Newest Fox News piece: The S&P Downgrade Is a Wake Call for All Americans
When Standard & Poors downgraded Spain's bonds from AAA to AA+ in January 2009, its interest rates increased from 4.1 to 4.3 percent.
When the same ratings agency downgraded Ireland's from AAA to AA+ in March 2009, their interest rate rose by about 0.4 percentage points.
So what does that mean for Standard & Poors in terms of downgrading the U.S. bond rating?
With our $14.6 trillion in national debt, raising the U.S. government interest rates by the same amounts would eventually add about $29 to $58 billion a year in increased interest costs -- small change when we are already facing a $1.63 trillion deficit this year. And not all of that increase would be immediately felt since we only face the higher interest rate on newly issued bonds.
The problem with these downgrades is that they have a tendency to quickly spiral out of control. . . .