Douglas Andrews / July 28, 2022

It’s Official: This IS a Recession

Despite the Democrats’ best efforts to spin it otherwise, the GDP report merely confirmed what we already knew.

Weeks ago, the Democrats circled today’s date on the calendar and began hoping against hope that the news would be better — that the headlines wouldn’t make official what we’d already been feeling in our bones.

No dice. We’re in a recession. As The Wall Street Journal reports:

The U.S. economy shrank for a second quarter in a row — a common definition of recession — as businesses trimmed their inventories, the housing market buckled under rising interest rates, and high inflation took steam out of consumer spending.

Gross domestic product, a broad measure of the goods and services produced across the economy, fell at an inflation and seasonally adjusted annual rate of 0.9% in the second quarter, the Commerce Department said Thursday. That marked a deterioration from the 1.6% rate of contraction recorded in the first three months of 2022.

The formula is simple, really, and it’s been generally understood and applied for the last 10 recessions we’ve experienced, dating all the way back to 19-freaking-48: Two consecutive quarters of negative GDP growth equals a recession. Period. And yet the Democrats’ fellow-traveling lickspittles in the mainstream media are still in denial, still trying to use the Jedi mind trick on us. These aren’t the awful economic numbers you’re looking for. Take state-run NPR, for example, whose morning headline reads: “U.S. economy just had a 2nd quarter of negative growth. Is it in a recession?”

Yes, NPR, we’re in a recession. And, yes, words still have meaning.

But don’t try telling that to Team Biden economic advisor Brian Deese, whose (ahem) flexible views on what constitutes a recession deserve a special call-out.

These revisionist economists can equivocate all they want, but it’ll do them little good. It’s tough to talk down a good economy, and even tougher to talk up a rotten one. Indeed, a recent Morning Consult poll showed that two-thirds of registered voters already thought we were in recession. Thus, this morning’s dismal GDP report merely confirms their instincts.

And so, The Party of Joe Biden will be donning the scarlet letter “R” straight on through the midterm campaign season. Third-quarter GDP numbers will be announced in late October, just prior to the November 8 elections, but by then the awful realities of Bidenomics and Bidenflation will have hardened in most voters’ minds.

Forgive us if we sound a bit triumphalist, but what did they expect? This is what awful, anti-growth, anti-business, pro-spending policies will get ya. This is what happens when a hard-left Democrat comes in and systematically reverses every good economic policy of his Republican predecessor.

And where inflation is concerned, there’s no end in sight. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell hit the panic button once again yesterday, raising the Fed’s benchmark interest rate by 75 basis points for the second straight month. This, as Fox Business reports, is a move “to bring scorching-hot inflation under control, [but also] a move that threatens to slow U.S. economic growth and exacerbate financial pressure on Americans.”

It’s a tall order. Fed policymakers say they’re committed to returning inflation to its 2% objective. But last we checked, inflation was more than 9% — a 40-year high. Good luck with that.

As we noted earlier this week, inflation happens. And it happens most often when a government prints truckloads of money it has no business printing. Inflation — which can be thought of as more dollars chasing fewer goods and services — kills economies. And Joe Biden’s runaway spending has been killing ours.

In this case, as our Mark Alexander notes, it’s the direct result of Biden’s so-called American Rescue Plan, which dumped $1.9 trillion in taxpayer-funded graft into a $300 billion economic hole created by the COVID pandemic — on top of all the 2020 “COVID relief” spending already being dispensed. That’s an excess and unnecessary $1.6 trillion out there in the economy, and it’s now crushing your family’s budget.

Now you understand Bidenflation. And now you understand why everything from gas to groceries costs a lot more. And why your 401(k) is in the crapper and your retirement plans are on hold.

It’s a helluva price to pay for replacing Donald Trump and his intemperate tweets with Joe Biden and his economic arsonists.

By now, you’d think Scranton Joe would get the message. You’d think Democrats generally would get the message. You’d think, given the inflationary mess we’re in, and given that it was caused by their runaway spending, that they’d put the brakes on the profligacy.

You’d think. And you’d be wrong.

Yesterday, we also got word that West Virginia (Trump +39) Senator Joe Manchin came to an agreement with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer on a reconciliation bill — a bill that we might call Bilk Back Better Lite — after more than a year of negotiations among Democrats. No, this one isn’t the $3 trillion dream that these spendaholics had been hoping for, but any additional spending under these conditions is just lunacy.

NBC provides the grim details: “The 725-page piece of legislation, [laughably, ridiculously, outrageously] called the ‘Inflation Reduction Act of 2022,’ provides $369 billion for climate and clean energy provisions, the most aggressive climate investment ever taken by Congress. The bill’s climate provisions would slash the country’s carbon emissions by roughly 40% by 2030, according to a summary of the deal.”

What is Joe Manchin thinking? This is a guy who fancies himself an inflation hawk, a guy who until now has singlehandedly held the line against Joe Biden’s monstrous spending package. And now he’s gone soft. We can’t imagine too many of his fellow Mountain Staters are happy with him right now.

Remind us again: What percentage of Americans think climate change is the most pressing issue we face right now? One percent? That’s what we thought.

“Build Back Broke is going to bankrupt America,” tweeted one of Manchin’s Senate colleagues, Tennessee Republican Marsha Blackburn.

Or, as Minority Leader Mitch McConnell put it: “Democrats have already crushed American families with historic inflation. Now they want to pile on giant tax hikes that will hammer workers and kill many thousands of American jobs. First they killed your family’s budget. Now they want to kill your job too.”

That pretty much sums it up. We can only hope Joe Manchin’s constituents are giving him an earful.


UPDATE: Immediately after the recession news broke, President Biden took to the air to deny that our nation was even in a recession. This was to no one’s surprise, nor was leftist Wikipedia’s efforts to redefine the word “recession” so as to protect Biden and his fellow Democrats. “Coming off of last year’s historic economic growth … it’s no surprise that the economy is slowing down as the Federal Reserve acts to bring down inflation,” said Biden. “But even as we face historic global challenges, we are on the right path, and we will come through this transition stronger and more secure.” While Manchin’s behind-the-scenes scheming is deeply disappointing, perhaps another Democrat, such as Arizona’s Kyrsten Sinema, will yet sound off and draw a hard line against this inflation-fueling madness.

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