Government Spending

Agencies Warn U.S. Over Credit Rating

Just admit that the federal government is a deadbeat, already

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Wall Street ratings agencies are skeptical of the resolve of political leaders to tame the nation's debts, and are raising the likelihood that at least one of the three top agencies will add to the turmoil in financial markets at the end of the year by further downgrading the U.S. credit rating.

All three agencies have said since Election Day that they are following closely the negotiations over the "fiscal cliff," and whether the U.S. retains its top AAA rating from two out of the three — or gets downgraded further — depends on the White House and congressional leaders pushing through a major budget deal with $4 trillion or more in savings to stabilize the debt.