Sunday, August 14, 2011

The U.S. Debt Downgrade: Why we shouldn’t be surprised.

The White House and many lawmakers railed angrily against the recent Standards and Poor’s downgrade of the United States credit rating from AAA to AA+. This anger at the S&P misses the fundamental point of the entire debate. This “debt crisis” was a crisis of our own making due to two decades worth of government mismanagement and a “Spend Baby Spend attitude that would’ve filled the biggest Vegas gambler with pride. This attitude has afflicted both parties, which is why it humored me greatly when some Republicans and Democrats who’ve voted for any spending bill they can get their hands on over the last twenty years, suddenly became these great fiscal conservatives during the debt debate.

If a private household did this badly at debt management, they’d be living in a cardboard box on a street corner somewhere. The bigger question is why our government leaders are so surprised about the S&P’s actions. We’ve seen two years of government dysfunction where they can’t even pass a funding bill for the FAA without being ordered back to Washington by the President and Congressional leaders and a debt deal that took until the eleventh hour, frying numerous nerves in the process. That coupled with twenty years of overspending on everything from repetitive social programs and pork barrel projects has put the United States in a questionable state of credit worthiness. Instead of blaming the S&P, maybe our politicians should take a good long look in the mirror.

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