Michele Bachmann lies. That's no surprise. But in this case, her lie is so insidious and stupid that it just has to be debunked.
When asked about the debt-ceiling, she said she wouldn't have raised it because Congress had an opportunity to cut spending and ducked it. Of course, she doesn't say that the debt-ceiling relates to debt already authorized by Congress, the funds have been appropriated, and whether she voted for those appropriations for that or not, it's what they've done. A refusal to honor that debt and invite default (either on payments to the debt or promised spending) is the dishonorable claim of a deadbeat.
But wait, there's more. Bachmann once again refers to the $2 trillion-dollar "blank check." Maybe it's just me, but blank checks usually don't have amounts on them, right?
Now we get to the real lie. Here it is:
BACHMANN: I think we just heard from Standard & Poor's. When they dropped our credit rating what they said is we don't have an ability to repay our debt. That's what the final word was from them. I was proved right in my position. We should not have raised the debt ceiling and instead, we should have cut government spending, which was not done and then we needed to get our spending priorities in order.
That's a pants-on-fire moment for Bachmann. Here is a direct quote from a Standard & Poor's conference call yesterday:
Finally, there is the political analysis, which is an important element of our sovereign criteria, and you have to remember of course that with sovereigns, unlike most issuers, the question is not only of ability to pay but also willingness to pay. It's quite an important one because no one can force a sovereign to pay its debt, cannot force a sovereign into bankruptcy.
So we have to look at the willingness and that's done primarily by analyzing the politics. You look here at how important, from a policy perspective, paying the nation's debts are, and also how much pro-active and effective and stable policy-making is there to ensure fiscal sustainability over the long term.
So we think that this also has deteriorated, in recent years compared to other AAA countries, and that was why we moved to a negative outlook in April. Both fiscal and the political realities. And as we watched the fiscal debate going on intensely for many months this year and we noticed how little progress was being made in terms of bridging the gap between the two sides -- one very focused on revenue measures to address the deficit issue and the other very focused on expenditures and not very much common ground between them -- we noticed that there was not much moving together despite many months of debate.
And in addition to this, we also had serious questions being raised about the debt ceiling and yes we've raised the debt ceiling many times in the past 50 years but we believe that the debate that was had this year was even more contentious and unproductive than previous ones. And the fact is, you know, we had a large proportion of not just anyone, but elected officials who seemed to be seriously advocating that paying US government debt in full and on time was less important than other domestic priorities that they advocated.
That's something that you don't see happen in AAA countries.
As a result of that and as a result of the continued what we view as very slow progress in addressing both the medium term and the longer term fiscal issues we view the politics in the U.S. as moving away from what we expect in a AAA country.
So let's review here. The prime factor that's different now from the last ratings cycle is that we have batsh*t crazy politicians like Michele Bachmann casting doubt on our WILL to pay. Not our ability. Our WILL. And it all started when Bush took office and gave away the tax cut store, screwed up the plan to be deficit-free by 2012, and put a couple of wars on the credit card.
Yes. Michele Bachmann lied. And this one was a whopper the size of Moby Dick, because it's people like her who are the reason we can't have nice things.