In the worst recession since the Great Depression, should Obama's staff be saying the economy is sound?(PHOTO CREDIT: OFF/AFP/GETTY IMAGES)
FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:
The White House needs to make up its mind. Sounding a lot like John McCain during the campaign, they said the economy is fundamentally sound over the weekend.
The president's economic adviser, Christina Romer, says the fundamentals are sound "in the sense that the American workers are sound, we have a good capital stock, we have good technology." She adds that this is despite of the "mess" we're temporarily in - including huge job losses and plunging GDP.
After weeks of seeing the economic glass as more than half empty, administration officials, including President Obama himself, are out painting a more positive picture these days. The president says he's confident in the economy - that if we focus on the quote "fundamentally sound aspects of our economy" like the many outstanding companies, workers, innovation, etc. - we will make it through this rough time.
Nonetheless, just a week ago OMB director Peter Orszag said that "fundamentally, the economy is weak." And despite the optimism coming from the White House and Wall Street, there don't seem to be many signs that an end is near for the current recession. Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke suggests the recovery won't start until next year.
Here’s my question to you: Is it a good idea for the Obama administration to say the economy is sound despite the worst recession since the Great Depression?
Interested to know which ones made it on air?
Doug from Toronto writes:
I believe that calling the state of the economy sound is the first sensible thing this administration has said. Psychology plays a huge part in how consumers and investors operate in bleak economic times. When you've heard nothing but negative spin from politicians and the mainstream media for months, a little optimism is refreshing to say the least.
Jean from Fort Worth, Texas writes:
Jack, Let's get it right: President Obama said there are aspects of the economy that are fundamentally strong. He did not paint a broad brush as has been implied by most all of the media I have listened to.
Joy from Ohio writes:
Obama has to walk a high-wire: He has to stress that we have a while before a full recovery. Yet he needs to also give us hope. People will spend more if they feel confident, if they think the light at the end of the tunnel isn't too far off.
Ray from Nashville, Tennessee writes:
Obama has been telling us straight-up that the economy is bad. In the past week, we have seen a small spark of life and he is reacting to it. McCain was saying it when the economy was in a tailspin.
Anthony from New Jersey writes:
Business, Jack, is 90% confidence and 10% optimism. Apparently President Obama learned this lesson a little late after the market plummeted during his initial forays of a doomsday scenario. He's simply imputing the necessary positive forecasts to force financiers to reinvest in America. Unlike Bush, Obama has a learning curve.
Don from Michigan writes:
Oh man. When Mr. Obama was being conservative in his talks about our messed up economy, people said he was too downbeat. Now he is TOO upbeat? I know I watch a LOT of CNN (kudos to all of you) but I sure get sick of all the negative stuff. Come on, Jack, you can do better than this! I watch you every day, I know you can!