Tuesday, August 09, 2011
S&P downgraded US for fake threat of default, no other reason; look at the consequences now
Eugene Robinson has an op-ed on p A15 of the Tuesday Aug. 9 Washington Post, “The GOP’s downgrade”, called online “A downgrade’s GOP footprints”, link here.
S&P should have used only one justification for its downgrade. “It’s pretty simple: if you threaten not to pay your bills, people will – and should – take you seriously.” And the U.S. -- if it continues borrowing in an "orderly" manner, can certainly pay all its bills on time.
Robinson does say that Cantor should never have threatened (or been allowed to threaten) to use the debt ceiling as “leverage”. Cantor and other TP members (Bachmann) thought they could do so in such a way that the president and Democrats would get "blamed". But Obama could have taken default off the table by saying he would use the 14th Amendment. (Listen to Bill Clinton, a lawyer himself.) Both parties share some “fault”, but 80% of it is with the House Republicans. Is life about seeing who gets punished?
In the ordinary world, remember, making a threat to take or “expropriate” someone’s property or assets is a crime. It’s extortion. Politicians don’t have to play by the rules they make.