U.S. economy contracted by 0.1 percent

“The government reported on Wednesday that the U.S. economy contracted by 0.1 %percent in the fourth quarter, the first time growth has been negative since mid-2009. Analysts expected the GDP growth to be 1 percent to 1.2 percent.” For more information… http://www.politico.com

Great job. Add that to the great job with Egypt, Libya & Syria, that success in closing down Guantanamo, poor response to hurricane relief and a general easy relationship with the rule of law and what have we got?

Barack Obama is simply among the luckiest politicians. He squeaked by with just over 51% of the vote. Had this news happened in September, he would not have been president today.

Republicans do indeed need to think about what they did wrong, but be careful not to read too much into the lesson. A weak Republicans candidate almost beat an incumbent president who spend the biggest amount of money on a campaign - ever. Add to that the lucky breaks that Obama enjoyed. Presumably all these things won't be at work in the future.

Posted by Christine & John at January 30, 2013 5:26 PM
Comments
Comment #361074

For some, the events that, if happening in September, C/J write would have caused obama’s defeat were easily predictable by persons who follow world and national events.

The problem of course is that we have many more uninformed voters than reasonable to expect in our nation. But then, over 60 years of liberal brainwashing is bound to be reflected sooner or later.

Posted by: Royal Flush at January 30, 2013 6:09 PM
Comment #361089

This will probably be revised upward. This will stop being a story long before that though kind of like that time we had a month of zero job growth and cheers and jeers from the right on it. That month was revised upward twice but there was only silence from the right on that one.

Almost all other indicators show a strengthening economy, not one sliding into recession. Residential investment is one leading indicator that looks good for the road ahead. The right will have to wait some more to get the recession they seem to want so badly.

Posted by: Adam Ducker at January 30, 2013 10:16 PM
Comment #361109

It appears that Obama is going to mimic the administration of FDR. FDR had a double-dip in his second term after a spending program and use of the commerce clause to up the price of commodities. FDR’s economic woes lasted for 14 years (and he is considered a good president, go figure)
Obama is even being considered for a third term!

Posted by: Weary Willie at January 31, 2013 1:02 PM
Comment #361110

Those who forget their history are doomed to repeat it.

Posted by: Weary Willie at January 31, 2013 1:03 PM
Comment #361113

It’s not so much about forgetting, it is about not knowing it in the first place…

When we apply this standard to life during World War II in America, it’s clear that the war did not end the depression in any meaningful sense. Economic historian Robert Higgs has debunked the statistics that purport to show that the depression ended during the war. Take unemployment. Unemployment of course was historically high throughout the 1930s, and the rate plummeted once the U.S. government entered the war. But this was no sign of returning prosperity. The government drafted 10 million men into the armed forces and others enlisted to avoid conscription. Those men were not producing prosperity by making consumer goods. They were fighting a war. Moreover, statistics showing that industrial production picked up steam in the 1940s are no indication of prosperity because those plants weren’t making consumer goods; they were making war materiel. In fact, those plants diverted scarce resources from the production of consumer goods. The few consumer goods that were produced were rationed. People could buy only a fixed and small quantity of foods, gasoline, and other previously taken-for-granted products. Many things weren’t available at all.

http://reason.com/archives/2013/01/27/world-war-ii-spending-did-not-end-the-gr

Posted by: Rhinehold at January 31, 2013 1:36 PM
Comment #361114

The Private Sector is growing just fine. It’s the government sector that’s the drag, because of its drastically reduced spending.

So, while you give us your latest bitter essay about Obama Administration policy, the truth is, if your people had just taken care of business and negotiated a simple budget, you would not have seen this contraction.

Instead, your people had to spread uncertainty and mandate austerity in a time of economic weakness. This is YOUR theories failing to work as promised.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at January 31, 2013 1:39 PM
Comment #361115

Rhinehold-
Yeah, the postwar boom was just a figment of our imagination, along with the increases in GDP and employment.

Jesus, these are verifiable facts. When does the revisionism stop?

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at January 31, 2013 1:46 PM
Comment #361119

Stephen,

I guess you didn’t bother to read the information or you wouldn’t have responded the way you did. Pity…

Posted by: Rhinehold at January 31, 2013 2:09 PM
Comment #361121

This is Obama’s second term, Stephen Daugherty! You own it now!

The revisionism will stop when you stop revising.

Posted by: Weary Willie at January 31, 2013 2:12 PM
Comment #361122
Yes, national output as conventionally measured did grow hugely during the war… [G]ross domestic product (in constant 1987 prices) increased by 84 percent between 1940 and 1944. What the orthodox account neglects, however, is that this “miracle of production” consisted entirely (and then some) of increased government spending, nearly all of it for war materials and equipment and military personnel. The private component of GDP (consumption plus investment) actually fell after 1941, and while the war lasted, private output never recovered to its pre-Pearl Harbor level. In 1943, real private GDP was 14 percent lower than it had been in 1941. If a nation produces an abundance of guns and ammunition, it does not thereby achieve genuine prosperity.

Those who lived through the war … forget the scarcity of decent housing, the hassles in commuting to work, and the severe rationing or complete absence of basic consumer goods…

Because of the many other ways that the well-being of consumers deteriorated during the war, which the official data fail to capture, actual wartime conditions were even worse than [the] figures suggest.

Verifiable facts, Stephen… Perhaps you should look them up and decide for yourself instead of dismissing anything out of hand that doesn’t fit into your echo chamber?

Posted by: Rhinehold at January 31, 2013 2:13 PM
Comment #361124

BTW, what actually ended the Great Depression was the opening up of the trade war that had started before (and helped caused) it. If find it interesting that those who try to lay blame of the Great Depression at one party’s feet or the resolution at another fail to actually look at the facts and make rational determinations on it…

Posted by: Rhinehold at January 31, 2013 2:21 PM
Comment #361127

Every 80 years, or 3 generations, we get a culling. The wealth is siphoned off by those that control it. We are due now, the last culling was the so called “Great Depression”, the previous one was the “Civil War”, and 80 years before that we had our “Revolution”.

Posted by: Weary Willie at January 31, 2013 3:02 PM
Comment #361128

I’ve always said that you have to see the cycle 3 times before you recognize it as such.

Posted by: Weary Willie at January 31, 2013 3:04 PM
Comment #361129

Doughboy writes; ” It’s the government sector that’s the drag, because of its drastically reduced spending.”

Tell the lie often enough, and loud enough…and still, only a liberal or simpleton will believe it.

The government so drastically reduced spending that it required increasing our debt limit. Crazy…just crazy.

Posted by: Royal Flush at January 31, 2013 3:35 PM
Comment #361131

Doughboy reminds me of the guy who phoned his bank to get an increase on the limit on his credit card. The bank asked why he needed the credit limit increase. He told them that he couldn’t pay for his current expenses but not to worry, with a credit limit increase he could maintain his current lifestyle.

Posted by: Royal Flush at January 31, 2013 3:51 PM
Comment #361137

Adam
This will probably be revised upward.

Of course it will. It makes the resident ‘The Exalted one’ look bad. And we can’t have that can we? I’m surprised ‘The Great One’ let this one get by him. Must have busy trying to get another 20 trillion for China now that the debt ceiling has be raised so he can waste even more money.
The books have been cooked since 2009 and they’ll cook them on this.

BTW, wasn’t you one of the folks telling me a while ago we weren’t in a recession. This sure looks like we are to me. But we’ll get out of it as soon as they cook the books to make His Majesty look good.

Posted by: Ron Brown at January 31, 2013 5:18 PM
Comment #361142

Royal Flush-
That’s funny. I don’t own a credit card. Got plenty of applications sent to me in College, but I’ve mainly been a cash and carry person. I’ve had my troubles, thanks to the hellish situation I had in the latter half of last decade, but as of today, I regularly pay what I owe. That includes a car payment and a student loan payment that take significant portions of my income.

Tell me something: has calling me doughboy improved your arguments or raised your IQ? I don’t tend to insult people, even like you, because at the end of the day, it doesn’t improve the logic of anything I say. So why don’t you ditch the “doughboy,” and argue like a mature adult for a change?

As for the Debt limit? If you can find a mathematical way to deal with the current budgets in any reasonable way, and still avoid bumping into it, well, no, you can’t. The truth is, the deficits Bush left us with were going to be this problematic, in this economy. We’re adding a trillion to the debt a year for quite some time to come. If the economy improves, we’ll be adding less, and that will be part of our solution.

But in the mean time, our nation needs to borrow the money to pay its bills, the bills your folks in the House are going to be okaying if they want to keep their jobs. The debt ceiling was only a blanket authorization, meant to keep the writing of spending bill simple. Congress, if it doesn’t want to have to authorize every penny of spending, has to raise the debt ceiling.

And you will, because like your friend Newt says, if you don’t renew it, it’s a disaster for everybody, including the folks on Wall Street. Disasters for everybody have a way of throwing elections against the people perceived to be at fault, and with the way Republicans have been up front about being responsible for taking the nation hostage over the debt ceiling, it’s kind of a hard rap to avoid.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at January 31, 2013 5:45 PM
Comment #361144

Ron Brown-
It’s easy to imagine why “the great one” would let this go by him. He’s not censoring the data, never has been.

Has it occured to anybody that if Obama really wanted to replace the bad data with good, he could push those numbers significantly higher? Why settle for mediocre, when you could be having splendid numbers? If this is a conpsiracy, which is doubtful given all the good economic data out there, then Obama seems to be lowballing himself deliberately. Why in the name of all that’s good would somebody do that?

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at January 31, 2013 5:49 PM
Comment #361146

Mr. Daugherty, I will be pleased to stop with the reference to your love for government “Dough”, when you stop advocating for it in nearly every post.

We all know that our national debt didn’t get to these dizzying levels without the aid of both Reps and Dems. The majority party in office always blames the previous party in office for nearly every perceived wrong. We all understand that.

What I wish to see, and you don’t, is a stop to this foolishness. Of course there will be pain involved. Of course it’s not popular to cut spending. Of course votes are won by ever more spending. How in the hell would we have gotten to this dismal point if that were not true.

But, you just sit there and tell us that we must continue this insanity of deficit spending and that someday…some magical far off day, the insanity will stop because it is no longer necessary to be insane.

The “Dough” is because you advocate for ever more deficit spending…and the “boy” is because you refuse to face reality.

Posted by: Royal Flush at January 31, 2013 6:06 PM
Comment #361148

Ron Brown:

You keep saying we’re in a recession, but you can’t say why. Let’s hear your evidence for why we’re in a recession and we’ll compare that to the actual evidence used to determine a recession and we’ll see whether I’m right or you’re right. Let’s put this to rest.

Posted by: Adam Ducker at January 31, 2013 6:25 PM
Comment #361150

Royal Flush: “The ‘Dough’ is because you advocate for ever more deficit spending…and the ‘boy’ is because you refuse to face reality.”

And here I thought you were always just being an ass. I guess I was wrong…

Posted by: Adam Ducker at January 31, 2013 6:33 PM
Comment #361151

I find it a compliment to be called an “ass” as that would indicate that what I write is hitting the truth and some just can’t handle the truth.

Posted by: Royal Flush at January 31, 2013 6:38 PM
Comment #361153

Stephen
It’s easy to imagine why “the great one” would let this go by him. He’s not censoring the data, never has been.
Yeah! Right!

Has it occured to anybody that if Obama really wanted to replace the bad data with good, he could push those numbers significantly higher? Why settle for mediocre, when you could be having splendid numbers? If this is a conpsiracy, which is doubtful given all the good economic data out there, then Obama seems to be lowballing himself deliberately. Why in the name of all that’s good would somebody do that?

Of all the things you’ve heard me call Obama has overly bright ever been one of them?

Well let’s see Adam, over 7% unemployment, more folks than ever on government assistance, $17 trillion of debt, higher taxes thanks to Obamacare, very slow recovery, and now the numbers are going backward. That enough for ya?

Posted by: Ron Brown at January 31, 2013 6:52 PM
Comment #361154

Ron Brown: “…over 7% unemployment…”

Unemployment has gone from 10% to 7.8% in the last three years. Doesn’t declining unemployment imply recovery, not recession?

“…more folks than ever on government assistance…”

The number of folks on government assistance has nothing to do with whether or not we’re in a recession.

“$17 trillion of debt…”

Same for the debt. Debt is high because of the previous recession of course, but I don’t see how we could have avoided that without destroying our economy in the process.

“…higher taxes thanks to Obamacare…”

Taxes being high or low has nothing to do with recession.

“…very slow recovery…”

Wait, slow recovery? So we’re in a recovery and a recession at the same time? Does that even make sense?

“…and now the numbers are going backward.”

Other than GDP, which other numbers are going backward? When you break down the core components of GDP you see the decline was related to policy, not economic weakness.

“That enough for ya?”

No. Not a single thing on this list proves we’re in a recession. Sorry. You lose. We may enter a recession in the near future (doubtful but always possible), but we’re not in a recession now just because you don’t like the man in the White House.

Posted by: Adam Ducker at January 31, 2013 7:12 PM
Comment #361155

Ron Brown:

Actually, to be fair, we could be in a recession right now. But we have no evidence to suggest we are and a whole ton of evidence to suggest we aren’t. But the way business cycle dating works we could be in one now despite all the evidence to the contrary. My point was simply that none of the reasons you say we are in a recession are actual indicators of a recession.

Posted by: Adam Ducker at January 31, 2013 7:31 PM
Comment #361156

Stephen and Rhinhold

Besides, the world war was a big deal. It destroyed the productive capacity of much of the world and physically eliminate many millions of workers. These are not conditions we can or wish to duplicate.

Posted by: C&J at January 31, 2013 8:00 PM
Comment #361158

Adam
My point was simply that none of the reasons you say we are in a recession are actual indicators of a recession.

Tell that to the folks that are out of work and those on government assistance because of Bozo’s failed economic policies.
But your right, I’m wrong, Bozo is a Democrat so these lousy numbers mean we’re in a boom. If Bozo was a Republican with these lousy numbers y’all would be claiming we’re in a depression. That’s blind party loyalty for ya.

Posted by: Ron Brown at January 31, 2013 8:12 PM
Comment #361162

Ron Brown: “[President Obama] is a Democrat so these lousy numbers mean we’re in a boom.”

No, we’re not in a boom, we’re just not in a recession.

“If [President Obama] was a Republican with these lousy numbers y’all would be claiming we’re in a depression.”

Somebody else on the left would I’m sure. Does that make you feel less wrong than you really are?

Posted by: Adam Ducker at January 31, 2013 8:51 PM
Comment #361173

Adam
How can someone that’s right feel ‘less wrong’? I know haw y’all partisans think. Your party’s in office everything’s great. Your party’s not in office, everything’s bad.
Even if ain’t in a recession, with these these lousy numbers, which we are, BOZO’s failed policy of borrow and spend are responsible for them. And his stupid idea that winning reelection by 2% is a mandate to keep up his dumbassed borrow and spend policies is going to send us deeper into recession.
Jimmy Carter sure is happy BOZO got elected. Now he ain’t the worse president in the history of the country.

Posted by: Ron Brown at February 1, 2013 12:19 AM
Comment #361185

Ron Brown:

Feel free to believe your made up definition of recession. I can’t force you to accept reality on this one.

Posted by: Adam Ducker at February 1, 2013 7:43 AM
Comment #361204


Weary Willy writes, “This is Obama’s second term, Stephen Daugherty! You own it now!”

OK as a Progressive Democratic Party member I WILL TAKE ownership of the current GDP of -0.1% and an average increase in jobs over the last 3 months of 200,000 per month. Will you take ownership of the -8.9% GDP and the average job loss figures of -585,000 for the last three months you guys held the presidency and explain on what basis your opinion matters on the issue such that we should revert back to your policies?

Posted by: muirgeo at February 1, 2013 5:45 PM
Comment #361205

muirego

The economy recovered in spite of Obama. It would have been better w/o him.

Posted by: C&J at February 1, 2013 5:57 PM
Comment #361206

Do you Republicans even understand or care about the facts? When Reagan oversaw the recession of 1981 he increased spending by 40% over 4 years. Obama has increased spending by only 17% over four years WITH NO increase the last 2 years. These facts and that we are floundering is a clear failure of YOUR policy goals. We progressives aren’t getting the spending and infrastructure jobs that we wouldlike to see to help get us out of this. We are focusing on cutting because we are being held hostage to the filibustering republicans who want to cut spending only when THEY don’t have the presidency. You really don’t get tio claim our policies have failed when in fact they’ve never been given a chance because the republicans have changed the rules to require a 60 vote majority for anything to pass. The facts of history are very unkind to republican policy positions and only child-like neglect and disregard for those facts allow you to convince yourself you have a point to be made when indeed you clearly do not.

Posted by: muirgeo at February 1, 2013 6:04 PM
Comment #361207

CJ, “The economy recovered in spite of Obama. It would have been better w/o him.”

No sorry CJ you don’t get to make that claim. If you guys were in office we would still be losing 750,000 jobs a month and the GDP would be -8.9%. THAT is what you have to offer. Anyhting else is just a clear disregard for the facts. I’m owning my parties results now YOU OWN yours without making up the rules as you go along. The economy is recoving poorly in spite of republican obstructionism. We’d be far better off if we had increased spending and hired more public service people like REAGAN did when he faced his recession. Again he increased spending 40% and Obama only 17%. And there was a net difference of 1,000,000 additional public service jobs created under Reagan compared to Obama. YOU DO NOT GET TO MAKE UP THE FACTS. And the facts don’t fit your claims… they blow your claims OUT OF THE WATER!!! The repulican party is putting itself and its gross ignorance ahead of the country. They need to get out of the way so thinking adults can get this country back on track just like FDR did after the last time you republicans completely blew up the economy.

Posted by: muirgeo at February 1, 2013 6:14 PM
Comment #361244
We’d be far better off if we had increased spending and hired more public service people like REAGAN did when he faced his recession.

The Democratics did, muirgeo! The Democratics increased spending, they hired more government employees. They even gave them a raise, for crying out loud! The Democratics had complete control of the federal government for two years and did they focus on getting the economy moving again? NO! They did not! They squandered their opportunity by ramming a health care bill down the American People’s throats!

Don’t sit their and whine that it’s Republicans fault. The Democratics ran on getting the economy moving again and they didn’t do it. In fact, everything they ran against Republicans on they ignored after they were elected. They continued with the same policies the Republicans had. The only difference is the Democratics now say they’re good policies.

Hypocrisy, The Democratic’s motto.

Posted by: Weary Willie at February 2, 2013 4:48 AM
Comment #361282

muirgeo

I don’t see the world quite in the binary and limited way that you do. Mine is a more nuanced view that includes more than two views in competition.

Obama spent a lot of money and most of it was not targeted to infrastructure or other things that would make us better off in the long term. I think we could have done better.

Re Reagan - the economy recovered quickly under Reagan. Look at the figures today for Obama. We have economic growth of negative 0.1% (i.e. flat). Unemployment was a little higher on the day Obama took the oath for the first time than it was on the first. It is true Reagan increased Dept, but Obama increased it more and got less.

Posted by: C&J at February 2, 2013 3:59 PM
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