I recently asked you what your number one legislative concern is. The majority of you identified the national debt and federal spending as your primary concern, and rightly so. Just this week we had alarming news on our debt outlook from the international credit agency Standard & Poor’s (S&P).
On Monday, S&P issued a warning that if the U.S. does not get spending under control and reduce our debt by taking serious cost-cutting measures by 2013, we will face a devastating consequence – we will lose our AAA rating for our debt. This is serious, and let me tell you why. The AAA rating is an elite status. It indicates a low level of risk, because the borrower – in this case, the U.S. government – will fulfill financial obligations in a timely manner. Losing the AAA rating will hurt our status as a super power and harm our participation in a global economy. It will also have a ripple effect through the U.S. economy, increasing the cost of credit to everyone from the largest corporation to the family trying to get an auto or home loan.
Although administration officials like Treasury Secretary Geithner have said that this will not happen, I believe this warning should not be taken lightly. This is a wake-up call. That’s why I joined my colleagues in voting for Paul Ryan’s budget proposal, which will cut our debt by $6.2 trillion over the next ten years. This is just the beginning. I will continue to fight for budget cuts and real reform.