Monday, December 14, 2009

Merry Christmas (Recession Is Over)

White House economic advisor Larry Summers says "everybody agrees that the recession is over."

He may be right it's over. I certainly hope it is. He may even be right that everyone he talks to says so. But this is the sort of tone deaf statement that the White House doesn't need. The opposition will seize on it and make it look like Obama and his people are out of touch.

There's always a tricky balance to maintain with bad news, real or perceived. You can't talk down your side, saying things are horrible and it's our fault. And a year into a new administration, it gets tougher to claim it's the last guy's fault--you get to blame the other guy when you're running for office, less so when you're running the country. On the other hand, if you give a rosy scenario when things stink, people believe you're not living in the real world.

So you have to be cautiously optimistic while admitting there are problems that must be dealt with. Unfortunately, Summers crossed the line. If the economy grows and, more important, unemployment declines precipitously, all will be forgiven. But until then, someone should take him out to the woodshed.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

C'mon its not like he said the fundamentals were strong

4:11 AM, December 14, 2009  
Anonymous Denver Guy said...

I remember over the past 8 years, when unemployment ticked down in Nov., the media was quick to point out that seasonal hiring in Nov. and Dec. often lowers unemployment, followed by a predictable upswing in January. I haven't heard that mentioned with reporting of the .2% drop in Nov. unemployment - do you suppose the trend has changed?

7:51 AM, December 14, 2009  

Post a Comment

<< Home

web page hit counter