Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Dr. Ben Carson slammed the media for adopting White House talking points regarding the recession the U. S. economy has officially entered.
In the days leading up to last week’s economic report that showed two consecutive quarters of negative GDP growth, which has long been the common definition of a recession, numerous Biden administration officials have pushed a narrative that the report wouldn’t definitively declare a recession. Rather, they argued GDP is one of many factors that are considered and that a recession can only be determined by the National Bureau of Economic Research’s Business Cycle Dating Committee. Many media outlets were quick to embrace the narrative.
During an interview with Fox News Digital at CPAC in Dallas, Carson said Thursday he found it “rather humorous” that the Biden administration and media redefining a recession would “solve” the problem.
“You know, there’s a vicious dog going around biting everybody. ‘It’s not a dog, it’s a canary. It just looks like a dog.’ I mean, basically, it depends on being less than intellectually strong, that’s a good way of saying stupid,” Carson quipped. “And I don’t think most people are stupid. I think they know exactly what’s going on.”
Much of the media went along with the Biden administration’s attempt to shift the definition of a recession.
New York Times columnist Paul Krugman told readers “there’s a pretty good chance” that GDP shrank in the second quarter, which will trigger “breathless commentary” about there being a recession. But he insisted “we won’t be.”
“That’s not how recessions are defined; more important, it’s not how they should be defined,” Krugman wrote. “It’s possible that the people who actually decide whether we’re in a recession… will eventually declare that a recession began in the United States in the first half of this year, although that’s unlikely given other economic data.”
Boston Globe reporter Jim Puzzanghera struck a similar tone on Saturday, claiming “it’s not officially a recession until a small group of experts empaneled by the National Bureau of Economic Research in Cambridge says so — and they are known to take their time.”
Politico’s Ben White tweeted, “The White House is pretty obviously right that even two quarters of shrinking GDP would not show the economy is currently in recession.” He wrote last month, though, that “I’m sorry to report that the conditions are ripe for a slide in gross domestic product growth that lasts at least two quarters, the technical definition of recession.”… (Read more)