Economy & Budget

Obama in Aug. 2011: No danger of another recession

Obama in Aug. 2011: No danger of another recession

A little more than a year ago, speaking to CBS Sunday Morning, Barack Obama said, “I don’t think we’re in danger of another recession, but we are in danger of not having a recovery that’s fast enough to deal with what is a genuine unemployment crisis for a whole lot of folks out there, and that’s why we need to be doing more.”

“… I expect to be judged a year from now on whether or not things have continued to get better.”

They haven’t.

That’s why Obama and friends are singularly focused on critical issues like Mitt Romney’s tax returns and dog whistles. This month, consumer confidence fell to a nine-month low as Americans continued to be anxious about the economy and unemployment. The Conference Board confidence index fell to 60.6, the lowest level since November. That does not bode well for an unemployment rate that has been over 8 percent for 42 months.

Add to that the fear of rising gas prices — the average price of a gallon of gasoline spiked 23.5 cents last month — and the potential of European and/or Middle Eastern troubles to shake markets, and a lot of people may be feeling like a brittle economy is about to shatter.

But, hey, have you heard that Mitt Romney made a birther joke!?

There’s plenty of talk about hard economic data (improving housing numbers, for instance) failing to sync up with consumer sentiment. Perhaps Americans have an intuitive reluctance to believe we’re in an actual recovery, because “recovery” is not what they see. And with an election bearing down on them, it’s difficult for them to ferret out any reason to be positive about the future. Can you blame them?

As the Congressional Budget Office reported, the U.S. economy will likely slip back into recession in 2013 if Washington can’t make a deal on the federal budget. You’ve, no doubt, heard about the array of scheduled tax increases that will hit come January. The CBO states, in its  biannual report, that those tax hikes, coupled with automatic spending cuts, would shrink the economy by 0.5 percent and push unemployment to 9 percent with “economic conditions in 2013 that will probably be considered a recession.”

There is only one place in the United States where people are optimistic about their economic future — and with this president, they have every reason to be.

That Gallup index is based on daily polls of “American adults about current economic conditions and perceptions of where the economy is heading.”

But as long as the president is focused on Bain Capital, I’m sure everything will be ok.

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