Recession Obsession

( – promoted by Cool Cal)

All day Wednesday, the Fox News Channel was repeating some poll in which around 45% of Americans believed we are in a recession.  It’s not like the signs aren’t all around us.

While Neil Cavuto reminded fact-challenged, Clinton operative Lanny Davis that 95% of homeowners are indeed paying their mortgages on time, Davis continued his recitation that America is spiraling downward.

Despite all the doom and gloom, America is not in a recession, in fact, according to our rule of economics, “if the economy contracts for six straight months it is considered to be in a recession.  That, however, didn’t happen in the last recession in 2001”, and it isn’t happening now.

Soaring gas prices, higher food prices, and a sputtering job market aren’t helping things but since the Democrat presidential candidates, in an effort to differentiate themselves from President Bush, chose the economy as a topic to beat on, well, if you repeat something often enough, people will believe it.

Just last fall, the stock market was soaring, jobs were plentiful, the sub-prime mortgage mess was just starting to rear its ugly head, but the economy was rolling along full steam.  That is, until presidential candidates who have to appear at photo-op visits to people’s places of employment so they can understand what “ordinary people” do, decided to call ours the worst economy since the Hoover Administration.

According to Fox News and Associated Press,

Many analysts were predicting gross domestic product (GDP) growth would come in at 0.5 percent during the January – March 2008 period.  Earlier this year, some economists thought the economy actually would lurch into reverse during the opening quarter.

The latest numbers reported Wednesday by the Commerce Department also did not meet what economists consider the classic definition of a recession, a retraction of the economy.  This means that although the economy is stuck in a rut, it is still managing to grow, even if the growth is modest.

So why do so many Americans believe we are in recession?  Ignorance of what the true definition of a recession is.  The fact that presidential candidates are repeating this inaccuracy doesn’t help either.

The economy’s in trouble.  When the housing crisis broke, Hillary Clinton called for action: a freeze on foreclosures.  Barack Obama said, no.  Now, gas prices are skyrocketing, and she’s ready to act again.  Hillary’s plan: Use the windfall profits of the oil companies to pay to suspend the gas tax this summer.  Barack Obama says no, again.  People are hurting.  It’s time for a president who’s ready to take action now.

Clinton campaign ad running in Indiana and North Carolina

If Hillary Clinton says so, it must be true.

I’m here to tell you the truth.  We could suspend the gas tax for six months, but that’s not going to bring down gas prices long-term.  You’re gonna save about 25, 30 dollars, or half a tank of gas.  That’s typical of how Washington works.  There’s a problem, everybody’s upset about gas prices, let’s find some short-term, quick-fix that we can say we did something even though, even though we’re not really doing anything.  We cannot deliver on a better energy policy unless we change how business is done in Washington.  We’ve got to go out to the oil companies and look at their price-gouging.  We’ve got to start using less oil, and that means raising fuel-efficiency standards on cars and developing alternative fuels.  That’s the real honest answer to how we’re going to solve this problem.  That’s what you need from a president – someone who’s going to tell you the truth.

Obama campaign ad running in Indiana and North Carolina

Now, let’s be honest.

If a President Obama or Clinton were currently running for a second term while the economy was in this mess, do you think they’d be calling it a recession?  Of course not.  They’d be calling it what it is.  A “correction”, a “bump in the road”, “nothing we can’t and won’t recover from”.  You know, optimistic phrases like that.

If Republicans were in control of the House and Senate, they would be receiving the brunt of the blame by our candidates.  For example, since Democrats took control of Capitol Hill, gasoline prices have risen over a dollar a gallon.  Has anyone blamed them?  No, because save for the fact they tax gasoline, they have very little effect on the markets.  But depending on who’s in power, and who seeks it, they’ll either receive or be spared blame.

Unfortunately, the left relies on the ignorance of the American people to scare them into thinking and doing what they want.  Right now, they want your vote, so everything that can go wrong in America, according to presidential candidates, is.

Will we recover?  Yes.

The real question should be, are you obsessing about a recession that is not?

About BobParks

  • fdr08

    I was in Florida over school vacation week. A lot of New Englanders and New Yorkers were there. The theme parks were packed at $67 bucks per head. Restaurants full. Highways crowded. Plenty of money being spent.

    Yes, gas is expensive and it is trickling down thru the food supply, but core prices for other commodities are down.

    If you bought a home in the last two years you probably are in your own personal recession.

    So to answer your question, NO I am not obsessing about the recession.

  • Hi BobParks,

    Following the numbers for a long time I have to say this entire media circus has been a Huge Scam by the monied elite, our government, and press.

    Hey WMD and Iraq as villians extraordinare once again repeated, and repeated again and again.

    The new name by the elite and monied is the “Credit Crisis” so that many will think that somehow consumers are part of the problem and the arguement. This helps the bale outs for the really wealthy screw ups that have caused this problem. I mean some of these people and CEO’s should be in jail or have to serve front line time in Iraq.

    The real name should be something like “Financial Sector Spoiled Irresponsible Child Syndrome”

    It will correct and recently I heard that the Bank of England reported that we in the USA were all screwed up in our 400-600 Billion number prediction.

    The reason this is so bad is because those on wall street where allowed to be so so shoddy for so long due to P43 and Cheney and even Clinton and Newt.

  • Renee

    while it may be technically a correction, highs and lows are farther and farther apart.

    Been feeling ‘the recession’ personally

  • You are correct that Americans are ignorant about what a recession actually is.  So when Americans are asked about whether we are in a recession, the question really is “do you think the economy is good or bad?”  And Americans think the economy is bad.  

    A good reason to think that things aren’t swell is arriving in my mailbox any day.  If the economy was good, would I be receiving a stimulus check?

    It isn’t only ignorant Americans that have a lack of optimism concerning the economy.  The former Fed chair didn’t have very encouraging words:

    “We would have to see signs of this intensification: there are some, but not many yet,” he said. “Therefore … I would not describe the situation we are in as a recession, although the chances that we’ll have one are more than 50 percent.”

    I’m also not very reassured by Neil Cavuto saying that “95% of homeowners are indeed paying their mortgages on time.”  How many millions of homeowners is that?  And how many more are just barely able to make their payments?

  • seems like I’m the only one that’s having no problem with this overall economic downturn.  So my gas is up….I take the T a little more.  When I don’t, paying another $3 to fill my tank simply does not hurt me.  I get 30mpg and CHOOSE to get 30mpg….used to CHOOSE to get 12 mpg.  I have a marketable skill that gets me decent salary  I CHOSE to go to school, get ass-loads of student loans, and get a marketable skill instead of majoring in philosophy.

    My groceries haven’t gone up one penny.  I buy my meat on sale and buy a lot of it when it is and fill up my freezer with, say, $3.99/lb steak tips (got 15 bags of the things in there right now).  I buy everything else when it’s on sale and stock up.  I get frozen veggies on sale and stock up for when there’s no fresh veggies on sale.  Really, I simply buy everything on sale and am not a “brand snob” about it (other than my coffee….all Melita all the time.)

    Matter of fact, my grocery bill is down this year thus far by over $100…yes, I Excel-track my spending.

    So my heat was up all winter.  I set the ‘stat at 62 and wore a lot of fleece and slippers and plasticized the windows…..and my overall heat $$$$ went down over the last year.  Electricity will be up this summer….so I will not have the A/C set at 68 degrees……might set it  to 75 and “suffer.”  

    Waiting for plane tix to Minneapolis to go down from the current $350-400 so I can take a long 4th weekend out there with 300+ crazy family members……and if it doesn’t go down, I will pony up whatever the heck it costs to get me out there.

    Am I the only one out there having no problems?