America's New Standard: Poor "The Obama administration and congressional Democrats are betting their political futures on the hope that the American electorate is ignorant and forgetful, and hence the memo has gone out to functionaries hither and yon, from David Axelrod to John Kerry: This is to be called the 'tea-party downgrade.' That this is said with straight faces bespeaks either an unshakable contempt for the mind of the American voter or an as-yet unplumbed capacity for Democratic self-delusion. Let us revisit the facts. The original debt-ceiling deal put forward by the Democrats totaled $0.00 in debt reduction. This would have fallen approximately $4 trillion short of the $4 trillion in debt reduction the credit-rating agencies suggested would constitute a 'credible' step toward maintaining our AAA rating and avoiding a downgrade. ... The Democrats have suggested that Republicans' refusal to accede to tax hikes is the main reason Standard & Poor's felt it necessary to issue a downgrade, the first in American history, last Friday evening. In their assessment of Standard & Poor's reasoning, the Democrats are acutely at odds with Standard & Poor's. The credit-rating agency did not call for tax hikes in its assessment. ... But S&P, along with the other credit-rating agencies, has long taken a position on one aspect of our fiscal troubles: entitlement reform. ... As anybody who has looked at our long-term deficit projections knows, entitlement spending is the major driver of our future deficits. ... Tea-party leaders, far from being a barrier to entitlement reform, have demanded it. ... The deal that finally did pass would have contained significantly more in deficit-reduction, except for the fact that Democrats categorically refused to consider -- is this sounding familiar? -- entitlement reform, the most important issue. ... Democrats believe that they have discovered a cartoon villain in the Tea Party, and they are hoping that American voters are gullible enough to be distracted by the political theatrics. Come November 2012, Americans should keep in mind both the insult and the injury -- to the nation and its credit." --National Review