What Recession? You Won't Believe Biden's Latest Goalpost Adjustment

What Recession? You Won't Believe Biden's Latest Goalpost Adjustment
AP Photo/Alex Brandon

When is a recession not a recession? When Presidentish Joe Biden says it ain’t, Jack.

Axios reported that White House economic advisors on Thursday moved the goalposts on what a recession is. The traditional definition of a recession is two or more quarters of economic shrinkage, but the Biden administration argues that “by most measures,” according to Axios, “the world’s largest economy remains comfortably in expansion mode.”


That’s why the White House “is seeking to preempt heightened recession chatter that would accompany two quarters of shrinking GDP.”

By changing the accepted definition.

Citing a “holistic look at the data,” the White House Council of Economic Advisors claims that “it is unlikely that the decline in GDP in the first quarter of this year—even if followed by another GDP decline in the second quarter—indicates a recession.”

That’s from CEA chair Cecilia Rouse and member Jared Bernstein.

The economy shrank in the first quarter of this year at an annualized rate of 1.6%. The Atlanta Fed’s growth tracker “sees the second-quarter running at negative 2.1%.”

So not only are we technically already in a recession (it won’t be official until next week), the contraction appears to be accelerating rather than easing off — just like that “transitory” inflation.

Economist Art Laffer — one of the architects of Ronald Reagan’s boom times — told Fox News this week that “Recession ‘is here’ and will ‘last for awhile.’

Most Americans think we’re already in a recession, including some big names:

Surveys show consumers have the lowest levels of confidence in the U.S. economy ever and business executives are the most downbeat since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. Even major figures are starting to bring more attention to the problem — from entrepreneur Andrew Yang, rapper Cardi B and Tesla CEO Elon Musk.


Can barely put gas in the car? Sick of being told by the secretary of Transportation to spend $60 grand you don’t have on a Tesla? Steak is now a rare treat (no pun intended)? You’re wondering how many extra years you’ll have to work to get your 401K back to where it needs to be?

These are just some of the pains Americans feel under the Biden administration, but the administration wants us to believe everything is hunky-dory.

Politically, how is the White House’s new denial therapy supposed to play out?

This administration has a shabby habit of telling Americans precisely what we know not to be true: The southern border is secure, the Afghanistan bugout was not a failure, inflation is a high-class problem, etc.

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The gaslighting is as obvious as it is lame.

When second quarter growth — shrinkage actually — figures come out next week, Biden will try to tell us we aren’t really in a recession.

And yet Americans’ wages are shrinking. There are still fewer Americans with jobs today than there were in February of 2020 before the lockdowns began. We can’t reliably buy baby formula, tampons, and an ever-changing list of seemingly random goods. The housing market is stalling, even as continued rising costs price more people out of homeownership. Interest rates are rising. Retirement portfolios are shrinking. Our credit cards are maxed out. Tech firms are slowing or eliminating new hiring, or even laying off existing workers.


Maybe the biggest tell that the economy is truly tanking is yesterday’s report that AT&T is expecting a $2 billion cash flow shortfall this year. The reason? Consumers are putting off paying their cellular bills. Most people would rather try to gnaw off their own elbows than try to go without their smartphones.

Amidst all this doom and gloom, instead of a Clintonian “I feel your pain” approach, Biden is going for the old “Who you gonna believe — me, or your own lyin’ eyes?”

Glorious news, comrades! Your economic growth ration has been increased from 10 grams to negative five grams!


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