Posts Tagged ‘poors

20
Aug
11

aaa to b+

Robert Reich explains the credit downgrade

10
Aug
11

‘burned on a teacup’

Mark Mellman (The Hill): Make no mistake: Republicans castigating President Obama for S&P’s ill-considered downgrade are akin to a mugger attacking the mayor, then blaming the sheriff for “letting” him do it.

Republican members of Congress attacked the full faith and credit of the United States by arguing publicly that defaulting on our debts would not be so bad. No rating agency can hear that and remain confident America feels bound and determined to pay its bills.

When every serious GOP economist and most every Republican who has carefully investigated the issue – from Sen. Tom Coburn to former Sen. Alan Simpson – conclude that both spending cuts and revenue increases are required to restore our fiscal heath, but Republican leaders announce they will refuse to appoint anyone to the supercommittee who might even consider eliminating billions in subsidies to oil companies, they not only subordinate the national interest to the interests of Big Oil, they also send an unmistakable message to rating agencies that they aren’t serious about restoring fiscal discipline, thereby mugging America’s credit rating. Then they attack President Obama for what – allowing them to speak freely, if foolishly?

… “Tea Party” is becoming a dirty word …. Republicans running for every office from president to dog catcher are forced to pledge fealty to a group that is increasingly scorned by the American people.

The same could be said of the GOP itself. Just this week CNN/ORC pollsters found 59 percent of Americans harboring unfavorable views of the Republican Party, while only 33 percent offered favorable opinions. At no point in the last two decades has opinion of the Republican Party been so negative …. (While hardly loved, Democrats are 26 points better off than the GOP.)

…. Americans want compromise and moderation, while Republicans emerge from this crisis looking uncompromising in their extremism. Public preference for compromise is clear – three recent polls found 66 percent to 85 percent saying they would rather the parties compromise than stick to their principles.

But the GOP failed this test … Being uncompromising, extreme and in thrall to a movement that is becoming a pariah will hurt the GOP. Unfortunately, it hurts the country even more.

Full article here

****

Gallup

10
Aug
11

surprise, surprise!

HughBoyOhBoy (DK): I did some checking this afternoon on the Federal Election Commission’s database of financial contributors to political candidates. Within minutes I found that Harold W. McGraw III, the Chairman, President, and CEO of Standard & Poor’s parent company, is a big money contributor to lots of Republicans.

Repeat recipients of McGraw’s largess include Mitt Romney, George W. Bush, the National Republican Congressional Committee, the National Republican Senatorial Committee, something called the Bush-Cheney Compliance Committee, and many more Republicans …. He has never given any money to the Obama campaign nor any to the Democratic Party.

Gee, how convenient. Standard and Poor’s issues a politically biased rating with a $2 trillion error. Republicans wave that rating around like Moses just brought it down from the mountain as verification of their defamation about the Obama presidency. And the head of the company making those ratings happens to give money to the likes of Mitt Romney and the Republican Party…

Thanks Fred

09
Aug
11

tuesday

****

The White House announced Tuesday morning that the President’s trip to Interstate Moving Services in Springfield, VA., where he was scheduled to talk about fuel efficiency, has been cancelled.

Instead, the President will “meet with industry officials at the White House to discuss the first of their kind fuel efficiency standards for work trucks, buses, and other heavy duty vehicles,” the White House said.

****

Eugene Robinson: The so-called analysts at Standard & Poor’s may not be the most reliable bunch, but there was one very good reason for them to downgrade U.S. debt: Republicans in Congress made a credible threat to force a default on our obligations.

This isn’t the rationale that S&P gave, but it’s the only one that makes sense. Like a lucky college student who partied the night before an exam, the ratings agency used flawed logic and faulty arithmetic to somehow come up with the right answer. No, life isn’t always fair.

And no, I can’t join the “we’re all at fault” chorus. Absent the threat of willful default, a downgrade would be unjustified and absurd. And history will note that it was House Republicans who issued that threat.

…. What happened this summer is that Republicans in the House, using the Tea Party freshmen as a battering ram, threatened to compel a default. More accurately, they demanded big budget cuts as the price of raising the debt ceiling. If the Senate and President Obama did not comply, the Treasury’s access to capital through borrowing would have been cut off.

…. The ratings agency should have focused instead on the one development that has direct bearing on our creditworthiness: the GOP threat to force a default. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor should never have planned to use the debt ceiling vote as “leverage.” Obama should have made clear from the start that if necessary he would take unilateral action, based on the 14th Amendment, to ensure there could never be a default. And yes, progressive Democrats who voted against the final debt-ceiling bill should be ashamed.

It’s pretty simple: If you threaten not to pay your bills, people will — and should — take you seriously.

Full article here

08
Aug
11

the, um, liberal media

SFGate: The Standard & Poors’ rating agency decision to reduce the United States’ long term debt from AAA to AA+ was explained in a press release that specifically mentioned “the majority of Republicans in Congress continue to resist any measure that would raise revenues,” should, itself, make headlines like “Standard And Poors Blames U.S. Credit Rating Reduction On Republicans.”

But the fact is, some publications, most notable The Associated Press and Politico, are working (thus far) to cover up S&P’s finger-pointing at Republicans. Instead, they appear to be pointing their own fingers at President Obama – someone not mentioned in the Standard and Poor’s press release.

Take Jonathan Allen in Politico: Standard & Poor’s delivered an unambiguous message to investors Friday that has serious implications not only for the nation’s economy but also for President Barack Obama, the tea party and anyone else with skin in the 2012 elections: America’s political system is subprime.

That was how Allen started off his article. In it, there was zero mention of the two very damaging statements S&P used in its press release, and directly aimed at Republicans….

… Allen’s Politico article had a lot of Republican quotes, not many Democratic quotes, and in all failed to tell the truth of Standard & Poor’s message.

And then there’s the Associated Press’ article by Martin Crutsinger. It fails to include, or mention Standard & Poors’ GOP-directed press release quotes….

…. It’s purely irresponsible for The Associated Press and Politico to fail to accurately report the contents of the Standard and Poors press release. If The Associated Press and Politico want to damage President Obama, they should just come out and say so. Heck, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said that his objective was to make President Obama “A one-term President”….

Full post here

Thanks Ladyhawke

08
Aug
11

‘we’ve always been and always will be a triple-a country’

President Obama delivers remarks at the White House, July 8

08
Aug
11

monday

I’m late posting this video, but John Kerry is always worth the wait.

****

The President has no public appearances in his schedule today – he attends two DNC events in Washington this evening (the first at a private residence, the second at the St. Regis Hotel)

07
Aug
11

axelrod

07
Aug
11

rusty, 98% honest

So, Standard & Poor’s downgrade the US credit rating after the debt ceiling saga/deal.

The Republicans blame President Obama for the downgrade.

But?

Ah, looks like Rusty Boehner is only apportioning 2% of the blame to the President. That’s good of him 😉

Thanks StR

06
Aug
11

‘the meltdown’s true villain’

Wikipedia

Michael Tomasky (The Daily Beast): With a double-dip recession looming and attacks on Obama mounting, it’s amazing the GOP is still setting the U.S. agenda when its own George W. Bush ran up half the debt we’ve accumulated since Reagan.
… Every time I step back and ponder this sordid history, I am amazed that the Republican Party has any credibility..

The Boston Globe ran a chart last Sunday that I’d buy billboard space to reproduce in every decent-size city in America:

The premise of it was very simple: It showed how many trillions each president since Ronald Reagan has added to the nation’s debt. The debt was about $1 trillion when Reagan took office, and then: Reagan, $1.9 trillion; George H.W. Bush, $1.5 trillion (in just four years); Bill Clinton, $1.4 trillion; Obama, $2.4 trillion.

Oh, wait. I skipped someone. George W. Bush ran up $6.4 trillion. That’s nearly half – 44.7 percent – of the $14.3 trillion total. We all know what did it – two massive tax cuts geared toward the rich (along with other similar measures, like slashing the capital gains and inheritance taxes), the off-the-books wars, the unfunded Medicare expansion, and so on. But the number is staggering and worth dwelling on. In a history covering 30 years, nearly half the debt was run up in eight. Even the allegedly socialist Obama at his most allegedly wanton doesn’t compare to Dubya…

In percentage terms, the case is even more open and shut. This table tells the sad tale (see table at the top of the post)…

The percentages in question here are debt as a chunk of the GDP … Reagan raised it 20 points, to 53 percent from 33 percent. Bush Sr. a gaudy 13 points more. Clinton lowered it by 10 points, back down to 56 percent. Bush Jr.? Up 28 points, to 82 percent of GDP. Obama has raised it nine points. Once again: In a 30-year increase from 32 percent to 93 percent of 61 points, nearly half, 28 points or 46 percent, happened under Bush.

…. I can only laugh when I hear Tea Party conservatives avow today that they have no love for Bush. It is truly an incredible record when you stack it up. First, the party fought tooth and nail against every single move Clinton made that ended up putting us in surplus. Then it got power – and let’s not get into how that happened – and ran up completely unprecedented debts and deficits. Then it put the foxes in command of the henhouses at the SEC and OTC and brought the world to the very brink of total economic collapse.

Then a guy from the other party got back in, tried to do what the vast majority of economists would say should be done in such a situation (the government should spend money while the private sector couldn’t), and they fought him tooth and nail. And now they’ve forced him into a deal (which he should not have agreed to) that will help ensure that the economy remains stuck in neutral until, oh, November 2012, to pick a date out of the air. Next, that guy will identify tax cuts to spur job growth, and they will invent reasons to oppose these measures, just as they once invented reasons why “deficits don’t matter”.

Full article here




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