Brett Arends’s ROI: America’s on a ridiculous path, with plenty of downgrades to come

by | Aug 2, 2023 | Stock Market

America is going to keep seeing its credit rating downgraded so long as we continue on the same ridiculous path we have been on for a generation. Namely, spending like Democrats, taxing like Republicans — and leaving the richest people in the country paying pretty much no tax at all.

Political polarization has become so intense that you can pretty much guarantee that all conservatives will blame this downgrade from Fitch on liberals, and all liberals will blame it on conservatives. Actually, that sort of reflexive tribalism is more to blame than anything. But good luck trying to make that point on Twitter or Facebook. First, who is really to blame? In the spirit of bipartisanship, neutrality and a facts-based analysis — this will gain no traction on social media, but I am hoping one or two people out there are still interested in facts — I went back and looked at whether deficits in recent decades had been higher under Republican or Democrat presidents. It’s not that simple, of course — Congress has more power in this regard than the president. But it was a useful starting point. Especially as both U.S. credit ratings downgrades, so far, have taken place under Democrat presidents (It happened under President Barack Obama in 2011).

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