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Some of you may remember our last recession.  George W. Bush and Dick Cheney first begin pushing the idea of a recession in early 2000, with the help of Alan Greenspan raising interest rates 6 times that year.  You might also remember that the stock market bubble burst later that year.

The newly elected president wanted to be able to blame the Clinton administration for the recession that would happen.  We’ve heard many times over the past 7 years President Bush say he "inherited a recession".  Technically, the recession happened during Bush’s first year. The National Bureau of Economic Research, the recognized arbiters for dating recessions, says started in March 2001 and ended that November.   The definition of a recession is normally two consecutive quarters of decline.

Now we’re hearing words such as, "the economy has slowed down but I don’t think it’s a recession".  The White House and congressional leaders recently agreed on a multibillion-dollar proposal to try and help a housing slump, a credit crisis and high energy prices.  The stimulus rebate checks won’t be in the mail till May of 2008.

I am not an expert on economics but I’m predicting that there was a recession; but it’s almost over now.  I’m betting it started in 2007 and will end this April.

Stay with me now.  So, if the recession will soon be over, why is our government still talking about one ‘might happen’ and why will Americans be receiving checks when it’s already too late?

Elementary my dear, politics.

Pushing the idea of a recession, gives the Democrats, what they precieve as an opening to attack the Republican Party with.  However, less than four months after receiving the rebate checks from the Bush administration (twice now), the Republican Party will hold their convention to elect their nominee, John McCain, for President.   Election Day is just a little over a month away from that time.  What’s the best way to get voters attention?  Give them money (tax cuts).  By September the economy should start to look a lot better too – throwing the Democrats off their game.

What is the other big worry of voters?  The war in Iraq.  Ask yourself the following questions: Why has General Petraeus pushed back his original date to begin withdrawing the surge of troops again to September (a little over a month before Election Day)?  Why would the Bush administration be ‘suggesting’ a slow down in the econmy when the recession is almost over?  

Answer:  Give the Democrats nothing definitive to push during their Convention in August.  Will it be the economy or the war in late October?  Everybody in politics knows the message is usually just one topic.  Push that message and push hard, they say.

Not knowing if the economy will still be in a slump and not knowing what General Petreaus will say in September, leaves the Democratic Party in quagmire.   The timing also leaves them very little chance to correct their talking points.

Meanwhile, during the Republican Party’s convention in September you will hear the following from John McCain and the GOP:  The Economic Stimulus package that included the GOP’s second tax cut to the voters, "worked my fellow Americans and over 20,000 troops will be home by this Thanksgiving (leaving off of course the fact that we will continue to have the same amount of troops in Iraq as we did in early 2007)".

What will the Democrats message be then?

Originally posted to cscmm on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 09:19 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Excellent Point! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    global citizen, 4water

    We are feeling the pain at the pump and the grocery stores and many are losing their homes.  Many are dipping into their saving to stay afloat.  A recession is a recession and hiding behind a slow economy won’t change it or make it better for us.  Where is the straight talk express?  We must drive this point home...this recession is hurting all of us.

    "It is not sexism at all, it is Clintonism" (Vera Lofaro; Daily KOS 25FEB2008) (Censor me if you must, but my vote will be against Hillary)

    by jamaicanblood on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 09:22:28 AM PDT

  •  This is why I didn't understand (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    middleagedhousewife, 4water

    why the Democrats went along with the stimulus. Why not just keep that $150 billion in the bank for use by a Democratic President (who could probably do much better with it than a tax rebate) and let GW twist in the wind for the last year of his term. I would think we'd want to get as much of the bleeding out of the way as possible now rather than later.

  •  Recession just started. (4+ / 0-)

    By September the economy should start to look a lot better too – throwing the Democrats off their game.

    Ya think? I suspect to the contrary that the Republican brand by September will have the same appeal as, say, the bubonic plague.

    Who was Bush_Horror2004, anyway?

    by Dartagnan on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 09:24:04 AM PDT

    •  I think you are wrong (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rapala

      All these tax rate cuts they are doing over the past 6 months will Boost the economy JUST IN TIME for Sept to start showing better numbers.  Betcha!

      Coonsey's View http://www.freewebs.com/coonsey/

      by cscmm on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 09:27:48 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Personally I don't see how they can. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        esquimaux, EthrDemon, Dartagnan

        The price of wheat is set to quadruple; the price of fuel is supposed to hit $4.00/gal this summer.  One little check in May will not make up for across the board cost of living increases.  Honestly, I just filled my tank yesterday and it cost $75.00.  I really can't keep doing that.  My wages are stuck, and my budget's already tight.  I'm trying to figure out if I can live without a car.  I'm not planning on buying anything but absolute necessities; and I don't think I'm alone there.
        What makes you think the recession will end?  (not being snarky, I'd really like to see a hopeful argument).

        "Homo sapiens is the only species on the planet that will follow ... an unstable leader." Cesar Millan

        by middleagedhousewife on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 09:33:38 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  The country showed good numbers in '06. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        middleagedhousewife

        What the "numbers", as distorted by Bush's Labor Department, and what "economists" or Wall Street analysts are saying is at variance with what the people in this country are experiencing, which is skyrocketing energy prices, negative wage growth, loss of employment opportunity, skyrocketing health care costs and inflation of basic food prices. It doesn't matter that Bush will be able to post some phony numbers suggesting all is well in late september. People aren't buying it.

        Who was Bush_Horror2004, anyway?

        by Dartagnan on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 09:34:20 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Impact can't be assessed by the election (0+ / 0-)

        and will have little effect. This experiment has been tried multiple times in US history (Kennedy tried it).  The only number it might possibly impact is a few undecided voters (a rare breed in today's political economy).

        Barack Obama's Appeal to Voters Breaks the Law of Diminishing Marginal Returns.

        by SteamPunkX on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 10:14:12 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Nothing will stop GOP losses in November (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cscmm, middleagedhousewife

    You can smell the hatred in the air.

  •  wow, that's crazy-talk (4+ / 0-)

    Okay, so you say

    I am not an expert on economics but I’m predicting that there was a recession; but it’s almost over now.  I’m betting it started in 2007 and will end this April.

    Can't you at least be bothered to read the opinions of an economic expert or two? If you can find me one economist who thinks we entered into a recession in 2007 that will end in April, I will be flabbergasted. That has no basis in reality whatsoever.

    .

  •  CW: 6 month window (0+ / 0-)

    If the economy is bad 6 months out from an election, it hurts the party in power - i.e. The GOP.

    During GHWB's administration, the economy actually improved before the election, but it wasn't soon enough to give him a boost against "It's the economy stupid".

    Conventional wisdom yes, but if the economy is still heading down say in May, even with the stimulus checks (all $600-1200 of them) coming in, people will vote economy in November.

    And there are still all the other things, besides jobs and consumer confidence, like housing that will keep it sluggish throughout the summer. Any upticks won't be massive enough to be felt by enough people to make a difference...by Nov.

  •  Financial meltdown (4+ / 0-)

    The market does not share your bubbly optimism in the Fed's ability to manipulate the economy. We still are not half way through the waves of deleverging that  are freezing up the global financial system. Expect to see some spectacular fund and bank failures before it is over.

    The housing market is not near a bottom. Prices will still be declining come November and foreclosure levels will be flooding the markets. The average American is totally unprepared for any slow down as they are up to there ears in debt. Following on the implosion of mortgages we are already seeing credit card and auto loan debt collapsing as well. The stimulus package is to little to late.

    Even if we avoid a total financial meltdown and there is the beginnings of a recovery in economic fundamentals in the Fall consumer sentiment and statistics like employment lag the economy. They are essentially backward looking telling you what things were like 3 months ago. The ponzi scheme that the Republicans have turned America's economy into is unraveling.

    By November the average American will be in an absolute panic about the economy and will be ready to start stringing up Republicans, CEO's and Wall street money managers from the nearest lamp post.

    •  that sounds pretty accurate (0+ / 0-)

      In terms of economic prospects, it breaks down sort of like this.

      1. Severe recession (a recession is almost certainly underway already, but it is about to get much worse) lasting well into 2009, possibly longer: 50%
      1. Recession, almost certainly underway already, but about to get worse, lasting through at least the end of 2008: 35%
      1. Depression, 1930s-style depression, ramping up throughout the remainder of 2008, and then probably lasting for years: Slightly less than 15%
      1. A brief recession, so mild that economists barely noticed it, so mild that it didn't actually even meet the definition of a recession, and ending in April 2008: 0.00000000001%
      1. No recession in 2008, just much slower economic growth: 0.00000000000000000000000000000000001%

      Granted, the percentages are wild-ass guesses, but they do match up pretty well with the general consensus of economists (except that I've only seen a few economists that put the likelihood of a depression in the double digits; most say it's unlikely or say it just ain't going to happen).

      But I think we can safely say that anyone forecasting #4 or #5 is asking to be involuntarily committed.

  •  We have a recession now, really bad stuff coming (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Nellcote, middleagedhousewife

    There is no possible way Bush or any president or any congress can get us out of the shit we are in.  This is a non-article.

  •  I agree with you on the tactis but lets face (0+ / 0-)

    reality here. We are in a Recession, border line Depression.  Things aren't going to get any better, with gas reaching $4.00 a gallon, we will be paying $6.00 for milk, some banks may go under, the housing crisis is going to get worse, then it will slip into car loans, credit card, loans, my gas bill last month was $380.00, 63,000 jobs were lost last month, and how many more will be lost this month.  

    The dollar is crashed, Gold is $1000.00 an ounce, and you think things are going to get better.

    Has it ever occurred to people that this is exactly what Bush/Cheney want.  They have depleted our Military, 12 billion a month in Iraq, stolen from all of us, Executive orders, more torture, Fisa Bill, the Justice Department is in array, we're are now in Pakistan, when will he go into Iran?????

    I pray to God that this Administration really  leaves office, and that our elections aren't cancelled.  The fact that Barak Obama is winning, we know how Bush feels about Black people.  BE VERY AWARE, BE VERY CAREFUL, AND BE PREPARED FOR ANYTHING.  WE HAVE 316 DAYS LEFT OF BUSH AND BUSHED.

    HOPE SOUNDS VERY GOOD TO ME RIGHT NOW.

  •  WHOA THERE! (0+ / 0-)

    I am not an expert on economics but I’m predicting that there was a recession; but it’s almost over now.  I’m betting it started in 2007 and will end this April.

    Stay with me now.  So, if the recession will soon be over, why is our government still talking about one ‘might happen’ and why will Americans be receiving checks when it’s already too late?

    Wow, glad you're not uncomfortable making unsupported claims or anything . . .

    But anyway, the answer to your question, which is basically why haven't we decided we're in a recession yet is that the DATA ISN'T IN YET!

    Barack Obama's Appeal to Voters Breaks the Law of Diminishing Marginal Returns.

    by SteamPunkX on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 10:12:20 AM PDT

    •  Thats right the data isn't in yet (0+ / 0-)

      We didn't know for SURE when the last Recession started and ended till months afterwards.

      I'm just going on gut instinct.  As somebody mentioned earlier, no econimist will SAY we are in one and Bush keeps saying it's JUST a slow down.  

      I sincerely think the GOP is using the Recession we are currently IN (in my humble non-experience - just 57 years of living thru them -opinion) as a political toy.  Just as they did in 2000.

      Coonsey's View http://www.freewebs.com/coonsey/

      by cscmm on Mon Mar 10, 2008 at 10:16:08 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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