I’ve had a little saying for years that “it’s not whether you win or lose; it’s how you place the blame.” Of course, I don’t actually adhere to this notion, but find it to be amusingly anecdotal on life in twenty-first century, it’s never-my-fault, America. Nonetheless, it seems that Massachusetts Senator John Kerry has heard this expression, and has taken it to heart. Over the weekend, the Senator took to the airwaves to spread a message so disingenuous it would be laughable if it wasn’t spread so widely by the ideologues in the mainstream media. On Sunday morning Senator Kerry flatly stated that the Tea Party movement is responsible for the downgrade of U.S. debt by ratings agency Standard & Poor’s, claiming that language in agency’s report makes this clear “without question.”
Well, I’ve read the text of the letter Standard & Poor’s released detailing why they downgraded U.S. debt, and I question this assertion. The explanation provided by S&P says nothing about the Tea Party movement in particular or the conservative movement in general. That assertion is something that has been invented by folks in the Obama Administration, Secretary Geithner, Senator Kerry and their allies. The letter from S&P actually states:
We lowered our long-term rating on the U.S. because we believe that the
prolonged controversy over raising the statutory debt ceiling and the related
fiscal policy debate indicate that further near-term progress containing the
growth in public spending, especially on entitlements, or on reaching an
agreement on raising revenues is less likely than we previously assumed and
will remain a contentious and fitful process. We also believe that the fiscal
consolidation plan that Congress and the Administration agreed to this week
falls short of the amount that we believe is necessary to stabilize the
general government debt burden by the middle of the decade.
Nothing in this statement suggests that conservatives in the House fighting for fiscal sanity led to the downgrade of the U.S. sovereign credit rating. In fact, if one reads carefully, the last sentence of this statement suggests that the primary reason for the downgrade wasn’t political bickering so much as the failure to reach an agreement that addresses America’s spending and debt addiction. Senator Kerry can prognosticate until he’s blue in the face, and it doesn’t change the fact that conservatives in the House provided multiple plans, notably the “Cut, Cap and Balance Act,” which would’ve slowed the growth of government, reduced our current debt obligations and balanced the budget down the line. A plan of this serious simplicity would’ve prevented the downgrade the Democrats now seem committed to laying at the feet of those who fought to prevent it. Saying that the principled stance of conservative lawmakers was unreasonable and stubborn is simply an argument that doesn’t hold water.
I believe it is time for the American People to demand more of their leadership, and stop allowing folks like John Kerry to talk to us like fools. We know whose policies drove us into this deep indebtedness, and we know which side of the isle fought tooth-and-nail against spending cuts, while arguing for tax increases and more spending. No, Senator Kerry and Secretary Geithner, this downgrade isn’t the fault of the Tea Party movement; it is in spite of it. This is the Obama Depression and the Democrat Debt Downgrade. Let’s set the record straight for a change.