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      Albany reacts to U.S. credit rating threats

      Concerns are rising over the national deficit and the United States ability to meet its financial obligations. Now, many are wondering what effect a lower credit rating could have on the local economy " and on their pocketbooks.

      The national debt of the United States currently stands at 9.7 trillion dollars. On Monday, credit agency Standard and Poor TMs fired a shot across the bow of the nation TMs financial ship warning that action must be taken to preserve the country TMs AAA rating.

      It TMs not a decision S&P takes lightly. "Based on projections of economic growth, based on the reasonableness of future budgets, they TMll make a judgment as to whether to give a country a tripe ~A TM rating," said Economist Aaron Johnson.

      A lower credit rating could cause other countries to charge higher interest on the money it loans the United States. The trickle-down effect could lead to higher interest rates across the board for all Americans " including Southwest Georgians. "If the interest rates increase on those bonds, then mortgage rates will increase so that TMs going to be burdensome to both businesses and consumers alike," said Johnson.

      FOX 31 spoke with local citizens and get their reaction to the deficit issue. Some of them told us they don TMt see the money being spent inside the United States as a problem. What concerns them is the financial assistance being sent outside the country.

      "We have other industrialized countries that are in better financial status than we are but they TMre not giving the aid to the amount of countries around the world that we do," said Jean Cook.

      "I feel if the United States starts focusing more on the United States, then maybe it won TMt be so bad as it is with the economy and the deficit," said Debra Green.

      Others see the matter as one more example of politics-as-usual.

      "People are so concerned with supporting their individual party, their own little place, that they TMre not looking out for the good of everybody," said Laura Wince.

      "They TMre politicians," added Tim Harris. "They have their own issues. They have their own agendas and what they end up having to do is compromise."