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The Debt-Ceiling Grenade

Yesterday, Moody’s announced that if the federal government can’t reach some resolution in these debt talks, the credit-rating agency could consider a downgrade of our national debt.

To wit: “The review of the U.S. government’s bond rating is prompted by the possibility that the debt limit will not be raised in time to prevent a missed payment of interest or principal on outstanding bonds and notes. As such, there is a small but rising risk of a short-lived default. An actual default, regardless of duration, would fundamentally alter Moody’s assessment of the timeliness of future payments, and a AAA rating would likely no longer be appropriate.”

Folks, that would be catastrophic.

Thankfully, we all know that this isn’t going to happen. But the longer we wait—the longer this debt-ceiling debate goes on—the more uncertainty lingers. I for one am very uncomfortable that the government is playing with our credit rating. It’s a live grenade, and if it were to explode, it would affect every part of our lives—including the very future of this great country.

I agree with my friends in the GOP that spending needs to be cut and taxes should not increase. And I agree that my fellow Chicagoan walking out of the meeting like some indignant child is beyond inappropriate. But now is not the time to be having this debate. This should be taking place during an election season when it can lead to real change—not be taking place as the pin is sliding out of the grenade.

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