What does the S&P downgrade of US creditworthiess mean?

A very, very serious math error was allegedly behind the Standard & Poor downgrade of the US credit rating from AAA to AA+. S&P admitted the $2 trillion error, but downgraded US creditworthiness anyway.

A round-up of opinions on the downgrade.
Lots and lots of questions about whether S&P is competent to rate anybody.  Lehman Brothers and AIG were both issuing bonds that S&P rated as AAA only a month before they crashed and burnt.

Very good question by an economist.
“It would have also been worth asking what S&P thinks it means by this downgrade. U.S. government debt is payable in dollars. The U.S. government issues dollars. What does it mean that S&P thinks that at some point the government will not have the dollars needed to pay interest and principle and its outstanding debt. Does S&P think the U.S. government will forget how to print dollars?”

Yee-hah to this!
“…sound fiscal policy must take precedence over ideological hissy fits and constant threats of government shutdowns and partial-shutdowns as petty acts of gamesmanship (see: FAA shutdown, etc.)”

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