Monday, August 8, 2011

Pointing Out The Obvious

As we and many others pointed out recently - more than once - after the ridiculous and unnecessary debt & budget battle of this summer, it was likely that at least one of the credit rating agencies would downgrade our credit, even after the debt deal was signed last week. After waiting until the market closed on Friday, Standard & Poors downgraded the credit of the United States last Friday, proving us right once again.

The fact that Standard & Poors is one of the primary agencies that got the United States into the fiscal mess we now face has not escaped us. The trustworthiness of a group that gave AAA credit ratings to banks it knew were making thousands of questionable loans in the last decade - and notoriously gave Lehman Brothers a AAA rating the month before it collapsed - should be seriously investigated. The fact that on the day they downgraded the U.S., they also had to admit a $2 trillion error in their calculations - one that was a severely amateur mistake - should also give MANY people great pause.

We don't think we need to point out that if the officials refereeing the action have proven themselves to have poor judgement - as Standard & Poors has - their fitness as fair judges should be questioned until they prove, beyond all doubt, their credibility once again.

As unethical and questionable as the judgement of S&P is, they are not the true culprits we still face today for our collective inability to act in our own national interests. There is plenty of blame to go around, after nearly a decade where regulations and tax rates fell, and unethical behavior and corporate profit-taking for the richest rose, all while too many people sat by and did little or nothing.

That said, there is at least one group of people who clearly hold more blame than others. In fact, the folks at Standard & Poors bluntly told us who is to blame.

In their official reasoning they stated, "Republicans saying that they refuse to accept any tax increases as part of a larger deal" was one of the three major reasons given for downgrading the U.S credit rating. The other reasons included, "the political confusion surrounding the process of raising the debt ceiling and lack of confidence that the political system will be able to agree to more deficit reduction."

In short, because we have a group of obstinate fools in the Republican Party, in the House and Senate of the United States who are ignorant of their responsibilities to the nation, the rest of us will now likely have to pay higher prices on everything.

We had warned this day would come, more than once - and we would rather that we had been proven wrong than right.

That proof, or the questionable judgement of the ratings agency, won't repair our credit rating right away.

What will repair our credit rating, and fix our economy is the same thing that we and MANY others have been pushing for several years now: MORE JOBS.

The fact that there are still political hurdles to our government attempting to spur more job creation has not escaped us or others. The need to get the fat corporate interests and wealthy individuals off their asses to start spending some of the billions they are holding in cash liquidity is key to creating more jobs, and will not be easy.

Sadly, the only tools the government truly has left is either to offer tax breaks that companies would get only by generating jobs for poor and middle class Americans, or through direct tax hikes that penalize the rich and corporations for holding onto their cash and not investing it in America.

Either task will be long, heated, and dirty - and will likely last long after the dog days of summer have come and gone. We're certain the right will attempt to point blame at the left for any economic problems caused by their failure to cooperate; they were already pointing fingers on the Sunday morning talking heads shows. All their pointing and yelling won't change the facts we've pointed out here.

America needs jobs. NOW. Period.

No comments:

Post a Comment