Its official, the United States has lost its AAA credit rating. For the first time ever, the S&P lowered the United States rating from AAA to AA+. While many “experts” predict this will amount to little in the way of practical consequences, it is yet one more sign of the mediocrity this great nation is slipping into.
The reasoning behind the downgrade varies depending on the source. While the political impasse over raising our nation’s debt limit was not solely responsible for the downgrade, it certainly contributed to the decision. Those that feign shock and surprise over the outcome are naïve, stupid, or both. Signs and warnings that this was coming could be seen as early as April (U.S. Loses AAA Credit Rating From S&P, 2011). Yet our nation’s “leaders” pissed away the opportunity to avoid this outcome. As a result, they (and we) are reaping what they have sown.
One would hope this would serve as a wakeup call to our elected officials. Yet, this seems to be anything but the case. The finger pointing and rhetoric that put us in this position in the first place continues unabated. House Speaker John Boehner responded to the news by stating the downgrade is “the latest consequence of overspending by Washington”(U.S. Loses AAA Credit Rating From S&P, 2011). Not to be outdone, GOP presidential contender Mitt Romney called the downgrade “a deeply troubling indicator of our country’s decline under President Obama” (Obama administration official: S&P move ‘a facts-be-damned decision’, 2011). While both men are correct this is the “latest consequence” and “a troubling indicator of our country’s decline”, both are wrong in who’s at fault.
It is not just Washington’s overspending, nor is it just President Obama, that created this outcome. It is the actions (or perhaps more aptly inactions) of “leaders” like Boehner and Romney that ensured this situation. It is the rhetoric, the mudslinging, the finger pointing, which forged this outcome. It is the greed, egos, and special interests of our “leaders” that ensure the good of the minority capitalists over the majority nation which secured this end result. We expect, and pay, our elected officials to make responsible, timely decisions. They have done anything but.
There are consequences for one’s actions, even more so for one’s inactions. While this most often pertains to the individual, nations are not exempt from this. Not even the United States. There are many reasons why the U.S. lost its pristine credit rating. However, it is the inability of our nation’s “leaders” to make responsible and timely decisions, which is ultimately to blame.
Obama administration official: S&P move ‘a facts-be-damned decision’. (2011, August 6). Retrieved August 6, 2011, from CNN.com: http://www.cnn.com/2011/BUSINESS/08/06/credit.rating.reaction.cnn/index.html?hpt=hp_t1
U.S. Loses AAA Credit Rating From S&P. (2011, August 6). Retrieved August 6, 2011, from FoxNews.com: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2011/08/05/us-official-says-sp-reconsidering-us-credit-downgrade/