Credit Downgrade: Are States Next?

On Friday, August 5, 2011, Standard & Poor’s (S&P) downgraded U.S. debt from a AAA rating to a AA+. S&P followed up on Monday, August 8, 2011, by downgrading “other entities linked to long-term U.S. debt,” like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. So what’s next?

Back in July, another credit ratings agency, Moody’s Investor Service, warned a handful of states could soon face a credit downgrade, including Maryland, New Mexico, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia.

State Deficits, Debt And Oil Profits

Today, states all across America are battling budget deficits. Budgets are being slashed and tax increases are in the offing. All the while, state debt continues to mount. According to a study by State Budget Solutions, a non-partisan pro-reform organization that touts “real solutions for real budget problems,” total state debt “exceeds $1.7 trillion”:

“Aggregate state debt now exceeds $1.7 trillion, with much more potentially hidden off the official books.”  (Bryan Leonard and Phil Marrone, “States Hide Trillions In Debt,” State Budget Solutions, 7/22/10)

Morning Dose Of Reality: More Republicans, Less Democrats

Andrew Malcolm of the Los Angeles Times is reporting this morning on a Rasmussen poll that finds Americans identifying themselves as Democrats falling and those identifying themselves as Republicans gaining. The number of Americans “considering themselves Democrats” stands at 36%, the “lowest percentage in 48 months.”

“Americans Calling Themselves Democrats Fell By Almost 2 Whole Points Just In The Month Of November.”  (Andrew Malcolm, “Poll Finds Adults Identifying As Republicans Increase, While Democrats Dwindle,” Los Angeles Times, 12/3/09)

A Blow To DEM Efforts To Tax Your Light Bulb

Lisa Lerer over at Politico reported this afternoon that Senator Jim Webb (D-VA) has bailed on Democrats’ plans on cap-and-trade, otherwise known as cap-and-tax… or as a Representative John Dingell (D-MI) said, “ a great big” tax.

Webb: "'In its present form I would not vote for it,' he said. ‘I have some real questions about the real complexities on cap and trade. . . That piece of legislation right now is something that is going to cause a lot of people a lot of concern,’ he said.”  (Lisa Lerer, “Webb Bails On Cap-And-Trade,” Politico, 11/16/09)

Personally, I doubt Senator Webb opposes the bill because of its “complexities.” But, his opposition is a sign that maybe he’s got something between those ears after all… at least some political-sense. I mean really, Virginia is coal country and cap-and-trade is a huge tax increase and a job killer.

Morning Dose Of Reality: After One Year, Obama To Focus On Deficits

Mike Allen and Jim VandeHei are reporting over at Politico that President Barack Obama will address deficit spending in his State of the Union Address in 2010. That's more than a year after assuing office and about three months from now.

Planet Earth Calling Nancy Pelosi

In the wake of Republican victories in the gubernatorial elections in Virginia and New Jersey, Representative Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said “from our perspective, we won last night.”

You just can’t make this stuff up. Someone call the House Speaker and ask her to return to Earth. She’s got an important job to do.

Thanks For Your Service Soldier, But No Vote For You!

Jordan Weissman over at the BLT is blogging about how Virginia violated the voting rights of the men and women who protect our homeland while facing hostile enemies in foreign lands. While it’s good to know that there has been some resolution to this issue, it sure doesn’t help those that didn’t have a voice in last November’s election. Anyone ask Governor DNC Chairman Tim Kaine or President Obama who benefitted from denying overseas ballots from counting?

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