CEI Urges Action and Caution on Ratings Downgrade

Lee Doren, 202-331-2259

Nicole Ciandella, 202-331-2773

Washington, D.C., August 8, 2011 – In the wake of the Standard and Poor’s downgrade of U.S. debt, the Competitive Enterprise Institute urges federal lawmakers to slash both spending and the mountains of regulatory red tape that are keeping the economy from growing. For the bloated federal government to regain its AAA rating, Congress needs to pursue policies that will restore economic growth and dynamism.

Iain Murray, director of CEI’s Center for Economic Freedom and author of the new book, Stealing You Blind, makes the case today in PajamasMedia.com that, “reining in excessive regulation can kill two birds with one stone, as it would provide real benefits in terms of government revenue, as increased economic activity leads to greater tax receipts.”

In The American Spectator today, CEI scholars John Berlau and Matthew Melchiorre note that, while the downgrade may have been warranted and other agencies have downgraded U.S. debt already, S&P has become so powerful in large part by regulations that protect it from completion: “Advocates of limited government, while making the obvious point that the downgrade is in large part a result of uncontrolled federal spending that accelerated massively under the Obama administration, must be careful to keep the focus on restoring economic growth, rather than maintaining a subjective measure of the nation’s credit rating. For S&P and the other big rating agencies, long beneficiaries and enablers of big government policies, are experiencing somewhat of a market downgrade themselves.”