The branding campaign by the Democratic party, and its sycophants in the media, has labelled the downgrade of the United States’ credit rating by S&P the “TEA Party downgrade.” This coordinated response was trotted out by David Axelrod, President Obama’s reelection campaign strategist, on a Sunday morning talk show:
“If we had defaulted on our debt, the consequences would have been dramatic and lasting,” Axelrod said on CBS’s’ “Face the Nation.'” It was the wrong thing to do to push the country to that point. It was something that should never have happened, that clearly is on the backs of those who were willing the see the country default — those very strident voices in the tea party.”
“We can debate the strength of the analysis they did,” Axelrod said. “They made an egregious error here, but theirs was largely a political analysis, and that is what we should focus on.”
Earlier that same Sunday morning, On Meet the Press, Sen. John Kerry likewise, in lockstep, proclaimed the historic downgrade of America’s credit rating “the TEA Party downgrade” as directed by the election politics of Axelrod and Plouffe. Ironically, the confused Kerry insisted that others were “politicizing” the downgrade!
(Sen. John Kerry on Meet the Press August 7th,2011)
“And what we need is a Washington that stops this bickering, that gets rid of these hard positions that I noticed even in Speaker Boehner’s comments about the downgrade, politicizing it in the sense that, you know, sort of blaming it on the Democrats….”
The list of factors ignored by Kerry’s claim is long. The glaring fact that America briefly crossed the ignominious threshold of a 100% national debt to GDP ratio on August 3rd was largely ignored. Furthermore, the national debt is projected to exceed the growth rate in 2012. To pretend that increasing deficit spending was not a major factor in the decision to downgrade is ludicrous.
Finally, to pretend that Democrats like John Kerry, who mindlessly repeat the party line “TEA Party downgrade”, are not opportunistically politicizing and engaging in demagoguery of one of the most serious threats to our nation, mounting debt, is just silly talk.
After all, it was President Obama himself who threatened to default:
I cannot guarantee that those checks go out on August 3 if we haven’t resolved this issue. Because there may simply not be the money in the coffers to do it.
In reality, Obama knew that $200 billion in the U.S. treasury in August would be more than sufficient to cover social security checks for seniors. He chose to demagogue the crucial debate over the debt ceiling rather than seeking to reassure the volatile markets with a responsible fiscal budget plan aimed at balancing the budget and capping out of control spending.
The statement issued by Standard and Poor’s when it downgraded America’s credit rating cited many factors in its decision:
We lowered our long-term rating on the U.S. because we believe that the prolonged controversy over raising the statutory debt ceiling and the related fiscal policy debate indicate that further near-term progress containing the growth in public spending, especially on entitlements, or on reaching an agreement on raising revenues is less likely than we previously assumed and will remain a contentious and fitful process. We also believe that the fiscal consolidation plan that Congress and the Administration agreed to this week falls short of the amount that we believe is necessary to stabilize the general government debt burden by the middle of the decade.
It was widely publicized for months that the sovereign debt ratings agency assessed the situation in America as requiring 4 trillion in cuts.
The statement continues:
“Our lowering of the rating was prompted by our view on the rising public debt burden and our perception of greater policymaking uncertainty….”
Additionally, Moody’s commented on the failure of the August 2nd bipartisan plan to allay fears about America’s debt situation. In July, this rival ratings agency put the U.S. Outlook on “review for downgrade”. Moody’s Steven Hess made the following statement:
If the process for further deficit reduction that is included in the Budget Control Act produces results that are not really credible, that combined with the economic performance could potentially cause an early move on the rating.
Even the $917 billion in savings that have already been agreed by Republicans and Democrats are not guaranteed in the long-term, Hess said.
Yes, America is now suffering the effects of gridlock and polarization in its government. That gridlock exists because much of the democratic party continues to support even more deficit spending on unreformed entitlement programs and additional “stimulus spending” that is doomed to fail just as previous “stimulus packages” did. Liberals are deluded in their fantasy of endless money supplies hoarded by the wealthy that could fund each and every utopian desire if only taxes were higher. Most Republicans and TEA Party members continue insisting on fiscal sanity to stop the madness of amassing more debt in America. Calls for a balanced budget are now caricatured as extreme.
Such desperate attempts at political posturing, by the likes of John Kerry, in order to achieve victory in 2012, take me back to 2004 when Gov. Zell Miller unloaded his address to the National Republican Convention. He so memorably branded the Senator from Massachusetts “more wrong, more loudly, more often”. His rousing words still ring true today.
(Gov. Zell Miller’s “Spitballs” speech at the RNC in 2004)