Fitch Ratings Managing Director David Riley appeared yesterday on Bloomberg Television, suggesting that the fiscal cliff could threaten the U.S.'s AAA credit rating. While Fitch did not join S&P last August in downgrading the U.S. after the debt ceiling debate, it has kept the U.S. on a negative outlook, indicating that it could change its position in the next 12 months.
Super Not So Duper – The word “super” has lost its luster lately. The failure of the Super Committee and the need for a super majority in the Senate to pass virtually anything have contributed to record-low approval ratings for Congress. Meanwhile, Super PACs are pouring unlimited funds into campaigns, resulting in even more negative advertising than usual and rising concerns that the political process is being distorted.
Stating the Obvious – President Obama delivers the State of the Union address Tuesday evening. The SOTU is the annual rite where presidents attempt to hit the “reset” button and lay out their agenda for the coming year.
Playoffs in Full Swing – The Packers packed it in; the Broncos got busted; the Saints went marching out; and Houston had a problem as the NFL Playoffs eliminated more contenders in the annual march towards crowning a champion. Challengers were eliminated in the presidential contest as well as former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman backed out and more may fall away after Saturday’s South Carolina primary.
Downers – Markets were down last week on fears that the European debt crisis was spreading and that the U.S. recovery was slowing down. These losses added to those from the previous week as lawmakers went to the wire to approve a statutory debt limit increase to avoid a default. Then came word late Friday that Standard & Poor’s had downgraded U.S. credit for the first time ever because of concerns that the country is not adequately addressing its mounting national debt.
The debt deal signed into law by President Obama on Tuesday has provoked all kinds of reactions from the media, the public, and lawmakers (click here for CRFB's reaction). Given the importance of the deal and the fact that CRFB's board is full of leading budget experts, it's no surprise that many of our board members have been called on to express their views about the deal and what lies ahead.
Last night on The Colbert Report, David Leonhardt of The New York Times talked about the debt deal recently signed into law and why it's not enough to restore our nation's fiscal health or save our credit rating.
Host Stephen Colbert also had some interesting comments about the deal -- we particularly enjoyed his observation that "we made the hard choice to make the hard cuts later".