Politics
Obama stands on stage with first lady Michelle Obama after his victory speech on election night. Spencer Platt/Getty Images. Obama stands on stage with first lady Michelle Obama after his victory speech on election night. Spencer Platt/Getty Images.  

Credit-rating agency threatens downgrade if Obama spending isn’t curbed

Photo of Neil Munro
Neil Munro
White House Correspondent

During a Jan. 15 press conference Obama continued this strategy, demanded more spending and berated the GOP for seeking curbs and reforms. (RELATED VIDEO: Hume: “Strikingly aggressive and partisan” Obama looking to deepen problems for GOP)

Budget cuts, he said, would “fundamentally change commitments that we’ve made to make sure that seniors don’t go into poverty, or that children who are disabled are properly cared for.” (RELATED: Obama says old folks, sick, troops will face chopping block if GOP doesn’t OK bigger debt)

By not raising the debt-ceiling, Republicans were putting an economic “gun at the head of the American people … [and] threaten to wreck the entire economy,” he said. (RELATED: Obama in final first-term press conference: Republicans are ‘suspicious’ about feeding poor children)

The suggestion that the GOP would let children starve “is essentially a libel,” commentator Charles Krauthammer said on Fox. “Then [Obama] said, ‘Oh yes, but I love hanging out at congressional picnic with these people who want to starve America’s children,” he added.

Fitch’s statement included an extended criticism of the debt-ceiling, which is part of the constitutional provisions that given Congress — not the White House — control over federal budgets.

“In Fitch’s opinion, the debt ceiling is an ineffective and potentially dangerous mechanism for enforcing fiscal discipline,” the Fitch report read.

“It does not prevent tax and spending decisions that will incur debt issuance in excess of the ceiling while the sanction of not raising the ceiling risks a sovereign default and renders such a threat incredible,” it charged.

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