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Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, who plans to announce whether she will run for president sometime next month, said Monday night that she predicted the credit rating downgrade long ago.
Palin delivered her message in a post on her Facebook page that reads at first like a economics explainer and ends like campaign stump speech. The former Republican vice presidential candidate blamed Democrats for resisting efforts fueled by the tea party to reduce spending on entitlement programs and a Congress that failed to pass a debt reduction deal big enough to avoid the downgrade.
"I'm surprised that so many people seem surprised by S&P's decision," Palin wrote in response to Standard & Poor's announcement that it was downgrading the United States debt for the first time. "Weren't people paying attention over the last year or so when we were getting warning after warning from various credit rating agencies that this was coming? I've been writing and speaking about it myself for quite some time."
S&P explained late Friday why it chose to downgrade U.S. debt, pointing to the debt reduction plan passed last week, which the company said "falls short." While there was originally a plan to reduce the debt by $4 trillion over 10 years, Republicans rejected it over proposed tax increases, and Democrats refused to cut Medicare and Social Security spending, leaving the final product about $2 trillion short.
Palin referenced her past speeches and statements where she warned that inaction in Washington could adversely affect the credit agencies' rating.
"One doesn't need a Harvard Law degree to figure this out!" she wrote, an obvious dig at the president, who attended law school at Harvard. "By what magical thinking did we figure we could run up perpetual trillion dollar deficits and still somehow avoid the unforgiving mathematics of a downgrade? Nothing is ever 'too big to fail.' And there's no such thing as a free lunch. Didn't we all learn that in our micro and macro econ classes? I did at the University of Idaho. How could Obama skip through Columbia and Harvard without learning that?"
From the moment that ABC News first reported about rumors of a possible downgrade, both sides jumped into attack mode. Appearing on CBS's' "Face the Nation," Obama campaign strategist David Axelrod called it the "tea party downgrade," while the Republican National Committee knocked Obama as "The Not So AAA President." Palin, unsurprisingly, defended the tea party. In her post, she called those who blamed the tea party for the downgrade "shamelessly cynical" and "dishonest."
"Blaming the Tea Party for our credit downgrade is akin to Nero blaming the Christians for burning Rome," she said. "Tea Party Americans weren't the ones 'fiddling' while our country's fiscal house was going up in smoke."