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Press Release - President Obama's Downgrade Day

August 05, 2012

"One year ago, the President's failure to rein in reckless government spending led to a downgrade in the creditworthiness of our nation.  President Obama's spending binge now has him on pace to add more than $1 trillion to the debt for the fourth straight year.  And it's the middle class that will pay most dearly for this out-of-control spending. The contrast between President Obama and me on this critical issue could not be more clear.  As Governor, I led Massachusetts to a credit upgrade. And as president, my Plan for a Stronger Middle Class will not only deliver more jobs and more take-home pay for American families, but it will also reduce spending to responsible levels.  I will lead us toward a balanced budget and restore the sterling credit rating our nation lost under President Obama." — Mitt Romney

One Year Ago Today, America's Triple-A Credit Rating Was Cut For The First Time In History:

One Year Ago Today, "S&P Removed For The First Time The Triple-A Rating The U.S. Has Held For 70 Years." "S&P removed for the first time the triple-A rating the U.S. has held for 70 years, saying the budget deal recently brokered in Washington didn't do enough to address the gloomy outlook for America's finances. It downgraded long-term U.S. debt to AA+, a score that ranks below more than a dozen governments', including Liechtenstein's, and on par with Belgium's and New Zealand's. S&P also put the new grade on 'negative outlook,' meaning the U.S. has little chance of regaining the top rating in the near term." (Damian Paletta and Matt Phillips, "S&P Strips U.S. Of Top Credit Rating," The Wall Street Journal, 8/6/11)

"A Cornerstone Of The Global Financial System Was Shaken..." "A cornerstone of the global financial system was shaken Friday when officials at ratings firm Standard & Poor's said U.S. Treasury debt no longer deserved to be considered among the safest investments in the world." (Damian Paletta and Matt Phillips, "S&P Strips U.S. Of Top Credit Rating," The Wall Street Journal, 8/6/11)

National Journal, On President Obama's Credit Downgrade: "An Ignominious Legacy For Obama." "The bitter negotiations damaged the standing of Washington leaders—including Obama—in the eyes of an anxious and frustrated public. Then a rating agency lowered the U.S. credit rating for the first time, an ignominious legacy for Obama." (George E. Condon Jr., "What a Week: Afghan Deaths, S&P, And Debt Limit Debate Challenge Obama," National Journal, 8/6/11)

After Years Of Skyrocketing Debt, Americans May Not Have Been Surprised By The Credit Downgrade — But The News Was A Surprise To The Obama Administration:

Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, On The Potential For A Downgrade In February 2010: "Absolutely Not. And That Will Never Happen To This Country. " "'Absolutely not.  And that will never happen to this country.  When people were most worried about the stability of the world, they still found safety in the Treasuries and the dollar,' he continued. 'That is a very, very important sign of basic confidence in our capacity as a country to work together to fix these problems.'" (Jake Tapper, "Geithner: U.S. Will Not Lose AAA Bond Rating," ABC News, 2/7/10)

Secretary Geithner, In March 2010: "There's Not A Chance That's Going To Happen To Our Country." "Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner said there's no possibility the United States will lose its AAA bond rating. Despite warnings from independent bond raters over the country's unsustainable fiscal situation, Geithner told a House panel on Tuesday the bond rating is safe. 'There's not a chance that's going to happen to our country' Geithner said in response to a question from Rep. Hal Rogers (R-Ky.)." (Walter Alarkon, "Sec. Geithner: 'Not A Chance' U.S. Will Lose AAA Bond Rating,"" The Hill, 3/16/10)

Secretary Geithner, In April 2011: "No Risk Of That." QUESTION: "Is there is a risk that the United States could lose its AAA credit rating? Yes or no?" GEITHNER: "No risk of that." QUESTION: "No risk?" GEITHNER: "No risk..." (Fox Business Network, 4/19/11)

And After A Year, President Obama Still Doesn't Have A Plan To Restore The Triple-A Rating — He's Continued Running Up Trillion-Dollar Deficits:

Under President Obama, The National Debt Has Increased By More Than $5.3 Trillion — $16,000 In New Debt For Every American. (U.S. Department Of The Treasury, 8/4/12)

  • "It's The Most Rapid Increase In The Debt Under Any U.S. President." "The latest posting by the Treasury Department shows the national debt has now increased $4 trillion on President Obama's watch. The debt was $10.626 trillion on the day Mr. Obama took office. The latest calculation from Treasury shows the debt has now hit $14.639 trillion. It's the most rapid increase in the debt under any U.S. president." (Mark Knoller, "National Debt Has Increased $4 Trillion Under Obama," CBS News, 8/22/11)

Under President Obama, America Is Facing Its Fourth Consecutive Year Of Trillion-Dollar Budget Deficits. "The latest budget figures from the White House predict this year's federal budget deficit will end up at $1.2 trillion. That would make the fourth consecutive year of trillion dollar-plus deficits during President Obama's administration." (Andrew Taylor, "Administration Projects $1.2T 2012 Budget Deficit," The Associated Press, 7/27/12)

  • President Obama Shattered His Pledge To Cut The Deficit In Half In His First Term. "The 2013 budget the president submitted today does not come close to meeting this promise of being reduced to $650 billion for fiscal year 2013. The president noted in that 2009 speech the Obama administration inherited a $1.3 trillion deficit. The deficit was similarly $1.3 trillion in 2011, is projected to be $1.15 trillion in 2012, and the president's budget claims it will be $901 billion in 2013." (Jake Tapper, "Obama's Broken Deficit Promise," ABC News, 2/13/12)

Mitt Romney, Press Release - President Obama's Downgrade Day Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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