Bring out the finger bowl so the Administration and the Democrats can wash their hands of responsibility for the nation's economic woes.
Secretary of Treasury Tim Geithner was asked over the weekend if the Obama Administration was "in any way responsible" for the credit rating downgrade by Standard & Poor's issued last Friday. Geithner responded "absolutely not."
If there are none of the White House's finger prints on the downgrade, then who is responsible? Geithner said "Congress owns it."
Not surprisingly, Senator John Kerry doesn’t think he and his Congressional colleagues are to blame. "This is a Tea Party downgrade" he said in an NBC interview.
Obama's hotshot campaign strategist David Axelrod echoed Kerry when he told CBS News that "this is essentially a Tea Party downgrade."
Do you think it possible that Axelrod and Kerry exchanged talking points?
This isn't the Tea Party's fault. The Tea Party came into being because they saw the same fiscal problems that S&P was sounding the alarm about, and has now seen fit to downgrade for the first time since 1917. The fact is that Kerry voted for and Axelrod promoted the agenda of the last three years that pushed the U.S. over this cliff: Stimulus, bailouts, ObamaCare, Cash for Clunkers – and Caulkers, etc, etc, etc…. Federal debt has increased $5 trillion, a 50 percent increase, on the Democrats watch, and now exceeds total annual GDP. The Tea Party sure didn't make Congress and Obama do that!
And, is sure wasn't the Tea Party that suggested to the Democrat controlled Senate that they not even bother adopting a budget any time in more than 800 days, even with the repeated warnings from S&P of possible downgrades due to the policies put forward by Obama and the Democrats.
Blaming the Tea Party for this downgrade is akin to blaming the guy who called 9-1-1 to report a fire for the building having burned down.
Obama and Geithner want to blame others now for the problems they have created as our economic woes drag on. But, two years ago on August 7, 2009, Obama used the unique theater of the Rose Garden to claim that his Economic Stimulus had "rescued our economy from catastrophe" - a victorious contention that looks ridiculously premature now.
In a page right out of Saul Alinsky's Rules for Radicals, the Obama Administration always finds a villain to demonize and blame for their own disasters. Along with Congress and the Tea Party, the White House has relentlessly attacked Standard & Poor's over the weekend for exercising "terrible judgment" in this downgrade. While criticism of S&P may well be fair, it is worth noting that no one in government seemed very concerned about S&P's credit evaluations until the chickens came home to roost in the government's own house.
As a former banker, I know that the government's regulatory agencies have historically used S&P ratings as the near biblical authority to evaluate the safety of securities held in bank investment portfolios. Woe unto any banker who tried to make the argument to a federal regulator that S&P got it wrong when they rated a security he had purchased.
Whether S&P identified this tipping point at exactly the right moment in time is not the big issue. The U.S. is on an unsustainable course of deficit spending and debt accumulation, with no clearly established corrective strategy adopted, nor any realistic expectation of coming up with one in the near term. That's the message that both S&P – and the Tea Party – have been trying to send to Washington for years now. And, some of them still aren't listening
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