(My Clovis News Journal column for August 11, 2011. As written, not as published.)
I heard it reported that Timothy Geithner, the treasury secretary of the US, said that Standard & Poor's made a terrible decision when it downgraded the US government's credit rating. He claimed this showed that S&P didn't understand the math that is used to figure the US government's budget.
Yeah, I don't understand the math that results in "2 + 2 = unicorns pooping rainbows" either, so S&P is in good company.
I also have trouble understanding the arrogance that leads this government official to claim that downgrading the credit rating of an institution, in as much debt as the US government is, qualifies as a "terrible decision". When did deciding to tell the truth about a risky situation become "terrible"? Would it have been "terrible" to warn women they shouldn't date Ted Bundy?
No, Mr. Geithner, S&P made a sensible decision based upon reality and upon an understanding of real math. You expose your agenda by your protests. Instead of complaining, do something constructive. For example, stop damaging the credit of the US government by your official actions.
I think the downgrade was long overdue. As soon as someone shows they have no intention of paying off their debts, and they keep racking up more like they can't stop, it's time to cut up the credit cards. It's also time to warn others that the spendthrift is a bad risk. Then, if creditors choose to keep giving that person credit, it is no one's fault but their own when they get left in the cold. No one else is responsible for bailing out those with poor judgment.
The government's debt isn't my debt, and it isn't your debt. It is the responsibility of those who made (and signed) the promises to pay. The debt and the credit rating have only been maintained for this long because other governments understand that the US government intends to keep milking you and your descendants, for as much as they can coercively take, into the foreseeable future and beyond. That's giving credit to an extortionist based upon your belief that he will continue to extort money successfully due to past performance. People like that deserve to lose their investment.
It's time to force responsibility on those who refuse to accept it of their own free will. It is time to withdraw consent and leave them to the vultures.