It’s not that economic growth has slowed, or the recovery is weakening. The economy actually shrunk.

The U.S. economy posted a stunning drop of 0.1 percent in the fourth quarter, defying expectations for slow growth and possibly providing incentive for more Federal Reserve stimulus.

The economy shrank from October through December for the first time since the recession ended, hurt by the biggest cut in defense spending in 40 years, fewer exports and sluggish growth in company stockpiles.

“…hurt by the biggest cut in defense spending in 40 years…” The sequestration cuts haven’t even happened yet. The payroll tax hike hadn’t taken effect yet.

This could get ugly.

Unless you’re Barack Obama, who stands ready to get even more Americans onto welfare.