Bush Insists Recession Not Coming- Asks For New “Rosy Glasses” Stimulus Package

Denying the claims of economists nationwide, President Bush today said that HE doesn’t think the nation is headed towards recession.

“I’m concerned about the economy. I don’t think we’re headed to recession. But no question, we’re in a slowdown.”

At the White House news conference, Bush also claimed that the dollar was still strong:

“I believe that our economy has got the fundamentals in place for us to … grow and continue growing, more robustly hopefully than we’re growing now. So we’re still for a strong dollar.”

And he’s quite proud of the faux-stimulus plan passed by Congress and signed by him-you know the one that borrows another $150 billion from foreigners so he can give taxpayers a small shot in the financial arm at the expense of future generations descended from those same taxpayers:

“We acted robustly…we’ll see the effects of this pro-growth package.”

And he rejected any additional stimulus plans for now:

“Why don’t we let stimulus package 1, which seemed like a good idea at the time, have a chance to kick in?”

Which seemed like a good idea at the time? Is he implying that just maybe it wasn’t really such a splendid economic plan, but rather a meaningless pander and giveaway that ultimately does nothing but bury this country further?

When asked about growing consumer concern about the economy, and in particular about the possibility of gasoline costs reaching the $4 mark by summer, Bush had this to say:

“That’s interesting. I hadn’t heard that. … I know it’s high now.”

All of these are telling signs of an executive completely out of touch with reality. Of course, we know that Bush has been out of touch with reality for most of his life, so none of these pronouncements should be a surprise, considering the source. But it almost stretches incredulity to accept that our nation’s leader is this far out of touch with reality, the reality that most economists recognize and that most Americans are enduring as best they can.

Earlier this week, my local paper pulled out the super-font to declare STAGFLATION- that lovely economic state marked by stagnant economic growth, rampant inflation and rising unemployment. And many economists agree that the outlook is not at all comforting.

“We have stagflation,” said Peter Schiff, head of Euro Pacific Capital in Newport Beach. “No matter what the government numbers say, we’re in a recession already, especially if you measure our growth against foreign currencies or gold. And even by the government’s figures, we clearly have very high inflation – and the government data really don’t capture the extent of how prices are rising.”

Right- food and energy costs aren’t included in federal economic numbers…as if the costs of these items don’t really affect average folks. Silly of us to be concerned if we have a tough time filling the gas tank so we can get to work to earn enough money to decide whether to fill the tank again or feed the family some food that might actually be good for them.

Let’s see here…among the signs of recession, the dollar is weak and getting weaker (hell- the Canadian dollar is worth more the the US dollar), gold is surging (which occurs when the dollar is so weak), the Fed keeps cutting interest rates, home foreclosures are at decade highs, unemployment is rising, inflation is rising….yep, I can see why Bush thinks we’re going along fine.

The president isn’t too worried:

“We’ll make it through this period just like we made it through other periods of uncertainty during my presidency.”

Oh right… rough periods like Katrina and Iraq. ‘Nuff said Mr. President.

WHEW! And to think I was worried there for a minute. I’d like to get a pair of those rose colored glasses Bush has. Maybe he could offer that as a stimulus plan.

(cross posted at Common Sense)

8 Responses to “Bush Insists Recession Not Coming- Asks For New “Rosy Glasses” Stimulus Package”

  1. steve Says:

    Hate to say it to you Ken because I like you but I cannot stand it when an argument is made about the economic prosperity of this country using and twisting things that only come out of Bush’s mouth.

    When it comes to the economy, there is only one person(s) you should listen to and it’s not Bush or Ben Bernanke, it’s the people. Yeah, gas is high, the dollar is weak…. costs are rising but shit, fly Southwest Airlines… the flights are still full. I am sure the 5 and the 8 are still full of traffic right now at 5:30 pm. Stores aren’t closed on Sundays. Point being, people are still moving and working harder…. going to the movies, washing their cars and hanging out at restaurants on the weekends. If the streets were empty and I could get a seat with out a reservation at my favorite restaurant on a Friday, I’d start to worry. Especially if the unemployment rate, still at a historically low rate, were suddenly to rise 3-4 points. Then I’d worry… it would be recession time. But now… not so fast. I worry about the mortgage crisis…. but it is what it is: Americans not reading the fine print on a too good to be true loan. Some how that is the President’s fault? Because if it wasn’t Bush, it would have been Gore’s or Kerry’s watch.

    Whether or not prices are really or the economy is good or bad, somebody some is going to get the shit end of the stick more or less. Taking apart some statements by a President or finance guy like the fed chair is completely meaningless on a political blog.

  2. Liberal Jarhead Says:

    Talk to the trucking companies. Interstate shipping of durable goods is way down; that is an indicator that we’re in the front end of a recession now.

    The airlines? On January 8, Reuters reported: “The U.S. airline industry is retrenching as routes that made sense a year ago are unlikely to be profitable amid soaring fuel prices and a U.S. economy that may be teetering towards a recession.”

    The interstates are full at rush hour? Since when is that significant? You have lots of people taking on extra jobs at lousy pay to make ends meet. That generates more traffic, but it isn’t a sign of prosperity.

    Stores being open Sundays? Again, so what? I’m seeing stores extending their hours because business is lagging.

    For years, economists have been pointing out that the drops we’ve seen in unemployment this decade haven’t been because fewer people were out of work, but because more people gave up and quit looking for jobs. The unemployment figures only list people who are actively looking for work. You’ll note that the Bush administration has fought hard against extending unemployment benefits as being something we can’t afford.

    As for the mortgage crisis, the enabling factor was the deregulation of the loan industry. And that would not have happened under an administration that didn’t deregulate that industry, like they did the energy industry. That turned out really well too, by the way, didn’t it? How did you like those rolling blackouts, Steve?

    The president and his administration get a big chunk of the blame for the economy’s deterioration because of the massive deficit they created via stupid tax cuts for the wealthiest 2% of Americans and corporations and via the Iraq war, according to most economists.

    And regardless of how it happened, the president’s job is to address the situation realistically, work with experts to find solutions, and lead the effort to solve the problem. Not to deny the problem is what it is. At this point, to deny that we’re in the early part of a recession is just denial, period.

  3. me Says:

    I know one thing about economics: economies are cyclical. They grow and they contract and then they grow again. This is true no matter which party has control of the White House. I have read that Bush II has presided over the longest recorded period of continuous jobs growth. How long did folks think that would keep up? Forever? The last several administrations have intentionally kept a very tight reign on monetary policy but have so far failed to prevent recessions from occurring. Was Clinton responsible for the last recession?

  4. me Says:

    Correction: free economies are cyclical. The freer they are, the greater potential for growth. The more regulated and centrally controlled they are, the greater stagflation. So far as I know, no economic theory has resulted in unending growth. Recessions seem to be inevitable. That is not to say that economic theories as practiced by governments cannot effect economic trends. Clearly they can and do. I’m just saying that, in my opinion, presidents are generally given way too much blame for economic woes by those of the opposing parties and presidents take (and are given by their own parties) way too much credit for economic good times. The “Worst economy since Hoover” was always nothing more than rhetorical hog-wash, taken as a statement of the condition of the overall economy or of the president’s peculiar responsibility for the small segment complaint that the bumper-sticker sound-bite was meant to criticize, in my opinion.

  5. Christopher Radulich Says:

    First I find it amazing that the bush could be so out of touch that he has not heard the $4.00 a gallon or more by summer.

    The unemployment numbers measure the people who are getting unemployment insurance from the state. So after 6 months in Ny when I still did not have a job I was no longer counted in the unemployment numbers.

    You always hear about the invisible hand and how the government should not interfere with the economy. Yet I do not hear wall street complaining when the Feds interfere by lowering interest rates. For years I hear the mantra of the Fed was to control inflation by adjusting the interest rates. This would provide a stable environment for the economy to grow over the long run. The current policies mirror the 1970 that led to huge stagflation. I see no reason to assume that the results will not be the same

  6. manapp99 Says:

    “Denying the claims of economists nationwide, President Bush today said that HE doesn’t think the nation is headed towards recession.”e

    Actually the claims of of a looming recession are from the media, not economist:

    “Media Nearly Unanimous: ‘Recession’ Inevitable
    Networks overwhelmingly predict recession in 2008 but ignore surveys of economists showing majority do not expect recession.

    1/16/2008 1:40:50 PM

    Recent polls of economists by leading financial publications have predicted a less than 50-percent chance that the U.S. economy will enter a recession in 2008. But the media’s coverage of “recession” makes it seem inevitable.”

    http://www.businessandmedia.org/printer/2008/20080116131609.aspx

    “The broadcast media mentioned the economy or a recession in 54 stories during the first two weeks of 2008. The segments predicted a recession or reported fears of a looming recession four times as often as they reported optimism about the New Year, even though recent surveys of economists put the chance of recession at 40 percent to 42 percent.”

    “A survey of 62 economists conducted by Bloomberg News and released January 9 showed those economists predicting 1.5-percent growth in the first half of 2008. While that rate of expansion would be the weakest since the last nine months of 2001, it would still be growth. The economists also put the chances of recession in 2008 at 40 percent.

    A similar survey by the Wall Street Journal found comparable results. In that poll economists put the chance of recession at 42 percent and predicted growth of less than 2 percent.”

    Then there is this concerning the role of the media and ‘creating” the recession they keep predicting:

    “Media outlets largely fail to recognize their role in paving the way toward recession. With incessant negative reporting, dotted only sporadically with positive reports, the media are contributing to consumers’ fears. But analysts recognize the correlation.

    “We have to hope that the consumer doesn’t decide there’s a real recession coming because then they’ll close their pocketbook and we’ll really have one,” Bill Seidman, an NBC financial analyst, said on the January 10 “Nightly News.”

    Your opening line should have read:

    Denying the claims of MEDIA PUNDITS nationwide, President Bush today said that HE doesn’t think the nation is headed towards recession.

    Who’s preditions on the economy would you value more, an economist or a news anchor?

  7. Ken Grandlund Says:

    Craig-

    In general, I agree with your estimation about presidents and the credit-blame they get with regards to the economy. I also tend to agree that economic patterns are cyclical.

    However, in the case of Bush, he has made some very troubling decisions regarding how our money is spent, to whom it goes, and so far I’ve seen little to indicate that those have been wise monetary policies. Also, his lax regulatory policies have allowed some sectors of the economy to suffer greatly at the hands of charlatans with little possible recourse.

    The War on Terror has spent trillions of dollars now with few tangible results, unless you count our national reputation being tarnished greatly as a positive result.

    The cutting of federal oversight agencies have led to tainted products in agriculture that have cost untold millions in commercial output, among other things.

    The federally mandated education plan from Bush has led to no real increase in education scores for our children but has hamstrung local school budgets who must now tie spending to score performance just in order to keep what federal funds they receive.

    The no-bid, outcourced functions once performed more cheaply and efficiently by government agencies has helped bleed the treasury dry.

    These are specific actions taken by Bush, and by no means could be considered a complete list, that have harmed the economy of our country and caused economic strife for millions of Americans.

    I don’t blame Bush for the normal cyclical changes of the economy- as agreed upon, these are normal for our type of economic system. But I can, and should, blame Bush for all the bad decisions he’s made to exacerbate what would probably have been a momentary economic downtick into what may well end up being a repeat of the horrible 70’s economy.

    And on top of that, I certainly call call him an idiot for pretending that all is well in the land when too much evidence exists to say that isn’t the case.

  8. manapp99 Says:

    “And on top of that, I certainly call call him an idiot for pretending that all is well in the land when too much evidence exists to say that isn’t the case.”

    Bush did not say all ins well, he said:

    “I’m concerned about the economy. I don’t think we’re headed to recession. But no question, we’re in a slowdown.”

    You say:

    “At the White House news conference, Bush also claimed that the dollar was still strong:”

    But what Bush said was:

    “I believe that our economy has got the fundamentals in place for us to … grow and continue growing, more robustly hopefully than we’re growing now. So we’re still for a strong dollar.”

    He did not say the dollar IS strong but that he is FOR a strong dollar.

    If you re-read his statements without the Bush hater glasses on you will be able to understand his comments better.

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