Sanders: Recession not over

"There are a lot of people who are talking about how the recession is over, and I don't believe that," Sanders said in an interview with the St. Albans Messenger on Monday.

Sanders also said House Republicans' proposed budget cuts, which would cut a total of $61 billion for the 2011 fiscal year, would further harm the economy.

The plan includes “devastating cuts to low- and moderate-income earners," said Sanders. "Is throwing 200,000 kids off Head Start the only way you can move to deficit reduction?"

Sanders, one of the more liberal members of the Senate, has long criticized the GOP budget proposal and its cut to social programs. 

He made his comments to the Messenger at a town-hall meeting Monday. It's part of series of the town halls the senator, who is up for reelection in 2012, is holding this week while Congress is on recess.

On Wednesday, Sanders will be in Bennington, Vt., and he told the Bennington Banner on Monday he expects to hear his constituents are struggling in this economy.

"When I asked people, as I will in Bennington, whether they think the recession is over, my strong guess is that the vast majority of the people there will say, ‘No, it’s not,’" Sanders said. "I get sick and tired of pundits and economists telling me that the recession is over. That may make sense from a technical standpoint, but it sure does not make sense for millions of Americans."

Late last month, Sanders's office published a small book entitled Struggling Through the Recession. It's filled with more than 400 letters from Vermonters suffering from the economy.