Tuesday, December 2, 2008


So after a year of mortgage meltdowns, burning banks, unravelling unemployment and economic exigency, we are now officially considered in a recession. And we've been in one for the past year. No shit, Sherlock.

The NBER — a private, nonprofit research organization — said its group of academic economists who determine business cycles met and decided that the U.S. recession began last December.
By one benchmark, a recession occurs whenever the gross domestic product, the total output of goods and services, declines for two consecutive quarters. The GDP turned negative in the July-September quarter of this year, and many economists believe it is falling in the current quarter at an even sharper rate.
But the NBER's dating committee uses broader and more precise measures, including employment data. In a news release, the group said its cycle dating committee held a telephone conference call on Friday and made the determination on when the recession began.

Now I'm not a financial guru, I don't have a Ph.D. in Economics from some fancy school, I don't even budget very well, but even I could figure out what was going on over the last year or so. I watched as my 401K was flipping out every time we had a 300 point gain or drop in the stock market. Hell, that's considered normal now. It wasn't like that 10 years ago was it? And yet the "experts" working in and for the White House didn't want to cause a panic and use the 'R' word.

• “We don’t believe we’re going to have a recession though.” [Vice President Dick Cheney, 1/30/08]

• “I think the experts will tell you we’re not in a recession.” [President Bush, 2/10/08]

• “The answer is, I don’t think we are in a recession right now.” [Council of Economic Advisers Chairman Edward Lazear, 2/11/08]

• "First of all, we're not in a recession." [President Bush, 4/22/08]

• “The data are pretty clear that we are not in a recession.” [Council of Economic Advisers Chairman Edward Lazear, 5/7/08]

• “I don’t think we are” in a recession. [Director of the National Economic Council Keith Hennesy, 6/3/08]

• “I think we have avoided a recession.” [White House Budget Director Jim Nussle, 7/31/08]

• “I don’t think anybody could tell you right now if we’re in a recession or not” [Dana Perino, 10/7/08]

I mean, shit, if I knew what was going on, and I knew that the White House was bullshitting us the whole time, (because really, when was the last time something truthful came out of the Bush Administration, if ever?) then what happened? How did we get into this situation?

Oh, yeah. Deregulation of the markets. Thanks, Bushies. To me, it's common sense that people in power will get away with as much as they can. I don't know if greed is in our human nature - it takes a special person to hold to his/her morals and regulate themselves (simple examples are spending an extra hour at the casino slot machine, cheating on your diet, or skipping an occasional class in college). But when you are part of a conglomerate there will always be the one rotten apple (or more) that will infect the rest of the barrel. That is why true self regulation does not work in the free market.

Look at that list of quotes above denying a recession. You expect it from Bush, Cheney and Perino. And maybe even the White House Budget Director because we've seen that no one inside the walls of the Bush gang is immune to corruption and deception. But Council of Economic Advisers Chairman Edward Lazear? Director of the National Economic Council Keith Hennesy? Shouldn't these be non-partisan positions?

I have tried this before, but have been unsuccessful. Now I want you to try to think of one positive accomplishment executed by the Bush Administration. Really think about it... I can't think of one thing in the last eight years, ONE THING, that this administration has touched that has gotten better or has benefited anyone other than the cronies they work for. It's the Reverse Midas Effect - everything they touch turns to shit.

(H/T Bob Cesca for the quotes)

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