The Big Question: How will the recession's end impact politics?


Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN), said: I think it reminds most Americans how painful it has been and continues to be. The persistence of 10 percent unemployment for such a long time and the inability of this administration to do anything but throw a wet blanket over the problem, makes [the recession] more of an issue, not less.

Sen. Joseph Lieberman (I-CT), said: I found most people puzzled by it. I was almost brought to laughter because people don’t feel like it’s over. The National Bureau of Economic Research said the recession ended last year, when I originally saw it I thought it was this year. I’m fascinated that the stock market shot up because of it. If I hoped for any positive outcome, it gave the people the American confidence that we turned a corner from the depths of the recession. We’re not where we need to be or want to be, but people need confidence to buy and to invest.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), said: I had not noticed that the recession ended. Where I come from people are hurting and they need jobs. We need to act boldly to get out of this.


Michelle D. Bernard, president and CEO of the Independent Women's Forum, said:
Americans don't care when the recession technically ended. They care that our unemployment rate still teeters near double digits, economic growth remains anemic, millions of Americans are working fewer hours than they want to and millions more have dropped out of the workforce entirely. Americans know that recent "growth" has been fueled by massive deficit spending, which will have to be paid back and that the specter of higher taxes is already discouraging individuals and businesses from spending and investing. Policy wonks might be interested in new data about whether our current economic problems warrant the term "recession." Americans know we have an economic crisis, regardless of its name.


Dean Baker, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, said:
None, unless the Obama administration is foolish enough to try to make a big deal of it. For most of the country the recession is the continuing high rate of unemployment and plunge in home prices. The end of the recession says nothing about either of these two problems.

President Obama and the Democrats in Congress are smart enough to know they should just ignore this official pronouncement. It means nothing to the tens of millions of people who are suffering right now because of the downturn.


Alan Abramowitz, professor of Political Science at Emory University, said:
Nothing. Democrats will only benefit when ordinary citizens begin to feel better about the economy and that hasn’t happened yet.


Justin Raimondo, editorial director of Antiwar.com, said:
If anybody believes that our "recession" — more like a Depression — is at an "end," then they have some serious cognitive problems. I realize an Official Panel of Official Government-Approved Economists has declared the rebound is in progress, and this might indeed be true for government employees and hangers-on, but there's just one problem with this: reality.

The reality is that unemployment is up, REAL unemployment — not the phony number spat out by the federal bureaucracy every so often. People are losing their homes in record numbers: Foreclosures are at an all-time high. The value and integrity of the dollar is plummeting: In real terms, all but the very wealthy are losing ground.

Wake up, Washington — before the rest of the country forces you awake. The recession ain't over — because the Depression has just begun.