Standard & Poor's cut its outlook on U.S. government debt. It is keeping its AAA rating for now, but the rating is going from stable to negative. The stock market reacted to this news with a sharp decline.
Next thing you know, there will be a report that politicians sometimes act in a corrupt way and people will be shocked by the news. If you detected some sarcasm, it is because this news is not news at all. The only thing newsworthy about it is that some in the establishment are starting to at least acknowledge that there may be a problem (and yes, S&P is part of the establishment).
If S&P were really honest, the U.S. would have lost its AAA status many years ago. There is no possible way that the current debt will be paid off, unless it is done through massive inflation (which is, in a sense, a default of its own).
I suppose that it's a good thing that more people are realizing that there is a major problem that has been created by DC. The current course is unsustainable and something is going to change. A lot of people are going to be unhappy, whether it is people having more taken from them by the government or people losing out on their free lunches.
The politicians in DC will continue to run up the debt until one of two things happen. Either the law of economics will eventually force them to cut because the Fed can't create any more new money without risking hyperinflation, or Americans will put an end to it. For Americans to put an end to the reckless spending, we will need to see more than a few tea party people elected to Congress.
If Americans really desperately wanted lower spending right now, then it would happen. The problem is that the opposition to big government is not strong enough right now. Even if it is an even split, guess which way the politicians will come down. Americans need to stop worrying about voting the "right" people into office. Instead, they need to educate themselves and help educate others. Americans need to stop depending on government and expressly withdraw their consent. If half of Americans turned into minarchists and/or anarcho-capitalists overnight, then the federal government would just about dissolve in a short period of time just based on public opinion. This would hold true for any country.