This week, a top Biden administration official was asked why Americans should trust the narrative offered on a possible recession when officials were so catastrophically wrong about inflation.
Last week, the Biden administration said that the “technical” definition of a recession which is two consecutive quarters of negative GDP growth — is not the standard definition.
The administration has laid down a strong foundation for this narrative in recent weeks, with many anticipating that the GDP report, which is due out this week, will show a decline in the second quarter of 2022, thus fulfilling the generally accepted standard definition of “recession.”
What happened on Tuesday?
Brian Deese, the director of the National Economics Council, told reporters at the White House that the administration is solidifying its message.
“The technical definition of recession does not include two negative quarters of GDP growth. It is not the usual definition that economists have used in the past,” Deese said. “There is a group called the National Bureau of Economic Research that analyzes a wide range of data to see if a recession has occurred.”
However, reporters were not buying the spin, noting in their inquiries that worries over the term “recession” are out of touch with people’s real-world concerns.
“Why should the typical American — who is concerned about their personal economic situation and whose wages aren’t rising as quickly as inflation, who is struggling to put food on the table and fill up their tank — care if the United States is definitionally in a recession or not?” he asked.
The second journalist inquired, “I’m wondering if you could help us figure out how much importance the White House puts on that definition as opposed to just the simple fact that the majority of Americans nowadays feel like we’re going through a recession.”
Fox News correspondent Peter Doocy followed, noting how Biden’s team previously said for months that inflation would be short-term.
That story, of course, turned out to be tragically false.