Our credit downgrade is pretty humiliating. The next 15 months will be spent affixing blame to "someone else". So, let's get started! I happen to think that "Cut, Cap, and Balance" was the only debt option on the table that could have prevented a downgrade.
Throughout the debate over the debt ceiling, the media did all of us a great disservice. They reported as though the Republicans were threatening to ruin America's credit unless they got their way.
Closer to the truth: If only conservatives like Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., had gotten their way -- i.e., huge spending cuts -- perhaps we wouldn't have just been downgraded by S&P. DeMint predicted ahead of time that none of the debt deals on the table except for "Cut, Cap and Balance" would prevent a downgrade. He has been vindicated.
The bond-rating houses kept saying all along that they weren't worried about the debt ceiling not being increased. Rather, they were worried about the long-term prospects of the U.S. government paying back $15-plus trillion, which is where our national debt (both publicly held and obligated to trust funds) will be shortly.
From Standard & Poor's downgrade announcement we see that they don't care how we reduce the deficit:
Standard & Poor's takes no position on the mix of spending and revenue measures that Congress and the Administration might conclude is appropriate for putting the U.S.'s finances on a sustainable footing.
However, President Obama never presented a plan for reducing the deficit at all, with spending cuts, new taxes, or anything. All he did was give speeches. The only actual written plan that could have prevented the downgrade was the "Cut, Cap, and Balance Act".