The Debt Deal Won't Save America's Credit Rating

At some point, a deal to raise the federal debt limit was going to be necessary. Not pleasant, not fun, not in any way something to look forward to or cheer, but necessary as a consequence of prior profligacy and fiscal recklessness. Washington's decade-long, taxpayer-financed spending binge made it a requirement, not an option: Even the House Republican budget plan drafted by Rep. Paul Ryan was built on increasing the amount of federal debt, and thus the federal debt limit, in the near term.

But even if the deficit reduction mechanisms outlined by this weekend's plan work, it won't be nearly enough. In the long term, the biggest driver of the federal debt growth is health spending, and while the deal that's now hurtling toward a vote might result in some tweaks to the payments the government makes to health care providers, it essentially does nothing to combat the unsustainable long-term growth of health spending. Some of the potential health reforms that might come out of a deficit commission package might be worth doing, but none represent the sort of fundamental reforms that will be necessary to head off the basic math of the budgepocalypse.

And so it's no surprise to see that the credit raters at Moody's are warning that neither of the deals that were being talked up by Republicans and Democrats last week—both of which ended up being fairly similar to the joint agreement we're looking at now—would protect America from a potential credit rating downgrade. From The Hill:

The limited magnitude of both debt plans put forward by congressional leaders would not put the nation's AAA credit rating back on solid footing, Moody's Investors Service announced Friday.

Reductions of the magnitude now being proposed, if adopted, would likely lead Moody's to adopt a negative outlook on the AAA rating, the credit rating agency said in a new report. The chances of a significant improvement in the long-term credit profile of the government coming from deficit reductions of the magnitude proposed in either plan are not high.

It added that prolonged debt ceiling deliberations have increased the odds of a downgrade, but that the firm is still confident policymakers will avoid a default.

The best reason to have a big showdown over raising the debt limit was to start the process of figuring out how to deal with a federal fiscal trajectory that is simply not sustainable. Instead, we ended up with a politically motivated showdown that resulted in gimmick-filled plans full of likely-bogus spending reductions. If anything, the showdown and the deal it gave us ultimately made our credit outlook slightly worse by illustrating, in painful and prolonged detail, how difficult it will be for our political system to truly come to terms with the nation's debt problem when it eventually has to. 

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  • SIV||

    At some point, a deal to raise the federal debt limit was going to be necessary.

    "Doing nothing is NOT an option!1!!"

    They ought to consider hiring a few libertarians for the editorial staff.

  • Joe M||

    It was better back when Postrel was in charge.

  • SIV||

    Fuck, it was better when Moynihan worked here.

  • SIV||

    I forgot... DRINK!

    See how bad it has gotten?

  • George W. Bush||

    Drink!

    Fucking niggers!

    Lets go back to the Constitution!

  • Anonymous Coward||

    Sure George.

    Just remember to clean your shit off of it after you pull it out of the toilet you left it in.

  • ||

    Thanks for that retarded input. Putting GWB's handle on it was especially brilliant, douche.

  • cynical||

    Well, maybe. 's like alcoholism, not quitting will kill you eventually, but quitting cold turkey can kill you right now. Or something.

  • robc||

    Heck, it doesnt even require doing nothing.

    Spending less than you bring in means the debt ceiling never has to move (in fact, it gets further away every month).

  • Rich||

    If Moody's had any balls, they'd downgrade *more* because of the BS.

  • Doktor Kapitalism||

    If Moody's had a clue, they'd have downgraded us during the Bush years.

  • robc||

    If Moody's had a clue, they would have downgraded lots of stuff during the housing bubble run up.

    Why doesnt Moody's have a clue. Because the government granted them an oligopoly during the 70s?

  • George W. Bush||

    GodDamnit - Cheney told me Deficits don't Matter.

    I am sorry, America.

  • Barack Obama||

    Let me be clear.

    It isn't your fault.

  • George W. Bush||

    I piled up $1.3 trillion in deficits - you won't get out of that hole - Nigga!

  • Barack Obama||

    Only $1.3 trillion? Amateur.

  • Nancy Pelosi||

    An' Ah halped!

  • ||

    Bush pushed the debt up by 4.4 trillion over his 8 years in office.

    Obama pushed it up 4.5 trillion in only 2.5 years.

  • Michael Ejercito||

    So what is Obama's excuse for pumping up the debt?

  • DarkVisitor||

    The reasons?

    Wars, tax cuts, recession, bailouts of banks, and a stimulus that was mostly tax cuts.

    That'll run up a lot of debt.

  • Doktor Kapitalism||

    I think some Democrat used a revisionist-history diagram on c-span the other day. The level of hypocrisy is reaching critical mass.

  • ||

    Don't you guys know anything about History? I was the original and best fiscal hypocrite.

    I started this whole mess when I convinced everyone that money flows down not up!

  • ||

    More cleverness. This time with an "a" at the end.

  • Invisible Finger||

    I'll do the credit rating myself.

    Based on my analysis I ain't buying any goddamned U.S. Govt debt.

  • Chairman Ben||

    Oh yes you are!!!!!!

  • Jim||

    ...how difficult it will be for our political system to truly come to terms with the nation's debt problem when it eventually has to.

    Actually, I think it will be relatively easy by that time, because there will simply be no other choices. See how quickly the Greek parliament passed their "austerity" measures, in the teeth of public resistance. Took them like a week. The act itself will be easy...it's the aftermath that we'll all live through (assuming a bond market forced correction) that I'm dreading.

  • George W. Bush||

    Is this a goddamn nigger loving site?

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Give it up, troll.

  • SIV||

    OT:

    California is where American Civilization dies first.

  • EscapedWestOfTheBigMuddy||

    I do hope these folks were billed for

    One (1) Operation, rescue, discretionary.
  • ||

    Make no mistake, we're doing this again.

    Congress and Barack Obama--Tea Party or no Tea Party--will never make the necessary changes until they have no other choice.

    You'll see Obama and the Democrats push even harder for tax increases next time--as if giving drunken sailors more of our money were the solution to drunken sailors spending all of our money...

    They won't make any changes to healthcare until that bid to raise our taxes gets shot down in flames.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7J5SrhjNQ5g

    First we defeat any attempt to raise our taxes--cutting healthcare spending is the very last thing Obama and the Democrats do.

    The only serious question is whether even Moody's and friends cutting the rating on treasuries would put enough pressure on the Democrats to cut healthcare spending--and my guess is "no".

    I think Obama and the Democrats would rather take a downgrade on treasuries than cut healthcare spending. Anybody who thinks otherwise needs to explain why...

    Which means our only hope may be the next president. I haven't seriously considered breaking my principled non-voter stance since Bush the Lesser was running against that crook Bill Clinton.

    ...but I don't see any good reason to think Obama will ever sign a bill to cut healthcare spending.

    Ever.

  • ||

    Seriously, that's the next stage in all this--it's time to dust off the old "Starve the Beast 101" textbook.

    Not one more penny in taxes. Under no circumstances. It's time for fiscal conservatives to get downright stupid on that point.

    Supply Siders and Fiscal Conservatives unite!

    *raised fist*

    Obama and the Democrats will never cave to fiscal conservatism so long as there is any hope of raising taxes. So tax cutters and fiscal conservatives should all be on the same side of the tax issue now...

    No tax increases of any kind are acceptable. If we let Obama and the Democrats wait until they can raise tax revenues--before they cut spending on healthcare? Then they will never cut spending on healthcare.

    Never.

  • Jim||

    Sadly all of the students failed the exam in the previous "Starve the Beast" class, because it turns out that when they don't take in any more tax dollars, they just print money and borrow.

  • ||

    That's right...they'll try everything else before they do what they have to do.

    They're like junkies. They'll try every solution imaginable--including male prostitution and holding up gas stations--before they'll try the solution where they get off the junk.

    Meanwhile, you've got enablers out there--soft-hearted Moms who keep givin' their junkie sons more money.

    Starve the Beast! The only solution to overspending is to cut the spending. No amount of borrowing will make them spend less. Giving the drunken sailors more of our money (through taxes) to spend--is not the solution to them spending all of our money.

    They'll only stop overspending when they have no more money to spend--and the sooner we start starving that beast the better.

    We need to start yelling about the Laffer Curve again! We need to cut taxes. ...and starve that fothermucking beast.

  • SIV||

    I hear there is some crazy Midwestern Bible-beater housewife running for President on a similar platform.

  • ||

    I might vote for a crazy Midwestern Bible-thumping housewife--so long as she wasn't hell bent on squandering hundreds of billions of dollars on bailing out Wall Street and the UAW...and nationalizing our healthcare system.

    I might vote for an idiot--so long as it's an idiot who thinks fiscal restraint and low taxes are the solution to our problems rather than the cause.

    Considering we have an idiot in office now--who all but nationalized healthcare and fought to raise taxes in the face of 9% unemployment? Why would I care what some other candidate thinks about intelligent design?

  • ||

    What's dumber?

    A president who suspects global warming might be a hoax?

    Or a president who thinks overspending on entitlements is a hoax?

    That's no contest for me! And Barack Obama appears to think overspending on entitlements is a hoax. At a time when our greatest challenge may be the budget busting entitlement spending--Barack Obama effectively expanded the Medicaid roles by tens of millions for as long as there will be Medicaid...

    What could be dumber than that?

  • ||

    I'll raise you Krugman's blog posting from today saying he wouldn't vote for the debt deal.

    After spending how many months saying the tea party was dangerous because they were willing to kill the hostage it turns out that killing the hostage is just fine with Pauly? But he clears it up with the 14th Ammendment solution so he's still saying no increase in the debt ceiling is a big deal, but he replaces it with a Constitutional Crisis. Krugman's new moto: burn, baby, burn.

  • BigT||

    Sorry Ken, global warming IS largely a hoax. The evidence is just too nebulous, and there are far too many unaccounted factors to trust the models.

    I, too, will vote for the more fiscally responsible person regardless of other ideas.

  • ||

    My point was that regardless of whether global warming is a hoax, entitlement spending really is gonna break our economy one way or the other...

    ...and isn't it ironic that the people who are quickest to make fun of those who think global warming is a hoax--are often the same people who act like entitlement spending being a problem is a hoax?

    How can they make fun of people who don't believe in global warming out of one side of their mouths--and make like fiscal conservatives are all propaganda victims out of the other?

    I've said it before, and I'll say it again: Anthropogenic Entitlement Overspending is not a hoax!

  • ||

    "How can they make fun of people who don't believe in global warming out of one side of their mouths--and make like fiscal conservatives are all propaganda victims out of the other?"

    And it happens like all the freakin' time. Those two beliefs--it's like Progressive 101.

    I mean, I happen to believe that global warming is a big problem--but it's hilarious to hear someone make fun of climate change deniers...and then turn around and talk about how the fiscal conservatives are all idiot victims of a hoax!

    There's a reasonable debate to be had about climate change--there's no reasonable take on what the ultimate effects are if spending continues to spiral out of control.

    When and where we hit the bumps on the Fiscal Irresponsibility Highway, people can disagree about that--but where that road ultimately leads to? Reasonable people do not disagree about that!

  • Tony||

    Why? What exactly are you trying to accomplish?

    I'll tell you what you'll get: the rich get to run away with the rest of the country's loot and leave the place that they were lucky enough to be born in (or in many cases not) in a pile of rubble. What exactly kind of freedom do you suppose will result from undermining clear democratic will in order to impose an anarchic experiment on people who didn't ask for it?

  • Skeptic||

    I'm not convinced.

  • ||

    Economic growth doesn't come from taking the proceeds of people's productive labor and squandering it on government largess.

    I know that's hard for you to believe, but it's true!

    The less of our GDP we squander on government largess, the more our economy will grow and provide jobs for the unemployed and economic opportunities for people who have little in the way of opportunity now.

    Economic growth comes from things like investment and productivity gains and consumers having more discretionary income. Slashing taxes and the share of GDP we squander on government largess increases investment in employees and capital goods, among other things, and it also puts more discretionary income in consumer's pockets.

    That's all I really want. Economic growth. Something Obama knows nothing about.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    More wealth envy.

    Not surprising.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Oops, that was for the Tony screed below.

  • Tony||

    Why? What exactly are you trying to accomplish?

    I'll tell you what you'll get: the rich get to run away with the rest of the country's loot and leave the place that they were lucky enough to be born in (or in many cases not) in a pile of rubble. What exactly kind of freedom do you suppose will result from undermining clear democratic will in order to impose an anarchic experiment on people who didn't ask for it?

  • Skeptic||

    Your second argument is much more convincing!

  • ||

    Don't kid yourself. The margin of borrowing is definitely a function of the revenue. The higher the revenue the more they borrow. Starve the beast works, just ask California tax payers and future bond-payer-offers.

  • cynical||

    If people were really serious about it, they would just go on strike.

  • ||

    Tea Party or no Tea Party

    I wonder if the Tea party Republicans in congress realize this is the beginning of the end for them if this deal passes.

    Actually they probably do understand it...but fuck it they are incumbents now so what do they care.

    The tea party ground troops on the other hand probably don't understand that they are soon to be made yesterday's news.

  • robc||

    ???

    As long as they voted against it, they can double down. The ground troops need to vote out the republicans (and democrats) who voted for the deal and replace them with more TPers.

    If the tea partiers are electing GOP leadership next time around, things will change.

  • Restoras||

    Do the rating agencies actually have the stones to downgrade US debt?

  • ||

    Of course they do!

    They may be slower to do it...but the only real question there is whether they'll be late to the party.

    The market may react to what Moody's and friends do proactively--but if Moody's doesn't cut that rating until after the market's already had its way with treasuries, then they'll just cut if after the market's had its way with treasuries.

  • ||

    They're already late to the party. How could a borrower who needs to borrow $1.5 trillion just to service his existing debt possibly be considered AAA? Nevermind one that has tens of trillions in off balance sheet liabilities. The existing rating is a joke. Hell, PIMCO doesn't even want our bonds.

  • ||

    "Hell, PIMCO doesn't even want our bonds."

    I don't really understand why a professional portfolio manager would want to buy the meager returns we're getting on bonds anyway.

    I understand why some retired people would keep that in their portfolio, but a professional portfolio manager--holding a ten year treasury for an annual return of 2.75%?

    The reason those rates are so low--of course--is because the market still sees our treasuries as a safe haven. ...meanwhile, I heard the dollar hit new lows against both the Yen and the Swiss Franc today. ...even as the US dollar rallied against other currencies.

    What we're doing to our currency long term and the long term strength of treasuries--those things can go in different directions periodically. And what Moody's and others are concerned may happen over the next few years--if we don't do the smart thing? That isn't an inevitable slippery slope. We've gotten smart and pulled back from the brink of stupidity before--and the good news is that the fiscal conservatives seem to have won a round here.

    ...despite this blog post, that's a good sign. We still have a long way to go--it would be a whole lot better if they'd solved all our problems with this one bill--but how likely was that to happen?

    It makes sense to me that we shouldn't be able to slash total spending before we slash the growth rate of the spending. I don't see that as a failure at all. It doesn't go far enough--but considering that fiscal conservatives are a faction within their own Republican Party? ...and the Republicans only control one of three levers of the budget?

    That's one hell of an accomplishment! If the Republicans get the Senate or the White House next election? We might really be able to make some headway.

    If opinion polls pick up the next few weeks, we may see Democrats jump on the fiscal conservative bandwagon too! Between now and the end of the year, we may see Democrats advocate cuts that they like get some more attention.

    I'm not sure I understand why we're still in Germany myself. That kind of budget cut is all okay. We've done this stuff before. We've closed bases here in the U.S. before! It isn't impossible to slash the budget. We've done it before. We did it in the early nineties. This is the way it's done--and we're doing it.

    Moody's is saying if we keep going the way we're going...but if today indicates anything, it's that we may yet wise up. We may not keep going the way we've been going.

    But Obama is gonna have a hard time selling himself as a fiscal conservative after what he did with TARP and nationalizing healthcare.

  • Mike M.||

    Do the rating agencies actually have the stones to downgrade US debt?

    We've already been downgraded by Egan-Jones. No, they're not one of the so-called "Big Three", but so what.

    The "Big Three" said that Enron was a solid AAA investment four days before it went belly up. They're a joke; they're lagging indicators of reality and always behind the curve.

  • ||

    And keep in mind that over some of that time, Enron could not (and did not) produce a balance sheet. That alone should have prevented the issuance of any rating at all. The fact that Enron had a lofty rating is all you need to know about the rating agencies' incompetence.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    And so it's no surprise to see that the credit raters at Moody's are warning that neither of the deals that were being talked up by Republicans and Democrats last week—both of which ended up being fairly similar to the joint agreement we're looking at now—would protect America from a potential credit rating downgrade.

    S&P was calling for roughly $4 trillion in cuts to avoid a downgrade. If this plan gets voted through, we'll see if they actually have the balls to make good on that threat.

  • Doktor Kapitalism||

    I hope they do.

  • Fixed||

    Washington's decadecentury-long, taxpayer-financed spending binge.

  • Tony||

    Good job tea partiers, very well done.

    What's even more unsustainable than our debt projections is the idea that this country can be governed from a place where facts are optional.

  • Jeff||

    What place is that? The space between your ears?

  • ||

    I broke the Tony/Palosi economic code.

    By using the Tony/Palosi economic method Obama's budget (which has never existed) will cause 0 starvations in the US.

    This Budget deal on the other hand will kill 50 million Americans.....all of whom will be minority children.

  • Tony||

    Whereas you don't have to worry about how many people die because of your policies, because... uh because you're special!

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Talk about apocalyptic...

  • ||

    Dear Toni sockpuppeteer: Kudos! You and Jim Carrey can both make an asshole "speak".

  • T||

    the idea that this country can be governed from a place where facts are optional.

    So we're shutting down DC? I applaud.

  • ||

    Has anyone in the msm noted the fact that the downgrade is the direct result of Democrats holding fast to the failed entitlements because they think medicare won New York 26? The hostage takers are the ones who would let America fail for nothing more than a better shot in the next election.

  • ||

    Democrats holding fast to the failed entitlements

    Republicans have a pretty good grip as well.

    How did boner and Ryan vote on the donut holed prescription benefit again?

    What entitlements were reformed between 2000 and 2006 when Republicans controlled both branches of congress and the white house? Did those reforms cut spending or increase it?

  • ||

    "At some point, a deal to raise the federal debt limit was going to be necessary. Not pleasant, not fun, not in any way something to look forward to or cheer, but necessary as a consequence of prior profligacy and fiscal recklessness. Washington's decade-long, taxpayer-financed spending binge made it a requirement, not an option: Even the House Republican budget plan drafted by Rep. Paul Ryan was built on increasing the amount of federal debt, and thus the federal debt limit, in the near term."

    Append, "GIVEN OUR CRAVEN, INTELLECTUALLY AND MORALLY BANKRUPT RULING CLASS IN DC" to the front of the above, and I might agree with the writer. But many people, including I, have articulated, in this forum, as well as in many other venues, plans for dealing with this faux-crisis, which do not require raising taxes, default on debt, or immediate, draconian cuts to entitlements and pensions (though longer term follow-up to bring the budget into the realm of reality and make the nation's finances sustainable WOULD be required). The approaches were based on fundamental, common-sense measures used successfully all the time by households and businesses that need to put their financial affairs in order.

    If the ruling class and their symbiotic enablers in the media responded at all, it was with the equivalent of patronizing smiles of dismissal, or the sticking of fingers in ears, the closing of eyes, and the yelling of "nyah, nyah, nyah, I can't hear you."

    Now, the apologists for and "realistic" believers in politics as usual, are coming out of the woodwork to tell us that, though sad, our plight was "inevitable." We need to calm down, look forward, and shuffle calmly toward the abbatoir.

    That's crap.

    Our elected officials in DC needed either to see the light or be shown the door. They have just proven that they have NOT seen the light, and likely will never do so. Especially as we and our children will end up paying the bills later, we must NOW be the responsible adults and show our still unenlightened officials the door, that they may live in the world they have created.

    They can only hope that their successors will have better sense and can use it to fix the problems inherited from the previous crowd of clowns.

  • ||

    Sadly, I neglected to change my screen name back to what it should be after posting a quip in another thread. I take credit (or blame) for the post attributed to the "Articles of Confederation," above. My bad (or good, as the case may be).

  • Almanian||

    Cool story, bro

  • George W. Bush||

    The Constitution is just a God-damned piece of paper!

    There! I said it again! Are you all happy now?

  • Barack Obama||

    What is true is, I agree with you. And I'm a Constitutional Scholar™!

  • ||

    Worthless charter of negative liberties, right Barack?

  • Barack Obama||

    Yes. Thankfully, God gave us the commerce clause so that we might escape the essential constraints placed on us by the Constitution and achieve economic and social justice. (Thanks, Dad!)

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Cool. TWO worthless shitheel presidents posting on the same thread. We should be so lucky.

  • NotSure||

    The US ratings agencies have zero credibility, to rate the US as "AAA", with an economy lurching from one crises to the next, is a joke. My personal rating for the US rating companies is to give them a collective ZZZ.

  • ||

    Actually, you may be wrong . Don't forget that failure to raise the debt ceiling is NOT synonymous with default on the debt.

    They simply will not default on the debt, but it's in their interest to make us conflate the two issues.

  • Michael Ejercito||

    Indeed. As Aaron Worthing pointed out

    For instance, right now they estimate that the Federal Government will take in about $2.6 trillion dollars in revenue this fiscal year. And how much do we have to pay on the interest this year? $386 billion.
  • ||

    We're keeping the AAA with a buy a bond, get a house, a flattened car and an Obama Life Magazine Inaguration special magazine promotion. Buy two bonds you get Obama's greatest hits mix tape.

  • MNG||

    A mix tape? That sounds vaguely racist.

  • EscapedWestOfTheBigMuddy||

    Multi-racist.

    Sheesh!

  • ||

    At some point, a deal to raise the federal debt limit was going to be necessary. Not pleasant, not fun, not in any way something to look forward to or cheer, but necessary as a consequence of prior profligacy and fiscal recklessness. Washington's decade-long, taxpayer-financed spending binge made it a requirement, not an option: Even the House Republican budget plan drafted by Rep. Paul Ryan was built on increasing the amount of federal debt

    This is bullshit. First off you can choose to not raise the debt limit simply by spending only the amount it receives in revenues. There is nothing forcing the US government to spend more then it generates in tax revenues.

    Also when the fuck was Paul Ryan considered the bell weather for spending cuts? Even Reason.com* recognized Ryan's plan was moderate in its cuts, and that group is a bunch of spend thrift liberaltarian cosmos!!

    *That is right bitches it is Monday, the eve of when the US defaults on it debt. If you are going to be fucked it is preferred that you are first drunk. DRINK!!!

  • CE||

    Obviously the debt limit had to be raised, but only enough to get us to October 1, 2011. Congress had already committed to overspending for FY 2011, so not authorizing enough borrowing to finish out the year was simply a contradictory set of instructions.

    The FY 2012 budget, beginning October 1, 2011, could have been reworked to require no new borrowing. Cutting spending back to FY 2006 levels would have done it.

  • ||

    "so not authorizing enough borrowing to finish out the year was simply a contradictory set of instructions"

    So? I'm confused why that should matter to me.

  • ||

    Well, it appears that David Fucking Frum is shilling for Big Government again.

    Not that that's a surprise, since he was instrumental in the 60% spending increase and the expansion of the Executive under GWB.

  • marlok||

    Not sure why this guy keeps doing what he does. Who reads this guy other than liberals looking for a useful idiot? His natural revulsion to libertarian rhetoric places him pretty squarely in the mainstream Democrat camp.

  • ||

    I refer you to Joshua's comment directly below...

  • Dbag Clone from Mission Viejo||

    They just need to enter in promo code: ROME
    Hey-OH!

  • ||

    I like how this deal prevents the tea pirates in congress from doing any more cutting until 2012 and how the Obama/Bush tax cuts will expire no matter what they do.

    This deal is made to marginalize the tea party....and it was designed by Republicans (not Obama and the Democrats) for that very reason.

    In case you were ever confused about what a purge looks like...this debt ceiling deal is the new gold standard example.

  • ||

    Hhhword.

  • ||

    Very interesting. I think you're on to something.

    How marginalized the Tea Partiers are depends on (1) whether they get a seat on the SuperCongress, and (2) whether the SuperCongress produces a set of new "cuts" that don't require Tea Party votes to pass.

    The latter requires Dem votes, and the Dems won't vote for anything that cuts entitlements. So, marginalizing the TPers will require deep defense cuts. I don't know if that's a price the establishment Republicans will pay.

  • Mongo||

    Whistling Past the Graveyard.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eceUXYtdw8Q

    steal myself a stationwagon
    drivin' through the mud
    ...
    what you think is the sunshine
    is just a twinkle in my eye
    that ring around my fingers
    just the 4th of july

  • El Foldo||

    You don't have to be shot in the head to support the debt ceiling bill, but it seems it does help.

  • GSL||

    There's almost no chance the major ratings agencies will downgrade US debt anytime soon. The agencies have always served the interests of big banks and western governments, so it would probably take outright default before we'd see a downgrade of the US. And maybe not even then.

    I think Rand and Ron Paul were among the few voices speaking the truth: the Dem and Repub leaders had reached their deal in private, and most of what went on over the past 7 days or so was theater. Obama, Boehner and Reid reached a crappy consensus and pushed it on the rest of Congress by running out the clock.

  • BigT||

    "The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary." H L Mencken.

    Default being the latest in a very long line of hobgoblins.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Dems read that Mencken line as gospel.

    Rs are good at it, too, but they don't have majority power at the moment.

  • ||

    I am waiting for "Big Government" to start threatening Moody's to get them to back down. IRS or some other agency will get after them with threats.

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