With Standard and Poor's downgrading of U.S. credit worthiness, it should be clear that the macabre debt ceiling dance the U.S. president and Congress just performed was not about credit worthiness or fiscal policy or economic fundamentals. It was a battle between extortionist credit rating agencies—Moody's, Fitch, and Standard and Poor's—and most recently the U.S. government, although Greece, Ireland, Portugal, and now Spain and Italy have also been engaged. As usual, President Obama rolled without much of a fight, and Congress went along after multiple public tantrums only to have Standard and Poor's declare the world's largest economy incapable of meeting its long-term obligations. S&P, Fitch, and Moody's were involved in giving their credit blessings to those trash securities that have brought us to this state, so why on the face of it should we believe anything they say? The agencies might say they are simply providing advice to investors, but they are really economic terrorists profiting from the instability they bring to the markets with their pronouncements on a nation's or business's credit worthiness. Let them pass judgment from behind bars—that's where they belong.
The real paralysis in the U.S. is political. and it is due to the large and growing disconnect between the people and our elected officials who serve only monied interests and their own venality. We need a mechanism for dissolving Congress and calling new elections. We also need to recognize that the current electoral system is corrupt—in thrall to the rich—and I include the President with Congress. The size of the Congress should be doubled at least and people seeking to represent those smaller districts should actually have to go meet and talk to their constituents. I say that because of a deep suspicion that a fundamental reason people don't vote is that they don't know the candidates. The candidates don't know them either, leaving them to represent anyone willing to contribute toward their permanent advertising budget.