S&P Downgrades United States Congress: Thank You Tea Party

Tea Party Downgrade

Standard & Poor’s on Friday downgraded the United States Congress. You may have heard media reports that it was the country’s credit rating that was downgraded, but the statement issued by the S&P is unambiguous with regard to their reasons for the downgrade and whom they hold responsible:

[T]he downgrade reflects our view that the effectiveness, stability, and predictability of American policymaking and political institutions have weakened at a time of ongoing fiscal and economic challenges […] 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.

To be sure, the S&P threw in a few references to the outstanding debt and the inadequacy of the remedies contained in last week’s legislation, but their persistent focus on political failings was inescapable. Notwithstanding the challenge from the White House that their math was “fundamentally flawed,” the S&P proceeded with the downgrade because the math isn’t the main driver of their analysis. They made plain that the primary reason for their decision was the bad behavior of the political players and that it is Congress who deserves the downgrade.

Not surprisingly, the American people agree. A new poll from the New York Times/CBS News shows the disapproval rating for Congress at 82%. Breaking that down further reveals bad news for Republicans who were dominated by their tiny Tea Party flank:

  • All told, 72 percent disapproved of the way Republicans in Congress handled the negotiations, while 66 percent disapproved of the way Democrats in Congress handled negotiations.
  • Forty-three percent of Americans now think the Tea Party has too much influence on the Republican Party, up from 27 percent in mid-April.
  • Sixty-three percent of those polled said that they supported raising taxes on households that earn more than $250,000 a year, as Mr. Obama has sought to do — including majorities of Democrats (80 percent), independents (61 percent) and Republicans (52 percent).
  • Forty-four percent said that the deficit was mostly caused by the Bush administration.

The same poll showed President Obama’s approval rating to be more than twice that of the Tea Party. But that didn’t stop Fox News from posting a link to the poll on their Fox Nation web site with a headline that said the exact opposite.

Perhaps it is not within the jurisdiction of the S&P to rate the performance of Congress, but it is difficult to dispute their conclusion. It would be nice if the media analysis of recent weeks in Washington were this astute. Yet the press continues to treat the Tea Party as if it were a popular expression of the people, rather than an AstroTurf invention of wealthy special interests.

The statement from the S&P effectively declares that, were it not for the intransigent extremism of the Tea Party, the country’s credit rating would still be triple-A. And if the press would stop pretending that the Tea Party has any real significance, the country would be better off in a multitude of ways. So thanks to Tea Party dementia and media madness America can proudly enter the 2nd Dip of its Great Recession.


14 thoughts on “S&P Downgrades United States Congress: Thank You Tea Party

  1. The republican plan of destroying the economy so they can get control of the gov’t. is going according to plan, if the american people don’t get wise to it. Make no mistake this is their plan and they are executing it well. If they lose a few seats in the house they can still retain a majority gain a few in the senate, McConnel is majority leader and they can win the white house with their massive voter suppression efforts across the country. Who do you think they will blame for this downgrade? I only hope the teabaggers leave a bad enough taste in everyone’s mouth to not fall for this nonsense. Obama has one more year to make his case for reelection and I hope he can do it because if he doesn’t we all will be at their mercy. It will be Wisconsin on a national scale.

  2. Why do the polling people never ask if people, regardless of income level, would be willing to pay more in taxes to maintain the government as it is? I take 2 things from the pole results noted – #1 the american people want to keep government services (this one is a reach, but for argument sake let’s say its true) #2 – they don’t want to pay for them (ie they want them for free). I’m not sure anything will ever be resolved until everyone is part of the solution – ie we’re ALL paying for OUR government. The last time I checked, we all own the government, not just those earning $250k or more.

  3. From the S&P report,”Compared with previous projections, our revised base case scenario now assumes that the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts, due to expire by the end of 2012, remain in place. We have changed our assumption on this because the majority of Republicans in Congress continue to resist any measure that would raise revenues, a position we believe Congress reinforced by passing the act.” Standard & Poor’s recognizes that we cannot seriously reduce our debt by cuts alone. We must also raise revenue, something the ideology of the extremist wing of the Republican Party cannot abide.

  4. Thank God for the tea party – at least a real discussion on fiscal matters may happen. And maybe the American people will wake up and realize there is no free ride with respect to government programs…someone will be paying. The enormous debt has put all federal programs – good and bad – in jeapardy of destruction.

    • [Thank God for the tea party] = [Thank God for ignorance and division]

      • Keep believing that. You don’t actually believe just taxing the rich is going to solve the problems, do you? They don’t have enought money, even if you took every penny from them, to support this house of cards.

        • No, I don’t believe just taxing the rich is going to solve the problems. But I don’t believe just taxing the poor and middle class will do it either. The rich have benefited disproportionally in the last decade and it’s time now for some fairness.

          • I agree with the idea that taxing one group isn’t a good idea and I’m not defending rich people except for the fact that – as I stated – no ONE group should be singled out. Fairness suggests we all pay the same as a percentage of our incomes. The solution involves everyone – if the american people really want this government as it exists, it costs money and everyone should pay equally – no one gets a pass – neither rich nor poor.

      • (Mark says)=(Mark spits out nonsensical crap)

  5. Of course the tea party is responsible. S&P said a 4 trillion cut in debt would be necessary. Tea Party republicans in hose passed same and sent to senate…. Obama Derided, Senate Tabled… Ergo t-Parties fault.

    What freakin universe are you idiots living in?

    • What freakin universe are YOU idiots living in?

      The House never passed a $4 trillion debt reduction bill. NEVER!

      Obama was the one who proposed it, and Boehner walked out of the negotiations. He never brought it up for a vote.

      This is how right-wingers promulgate disinformation.

  6. All the Bush Tax Cuts need to expire. The Fox Noise Fans who think all of our problems are because of govenment programs would be very sad if they found themselves in need. I agree that nobody likes a deadbeat, but bad things happen to good people all the time. I don’t mind paying more so that they can have a safefy net. I wish we could put an end to all this divide and hate. We’re all Americans. Do people really want the poor, the elderly and the disabled to starve? Do they want children born to poor families or single mothers to go hungry or not have a chance at a decent education? How much of this angry, greedy mentality is being pushed and glorified by Fox?

    • I think a lot of people don’t mind paying to help others, if our government took care of the money they are given vs. just spending wildly, people would be less divided on this, but they dont’ respect the money their given to manage, so sorry if we don’t want to give them more. Our government can’t be trusted with our money – look how they treated social security money – just spending it to partially cover the budget gaps, now people my age are probably screwed out of all the money we paid in – they CAN’T be trusted. In all honesty I don’t like the idea of these clowns in DC deciding who gets our money – I’m much better at it. What are we getting for our money? If you like it, fine, I don’t. Results matter.

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