Subhead: The era of free money may be over.

Moody’s Investors Service said the U.S. credit rating may be downgraded for the first time on concern that fiscal discipline may erode, further debt reduction measures won’t be adopted and the economy may weaken.

The U.S., rated Aaa since 1917, was placed on negative outlook, Moody’s said in a statement today as it confirmed the rating after President Barack Obama signed into law a plan to lift the nation’s borrowing limit and cut spending. A decision on the rating may be made within two years, or “considerably sooner,” according to Moody’s Steven Hess.

The deal wasn’t big enough, didn’t do enough and may not be enough to avoid downgrade.

During the Bush years, the 43rd president basically bought Democrat votes to support the war by pushing up domestic spending. Predictably, that didn’t work out so well: The Democrats took the domestic spending and ran, and when the going got tough in the war, the Democrats turned on that too because their heart is never in our national defense. They’re expensive but they don’t stay bought.

And in the Obama years, we got a government spending spree unparalleled since the construction of the Great Pyramid. The Democrats apparently thought they could get around accountability by avoiding passing actual budgets that would put their actual votes on the line.They thought shirking their duty was the way to maintain their political viability.

But economics has caught up with the nation. There is no free lunch, even if you’re a Democrat.