Credit Agencies Give Congress Triple-Loony (LLL) Rating over Sequestration

Rare move signals "depth of nutty" over showdown.

StandardPoors Headquarters
photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

S CONGRESS toys with the American people by threatening to allow sequestration cuts to go forward, all three of the nation's credit-rating agencies jointly voted to raise their rating of the dysfunctional body to Triple Loony, or LLL.

Fitch Group, Standard & Poor's, and Moody's issued a rare joint statement this morning, calling Congress's sequestration threat "the essence of triple-loony behavior: devising a punishing outcome to make sure it never happens, then doing nothing to stop it from actually happening. We believe that a LLL rating is the appropriate measure to take at this time."

Noting that Congress had functioned without a sequestration trick "for a couple of centuries before someone first got the bright idea in 1985," the rating agencies all agreed "anything less than LLL for Congress is insufficient to reflect the depth of nutty currently in circulation."

House Republicans had already achieved the LLL rating as a result of their behavior during the debt-ceiling showdown earlier this year. Their initial L rating was sparked by Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann's first term in 2007. With the 2012 Presidential campaign season, Republicans saw their rating hiked to LL immediately after they released their presidential candidate list to the press.

All three rating agencies say they "stand ready" to lower the LLL rating for Congress "at the first sign of sanity within lawmakers' ranks." For example, a Fitch analyst stated the agencies' united willingness "to drop our rating to LL and-a-half immediately if Speaker Boehner pledges in writing to turn off the water works during talks."

The joint statement concluded by recommending zero L "as the ideal rating to ensure the nation's stability," but acknowledged that this goal was "not currently within the realm of possibility, unless most members of Congress can be made to magically disappear."