consider how the Democrats voted for the bill that increased the debt ceiling and averted the shutdown. We find that not only was the Democrat Party as a whole more “terrorist” than the Republican Party, but in fact that the Democrat Party was even more “terrorist” than THE TEA PARTY CAUCUS all by itself. Which is to say that every single time Democrats point a finger at Republicans and label them “terrorist,” there are in fact three terrorist fingers pointing back at Democrats.
12. The Obama administration arrogantly and irresponsibly refused to deal with reality. There’s the way you wish real hard upon a star that the world would be, and then there’s the way the world actually is. Which world do you want the president of the United States of America to live in?
If you picked the real world, you should agree with me that it is time to get a new administration. Because the one we’ve got lives in some combination of Never Never Land and fantasy land.
Look at what Obama’s handpicked tax cheating Treasury Secretary had to say about the possibility of a rating downgrade before he proved to be so completely wrong:
Geithner Downgrades His Own Credibility to Junk
By Jonathan Weil- Apr 20, 2011 4:00 PM PT
Fox Business reporter Peter Barnes began his televised interview with Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner two days ago with this question:“Is there a risk that the United States could lose its AAA credit rating? Yes or no?”
Geithner’s response: “No risk of that.”
“No risk?” Barnes asked.
“No risk,” Geithner said.
It’s enough to make you wonder: How could Geithner know this to be true? The short answer is he couldn’t.
And keep in mind that Weil was pointing out that Timothy Geithner had forfeited any credibility BEFORE the downgrade so disastrously proved him completely wrong. It was an utterly inexcusable thing to do.
This is hardly the kind of leadership we need. When our house is about to burn down, a confident assurance that there isn’t any fire is beyond stupid.
That’s twelve reasons why the American people should be blaming the man who ought to have a big “The buck stops here” plaque on his desk anyway. And some of them are pretty damnable reasons, indeed.