Tuesday, August 09, 2011

The Downgrade and Beyond

The down slide. The double dip. The double . . .

Pick you term. We’re in trouble. The problems across the sea come home to roost here. The problems in this city come home to roost. S&P down grades. Markets slide.

Wow what a fun couple of days. I’m so glad I never really thought I’d retire. As I always say I’ll be working when I’m dead. And the way things are going that might not be too far from the truth.

What exactly did S&P say in their wonderful down grade message? Here’s a part of it:

The political brinksmanship of recent months highlights what we see as America’s governance and policymaking becoming less stable, less effective, and less predictable than what we previously believed. The statutory debt ceiling and the threat of default have become political bargaining chips in the debate over fiscal policy.

Despite this year’s wide-ranging debate, in our view, the differences between political parties have proven to be extraordinarily difficult to bridge, and, as we see it, the resulting agreement fell well short of the comprehensive fiscal consolidation program that some proponents had envisaged until quite recently. Republicans and Democrats have only been able to agree to relatively modest savings on discretionary spending while delegating to the Select Committee decisions on more comprehensive measures. It appears that for now, new revenues have dropped down on the menu of policy options. In addition, the plan envisions only minor policy changes on Medicare and little change in other entitlements, the containment of which we and most other independent observers regard as key to long-term fiscal sustainability.

In other words Congress kicked the can down the road and thought no one would notice. I wonder if the Tea Party people are still saying nothing will happen. Oh right that was on default nothing will happen if we default. Well we didn’t default and a whole hell of a lot happened. 635 points in one damn day. One can only wonder what will happen later today.

Who’s to blame for this?

Well I think a large part of it can go to the Tea Party. Holding the debt ceiling hostage. If it had just been raised we probably would not be facing this. But there are other people at fault too. The Democrats for underestimating the Tea Party. Obama for not getting involved in the talks earlier. And then I’d say politicians in general for playing games with the economy. Little if nothing will happen to the politicians.

Once again it’s the average citizen who’s going to get hit while cleaning up the mess.

Wonder if the Dow can loose another 600 points today?

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