*(Via reuters) – President Barack Obama on Monday blamed a downgrade in the United States’ credit rating on political gridlock in Washington and said he would offer some recommendations on how to reduce federal deficits.
Obama said in a White House appearance that he hopes the Standard and Poor’s downgrade of U.S. debt to AA-plus from AAA will give lawmakers a new sense of urgency to tackle deficit spending and said he did not believe the reductions could be carried out with spending cuts alone.
A congressional committee, to be formed under the legislation passed last week that averted a government default, is to report its recommendations in late November on how to cut $1.5 trillion in spending over a decade.
Obama said he would offer his own recommendations for fixing the problem and cited again the need to raise taxes on wealthier Americans and make modest adjustments to popular but expensive entitlement programs.
The president has his work cut out for him convincing investors that American companies and markets continue to be a good place for their money.
The markets continue to falter, as the NASDAQ and the S&P 500 dropped over 4 percent on Monday. For its part the Dow was down more than 500 points as of this report.
The latest fall came on news that Standard & Poor’s had dropped the credit ratings of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, as part of its larger debt downgrade for the United States.