Friday, May 22, 2009

Gibbs Says He Doubts U.S. Credit Rating Will Be Cut

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said he doesn’t believe the U.S.’s AAA credit rating will be cut.

In response to questions at his regular briefing, Gibbs said President Barack Obama isn’t concerned about “a change in our credit rating.” Asked if he expects a change, Gibbs said, “I don’t believe they will be cut.”

Investors sent U.S. bond and currency markets lower amid concern for the AAA rating after Standard & Poor’s lowered its outlook yesterday on the U.K.’s AAA rating to “negative” from “stable.”

Obama’s administration has pushed the nation’s marketable debt to an unprecedented $6.36 trillion. On May 11, it raised its estimate for this year’s deficit to a record $1.84 trillion, up 5 percent from the February estimate, and equal to about 13 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product.

Gibbs said Obama is focused on getting the $787 billion stimulus package in place to create jobs and help the economy rebound from a recession that began in December 2007.

“Short-term, the way to bring down the deficit is to get this economy moving again,” Gibbs said. “Medium- to long-term, we have to get our fiscal house back in order, and that’s why the president was pleased that Congress passed a budget that cuts the deficit in half in four years.”

Gibbs said Congress must enact pay-as-you-go legislation, which means that spending increases must be financed by reduced spending elsewhere in the budget or more revenue.