By Scarecrow and Jane Hamsher
“The Politico headline says it all:
U.S. credit downgrade worries Obama, Congress more than default
It’s not the default that strikes the most fear in the White House and Congress these days. It’s the downgrade
“As Robert Reich notes, Standard and Poors is the “biggest driver in the deficit battle.” Why would anyone care what the corrupt and disgraced organizations who quite nearly brought down the world economy think about anything at this point? And yet, that is where elite opinion is focused right now:
[W]hat really haunts the administration is the very real prospect, stoked two weeks ago by Standard & Poor’s, that Barack Obama could go down in history as the president who presided over his country’s loss of its gold-plated, triple-A bond rating.
Financial analysts say such a move would hit Americans with more than $100 billion a year in higher borrowing costs, but it’s not just that. It would be a psychic blow to a nation that already looks over its shoulder at rising economic powers like China and wonders, what’s gone wrong? And it would give the president’s Republican rivals a ready-made line of attack that he’s dragging the country in the wrong direction.
“This rumbling has been coming from Capitol Hill for a while, which made us start asking questions about what was really going on with Standard and Poors. It felt like there’s a story-behind-the-story driving S&P’s actions in the debt ceiling debate, which appear inexplicable at face value and go way beyond what Moody’s or Fitch have done. And the more we looked at the timeline of events, the more we wondered how the intertwining dramas of a) S&P downgrade threats, b) the liability that the ratings agencies may have for their role in the 2008 financial meltdown, and c) the GOP’s attempts to insulate the ratings agencies from b) are all impacting each other.”
Read full article here.
On July 19, 2011 2700 people across the country pledged to visit the local office of their member of congress and let them know: if they vote to cut Social Security or Medicare (or for a commission empowered to recommend cuts for an up-or-down vote without regular Congressional procedure), we won’t support them in 2012.
Jane Hamsher went to Capitol Hill and visited Congressional offices in DC.