“The majority of Republicans in Congress continue to resist any measure that would raise revenues,” the firm said.
S&P’s downgrade served as an indictment of the gridlock that sent the nation to the edge of defaulting on its debt obligations. It is also striking in part because it reflects the tremendous power of a small group of financial analysts employed by a New York company — part of McGraw-Hill. Credit-rating companies’ reputations were sullied during the financial crisis.
In Europe, political leaders have taken aim at credit rating companies when they cut the ratings of governments struggling with heavy debt burdens.
S&P said the nation could suffer additional downgrades later on if the nation’s debt burden grows worse. “A new political consensus might [or might not] emerge after the 2012 election, but we believe that by then the government debt burden will likely be higher,” the firm said.
The company said the United States’s financial position was diverging from that of other AAA countries, including Canada, France, Germany and Britain.