“Fitch Ratings has downgraded the United States government’s credit rating, citing rising debt at the federal, state, and local levels and a ‘steady deterioration in standards of governance’ over the past two decades. The rating was cut Tuesday one notch to AA+ from AAA, the highest possible rating…
“It’s only the second time in the nation’s history that its credit rating has been cut. In 2011, the ratings agency Standard & Poor’s stripped the U.S. of its prize AAA rating after a prolonged fight over the government’s borrowing limit.” AP News
The left is skeptical that the downgrade is warranted, but calls for plans to fix the long-term fiscal outlook.
A libertarian's take
“Fitch is the second of the ‘big three’ credit rating firms to downgrade the federal government from its highest to second-highest category. In 2011, Standard and Poor's (S&P) knocked America's debt rating from AAA to AA+, where it remains today. That change also followed a tense political standoff over the debt ceiling, though the federal government had a now-quaint $14 trillion in debt at the time. The current total is over $32.6 trillion… The [CBO] estimates that interest on the national debt will consume one-third of the federal budget by 2050…
“Doubling your debt in just over a decade is a good way to scare off those who might lend you more money in the future. Given current fiscal and political trends in Washington, it was a question of when, not if, the U.S. would see another credit rating downgrade. Unless something dramatically changes, this is unlikely to be the last.”
Eric Boehm, Reason