It's a lovely morning in Washington D.C., because every elected official in the city now has something to howl about and blame on opponents:
The U.S. debt downgrade.
Republicans are already calling it "The Obama Downgrade." Democrats are calling it "The Tea Party Downgrade." And the Treasury is calling it a disgrace--brought to you by the same incompetent idiots at S&P who rated junk housing bonds AAA.
So who's really to blame?
All of the people who are pointing fingers. And American voters, who elected them.
Regardless of what you think about the timing or specific logic of S&P's downgrade, there's no question that the U.S.'s financial position has deteriorated massively in the past 10 years. And last week, a significant portion of the American government was ready (eager?) to force a default in the debt-ceiling debate just because it wasn't getting EXACTLY what it wanted.
Given those two factors, the debt downgrade was perfectly reasonable. And as much as politicians try to blame it on "the other guys," they're all responsible. As are we, for hiring them.
One incumbent the downgrade is almost certainly bad for is President Obama, which is probably why the Treasury is screaming so loudly trying to pin the blame on S&P. It also seems reasonable to think that the downgrade, combined with the still-lousy economy, will hurt Obama's chances of getting re-elected.
We can only hope that, if Americans do vote for "change" in 2012, we don't elect an extremist in his place. Other countries in similarly tough economic circumstances have done this, and the result has been disastrous.