You would think that this poll showing "Americans' confidence in Congress is not only at its lowest point on record, but also is the worst Gallup has ever found for any institution it has measured since 1973" would be so embarrassing to those on Capital Hill that they would take immediate steps to change the situation.
S&P must feel as if it just can't do anything right when it comes to rating the U.S. debt.
Financial markets and investors largely ignored Standard & Poor's when it downgraded U.S. debt in August 2011 in the wake of Congress and the White House narrowly averting a debt ceiling crisis by enacting the Budget Control Act. In fact, in spite of S&P's new assessment that they weren't as good an investment, interest rates went down rather than up as Wall Street did what it typically does in the face of increased uncertainty: It bought more Treasuries.
And with interest rates falling and their constituents' personal finances unaffected, members of Congress ignored the downgrade.
In other words, the S&P action had virtually no impact. The only thing that took a hit was S&P's own corporate reputation.
Here’s something you haven’t heard from anyone else: Tax reform is at least three years away...and even that may be optimistic. In fact, I'm not expecting a serious tax reform effort until 2017.
Note that I said "effort" rather than a bill. Comprehensive tax reform is far more likely to be enacted towards the end of the decade than it is to be in place before the 2016 presidential election.
Yes, I know that absolutely is not the common wisdom. House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI) has been saying all year that he wants to put tax reform on a fast track so it can be enacted this year. Just a few months ago House Republicans were threatening to make a process for tax reform the price of their supporting the next increase in the federal debt ceiling. And when Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus
(R-MT) (D-MT) announced that he wasn’t going to run for re-election, there was a flurry of speculation about how that decision would make tax reform more likely to happen this year.