August 8th, 2011
01:41 PM ET

Your take: Where do you stand on S&P downgrade?

[Updated at 1:41 p.m.] The inability of Congress and President Barack Obama to reach a deal to raise the debt ceiling sparked a firestorm of anger directed toward Washington. Readers said they were angry, disappointed and fed up. They had no problem about where to point the finger when it came to blame. Quite frankly there was downright outrage.

And now Standard & Poor's has downgraded the U.S. credit rating by one notch to AA+, removing it from the Triple A-club for the first time in history. Did S&P get it right? | A political miscalculation

As the market reacts to the downgrade status, wants to know how people feel about it. Grab a video camera and sound off on iReport here.

Some iReport contributors are already speaking out about the downgrade, whom it affects and how much the American public understands and cares about the issue.

Egberto Willies, a frequent iReport political commentator, says he believes that the S&P downgrade of the U.S. is “a fraud on the American middle class.”

“The reality is, Standard & Poor's and all these organizations are the same companies who rated credit default swaps that brought down the economy and forced us to get into further debt to bail out the financial sector,” he argues in his video. “They're the ones who allowed that to occur.”

Omekongo Dibinga says he thinks Americans simply don’t care what the country’s credit rating is.

“Most Americans are too busy worrying about their own credit to care about America's credit rating,” he says in his video.  “With our AAA rating, we've still had a Great Depression and a Great Recession. People have still lost their homes and thousands of jobs. Is this what our rating got us?”

Dibinga says the lowered rating may even serve as a needed wake-up call for politicians and corporations.

"Maybe this credit will be good for America," Dibinga said. "Maybe these corporate types at the top will start to think twice, but for the rest of us, we're going to wake up tomorrow and our life won't seem to have changed because of a downgrade.”

Melissa Fazli from Yorba Linda, California, sent a video reaction shortly after the S&P downgraded the U.S. credit rating. She says that everyone should pay as he goes: “No more debt.”

She says she also believes the downgrade is “a kick in the face” but hopes that people will vote for politicians who will “wake up” and “get their act together and work together.”

And those commenting on and haven't shied away from sharing their views either. Here's a sampling of what you had to say:

"S&P was absolutely right to downgrade the US government–the country is frighteningly deep in debt. For decades, the federal government has proved itself utterly incompetent in managing the taxpayers' money and this is the result. And if government can't manage our money responsibly, it's time to cut up the credit cards–we need a balanced-budget amendment." - CNN commenter HenryMiller

" The S&P is full of it. This is the same agency that assured investors and gave excellent ratings to toxic mortgage back derivatives. They are
responsible with the banks for the finical [sic] crisis and now they are playing more games and leading us into a double dip. Make no bones, they have their own agenda. I would not be surprised if they are short-selling and making out like bandits. These people are all crooks!!!" - CNN commenter Daniel Tal

"good for S& clowns in Washington want to act like fools? You get called on it!!!!!" - CNN commenter stooges999

"And they are "sticking by their decision"? Wonder if the S&P is also "sticking by their decision" on the sub-prime mortgages the touted as
AAA before the collapse in 2008???" - CNN commenter esmith3750

"Anyone who listens to S and P after the crimes they committed during the financial meltdown is an idiot" - CNN commenter Jon King

In response to that comment user Barfly52 wrote: "Looks like investors are listening. Market down 325 points in first 75 minutes."

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Filed under: Business • Economy • Finance
soundoff (1,062 Responses)
  1. Jim

    S & P has moved from a financial rating sevice to a lobbiest available for the highest price. Judging from their statements that they had an obligation to warn investors of possible problems they have forgot the Enron, WorldCom and Tyco's that they all had highly rated less than a week before they filed bankruptcy. Would investors who lost money based upon their reliance of S & P's "professional" rating system have a cause for civil action against S & P for their mis-information? This does not even take into consideration their gross mis-evaluation of the various hedge funds that were a key part of our recent economic meltdown. It would seem that S & P has become the Arthur Anderson of rating firms.

    August 8, 2011 at 2:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tom

      C'mon, Jim. My first thought was that this is almost un-American because it hits us in the groin at the worst time. But it's the Congress that's un-American, for putting us in this position. For decades they've robbed Social Security, let Social Security, Medicare and IRS fraud grow unabated, and buried us with myriad other spending programs with little more to offer than guaranteeing their own security. Our system of government is great, but the two-party system has failed us miserably. Too much power in too few hands – hands that are for sale to the highest bidder. The S&P move is a reaction to that and a slap that hopefully wake up voters, because the Congress is just a bunch of self/special interests.

      August 8, 2011 at 2:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • mls

      Jim, you summed it up in a nutshell. What short memories some of us have!

      August 8, 2011 at 2:51 pm | Report abuse |
  2. john

    Will Americans take to the streets London-style or remain apathetic indifferent?

    August 8, 2011 at 2:36 pm | Report abuse |
  3. steve

    History tells us that while many states warned of the pending mortgage crisis for years before it hit, it was the Bush Administration and their failed economic vision of America that OVERRULED the STATES' desires to put a stop to poor lending practices. The Bush Administration went all the way to the Supreme Court in an attempt to over-rule Michigan trying to reign in lending practices. By early 2008 Bush knew there was a problem, told us about it for a little bit, and then caved to the same establishment we are turning the nation over to today – of course the capitalists WANT US TO BLAME THE GOVERNMENT – because when/if we realize it is deregulation that ALLOWED THEM TO CAUSE THE PROBLEM – well, then we might ACTUALLY REFORM AND GET THE HOUSE IN ORDER. Banks hide assets (or lack thereof) while we all sit in limbo – the TP holds the line on "tax cuts" while doing NOTHING (literally NOTHING) BUT HOLD UP THE PROCESS OF ACTUAL ECONOMIC REFORM. This is a BUSINESS-LED CRISIS, what do you think would happen if all the PEOPLE united in a PEOPLE-LED SOLUTION – namely: make the banks open their books – WHERE DO WE ACTUALLY STAND? A little certainty would go an awful long way to actually solving the crises we face.

    August 8, 2011 at 2:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • RCBinTN

      Steve – you sound POed, dude.

      August 8, 2011 at 2:47 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Travis

    When I borrow money and do not pay it back, my credit rating goes down. I EXPECT my government to be held to the same standards. thank you S&P, shame on you Congress.

    August 8, 2011 at 2:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Brian Dodge, aka WallStreetFatCat & GOTP bankroller

      When I borrow money, lose my shirt on derivatives, and don't pay my debts, the government bails out my company, and I collect a bonus. What's YOUR problem?

      August 8, 2011 at 2:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Travis

      and that is why the country is in debt.

      August 8, 2011 at 4:15 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Greg

    Considering the moirtgage fiasco they helped create, I think they are way out of line.

    August 8, 2011 at 2:39 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Rational

    I would certainly like to know if anyone associated with, or employed by S&P is profiting from short selling today?

    August 8, 2011 at 2:39 pm | Report abuse |
  7. gbs

    Its called the Fourteenth Amendment. The fourth article states "the credit of the United States shall not be questioned." Congratulations to our government for ignoring this great law.. Oh.. the fifth article right below the fourth says Congres can pretty much spend as they please.. dang!

    August 8, 2011 at 2:40 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Ancient Brit

    If I understand correctly, S&P downgraded the US' rating in part because the recent agreement to raise the debt ceiling did NOT include provisions that would have closed tax loopholes and ended the Bush-era tax concessions to the uber-rich.

    The blame for that failure lies fairly and squarely at the feet of the Tea Party/GOP.

    August 8, 2011 at 2:41 pm | Report abuse |
  9. dctwmt

    Why is anyone even LISTENING to S&P? These are the idiots who caused much of our financial pain by rating worthless investments as excellent a few years ago. They should be ignored.

    August 8, 2011 at 2:42 pm | Report abuse |
  10. H

    China thinks it has the right to judge the U.S. economic situation. The same country that still uses communism to oppress it's people. China is only a super power of any type because the U.S. laxed it's tariffs on Chinese imports and allowed U.S. companies to outsource jobs to third world countries such as China. So, STFU China!!
    From a blue collar workerthat still fears for his job because our politicians are still providing for the rest of the world instead of the U.S. and its workers!

    August 8, 2011 at 2:44 pm | Report abuse |
  11. economic fiction

    S&P is WORTHLESS. Did they divulge anything that we didn't already know or simply tell people "Here's what we think, and you SHOULD care because we are the almighty OZ." I say, they are just an ordinary green man hiding behind a screen pulling levers. Why should anyone care what they say? The entire world knows what happened. Anyone investing in the US can make their own decision about the risk. Those idiots who are running scared just because S&P made their opinion known are a bunch of weak followers.

    August 8, 2011 at 2:44 pm | Report abuse |
  12. TPaine

    The downgrade had nothing to do with the financial ability of the US to pay it debts. But how can a country remain AAA when its politicians openly threaten to cause a debt crisis if they don't get their way? Mitch McConnell see he thinks the ransom was worth the hostage taking, I wonder if he still feels that way?

    August 8, 2011 at 2:46 pm | Report abuse |
  13. DAN

    The White House is blaming the Tea Party for Americas downgrade. The White House has a hard time of looking at it's own policies and determining if they are at fault. Blame everyone else is the easy answer, blame Bush, blame Congress, blame the rich, blame the police for arresting Professor Gates, blame big oil, blame Republicans. Has there been one policy that the White House has said we were wrong and we need to change direction, and here is the direction we believe we need to go in? Blame and denial is a strategy not leadership. The credit ratings agencies are saying the same things that the Tea Party and the elected representatives that are fiscal conservatives in both parties are saying. The debt is too high, and the plans to reduce it are inadequate and will not work. We are in serious debt and trouble and need to have a comprehensive plan to change the present and future debt, which will help our economy.

    August 8, 2011 at 2:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • TPaine

      Dan, the Tea Party had everything to do with the downgrade. Tea Party supporters, and those to cow to them, threatened to let the US default on its obligations if they didn't get their way. Well, they got their way, and McConnell and Boehner were gloating about it. Are they still gloating?

      August 8, 2011 at 2:49 pm | Report abuse |
  14. H

    Impose tariffs on imports, now!! Tax oil companies, now!! Increase taxes on the rich, please. Oh, wait, our politicians are the rich. Damn!! It's time for a new Revolution America. The government is being ran by crooked, rich old men only out for themselves.

    August 8, 2011 at 2:47 pm | Report abuse |
  15. RCBinTN

    It's not the S&P's fault, it's our own fault. We have a dysfunctional govt and need to work that out. Then all will be well again.

    August 8, 2011 at 2:48 pm | Report abuse |
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