The U.S. national debt on April 18.
Stocks fell on Monday after the Standard & Poor’s rating firm lowered the outlook for long-term United States debt to negative from stable because of uncertainty over the nation's fiscal issues. It also affirmed the government’s AAA rating.
President Obama and Republican lawmakers have suggested differing plans to cut the federal deficit by at least $4 trillion over the next 10 to 12 years. Standard & Poor's said the changed outlook signaled its view that "U.S. policymakers might not reach an agreement on how to address medium- and long-term budgetary challenges by 2013."
What does the S.&P.; move say about the economy and deficit fears? Or is it, as Obama administration officials contend, largely a political judgment that doesn't go beyond what we know? Read the Discussion »