Seems like Standard & Poors has amplified what it meant by the “political dysfunction” that led it to downgrade the U.S. bond rating from AAA to AA status. From the beginning S&P was pretty specific that much of the problem was the GOP speech impediment that prohibits the use of the words “revenue” or “taxes.” Today, a S&P spokesperson added:
[P]eople in the political arena were even talking about a potential default,” said Joydeep Mukherji, senior directior at S&P. “That a country even has such voices, albeit a minority, is something notable,” he added. “This kind of rhetoric is not common amongst AAA sovereigns.
In other words, all that blather about how default would be no big thing spooked the ratings agency – which, in turn, seems to have spooked the stock market. With this in mind, I ask you to stroll down memory lane and take a look at what some of Missouri’s GOP political leaders were saying at the height of the furor.
Todd Akin (R-2) wagged his metaphorical finger in our faces and declared that default “would shock us as a nation into saying that we really have to deal with this problem,” and “experience what it is like to live within our means.” I guess we now know that it wouldn’t have been that spiffy after all, but at least Akin got part of his wish. He and his buddies did manage to inflict some wounds on our financial well-being.
Billy Long, that profound financial prognosticator, dismissed the whole issue of default as so much ado about nothing:
Let the date come and go, … That’s going to be on the president,” Long said. “There is money there. He can pay what he wants to pay, and if he doesn’t pay, that’s his bluff.
Based on this tweet, which Michael Bersin has dissected here at SMP, one has to believe that Vicky Hartzler just didn’t read S&P’s statement about why they downgraded the our bond rating or that she missed the good parts:
S&P’s decision to downgrade our credit rating is no surprise: the debt ceiling package wasn’t big enough–one reason I voted ‘no’.
Now what I want to know is who among these folks will conveniently forget what he or she said about default and/or the causes of the S&P downgrade, and who will keep on pretending that S&P has validated the GOP narrative à la Vicky Hartzler?
ADDENDUM: In regard to the those who welcomed default (via Steve Benen):
A senior administration official said those who simply choose not to believe any of the warnings, “These are the kinds of people who get eaten by bears.
Eaten by bears? We should be so lucky. Here in Missouri we send them to Washington D.C. to make laws.