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?

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