The Corner

The Downgrade Begins

As the author of a suitably apocalyptic book to be released on Monday, I’m grateful to Standard & Poor’s for providing the ultimate publicity tie-in. (Junk rating by the time of the paperback edition?) The frivolousness of the political theater in Washington this last month and its mostly fraudulent media coverage did huge damage to the United States. It confirmed to the world, as S&P’s analysis suggests, that Washington is institutionally incapable of genuine reform. This was one of those it’s-the-music-not-the-lyrics moments: As damaging as the specifics of the ”deal” were, the broader sub-text of a political class pretending that it was meaningful was even more so.  

We don’t have till 2021. As I say in my column tomorrow, we have till mid-decade to turn this thing around, or it’s over. That’s where the politico-media Beltway myopia failed the nation. It never occurred to any of the parties or the play-by-play commentators that their dramatically negotiated plans for — what was it now? — $7-12 billion of cuts in FY2012 would not be taken seriously by the world. That’s the heart of the S&P critique – its remarks about ”the effectiveness, stability, and predictability of American policymaking and political institutions.” In other words, the “deal” only confirmed the nature of the problem.

Now that it’s happened, it’s hard to argue that there was anything very obviously triple-A about America in 2011. So ask yourself this: If in 2013 we’re still talking in the terms of this week’s deal, you want to bet we’ll still be AA+*?

(*Oddly enough, $&P have downgraded the US to the initials of my book. Thanks, guys!)       

Mark Steyn — Mark Steyn is an international bestselling author, a Top 41 recording artist, and a leading Canadian human-rights activist. That’s to say, his latest book, After America (2011), is a top-five bestseller in ...

Most Popular

U.S.

The Book Comey Wanted to Write

Making the click-through worthwhile: the book James Comey had wanted to write, Facebook starts to feel useless to some writers, an infamous D.C. city councilman manages to make everything worse, and Hillary Clinton’s campaign finds its wish granted. What Did James Comey’s First Draft of A Higher ... Read More
Film & TV

Pro-Life Feminist

My paisana at the Human Life Review are hosting an event in NYC on Thursday, May 3, at the Sheen Center (18 Bleeker Street) for the airing of director Jim Hanon’s half-hour documentary, Pro-Life Feminist. After the viewing, he’ll join the trio of castmates -- Destiny Herndon-De La Rosa, Aimee Murphy, and ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Good News for Pompeo

Looks like he's in, as he should be. https://twitter.com/TomCottonAR/status/987050849317867521 But this fight has been a hint of what life will be like for Trump if the Democrats somehow take the Senate -- they'd refuse to confirm anyone for anything. Read More
Culture

What Self-Help Guru Tony Robbins Was Trying to Say

Tony Robbins must have known immediately that he'd made a huge mistake in how he responded to a question about #MeToo. Last month, at one of Robbins's popular, sold-out seminars, audience member Nanine McCool told the self-help guru that she thought he misunderstood the #MeToo movement. You can see the entire ... Read More
Books

Suicide of the West

Freedom is a fragile thing and is never more than one generation away from extinction. It is not ours by inheritance; it must be fought for and defended constantly by each generation, for it comes only once to a people. Those who have known freedom and then lost it have never known it again. -- Ronald Reagan, ... Read More