According to Fox Business:
Economic output already fell over the first three months of the year, with GDP tumbling 1.6%, the worst performance since the spring of 2020, when the economy was still deep in the throes of the COVID-induced recession.
In anticipation of this release, the White House launched a mini-campaign to redefine how "recession" is traditionally defined. As I wrote yesterday, while it's the National Bureau of Economic Research tasked with officially defining recessions (which usually doesn't come until they've been over for months), there has only been one time in U.S. history (in 1947) where there was two consecutive quarters of negative GDP growth and a recession was not declared.
So widely used was the "two quarters" definition that the exact same people trying to redefine "recession" themselves used the "two quarters" definition up until the past few weeks.
In 2015, PolitiFact's Louis Jacobson said that Donald Trump was wrong to suggest that a negative quarter of GDP growth under Obama suggested the U.S. economy was in recession because "The general rule of thumb is that it takes two quarters of negative growth to signal a recession." In an article published earlier this week, Jacobson said definition a recession was a "confusing topic," and that the "two-quarter rule is an informal metric."
Reuters defined a recession as "two straight quarters of contraction" in their past coverage, but moved away from that definition this month.
I am dead.— The Redheaded libertarian (@TRHLofficial) July 27, 2022
Rest In Peace me. pic.twitter.com/XwmVGZskqR
In 2019, CNBC's John Harwood defined a recession as the economy shrinking for two quarters, but in 2022 amid two quarters of negative growth, record inflation, declining real wages, and a labor shortage, decided that a new definition is in order.
Reuters has used the two successive quarters of GDP decline definition dozens and dozens of times since 2000… pic.twitter.com/vlYV2LbwTZ— stevemur (@stevemur) July 26, 2022
POLITICO's Chief Economic Correspondent Ben White said earlier this week that the White House is "obviously right" that two quarters of GDP wouldn't show the economy in recession. Back in 2020, he wrote that we were in a recession because the economy contracted for two straight quarters.
For @JohnJHarwood, the definition of a recession depends on who’s president at the time.— Tim Murtaugh (@TimMurtaugh) July 27, 2022
In 2019 (Trump), he stated that two quarters of negative growth was a recession.
Now with Biden in office, he wants to help, so he retweets arguments saying the opposite. pic.twitter.com/1ltLqZC2jt
If they simply pointed out that there is no official definition of a recession and we have to wait for what the NBER has to say that would be one thing - but the very same people who are trying to redefine the most commonly used definition of "recession" are the same exact people who had no problem using it until recently. They make it obvious that this is all political.
After all, has there ever been this much trouble in defining a "recession" under any other administration in history? If Donald Trump were president right now, would POLITICO have felt the need to caption their coverage last night of today's looming numbers "Tomorrow we get the first, possibly inaccurate and certain to be revised reading of U.S. economic performance in the second quarter of this deeply weird economic year — one metric to measure if we're in a recession"?
Of course not. The headline would read "economy falls into recession under President Trump."
Set your alarms: Tomorrow we get the first, possibly inaccurate and certain to be revised reading of U.S. economic performance in the second quarter of this deeply weird economic year — one metric to measure if we're in a recession.— POLITICO (@politico) July 28, 2022
Nightly reports 👇 https://t.co/6LSiHqYJad
As I noted yesterday, the purpose of the "fact check" is to be a censor for the regime. They and the administration are well aware that it'll be reported that the economy has fallen into recession today, but because of the "fact checker" articles out there, anyone reporting this on Facebook or Twitter will have those posts declaring a recession flagged as "misinformation." Even when the NBER does declare a recession months down the road, the narrative will have been protected when it mattered most.
Matt Palumbo is the author of The Man Behind the Curtain: Inside the Secret Network of George Soros
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