Quotes of the day
posted at 9:00 pm on August 7, 2011 by Allahpundit
“The S&P will monitor the U.S. for about six to 24 months to see whether its fiscal position deteriorates further or if political gridlock gets worse. John Chambers, the group’s managing director, said Sunday it would take stabilization of the debt as a share of the economy to determine the direction of S&P’s rating, and it’s no easy task to get it to rise.
“‘If history is a guide, it could take a while. We’ve had five governments that lost their AAA that got it back. The amount of time that it took for those five range from nine years to 18 years,’ he told ABC’s ‘This Week.’
“The credit rating agency Standard & Poor’s showed ‘terrible judgment’ in lowering the U.S. government’s credit rating, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said Sunday.
“‘They’ve handled themselves very poorly. And they’ve shown a stunning lack of knowledge about the basic U.S. fiscal budget math,’ Geithner said in his first public comments about the credit rating decision.”
“‘Listen, Bob, what I’m saying is review the history of what happened here,’ Axelrod said.
“‘I think, first of all, people are less concerned about that than where we go moving forward. But let’s look at the history of this. The fact of the matter is that this is essentially a tea party downgrade. The tea party brought us to the brink of a default. By the way you said before, the president said … if we had defaulted on our debt the consequences would have been dramatic and lasting. So, you know, it was the right thing to do to avoid that default. It was the wrong thing to do to push the country to that point. It’s something that that should never have happened. That clearly is on the backs of those who were willing to see the country default. Those very strident voices in the tea party.'”
“‘The Tea Party hasn’t destroyed Washington — Washington was destroyed before the Tea Party got there,’ Mr. Graham said. ‘The hope is that the Tea Party and middle-of-the-road people can find common ground to turn this country around before we become Greece. I hope we can.'”
“‘The president has to put some muscle in his rhetoric and go after the Tea Party as home wreckers. I think the president in following his own precept in being a conciliator. It’s great and quite noble but he’s in a situation in which he really has to stand up for things in which he believes,’ Baker said…
“‘The American people need the Republicans to stop their reckless and irresponsible political games that led to this unfortunate downgrade,’ said House Assistant Democratic Leader James Clyburn (S.C.). ‘They have repeatedly walked away from the negotiating table whenever the two sides got close to a balanced blend of both spending cuts and revenue raisers.’
“Rep. Steve Israel (N.Y.), chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, said: ‘The indisputable fact is that until this group of Roadblock Republicans forced Speaker Boehner to walk away from a deal, America never came to the brink of a default and we never experienced a downgrade. This downgrade is the direct result of Roadblock Republicans.'”
“Those (many) who are rubbishing the eminently rubbishable S&P tonight are generally not grappling with something we’ve been talking about for years around these parts: The current fiscal trajectory of the United States is not just deteriorating rapidly, it’s definitionally unsustainable. That’s not crazy libertarians talking, that’s Barack Obama and Ben Bernanke…
“I eagerly look forward to this being blamed on libertarians, but even more than that I truly look forward to the day when the political class in this doddering country recognizes that you can’t just wave away a spending spiral by pretending that it doesn’t exist.”
“For Republican leaders, there was pride in a hand well played. ‘I think some of our members may have thought the default issue was a hostage you might take a chance at shooting,’ Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said. ‘Most of us didn’t think that. What we did learn is this — it’s a hostage that’s worth ransoming.’…
“‘Would Democrats have ever agreed if they thought the new freshman class was going to roll over? No. The freshmen made our hand so much stronger,’ [Kevin McCarthy] said in an interview. ‘You had a fear of how far they would go. I’m sure the president looks back, too, and was fearful. But in negotiations, isn’t that the best thing?’
“Chaffetz, who voted against both Boehner’s first proposal and the final bill, said he was well aware of how the leadership had used his and others’ willingness to let a default happen as a negotiating chip, and said he didn’t mind at all. ‘We weren’t kidding around, either,’ he said. ‘We would have taken it down.'”