Obama Gives US AAAA Credit Rating
US President Barack Obama addressed Friday's downgrade of his nation's AAA credit rating by Standard & Poor's saying he would "give the US a AAAA credit rating:"
"The markets on the other hand continue to believe our status is AAA. In fact, Warren Buffet, who happens to know a thing or two about good investments, said if there were a AAAA credit rating I'd give the United States that. I, and most of the world's investors, agree," Obama said
Obama insisted the S&P downgrade did not reflect concern the US could not tackle its debt, but represented a no-confidence vote in the American political system.
"On Friday we learned the United States received a downgrade in its credit rating by one of the credit agencies. No so much because they doubt our ability to pay our debt if we make good decisions, but because after watching a month of wrangling over raising the debt ceiling they doubted our political system's ability to act," Obama said.
"We need a balanced, long-term approach to deficit reduction," Obama said. "That was true last week, that was true last year, that was true the day I took office."
"And we didn't need a credit agency to tell us the gridlock in Washington over the last several months has not been constructive to say the least," Obama added with dig at the GOP who opposed his plan to raise the debt ceiling as wildly irresponsible.
"Its not a lack of plans or policies that is the problem here. Its a lack of political will in Washington. It is the insistence in drawing lines in the sand. Refusal to put what is best for the country ahead of self-interest, ideology, or party," Obama added.
"Our problems are eminently solvable and we know what we need to do to solve them," Obama said.
Saying the US could not cut military and domestic spending any further, Obama said he would pursue two other avenues of addressing the nation's deficit, "tax reform, that will ask those who can afford it, to pay their share, and modest adjustments to welfare programs like Medicare."
"Markets will rise and fall, but this is the United States of America," Obama said. "We will always continue to be a AAA country."
The lowering of the United States' credit rating to AA+ has caused a sharp dip in global stock markets and led other lending regulators to put the US on notice that a failure to take sufficient measures to deal with its national debt will force them to follow suit.
The loss of AAA credit rating will cost the US an estimated $100 billion annually in increased interest rates.
Obama also commented on the deaths of 30 US troops, 7 Afghan commandos, and an Afghan interpreter when their Chinook helicopter was shot down by the Taliban on Saturday.
"Their loss is a stark reminder of the risks the men and women in our armed forces take every day," Obama said.
"We will press on and we will succeed. but now is a time to reflect on the lives of those we have lost," he added.
"These men and women put their lives on the line for the values our nation represents," Obama added. "They did so as a team."
"Our responsibility is to ensure our efforts here honor the values they died for and reflect their common sense of purpose," Obama said hinting he expected the GOP to fall into step with his economic plans.
The deaths represent the greatest loss of US military lives in a single incident since US operations began in Afghanistan in 2001. Among the dead were at least 20 members of SEAL Team Six, the unit that conducted the targeted killing of Al Qaeda's arch-terrorist Osama Bin Laden.