In Response to Re: Anyone on the Left want to discuss the facts? : You're citing an opinion piece, which by definition, is biased. The actual S&P statement explicitly states that the failure to raise new revenues has a negative impact on the fiscal outlook of the US. They further state that it is the Repubs in Congress who are responsible for the lost revenue going forward. You can argue opinions all you want but you can't argue the facts as stated by S&P in their white paper on the downgrade. I would urge you to actually read the S&P statement rather than forming an opinion through the lense of biased op-ed articles.
Posted by airborne-rgr
The political brinksmanship of recent months highlights what we see as
America's governance and policymaking becoming less stable, less effective,
and less predictable than what we previously believed. The statutory debt
ceiling and the threat of default have become political bargaining chips in
the debate over fiscal policy. Despite this year's wide-ranging debate, in our
view, the differences between political parties have proven to be
extraordinarily difficult to bridge, and, as we see it, the resulting
agreement fell well short of the comprehensive fiscal consolidation program
that some proponents had envisaged until quite recently. Republicans and
Democrats have only been able to agree to relatively modest savings on
discretionary spending while delegating to the Select Committee decisions on
more comprehensive measures. It appears that for now, new revenues have
dropped down on the menu of policy options. In addition, the plan envisions
only minor policy changes on Medicare and little change in other entitlements,
the containment of which we and most other independent observers regard as key to long-term fiscal sustainability.
Our opinion is 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 a 'AAA' rating and with 'AAA' rated
sovereign peers (see Sovereign Government Rating Methodology and Assumptions," June 30, 2011, especially Paragraphs 36-41). In our view, the difficulty in framing a consensus on fiscal policy weakens the government's ability to manage public finances and diverts attention from the debate over how to achieve more balanced and dynamic economic growth in an era of fiscal
stringency and private-sector deleveraging (ibid). A new political consensus
might (or might not) emerge after the 2012 elections, but we believe that by
then, the government debt burden will likely be higher, the needed medium-term
fiscal adjustment potentially greater, and the inflection point on the U.S.
population's demographics and other age-related spending drivers closer at
hand (see "Global Aging 2011: In The U.S., Going Gray Will Likely Cost Even
More Green, Now," June 21, 2011).
Standard & Poor's takes no position on the mix of spending and revenue
measures that Congress and the Administration might conclude is appropriate
for putting the U.S.'s finances on a sustainable footing.