On Monday, one of the only sane voices in the mainstream media stood up and said, "If it wasn't for the Tea Party, they would have passed the debt ceiling thumbs up, we would have been rated BBB" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
JOE KERNEN, CNBC: Alright. You know, Santelli, I never know with you. So, I don't know how much of the debate you've been able to watch, but what do you make of what's happened since Friday?
RICK SANTELLI, CNBC: You guys ever play sports? You ever been on an organized team?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yeah.
SANTELLI: Okay. You know sometimes you get a couple of bad calls or the game didn't go your way but it should have? A good coach isn't going to come up to you and say, “Gee, you know, the other team really stinks. You know, I’m mad. We're going fight, we're going to appeal. We’re going to go to every league and every lawyer.”
No, you know what a good coach says? “It doesn't matter. Okay? We’re a better team than this. Just take this to motivate the team to move on to greater things.” You know, the treasury secretary, the eight percent excuses, you know, the blame Bush, blame the sun, blame this. You know what leadership means? It means that it doesn't really matter what S&P says. We all know deep inside that no country is the same as it was five years ago. And the market seems to be okay with it. And as for stocks going down we were already Ralph Cramden on thin ice. Now an infant jumped on our shoulders. It’s just even more weight.
In the end, in the end we need to address problems we know exist. A treasury secretary or a president should be out here not fighting S&P, not grabbing the other coach and slapping him around, taking the umpire behind the barn. He should be getting the team psyched to overcome.
See, I remember I had a professor in college. I wrote a great paper. Could never please this guy. But it made me better. Okay? We’re better than this. Don’t get caught up in the minutia. All this BS. We’re better than this. We need to prove it. We’re off the track. Whether we're better than some other country or not, the real issue is we're on the wrong path.
Blame the Tea Party? Geez, no wonder Kerry did so well in an election. If it wasn't for the Tea Party, they would have passed the debt ceiling thumbs up, we would have been rated BBB.
For those not familiar with the jargon, S&P's highest rating is AAA. From there, it goes much like school grades to AA+, AA, AA-, A+, A, A-, BBB+, BBB.
Everything BBB and higher is considered "investment grade." Everything below that is considered highly-speculative or "junk."
With that in mind, I think Santelli's being a little aggressive in saying that without the Tea Party, S&P would have downgraded our debt eight notches to BBB.
However, what the President, his Party, and their media minions seem to forget is that they wanted a clean vote on the debt ceiling, meaning one just on that issue without any other strings attached.
At this point it seems safe to say S&P would have at least downgraded us to AA+ had that been the case as we then would have raised the debt ceiling without any spending cuts regardless of how small they ended up being.
Maybe worse, Moody's and Fitch might have also reduced our rating last week adding more fuel to the fire that's happening on Wall Street.
With that in mind, although Santelli might have been a tad aggressive with his outrage, it is indeed absurd to blame this downgrade on the small but growing number of Tea Party legislators that refused a clean vote and insisted that spending cuts be a part of any debt ceiling agreement.
That liberal media members from coast to coast don't get this and instead echo the inflammatory and inaccurate Democrat talking point is indeed an outrage.
(H/T Right Scoop)