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MoveOn's take on the S & P downgrade

MoveOn is spreading the chart above all over the internet.

Ed Martin quotes the S & P report,

The outlook on the long-term rating is negative. We could lower the long-term rating to ‘AA’ within the next two years if we see that less reduction in spending than agreed to, higher interest rates, or new fiscal pressures during the period result in a higher general government debt trajectory than we currently assume in our base case.

moralizes on it,

While I expect our opponents in President Obama’s party to derive all the wrong lessons from this embarrassment, the brutal reality is that the much ballyhooed “victory” of the debt deal did not convince this bond ratings agency that we had begun to master our spending problem.

and conveniently overlooks where S & P laid the blame. The report says in three different places that Congress’s unwillingness to raise revenue will make it impossible for the country to regain its AAA credit rating. For example:

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.

[last paragraph, page 4]

In plainer English, the Bush tax cuts are pulling us under and the Republicans refuse to do anything about it. According to the CBO, 60% of our debt is caused by those tax cuts. The public wants the gazillionaires to start paying their share. But the Tea Partiers, says Howard Dean, have been smoking tea instead of drinking it. Whatever. Being whacked out of their heads is no excuse. They conducted negotiations while one of the negotiating parties was hanging out of a window by his ankles, and now they want to blame Obama for dropping the change out of his pockets.

Repeat after me, until the nation gets it: Our AA+ rating is the fault of those extortionists in the Tea Party. We could solve the problem by letting those tax cuts expire, by not giving oil companies $53 billion a year, and by laying off of working people, who are already paying more than their fair share.