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Mass. Braces For Effects Of Possible Default As Debt Ceiling Looms

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(Photo credit SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)

(Photo credit SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)

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BOSTON/WASHINGTON, DC (CBS/AP) – Senate leaders have already vowed to vote down a bill that the Republican-sponsored House just passed on the debt ceiling.

With time running out, the inaction in Washington, DC is on the minds of people across the country, including here in Massachusetts.

Jack Palano, who owns a building on Main Street in Wakefield, calls it all: “Very childish. Basically you have one special interest group on one end who can’t agree with the special interest group on the other end, and it would be nice if they could do what’s right for the country. I think each side has to give. Each side has to give. Republicans have to agree to raise taxes a little, and Democrats have to agree to cut spending, because it really isn’t right that we’re living off our children’s money and our grandchildren’s.”

WBZ-TV’s Karen Anderson reports

Bill Brodbine of Wakefield says he doesn’t want to see people hurt if there is no action taken, but “I have mixed emotions about it, and I wonder when the spending will ever end at all, because we’re way over spending in this country for so long.”

Arthur Assimakopoulos, whose family owns Brother’s Deli and Restaurant, says the uncertainty is difficult for business. “With the path four years, we’ve kind of gotten used to it. You don’t know what’s going to happen day to day. It’s kind of unbelievable. You have to get used to not knowing what the market or economy is going to be tomorrow.”

Merlene Umano of Melrose sums up her feelings like this: “It makes me feel very unhappy because I just feel the people in Washington are not doing their jobs.”

The threat of negative side effects are already being felt in Massachusetts.

On Friday, the Massachusetts’ congressional delegation protested a warning from a major credit rating agency that they might downgrade the credit ratings of several municipalities in the state.

Moody’s Investors Service announced it would review the possible downgrade of U.S. municipalities and other institutions due to the indirect effects of the possible downgrade of federal government bonds because of the ongoing impasse over the federal debt limit.

Moody’s has listed 162 local governments in 31 states.

In Massachusetts, those communities include Newton, Brookline, Lexington, Concord, Wellesley, Wayland, Hingham, Dover and others.

In a letter to Moody’s, the entire delegation said there’s “no rational basis” for the threatened downgrade.

They called on Moody’s to give the municipalities an opportunity to show they can meet their obligations and maintain their triple-A ratings.

(TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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