The financial services company Standard & Poor’s lowered its outlook on the US federal debt yesterday, but as Nation contributor Melissa Harris-Perry said on The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell last night, we should take this news with a grain of salt. The S&P has a real credibility problem because, back in 2007 and 2008, the company was giving AAA ratings to the mortgage industry even as the economy was collapsing.

The dilemma now, Harris-Perry says, is that the GOP has completely given up on any plan that could fix America’s financial problems. It’s a "really crazy thing," she says, that America has a real way it could raise revenues that would not create pains for ordinary Americans, yet Republicans refuse to budge on their platform. Tax deductions for corporations could be eliminated, but the GOP would rather protect corporations instead of working to save the social safety net in America.

—Kevin Gosztola