UPDATE I: [h/t from our friend Sue of "Hello...Mr. President"]
Quote from S&P:
"Compared with previous projections, our revised base case scenario now assumes that the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts, due to expire by the end of 2012, remain in place. WE HAVE CHANGED OUR ASSUMPTION ON THIS BECAUSE THE MAJORITY OF REPUBLICANS IN CONGRESS CONTINUE TO RESIST ANY MEASURE THAT WOULD RAISE REVENUES [emphasis added], a position we believe Congress reinforced by passing the act."
National Journal: ‘It’s hard to read the S&P analysis as anything other than a blast at Republicans’ | The National Journal takes a close look at the S&P decision to downgrade U.S. credit. The conclusion: “It based it on the political game of chicken over the debt ceiling, a game that Republicans initiated and pushed to the limit, and on a growing gloom about the partisan deadlock. Part of S&P’s gloom, moreover, stemmed explicitly from what a new assessment of the GOP’s ability to block any and all tax increases.” Read the full analysis here.
The GOP causes the downgrading of America's rating:
For the first time in America's history, the debt ceiling was held hostage by the GOP until it got its demands; and less than a week after the GOP's terrorist tactics, for the first time in America's history, Standard & Poors downgraded America's credit rating.
"A day after Moody's Investor Service warned that the United States's credit rating was in danger of being lowered, Standard & Poor's followed suit Thursday.
S&P, one of the three major ratings agencies, said it "has placed its 'AAA' long-term and 'A-1+' short-term sovereign credit ratings on the United States of America on CreditWatch with negative implications."
S&P said the move "reflects our view of two separate but related issues. The first issue is the continuing failure to raise the U.S. government debt ceiling so as to ensure that the government will be able to continue to make scheduled payments on its debt obligations. The second pertains to our current view of the likelihood that Congress and the Administration will agree upon a credible, medium-term fiscal consolidation plan in the foreseeable future."
"We still believe that the risk of a payment default on U.S. government debt obligations as a result of not raising the debt ceiling is small, though increasing," S&P said."
From the NYTimes:
"The downgrade could lead investors to demand higher interest rates from the federal government and other borrowers, raising costs for governments, businesses and home buyers. But many analysts say the impact could be modest, in part because the other ratings agencies, Moody’s and Fitch, have decided not to downgrade the government at this time. "
“The downgrade reflects our view that the effectiveness, stability, and predictability of American policymaking and political institutions have weakened at a time of ongoing fiscal and economic challenge,” the company said in a statement."
NYTimes editorial, 8/6/2011:
"Washington may be in denial, but the rest of the country knows what’s going on. A New York Times/CBS News Poll, released the same day as the July jobs report, showed that by a ratio of more than two to one, Americans say that creating jobs should be a higher priority than cutting spending.
The poll also showed that a record 82 percent of Americans now say they disapprove of Congress, a sentiment that is surely fed by the belief of an overwhelming majority who told the pollsters that the debt ceiling fight was more about gaining political advantage than doing what is best for the country.
The American people understand what’s needed, even if Congress doesn’t. As Stanley Oland, 62, a Republican from Kalispell, Mont., told the pollsters: “Unless you have working people, you don’t have revenue from taxes. If you cut spending, jobs will be eliminated and you won’t get any revenue. Every dollar spent creates jobs.”
There you have it. The GOP's leaders have unequivocally stated that its number one priority is to make Mr. Obama a one-term president. We don't have two political parties. We have the Democrats and a party that believes only it has the right to govern and any other politician from the Democratic Party needs to be delegitimized and demonized. Before Mr. Obama took office, the radio hate mongers, i.e. Rush Limbaugh, told audiences that they hoped the newly elected president would fail. Mr. Obama won the 2008 election handily, but to the GOP, this was not legitimate because the American people voted in a Democrat--for the first time in America's history, a bi-racial president.
The GOP's apologists become indignant when anyone suggests that there are racists in the Tea Party, but the racist emails and photoshopping of Mr. and Mrs. Obama to look like apes, whores and pimps prove otherwise. It's not the Democrats who are sending around those disgusting images.
I hope voters--independents and moderates who want congress and the president to compromise; the ones who determine presidential elections--take a good hard sober look at the destructive, racist elements in the GOP and its determination to destroy this country so that they can remove Mr. Obama, a compromiser, from office.
If your 401(k) and your stock portfolio are losing their value, thank a Republican because it's the result of their plan to make Mr. Obama a one-term president. To hell with how it ruins YOU financially.
Jonathan Capehart of the Washington Post:
"Ever since Obama walked through the doors of the Oval Office for the first time as president, he has been beset by one crisis after another that would sap his support or raise doubts about him and his leadership. There was the imploding economy in early 2009 and the actions taken to prevent another Depression; the politically debilitating health-care debate and the law that helped fuel the rise of the Tea Party and the loss of the House; the response to the gulf oil spill and the swine flu epidemic; the struggling economic recovery and frustration over the lack of jobs; the debt-ceiling fiasco; the delegitimizing birther nonsense that gained traction; and a Republican minority in the Senate and then a Republican majority in the House that see their sole purpose as thwarting anything that might be viewed as a success for the president, even if it might do right by the country.
Given all that, a 48 percent approval rating is damned impressive."