It is ironic that Standard & Poor's, one of the three major credit rating agencies at the heart of the financial crisis, would downgrade the United States' credit rating from triple-A to AA+. After all, S&P should have properly assessed the asset-backed housing securities that led to the Great Recession not as investment-grade but what they actually were. Junk.
A full $3 trillion of the $14.3 trillion U.S. deficit that S&P cited as its main reason for the downgrade has been spent as a result of the recession that S&P helped cause. This money has been put into emergency bailout measures to maintain some stability in the economy and prevent the recession from becoming a full blown-out depression. This includes the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), Federal Reserve rescue efforts and stimulus programs.