One line, though, stuck out more than the rest, particularly because it’s Ryan who is attacking President Barack Obama on the subject:
It began with a perfect Triple-A credit rating for the United States; it ends with a downgraded America.
That’s Ryan, a leading member of the House of Representatives, attacking Obama for the S&P downgrade of the U.S.’s credit rating in 2011.
That’s a pretty standard attack for Mitt Romney, but it carries a lot more weight coming from Ryan. There were a number of facts that didn’t match up in Ryan’s speech. But unlike other attacks Ryan fibbed Wednesday night — the Janesville, Wisc., GM plant among them — the downgraded credit rating is not exactly a politically savvy move.
Look at who the S&P blames in its statement:
Compared with previous projections, our revised base case scenario now assumes that the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts, due to expire by the end of 2012, remain in place. We have changed our assumption on this because the majority of Republicans in Congress continue to resist any measure that would raise revenues, a position we believe Congress reinforced by passing the act. Key macroeconomic assumptions in the base case scenario include trend real GDP growth of 3% and consumer price inflation near 2% annually over the decade.
S&P downgraded the U.S., in part, because of a revised expectation that the Bush tax cuts would remain in place. They assumed this because of Republicans’ unwillingness to enact any measures raising revenue, and they completely slammed House Republicans — including Paul Ryan — for doing so.