S&P head points to cutting entitlements

This will offset what some were reading into the S&P report on the downgrade. From Fox News:

David Beers, global head of sovereign and international public finance ratings at S&P, told "Fox News Sunday" that governments and Congresses come and go, but spending on entitlements persistently drags U.S. debt further into the red.
"The key thing is, yes, entitlement reform is important because entitlements are the biggest component of spending, and the part of spending where the cost pressures are greatest," Beers said.
Beers said he faults both Congress and the Obama administration for "the difficulty of all sides in finding a consensus around fiscal policy choices," but any agreement must command the support from both political parties in order to be durable. . . .Though the announcement noted that S&P "takes no position on the mix of spending and revenue measures that Congress and the administration might conclude is appropriate for putting the U.S.'s finances on a sustainable footing," several reports suggested that the credit ratings group had argued tax hikes may be necessary.
Beers drew no such conclusion on Sunday, though John Chambers, managing director of S&P, told ABC's "This Week" that President Obama's fiscal commission last year "had plenty of sensible recommendations" for reducing U.S. debt. Those recommendations, which included cutting spending and increasing revenues on a 3-1 ratio, were ignored.
"It was a pity that those really weren't followed through on," Chambers said.
Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., chairman of the House Budget Committee, said he's not surprised by S&P's decision since even with the select committee's recommendations, the debt will continue to climb. . . .



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