Barack Obama at Cooper Union today: "Our economy is in a recession.'' AP photo by Alex Brandon.
by Mark Silva
Americans are suffering an “economic slowdown,’’ the White House says.
“A rough patch.’’
“Our economy is in a recession,’’ Sen. Barack Obama said today.
Sen. Hillary Clinton stops short of embracing the term, which carries a strict definition in economics, but her campaign suggests that people know a problem when they see it.
“Obviously, in terms of the economic pain that people are feeling, the technical term is not important,’’ Howard Wolfson, Clinton’s communications director, said today.
Obama (D-Ill.) made it clear in his speech about the economy today at Cooper Union in New York that he believes the United States already has entered those two successive quarters of a declining economy that define a recession – and three-quarters of the economic experts surveyed by the Wall Street Journal recently said that’s right.
“Now, as most experts agree, our economy is in a recession,’’ Obama said today. “To renew our economy – and to ensure that we are not doomed to repeat a cycle of bubble and bust again and again – we need to address not only the immediate crisis in the housing market. We also need to create a 21st Century regulatory framework, and pursue a bold opportunity agenda for the American people. ‘’
Sen. Hillary Clinton at Wake Forest Technical today: Stops short of recession talk, but "in terms of the economic pain that people are feeling, the technical term is not important,'' a spokesman says. AP photo by Charles Dharapak.
The Clinton campaign says it is leaving definitions to experts.
“Of course, economists have a technical defintion of recession, which is two consecutive periods’’ of slowdown, notes Brian Deese, a Clinton campaign issue expert. “It certainly appears that there are some regions or parts of the country that are in a recessionary environment.
Clinton “is concerned… that we could be sliding into a painful and deep recession if we don’t take necessary actions,’’ he notes, but “she is going to leave the technical definition of a recession to the experts who do the forecasting.’’
Ohio Gov. Gov. Ted Strickland, a Clinton backer, has said that his state is not in a recession, and he blames Bush for promoting the perception of one and urges residents to "hang tough."
Strickland, a first-term Democrat, blames rising fuel costs and the price tag for the ongoing war in Iraq for current economic concerns – and suggests that pessimism might breed recession.
“"We continue to have modest growth in our economy," Strickland told WCMH-TV in Columbus last week. “It's not as robust as it should be. It's not as evenly spread across the state as we would like it to be. But in a traditional, statistical sense, we are not in a recession."
“This can be a self-fulfilling prophecy," Strickland said. "We can talk ourselves into a recession."