It’s been quite a week on the American financial front. Debt ceilings and national credit ratings. Things that most people only had a vague notion that even existed. Like the grilled chicken salad at McDonalds. But, on closer examination, this week has brought new levels of absurdity, even by Capitol standards.
Where’s the cape?
As part of the debt limit negotiations, Congress formed a “Super Committee”. Yes, you heard that right – the Super Committee. If you aren’t exactly sure what the Super Committee is, think of it as the “Anti-Democracy Task Force”. Come to think of it, my marketing degree is telling me “Super Committee” sounds better.
So here’s how it works. Each of four congressional leaders will choose three of their favorite congresspeople (or ones that have legs that would look good in superhero tights) to find cuts in the budget. Then here’s the anti-democratic part – there are triggers to automatically slash the budget indiscriminately if the Regular Congress (aka Mortal Congress) doesn’t quickly rubber stamp the Super Committee decisions. So, if you aren’t lucky enough to have your representative on the Super Committee, your voice in Congress just got much, much smaller.
AAA+, AA+ or 9 Volt?
Then, the credit rating company, Standard & Poor’s, in a massive, righteous, self-promoting power trip on a Brad Pitt scale, decided to change the nation’s battery size. Or moved the nation’s membership from the American Automobile Association to Alcoholics Anonymous. Actually, we’re not exactly sure what it means, but we were AAA+ and now are AA+. Either way, it still sounds like a grade I would have liked to get on any test in high school.
But in retrospect, although they admit they made a $2 trillion math error in their analysis, S&P is sticking by their rating. $2 trillion dollars! Let me put this in a real world example to make it more understandable. Suppose I was a cashier and you came to my line in Starbucks and bought a Caramel Machiato for $3.95 and gave me a $10 bill. And I gave you $2 trillion dollars in change.
So, as a result, we at MullerOver have decided to downgrade Standard & Poor’s credibility rating from AAA to 9-Volt. Sorry S&P. You started it.
China threatens to ground the United States
Finally, it wouldn’t be a week of Loony Tunes if our friends in China didn’t chime in. The world’s worst offenders in human rights and environmental issues decided to lecture the United States on being responsible. And, as part of their rant, China demanded that the United States reduce the size of its military. In similar news, American prison inmates demanded to have less prison guards and shorter walls.
In conclusion …
But, the world is different now. We have a new debt ceiling and really complicated legislation. We did something that should be good for us, but as a nation, we still feel unsatisfied. I guess in a way, we just ate that grilled chicken salad at McDonalds.