Credit rating agency Egan Jones downgraded the United States Thursday on concern over the sustainability of public debt. Egan Jones is one of the most important ratings firms in the world; they lowered our credit level from AA+ to AA. The firm reduced America from AAA to AA+ in July 2011, just before Standard & Poor’s did the same.
Egan Jones warned. “Without some structural changes soon, restoring credit quality will become increasingly difficult . . . without some structural changes soon, restoring credit quality will become increasingly difficult.” They added that there was a 1.2% probability of U.S default in the next 12 months. The company cited the fact that the US’s total debt, which now equals its total GDP, is rising and soon will eclipse the national GDP; the company sees the debt rising to 112% of the GDP by 2014.
The debt grew 23.6% the first two years of Obama’s presidency. When the debt is more than 100% of the GDP, treasury notes fall, which is a problem because they are used for transactions between financial institutions. This, in turn, could raise rates on mortgages and other loans, which would discourage growth in the economy, as well as state and local governments feeling the pinch, which could eliminate more services.
President Obama has added more debt in three years than all the previous 43 presidents combined. And there is no sign that he intends to do anything but spend more money that we do not have.