Washington (CNN) - Two top financial voices from different sides of the aisle voiced outrage on Sunday over Standard & Poor's downgrade of the United States’ credit rating, but disagreed on whom to put the blame.
Steve Forbes, CEO of Forbes, Inc. and a former Republican presidential candidate called S&P's downgrade from AAA to AA+ Friday, "an outrageous move" given that the government can still pay the interest and principal on its bonds.
"I'm surprised S&P would play politics," Forbes said on CNN's "State of the Union."
Larry Summers, former director of the National Economic Council under President Barack Obama, agreed that the U.S. will pay its debts.
"S&P's track record has been terrible and as we've seen this weekend its arithmetic is worse," Summers said on CNN's "State of the Union." "So there's nothing good to say about what they've done."
In a report Friday, S&P ruled that the plan agreed upon by Congress and the Obama administration to raise the debt ceiling fell short of the necessary measures to stabilize the government. They also cited dysfunctional policymaking as a factor in the downgrade, the first for the U.S.
But Summers placed the blame on House Republicans, who he said "played chicken with America's credit worthiness." He also defended the Obama administration, whose stimulus program at the beginning of the administration helped economic growth and who he said could not have foreseen the European financial crisis or high energy prices.
"God knows if we hadn't pursued these policies we would be looking at another version of what happened in the 1930s," Summers said.
Forbes defended Congressional Republicans, who he said were elected to "undo the fiscal damage" of the Obama administration.
"We're like an automobile going 25 miles per hour when at this stage we should be on an open highway going 75 miles per hour," Forbes said.
It is the slow growth, Forbes said, that is causing private capital to flee overseas.
"They don't see productive investment opportunities here at home and that has to be laid at the feet of the Obama administration," Forbes said. "They're the ones that put in this massive spending and the health care and all of these other regulations. Can't blame all that on George Bush."
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