There's something deeply weird going on here. Wall Street is allegedly worried over a default that's not going to happen, or else it's worried about the fiscal opinions of some rating agency analysts who don't know anything more about the financial future of the United States than anyone else. And those opinions don't even make much sense. The United States remains highly productive; the deficit of the past three years is completely justifiable; our long-term healthcare problems are exactly the same as every other advanced country in the world and exactly the same as they've been for years; and the current stalemate in Congress is — what? Six months old? They're talking about a downgrade of 30-year sovereign debt from the safest, most powerful country in the world based on a political spat that's been going on for less than a year?When it is stated this way it becomes completely clear that the entire thing is about the Republican crazies (A minority in the minority party) trying to force the majority of Americans to swallow libertarian economic and social prescriptions that will devastate the American middle class very quickly.
This is crazy.
The Republican party was somewhat crazy under Nixon, quite crazy under Reagan and George H. W. Bush, utterly insane when they took over Congress in 1994, and became destructive of almost everything important in America when Bush/Cheney stole the 2000 Presidential election. Since then they have gone downhill. If they hadn't had the southern racists, FOX News, and some extremely rich and very weird families like the Koch brothers supporting them while the mass media has undergone a disastrous decline in revenues, no one would pay any more attention to the tea baggers than they do to beggars in the street in the poorer parts of a big city.
But those idiots are getting the attention they don't deserve, and as a result America is moving rapidly downward into the second tier of industrial nations as a result.
I see no chance that America will wise up and again become one of the premier nations in the world any time soon.