The recent decision by Standard & Poor’s to downgrade its credit rating of U.S. government debt from AAA to AA+ resulted not from lack of money, but poor governance performance by federal officials.

Circle_of_GovernanceThe recent decision by Standard & Poor’s to downgrade its credit rating of U.S. government debt from AAA to AA+ resulted not from lack of money, but poor governance performance by federal officials. A number of long-term trends have paralyzed policymakers and made it difficult to address pressing problems. Unless these conditions improve, it will be difficult for elected leaders to address the budget deficit.

  • Super-Majority Requirements in the U.S. Senate
  • Extreme Politics in the U.S. House of Representatives
  • Excessive Political Polarization Across the Country
  • Partisan Redistricting in American Elections
  • Low Voter Turnout Encourages Political Leaders to Play to the Base

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Source: Darrell M. West | Brookings Institution