January 9th, 2009
03:42 PM ET

How Bad Will the Economy Get?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

In 2008, the United States lost more than 2.5 million jobs. That's more jobs than were lost than in any year since 1945. The losses accelerated during the final four months of the year once the credit crisis hit. Unemployment now stands at 7.2 percent, and there is more to come. This afternoon Boeing announced it plans to cut 4,500 jobs.

How bad can it get?

And many people who still have jobs are facing shorter hours and pay cuts.

The automobile industry is in crisis. Retail sales are awful. In fact, some stores, like Macy's, will be closing some of their locations.

Consumer confidence is at an all time low. It's like a dog chasing its tail. People are worried about loosing their jobs so they aren't spending money. Or they simply don't have money to spend. If customers aren't buying, businesses can't turn a profit and pay their employees so they have to cut jobs. Then the cycle begins anew.

Things are on their way from bad to worse.

A dire warning from President-elect Obama yesterday: If nothing is done, the recession could go on for years.

Here’s my question to you: How much worse do you expect the economy to get before it begins to recover?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Nate from Michigan writes:
There are people holding back on all types of purchases. As soon as we have leadership change, we see a few businesses start turning around, then consumers will start cutting loose. I give it six months max. I'm not an optimist. I'm old enough to have seen this dance before.

Tom from Avon, Maine writes:
I think voters are already demanding that the Republican Party start cooperating. In six months time all obstructionists will have been sidelined and America will go back to work.

Mary from Yorktown, Virginia writes:
The economy will continue to fall as long as we have too many foreign workers and millions of legal citizens unemployed and looking. If you want to completely collapse it and what is left of our social services programs, amnesty of millions that would not normally qualify for citizenship will finish it off.

Jim from North Carolina writes:
It will get much worse, perhaps losing another one million jobs before recovery begins. Of course, it will depend on how fast the cash infusion hits our economy. If our politicians (Democrats and Republicans) drag their feet, which they always do, in passing the stimulus package, we all will be on IV's in critical condition for years.

Meg writes:
I think that foreclosures, middle class unemployment, and stock market instability will continue to cause problems for the next few years. I don't think that there is any easy way out of this situation. Congress has to stop arguing with everyone, and begin somewhere to start working on an economic cure. I really feel that it will get a lot worse, before it starts to get better.

Diane from Barneveld, New York:
Hard to determine. Bush still has 11 more days to screw it up even more.

Filed under: Economy • US Economy
soundoff (305 Responses)
  1. Gary of El Centro, Ca

    If this ain't the bottom yet, I don't even want to think about how far down it is.

    January 9, 2009 at 1:51 pm |
  2. Katiec Pekin, IL

    Unfortunately, much worse. Business continues to cut back or close, mortgage crisis is ongoing and we go further in debt every day, or should I say minute.
    When comparing this to the Great Depression at least with that
    tragedy we had manufacturing across our country, we did not
    depend on foreign countries for oil and we did not have a deficit.
    We have none of the above "perks" now. We are in a world of hurt.

    January 9, 2009 at 1:52 pm |
  3. don in naples, florida

    we are beyond recovery. Our politicians keep doing the same things. I am hoping that the complete collapse of this nation is going to wake up the greedy ceos and leaders who in spite of things refused to make the changes they needed to make to avoid this kind of mess.

    January 9, 2009 at 1:53 pm |
  4. David,San Bernardino,CA.

    I expect the economy will get much worse and the personal pain will become excrutiating to many millions. The recovery,if there is one,won't begin until 2010 at the earliest. We are all paying dearly for the hangover of the party that Bush and his buddies threw for themselves.

    January 9, 2009 at 1:53 pm |
  5. Anthony Smith

    I believe that unemployment will get close to 12-15 percent and that we will not see recovery until 2011 or 2012. It is going to get nasty out there. The fact that wages have not gone up for years and now employers will be taking advantage of the enormous workforce seeking employment by lowering pay standards even further will only further add to the debt of individuals and possible addition of crime. This country will be suffering for years and many thanks to this CLUELESS president!

    Wildwood Crest, NJ

    January 9, 2009 at 1:53 pm |
  6. Dave, Brooklyn, NY

    Thank you Jack, you have completely ruined my day. This is a question that I have been ignoring for the last 4 or 5 years because each time I look, everything gets worse. I’d be happy if we could just hold on to the status quo for a few weeks.

    January 9, 2009 at 1:53 pm |
  7. Lois Canada

    I'm sure glad you are hoping it will recover, there is a chance things may never be as they were! People are still not addressing all the reasons the economy is in trouble. How soon we forget that part of the problem is Cheap overseas labor (I call it slavery) How can you ever expect manufacturing jobs to recover when people prefer to buy something for next to nothing, and do nothing about it by doing so?!

    January 9, 2009 at 1:54 pm |
  8. Stacy from Leesburg, VA

    Jack, the economy is in for a carnival ride of double digit unemployment, rising inflation, lower standard of living, credit failure, and the inability for the manufacturing and construction fields to get re-started without some sort of government ‘bump’. We may have to sell Alaska to get out of debt before any recovery really begins. I think it is going to get bad, but not Great Depression bad.

    January 9, 2009 at 1:54 pm |
  9. Conor in Chicago

    Worse than the first Great Depression. We are powerless to stop it. If this financial collapse happened in a world at peace, with no environmental challenges, and an abundance of resources for everybody worldwide I wouldn't worry too much. But I think the worsening of climate change, the increase in military conflict regarding resources and religious fundamentalism, and the inability of world governments to see eye-to-eye on how best to manage the world will lead to a full collapse. We will look like the 18th century with gadgets from the 21st century permeating our lives within the next decade.

    January 9, 2009 at 1:57 pm |
  10. carson

    jack, we heard that 11 million of american people are with jobless and experts predited to lose 2 more million jobs in 2009. so there can not be worst than this . this will be the worst ever and hopefully the recovering will come in obama first term. it will takes at least 3 years to recover. Yes We Can !

    January 9, 2009 at 1:58 pm |
  11. John from California

    I think the delay caused by the transition with the Bush administration sitting on their hands will make digging ourselves out of this mess even harder. I think the country missed the opportunity to recover without too much loss. Paulson's handling of the bailout is ridiculous and we'll likely be paying for his incompetence for years, maybe even decades, to come.

    January 9, 2009 at 1:59 pm |
  12. V.K. Raman, Sparks

    Economy goes down until unemployment reaches 10%+, until Congressmen both senate and house reps stop fighting as democrats and republicans, until all rightwing reactionary radio talk show hosts are banned from radio broadcasts, until people learn to live within their means and save for their children and parents.

    January 9, 2009 at 2:00 pm |
  13. Ray in Nashville

    It will get much worse because a large part of our economy is based on sheer paper investments, not concrete items like manufactured goods. For close to 30 years now, the financial sector has grown by leaps and bounds and now dominates our GDP. At the same time, the gap between the top 1% of the wealthiest citizens in the US and the middle class and poor has risen to record heights. The wages for the middle class and poor have not kept up with inflation and they have subsisted on credit, which has now run out. The financial sector, which needs people to spend money is now faced with the fact that the majority of Americans are debt ridden and have no more money to spend.

    January 9, 2009 at 2:01 pm |
  14. Nate in Michigan

    There are people holding back on all types of purchases. As soon as we have leadership change, we see a few business start turning around, then consumers will start cutting loose. I give it six months..max. I'm not an optimist..I'm old enough to have seen this dance before.

    January 9, 2009 at 2:03 pm |
  15. Venia PA

    It will continue to spiral downwards as long as GWB is in office. As an eternal optimist I believe that on January 20th when Barack hits the office running, things will start to turn for the better.

    January 9, 2009 at 2:04 pm |
  16. lynnej from lattimore, nc

    With the mess that Bush has made and is leaving for President-Elect Obama I wouldn't look for improvement until the end of 2012. And that's hoping with a rabbit's foot in one hand and with fingers crossed with the other.

    January 9, 2009 at 2:04 pm |
  17. Michael "C" Lorton, Virginia

    Jack: The effects of the troubling economy haven't even reached rock-bottom yet-and I fear it is going to get worse and more individuals are going to loose their jobs. President elect Obama needs to start something fast-and yesterday. Rham Emanuel stated, "The President-elect is well aware that Americans are having trouble sleeping and Obama's recent speeches are designed to fix that." Tranquilizing the American people with speeches is not the solution--fixing the economy will make Americans sleep better.

    January 9, 2009 at 2:05 pm |
  18. Gigi in Alabama

    If the loss of jobs in December is any indication, it is going to get a lot worse. Alabama has not been hit as hard as most states, but one of our department stores declared bankruptcy yesterday, and our Chevrolet dealer is just going month by month now. It looks as though they may be the next to go. In our small town that means approximately 100 or so jobs. Like you say Jack, "It's Getting Ugly Out There".

    January 9, 2009 at 2:05 pm |
  19. Barbara - NC

    A lot worse. After all the top dogs finish getting their raises and extra perks, we the people are going to be worse than in the hole.

    January 9, 2009 at 2:07 pm |
  20. John in Santa Barbara, CA

    Paris is burning? Hell, the wealth in our economy is burning and it has reached the grassroots level. Housing, jobs, no money and stores are closing, I can see it in the main street of my town, store fronts are vacant. Somebody start a soup line.

    January 9, 2009 at 2:08 pm |

    Jack, I just would like to know when The stimulus package kicks in if the US will get their get their goods from China and Japan such as steal to build these roads and bridges amoung everything else.


    January 9, 2009 at 2:08 pm |
  22. Terri in Mississippi

    It will get "out of the ball park" worse.
    How ever long it takes the American voters to TRUST the politicians, wall street, all all the talking heads in DC. is when we will see a recovery. I don't see a date on that one...

    January 9, 2009 at 2:08 pm |
  23. Scott Lesser

    Hello Jack,
    I'm an optimist by nature as well as a small business owner, but I do think the economy will get worse for one very simple reason. Every single person whether it be Senator, President -elect, Treasury Secretary, Pundit etc. that I see and hear on T.V. has a job....and in all probabilities, one that pays well. They have no sense of urgency or true understanding because they don't live in the same world as myself and millions of other middle class Americans. I'm 55 now and sad to see how both Wall Street and our elected officials have sold out the middle class. I am frightened that I might lose all that I have worked hard for these last 35 years, but how I feel is meaningless to the bloodsuckers who have sold this country out for their own personal gain.

    January 9, 2009 at 2:08 pm |
  24. Joan

    The economy will continue to worsen until the mortgage crisis and unemployment situation are improved. I would expect unemployment will exceed 8% and there will be more foreclosures before we see the start of a turnaround later in the year. If Obama's plan is revised to focus more on jobs, and some of the other $350B of financial bailout goes to mortgages, then this is the worst I see.

    Waterloo, Ontario

    January 9, 2009 at 2:10 pm |
  25. lynn. vancouver

    Politicians and the media who are constantly trying to stir up controversy should heed PE Obama's following wordswords if they want to start dealing with the economy: The thing that will continue to destroy America is the division and the let's knock the guy down politics and media coverage.

    "What is not an option is for us to sit and engage in posturing or standard partisan fights when the American people are out there struggling." PE OBAMA Jan. 9/09

    January 9, 2009 at 2:10 pm |
  26. Allen L. Wenger

    After the unemployment rate stabilizes, we are going to have a period of very high inflation. Then, as unemployment and inflation decrease, we will finally start a period of recovery. It’s going to get a lot worse, before it gets better.

    Mountain Home ID

    January 9, 2009 at 2:10 pm |
  27. Jeff in Minnesota

    With the safety nets that we have in place, I don't expect things to get as dire as they did in the 'Great Depression' of the 1930s when we saw up to 25% of people unemployed. Unfortunately, I do think that we have not yet seen the worst of it. That is because I don't think we know the real extent of how bad we have been hurt and how bad our trading partners have been hurt. It will take probably 6 to 9 more months to have a full accounting of the problems. And since we rely on others to buy our debt, if they are also in trouble, how will we finance our way out? President-Elect Obama has got a plan, but it won't work unless China and other countries finance it. If they don't, I hope President-Elect Obama has a 'Plan B' because we'll need it to avoid the 'Even Greater Depression' that will likely occur as a result.

    January 9, 2009 at 2:11 pm |
  28. Judie from St. Augustine, Fl

    Hello Jack,
    Just look at the "Five States of Grief" and you can see where we are with the economy.

    1-Denial. Not accepting or even acknowledging the loss of money, job, home etc..

    2-Anger-"why me?", feelings of wanting to fight back or get even.

    3-Bargaining- often takes place before the loss of money, job, home..

    4-Depression-overwhelming feelings of hopelessness, frustration, bitterness, self pity, mourning your hopes, dreams and plans for the future. Feeling lack of control, feeling numb.

    5-Acceptance-there is a difference between resignation and acceptance. You have to accept the losses then you can begin to recover.

    We as a nation are experiencing the death of our way of life as we have come to understand it. Recovery does not always occur and sometimes we get stuck in a stage. Recovery takes TIME lots and lots of time.
    St. Augustine, Fl

    January 9, 2009 at 2:11 pm |
  29. Harry

    If we leave it up to you folks in the media, it will not relent until everyone is in the poor house. Today's headline is "Most job losses since WWII". In relation to the pct. of the workforce, how does it really stand? After all there were about 135 million people in 1945, compared to over 300 million now. I would contend that those job losses in 1945 were more than double the rate of job loss in today's world.

    What's next, anytime the Dow loses more than 27.5 points, it is worse than the '29 crash and the following 40 years? Try to put this in perspective, instead of spinning it into the ground.


    January 9, 2009 at 2:13 pm |
  30. Jerry from Jacksonville

    Unemployment will reach 9 to 10 percent before the end of the year, but should start turning around the final quarter of the year. I don't give a crap about what the economis say about foreigh trade, we have got to stop letting industry move overseas, if they leave the U.S. then the tariff on goods sent back, should be such that the cost of those goods are higher than what could be produced here.

    January 9, 2009 at 2:14 pm |
  31. Larry from Georgetown, Texas

    I don't expect it to get better in my lifetime nor in the next two or three generations. We are becoming a 3rd world country in regards to economics due to our own failure to allow all of the good manufacturing jobs to be shipped overseas and our tolerance of the poeple on Wall Street and politicians that eliminated regulations. They should all be in prison.

    January 9, 2009 at 2:15 pm |
  32. Linny

    Unfortunately, I believe our economy will continue on this downward trend. Possibly ending up in a depression unlike before. Lets face it all the stimulus packages and tax breaks in the world won’t help anyone long term. What good is a tax break for an unemployed person who is not bringing in an income? We need JOBS-JOBS-JOBS not had outs. Good paying jobs at that. American’s can be retrained, but for what jobs? Most likely the “new” jobs will be outsourced too

    January 9, 2009 at 2:16 pm |
  33. Ed Reed

    It could get a whole lot worse. It depends on what Congress does and how quickly they do it.

    Ed Reed
    Port Aransas, TX

    January 9, 2009 at 2:17 pm |
  34. Jane (Minnesota)

    Jack, I think alot of it will depend on how much and how fast President Obama & Congress can work together to get legislation passed to right the ship. Let's hope the word bi-partisan has not disappeared from the vocabulary of Congress over recovery will be a long ways off I fear. Lets hope that "Common Sense for the Common good of America" exists in those Halls!

    January 9, 2009 at 2:17 pm |
  35. Mary Steele

    The economy will continue to fall as long as we have too many foreign workers and millions of legal citizens unemployed and looking.

    If you want to completely collapse it and what is left of our social services programs, amnesty of millions that would not normally qualify for citizenship will finish it off.

    Nice job Democrooks.

    Yorktown, VA

    January 9, 2009 at 2:17 pm |
  36. L.M.,Arizona

    I think if we keep our heads and cut back on foreign aid,stop the wars,and tax drugs that people are going to use anyway I think we will come out of this by the fall. Question for you. Did prohibition work?


    January 9, 2009 at 2:18 pm |
  37. garrick

    hi jack
    well after another 500 thousand people next month lose their jobs and cant pay the bills and the housing value keep going down the toilet its going to get worst with more crime and people commiting suicide,at least the prison system and funneral homes wont need a bailout.I guess we should all ask Bush and Cheney to work for free until they leave office since their not doing anything to help the tax payers that pay their salarys.

    January 9, 2009 at 2:19 pm |
  38. ST

    I think it's going to get pretty bad this year. People are still getting laid off and losing their homes. This recession is much worse than the one in the 90s. That's probably due to the fact we've grown as a nation. It's definitely not going to be a quick fix. the government really needs to step up and do something to help the little guy. We need it. If you help the people on the bottom, the money will make it's way to those on top.

    January 9, 2009 at 2:19 pm |
  39. Scott, Wichita

    I think it's about as bad as it's gonna get, Jack.

    January 9, 2009 at 2:22 pm |
  40. S. Wofford

    The economy will get worse before it gets better. I think one way to stimulate the economy immediately would be to allow all interest deductions on the federal tax return. This would allow refunds for people who are swimming in high interest credit card debt and who need money the most. Then they could buy things without using their credit cards. I see people each time I go to the store buying their groceries with credit cards!

    S. Wofford, Mannford, Oklahoma

    January 9, 2009 at 2:22 pm |
  41. Denis Duffy

    Jack, it is going to be so bad that the voting public might throw out the idiots in congress that caused this mess. Might, but I doubt it. Americans are going to suffer for years. For people that expect this problem to be fixed tomorrow there will outrage. Government will make it worse, because we elect greedy politicians, not intelligent politicians.
    A lot of people are going to lose hopes, dreams and everything they have.
    This will be a test for every American. It will be interesting to see how we stand up to the challenges ahead.

    Denis Pittsburgh, Pa.

    January 9, 2009 at 2:22 pm |
  42. S, Michigan

    Slightly more- a wee bit more- an itsy bitsy more- follow me?

    January 9, 2009 at 2:23 pm |
  43. Tina Texas

    It is bad now for me cause when I go shopping I only buy what I need instead of buying an arm load & walking out with a 500.00 bill charged to my credit card. It is a scary thought to know that it could get worse before getting better. I know we have not seen the bottom of the housing collaspe and what else is fixing to fall?

    January 9, 2009 at 2:24 pm |
  44. Brian from Fort Mill, SC

    I expect between 9% and 10% unemployment, which is about the same number of unemployed people during the Great Depression in 1930. Then, there was an unemployment rate of about 25%, but there were less than half as many people then.

    It's going to be a very bumpy ride in 2009, but I expect to see improvements by late 2009, early 2010.

    I wonder if 30 cents is a good price point for selling apples.

    January 9, 2009 at 2:24 pm |
  45. Charles McMullen

    Jack, your one of the few honest newsmen I know and I really enjoy your unbiased and sometimes uncanny ability to forsee the real aspects of todays controversial happenings. Any way this nations economy isn't goimg to get better for most of the citizens for the following reasons. As long as we allow wall street, the big bankers and several other vital economic industries enjoy free rein over the populace at large by manipulation, misinformation, false information
    and to a large degree downright lies to go unchecked, we are fast headed for distruction as a free nation. We sure can't rely on our congress to do anything but yap about things they won't or can't do anything about because of corruption withing the congree and thier big buck contrbutors. Finding a truly honest politian is like finding hens teeth . THEY AIN't ANY!!! So folks go build a cabin in the woods by a clean creek if you can find one and learn to hunt for your lifes needs and maybe you will be around to see whats left. I HOPE I'M Wrong. Thanks for listening Jack keep up the good word.

    Charles McMullen, Wayne West Virginia & I do have all my natural teeth.

    January 9, 2009 at 2:24 pm |
  46. Craig in Oklahoma


    Just bad enough to rejoice that Bush will be gone and, change is about to begin. ( I hope). There will always be hope.


    January 9, 2009 at 2:24 pm |
  47. Richard Sternagel

    No one really knows. However, home closures need to be addressed by the Obama economic team. How about some help for the little man who was caught up in the banking scandals? No more Free Lunch for the Banking CEO's. They've done enough damage to the entire country!

    January 9, 2009 at 2:26 pm |
  48. Howard Evans, Orlando, Florida

    Jack, I believe the economy will get worse , which is obviously expected becuase Obama has yet to even execute his plan, but is evident he is working on a plan to save or create 3 million jobs. America has been outsourcing too much of thier jobs since there is 0% tax rate if jobs are placed overseas in places like INDIA. However, did you know wages actually increase 3% with people already with jobs. The economy will only get better if we can innovate new technologies that the world has never seen before such as cars by Henry Ford. We can get out of this over 9 trillion debt from China if we plan to sell green technolgies to China , which can save the next generation from ever paying for it all.

    January 9, 2009 at 2:26 pm |
  49. Suzanne Jupiter, FL

    I fear that if Congress doesn't act swiftly to pass Obama's stimulus package I think things will get much, much worse with unemployment into the double digits. Every one I know is afraid to make any moves forward whether it is investing or even planning a summer vacation. Until some action by our government happens only negative entropy will continue. I think we have a couple of years minimum of this recession.

    January 9, 2009 at 2:27 pm |
  50. Bernie

    The economy is going to continue to tank until the Labor Day. Then it will stabilize for a year or so. After everyone feels comfortable with where things are in their lives then they will begin to trust the economy. Once people are comfortable and trusting of the future then you will see slow growth.

    The question I have is:
    If Clinton was impeeched for lying about "'not' having sex with that woman" then what happens to Bush and company for starting a war and precipitating the current economic wreck.

    January 9, 2009 at 2:28 pm |
  51. JD in NH

    I've been wondering if the people who don't follow politics or the news are experiencing the same anxiety as the rest of us. You know who I mean: the Jaywalkers. I see them on the street everyday and I'm betting few even know there is an economic crisis. They go about their business, perfectly content, oblivious to the dire warnings. Maybe that's what the rest of us should do. Instead of stewing over what is lost, let's do what grandma always recommended. Let's make lemonade out of our lemons. Find a way to live life to the fullest without a flat screen TV or the latest handheld gizmo. Walks in the park are free! We know eventually this will somehow turn around.

    January 9, 2009 at 2:29 pm |
  52. Rex in Portland, Ore.

    The "economy" has already bottomed out, Jack. "It" will begin to improve this week.

    However, all of the factors of making a bad "economy" are still present: abysmally horrible congressional leadership;
    rampant, unchecked greed;
    an oversized, underled, corrupt military-industrial complex;
    lack of governmental oversight in banking, manufacturing, spending, and business practices;
    excessive influence of lobbyists;
    partisan demagoguery;
    foreign investments and control of manufacturing;
    unfair trade agreements;
    corrupt justice systems across the nation;
    and many, many more problems including the bias given corporations over individuals in business disputes.

    Since the most obvious problem – growth – is viewed as desperately needed and is considered a GOOD thing by virtually every "economist" , politician, and hack reporter in America it is futile to even mention growth as a problem to be solved. My fervent hope is that Mr. Obama tries to solve the problems instead of simply bolster the "economy".

    Fat chance of that, eh?

    January 9, 2009 at 2:30 pm |
  53. Mark in OKC

    Does it really matter, Jack? We just have to keep plugging away, we can't all just lay down and die. It might help if some of our so called "leaders" would do something about the oil speculators that hold our economy hostage. Focusing on OUR nation instead of being the world's babysitter along with keeping jobs HERE would go along way to help.

    January 9, 2009 at 2:32 pm |
  54. Jerome

    I think the US economy will get much worse as it already is because it's to easy in the US paying everything by credit cards. This will bring a lot of families in worse problems as they already have and the bad global economy will give a part of it to the US. But the new president-elect Obama is the best thing that the US could happen. He will have to start with a lot of problems but he will fix them time by time. His high acceptance and power will lead him in the right direction and my opinion is that he will be in office for the next 8 years.


    January 9, 2009 at 2:32 pm |
  55. Joe, Bryan Tx.

    Jack I think the economy will get real bad. With these jokers spending 3.4 billion on a home land security shrine when the borders and ports are still open just proves that the good old boy government never had a clue of what`s going on.
    Sure hope the new administration cares about the nation instead of their buddies making a buck like the one we have had.

    January 9, 2009 at 2:33 pm |
  56. Bizz, Quarryville, Pennsylvania

    I think it can get a lot worse. We have created the perfect storm for that to happen in the last eight years. We left Wall Street and Fannie and Freddie run amok with very little oversight in how they were doing business. In the Congress we don't have anyone standing up for the people they represent but representing the lobbyist who pull the strings on the puppet. Our national debt was growing before we even got to this point. Now it will become a part of life that our children and grandchildren will have to live. Jobs are being outsourced to other countries and our trade deficit continued to grow with very little concerned being shown by our gov't. We have given this hurricane only warm water with no wind shear to keep getting bigger and bigger.

    January 9, 2009 at 2:36 pm |
  57. Jackie in Dallas

    I don't think we've seen the worst, yet, Jack, although I hope we have. There are still a lot of people out of work, more jobs projected to be lost in the next few months, and every neo-con will be jumping to accuse President Elect Obama for the worsening conditions.

    However, I think they are wrong. This is the inevitable result of fiscal irresponsibility on the part of Wall Street, the financial industry, the Federal Reserve Bank, and our government. I don't forgive the general population, either...we've been spoiled and have become a nation of those who feel that luxuries are something we are somehow entitled to, not that we should work and save for, myself included. Our white collar jobs have been shipped offshore, our blue collar union jobs have become overcompensated, and with the failure of our financial institutions and Wall Street, our retired citizens who depend on pensions and investments are having to go back out to work. It is going to take a lot of time, effort, and money we are borrowing from future generations to set this right.

    January 9, 2009 at 2:36 pm |
  58. AndyZag Lynn, MA

    I have already arranged with a supply source for apples and pencils.

    January 9, 2009 at 2:42 pm |
  59. R Mac

    Jack, if the Gov't wants to get real about Budget cuts, let's look seriously at what this Country spends on Illegal Aliens. $11-22 B on Welfare to I.A. . $2.2 B on WIC,FS, etc. $12 B on education, children here illegally, who cannot speak English. $17 B on Amercian-Born illegal children, known as Anchor children. $3 M on incarcerating I.A. $90 B on I.A. Welfare Social Services. Then add to that what it is costing for all of these services for quote American Citizens, who think that welfare is a way of life. The Gov't should eliminate HUD,Food Stamps,Access cards,etc. The gov;t should construct hi-rise apts/bldgs. If this is the way of life they want to live, you live there,eat there, have a regional medical centers, or in house. Poeple getting outrageous reimbursement for rent on HUD is assinine !!! it is such an abused systems. let's start calling it workfare, not welfare. These recipients should be required to do so many hours of volunteer service, in return for receiving welfare. SSI, & SSD is another abused system, that needs restructured. We have taught generations, since LBJ's great war on poverty, to live off the gov't. Young girls having children out wedlock, drug abusers,alcoholics,no problem, go on welfare. BS !!! Remember even Jesus taught the parable of the five talents. Not to be slothful. I do understand that are truly people who qualify for SSD. But is is such an abused system. We people that labor, and pay taxes are the saps. But when you have any pride about, and want to better yourself, we are the ones that get hosed. Thanks for your time Jack. Enjoy the show ! ☺

    January 9, 2009 at 2:43 pm |
  60. Meg Ulmes

    I think that foreclosures, middle class unemployment, and stock market instability will continue to cause problems for the next few years. I don't think that there is any easy way out of this situation. Congress has to stop arguing with everyone, and begin somewhere to start working on an economic cure. I really feel that it will get a lot worse, before it starts to get better.

    January 9, 2009 at 2:45 pm |
  61. Rachel in Tx

    I don't see any end in sight. While politicians squable over what needs to be done, they fail to realize that they don't know what needs to be done. Everyone thinks they have the answer and when they voice it, it comes out contradictory. When the New York Mayor tells people they need to think of the state of the country's economy and we need to get out and spend, it makes me sick. When I hear Obama wants to spend almost a trillion dollars so I can have an extra $20 in my paycheck, I feel even sicker. My new take home is 300 a month after new labor cuts, what am I expected to sped that $20 on? If my family is barely making living expense bills, why would you think I'm going to "put the country first" and go spend it? Have all of these people lost thier minds?!

    January 9, 2009 at 2:47 pm |
  62. Jim, Hanover, Kansas

    Right now, I expect that Texas Hold'em Poker is a safer bet than our stock market.

    January 9, 2009 at 2:47 pm |
  63. Steven Siry

    I think we've only seen the tip of the iceberg in terms of the economy. People are cutting back like crazy on their spending and it's all trickling down in terms of the country's wealth being shared. Jobs are really in trouble. I don't even want to speculate on the mess we're going to be in when more and more people default on their credit card balances...

    January 9, 2009 at 2:48 pm |
  64. george c paree

    It will get bad enought to lose all the valvebles you own.They will get that a dime on the dollar .Lincoln the only president who cared about the people and changed our money to the america dollar.With that I pray you soul stays your own.

    January 9, 2009 at 2:48 pm |
  65. Sandra Schutt

    It will stay bad for as long as the Democratic leadership keeps handing out American jobs on American soil to Visa holders from India. Ask anyone who wants a job in technology or the sciences and they will tell you if you are not a H1B visa holder you need not apply. What a pack of liars our senators and representatives and yes even Obama....if they truly gave a damn about the unemployment numbers they could get rid of some of the twenty different guest worker programs that they treat as their pet projects!

    January 9, 2009 at 2:50 pm |
  66. John

    The economy will get much worse especially if the price of oil skyrockets again, foreclosures and the stockmarket continue to decline and the war is draining more resources than we can afford and the stimulus package isn't successful, the jobless rate will increase, and everything will be a domino effect , if fiscal prosperity isn't taken care of in the next 2-4 years. Obama can't fix in one year, what Bush wrecked in eight years.

    January 9, 2009 at 2:51 pm |
  67. KC - Cleveland

    Jack, I think it will keep getting worse until our leaders recognize the true cause of our economic problems... But I don't know if that will be during, or after the throwing of a trillion dollars at the problem.

    Integrity & trust must come back before confidence returns to the financial & business world.. That might be a cold day in our global warming.

    January 9, 2009 at 2:52 pm |
  68. John

    More national debt, and another drain on the economy.
    Pampa, TX

    January 9, 2009 at 2:52 pm |
  69. cat

    Well it depends on if we let this capitalism fall like it is supose to.
    depends on if we let the global banks fend for them selves. and our Gov't start investing our tax money directly into the ecomony, Depends on if we let the free markets fail until they pick themselves up.Depends on if the Gov't will step up to the plate and stop the job loses by buying into the failing assests. and lowering the retail prices to match the low wages of our people. Once the people have jobs and realize that they now have money back in their pockets their convindence will be restored and yesterdays troubles will be a thing of the past. not our future.
    Odenton, MD

    January 9, 2009 at 2:52 pm |
  70. odessa

    maybe worse but analysts are only counting retail,manufacturing, service jobs etc...it will take a while in order for the economy to run again..make the big banks cough up half of seven hundred billion dollars and end the iraq war, maybe the economy will run again..

    January 9, 2009 at 2:55 pm |
  71. Billy G in Las Vegas

    I don't think we will see a "Grapes of Wrath" style Great Depression because of the govenment programs the country now has which were put in place back then BUT with the even greater federal deficits which will happen I do fear a massive inflation similar to Germany in the 1920's and we all know what that lead to.

    I sure hope I'm wrong.

    January 9, 2009 at 2:58 pm |
  72. Jeff in Glen Carbon IL

    It may not really get any worse (depending on what it is you are measuring). Unemployment may get worse for eight months but not by much. The market may tank one more time but only in certain overpriced industries, unfortunately Financial included. There will certainly be scares about how big government gets, but if we fix healthcare, create a very large alternative energy industry, and find jobs for all the returning (live and healthy) serivce men while we are at it, it should be more than worth it.

    January 9, 2009 at 3:01 pm |
  73. william fitzwater

    It depends apon ecnoimic conditions. IT could get much worse before it gets better.

    January 9, 2009 at 3:02 pm |
  74. Lynne in South Carolina

    It depends on how aggressive Obama is. Tax breaks do nothing but appease the Republicans. We need jobs, preferably to rebuild our infrastructure. Joseph Steiglitz and Paul Krugman are both using the "D" word right now. How serious is Obama about preventing another Great Depression? That is the question.

    January 9, 2009 at 3:02 pm |
  75. Jim/NC

    It will get much worse, perhaps losing another one million jobs before recovery begins. Of course, it will depend on how fast the cash infusion hits our economy. If our politicians (democrats and republicans) drag their feet, which they always do, in passing the stimulus package, we all will be on IV's...critical condition for years.

    January 9, 2009 at 3:06 pm |
  76. HD Taylor - Arizona

    Since the BUSH administration ran this nation's economy on a deficit spending model where he borrowed a great deal of international money to fund his GOP war mongering, I'll know things are as bad as they can get when these nations start using a heavy hand to get back their money. When I am forced to learn Chinese as a second language....I'll know where are there.

    HD Taylor
    Phoenix, AZ

    January 9, 2009 at 3:07 pm |
  77. Michelle Long Beach, Ca

    Since we don't sell anything, make anything, or do anything in Bush's America...we will hit a depression. Obama won't be able to wave a magic wand over this Bush/Republican mess that we call America and fix it over night. There will be starvation, riots, looting, murder, and possibly a civil war. Too many illegal immigrants, too much outsourcing of service jobs and of manufacturing jobs.

    January 9, 2009 at 3:11 pm |
  78. Diane, Barneveld, NY

    Hard to determine. Bush still has 11 more days to screw it up even more.

    January 9, 2009 at 3:12 pm |
  79. tom, windsor, wi

    It is going to get real bad and has no chance of recovering unless everyone begins to think of what they can do for the country instead of thinking only of what they can get out of it.

    This presidential term is crucial and we may not have another chance to fix things. If we keep bleeding money in the deficit by buying foreign products we have no chance.

    The only that can possibly save us is jobs that produce export products. Not government jobs, medical jobs, news jobs, and especially not congressional or senate jobs. We must produce exports or die, it's that simple!

    January 9, 2009 at 3:14 pm |
  80. Ann from S.C.

    If you believe the governor of SC, the economy will be as bad as it can possibly get. I am hoping he is so wrong.
    If left to Congress with the Democrats grousing about the tax cuts in Obama's plan and Republicans complaining about too much spending, nothing will get done and the economy will get much worse.
    The economy will get better when we pull together and make it better. Obama said yesterday that consumer confidence is critical and personally I think that is the key. I'm not smart enough to figure out how to instill confidence in people, but I think Obama is. We need to deal with reality without becoming consumed by negativity.

    January 9, 2009 at 3:14 pm |
  81. Ron San Antonio

    To fix it will require people to change. Do you think Congress will change, NOT LIKELY. There is fundamentally wrong ideas about, "Economics" , to start with. It doesn't work in the classical sense and can't be fixed!

    Really, Jack, leaving the problems with the same people who destroyed our economy is why we are done, Toast. There are several states now who would be a lot better off leaving the union! The US of A is in serious trouble and every day I see and read the same stuff that destroyed it. We can't change! We're done, it's only a matter of time before revolution takes hold. People will fight before they starve or let their families starve. All the while our government is off spend money WE DONT HAVE on IRAQ WHO HAS THEIR OWN MOMEY! See!

    January 9, 2009 at 3:17 pm |
  82. Christopher in PA

    I think it will get worse before it gets better.

    January 9, 2009 at 3:17 pm |
  83. Gordon from Roanoke, Virginia

    I think the economy is going to get a whole lot worse, unless congress passes President-Elect Obama's stymulus package. Everybody, and their grandmother is crying for a bailout these days. Pretty soon the U.S. Treasury Department is going to have to print up some new money to cover all the country's debts. Isn't it rediculous? The Bush Administration really left the incoming President with a real bonified mess on his hands. This whole thing is a real disgrace. How in the heck could things get so out of hand?

    January 9, 2009 at 3:18 pm |
  84. David Bakody Dartmouth NS

    How bad Jack try real bad and there is no escaping it here in Canada it could come to this .....

    • Big new drops in house prices.
    • Neighbourhood food shortages.
    • Fewer government services. More electricity outages
    • Trouble for the Vancouver Olympics.
    • A pension crisis.
    • Cancellation of some credit cards.
    • Empty Big Box stores.
    • Despair and debt in the suburbs.
    • Firewood at $300 a cord.
    • Even a loss of confidence in a Canadian bank. (we only have 5)

    multiply by 10 plus for the US .... then add a strong case of government financial disaster as you reach near 12-15 Trillion dollar Nation Debt ..... hello you are still spending a trillion a year in Iraq and Afghanistan and must care for thousands of sick and wounded and twice as many with PTSD.

    January 9, 2009 at 3:19 pm |
  85. Ryan (Toronto)

    It will last throughout Obama’s $1.2 trillion debt accelerator, through the next one, through the inevitable World War III, through the globalization of the world.

    January 9, 2009 at 3:20 pm |
  86. Willow, Iowa

    Hopefully it will start to improve in about 10 days. Even if it gradually improves, it will be okay. I am just really praying that it won't get any worse.

    January 9, 2009 at 3:20 pm |
  87. Christine, Thousand Oaks California

    Quite a bit worse – there will be much more job loss and more foreclosures. The retail sector alone will see many store and mall closures. And the manufacturing sector that serves them will also suffer. Not to mention our sorry auto industry that I am not convinced will survive, except for Ford.

    January 9, 2009 at 3:21 pm |
  88. Ron San Antonio

    P.S. Oh yeah, Jack. Our Government is willing to let our own children go without Medical Care and even starve while trying to push a Democracy that we don't even have on a country that doesn't want it! How can our Government change enough to fix a problem they didn't see as a problem to start with! This didn't happen over night, it happened over 8 years of BUSH and we haven't held him responsible!

    We can't fix this, start learning Chinese, Jack!

    January 9, 2009 at 3:25 pm |
  89. Robert from Syracuse, IN

    How much worse? Well, until my entire 401K is gone and Pelosi has her way with reversing the Bush tax cuts, I guess there's still room for some more bad news.

    January 9, 2009 at 3:25 pm |
  90. William Bennett

    I think the economy will continue to get worse as long as the oil companies are allowed to gouge the public, no matter what the congress and the president does.No one even mentions a windfall profit tax these days.Figure it up, Jack, the oil companies are making more today when oil is less than fifty dollars a barrell and they are charging two dollars a gallon. when this spiril goes up, the economy goes down

    william bennett

    January 9, 2009 at 3:27 pm |
  91. Tripp Mechanicsburg, PA

    If we rely on the private sector to pitch in at all, we are doomed. I just received notice that my credit card APR has been hiked from about 14% to over 18%. My credit rating is around 800. Our government handed over bilions of our taxpayer dollars so financial institutions can sit on our bailout dollars, give exhorbitant bonuses to their executives, and squeeze our budgets even tighter? If the private sector won't step up to the plate and begin loosening their purse strings, I strongly suggest that our federal government step in and provide those services directly to the taxpayer. It's not right that corporate executives bathe in our tax dollars while the rest of us suffer.

    January 9, 2009 at 3:29 pm |
  92. Kellie, PA

    I believe the elements are already in motion for our economy to combust and there isn't much Congress or President-Elect Obama can do about it. It's like a volcano that will inevitably erupt. At this point, the powers that be can only minimize the damage that is oozing out like lava.

    January 9, 2009 at 3:33 pm |
  93. John

    The financial situation of this country may be beyond repair in the next 8 years.

    January 9, 2009 at 3:34 pm |
  94. Harry

    If we leave it up to you folks in the media, it will not relent until everyone is in the poor house. Today’s headline is “Most job losses since WWII”. In relation to the pct. of the workforce, how does it really stand? After all there were about 135 million people in 1945, compared to over 300 million now. I would contend that those job losses in 1945 were more than double the rate of job loss in today’s world.

    What’s next, anytime the Dow loses more than 27.5 points, it is worse than the ‘29 crash and the following 40 years? Try to put this in perspective, instead of spinning it into the ground.


    January 9, 2009 at 3:39 pm |
  95. Mike - Hot Springs, Arkansas

    After what Bush did not do and what the thieves on Wall Street did I do not expect the economy to recover soon. The Republicans will not cooperate with Obama because they really do not care. They as in the past will be more interested in dinging Clinton and Obama than working on the real problems.

    January 9, 2009 at 3:39 pm |
  96. Mary from Houston, tx

    How bad will the economy get for us, as opposed to how good did the economy get for the Bush/Cheney cronies?
    Thankfully our president will be out of the bubble.

    January 9, 2009 at 3:41 pm |
  97. Tom, Avon, Me, The Heart of Democracy

    I think voters are already demanding that the Republican Party start cooperating. In six months time all obstructionists will have been sidelined and America will go back to work.

    January 9, 2009 at 3:42 pm |
  98. Cori from Colorado

    More layoffs were just announced today at my company. It looks like things just keep getting worse.

    January 9, 2009 at 3:43 pm |
  99. Jimmy, W. VA

    Jack, People will soon learn the original meaning of the word SPAM.

    January 9, 2009 at 3:45 pm |
  100. rachel K

    Bad as long as we have a president who is not accountable to anything!!

    January 9, 2009 at 3:46 pm |
  101. John, Long Beach CA.

    A lot worse. More job losses and lower house values and more failed businesses. I lost my $80,000 a year job five months ago and still can't find a job.
    Two years ago I owned two houses valued at $1.8 million. Their gone. Five years ago I was making $150,000 a year. Now, trying to survive on $1,800 a month unemployment and filing for bankruptcy.

    Living the American dream.

    January 9, 2009 at 3:46 pm |
  102. Dave in CO


    The same forces that have driven it down (oil, inflation) are going to take a little longer to drive it back up. With all the damage and mismanagement of the GOP they still didn't kill it; so, we will survive. Even in our darkest economic times our country is far better equipped to adjust to this because we are capitalists.

    January 9, 2009 at 3:46 pm |
  103. David in San Diego

    "Official" unemployment at 9.5%, worst-quarter GDP -6%, first positive quarter of GDP will be 4th quarter of 2009.

    January 9, 2009 at 3:47 pm |
  104. nora CC TXAS

    I think we could have another depression and if we think that was handled badly in 1929, you aint seen nothing yet. People today don't really know how to cut back, save and they think the government is suppose to take care of everything for us and that is just not the case. All of the signs are out there that things are not going to be changing anytime soon. I think we are in for the long haul!!!

    January 9, 2009 at 3:48 pm |
  105. Selma, West Palm Beach, FL

    Put it this way Jack. Here in West Palm Beach, the Salvation Army is
    the new Macy's.

    January 9, 2009 at 3:48 pm |
  106. vern-t anaheim,ca

    jack,i wish i knew but it will take a long time to recover from the mess george w. bush and his administration has gotten us into by their incompetant policies and incompetent treasury officals such as secetary paulson

    January 9, 2009 at 3:49 pm |
  107. sandy in ohio

    Jack, here in Ohio things have been bad for a long while. Congress needs to support Preident -elect Obama and get the stimulus package passed. For the Republicans and the Bush enabling Democrats to start picking apart this plan before it is fully presented makes me believe that Obama may have a hard time delivering the change we elected him to do. If help doesn't come sonn for the economy . there may be nothing left to fix.

    January 9, 2009 at 3:50 pm |
  108. Terry in Hanover County

    I'll answer your question if you answer my question first: How high is up?

    January 9, 2009 at 3:50 pm |
  109. Ron from SF

    If Congress and Obama focus on Jobs, infrastructure and not tax cuts, we'll see 14% unemployment, before things get better. Bush has made such hash of things that the clean up is going to be miserable. If a large focus of the stimulus is on tax cuts, expect 25% and I'm not sure it will end there. Tax cuts don't work and it's time we buried that concept with Reagan.

    January 9, 2009 at 3:51 pm |
  110. Emma,boston,ma

    Means Palin and Blagovich need to be thrown out of office so that American citizens can talk about things that matter to them, which is the Economy!

    January 9, 2009 at 3:54 pm |
  111. Jay in Texas

    I expect it will get so bad that the national news media starts calling it what it really is already – Great Depression #2. Handing out trillions of dollars to the super-rich is not going to end it.
    Brownwood, Texas

    January 9, 2009 at 3:55 pm |
  112. Annie, Atlanta

    Maybe we should take back some of our manufacturing. And why are we bailing out Wall Street yet giving the auto industry such a hard time? Priorities seem to be give the guys with money more, those with none less. What the hell is going on! America, the land of the alternate universe.

    January 9, 2009 at 3:56 pm |
  113. Lee in TN

    It will get a lot worse,before it gets any better.Problem now is who can you trust with your money? It seems like the ones who are hired to help you with your money are helping themselves with your money. Mr. Madoff
    for example. Oh yea, don't forget the Big Wheels ,who grab all they can get, but forget about the ones who help them get and keep the company going in the first place!

    But part of it also lies with the people.We would charge. What happened to the saying that our parents and grandparents said."If you don't need ,don't buy it. If you don't have the money, save it." I should know, I was one of the ones who did not listen.

    January 9, 2009 at 3:56 pm |
  114. Ima

    It is going to continue to go downhill, unfortunately.

    As for the $500/$1000 individual tax decrease PE Obama proposes (yes, i worked and voted for his election), he should rethink that and target the money to those losing their homes through no fault of their own. Or extend unemployment benefits.

    I don't believe things will even BEGIN to get better until 2010/11.

    Ima from NY

    January 9, 2009 at 3:57 pm |

    One thing is for sure. It can't get worse than when Jimmy Carter was in office. The unemployment figure you gave is 7.2%. How about this Jack Cafferty. It was 14% in the Carter years. Even though the economy is bad, the stocks went up 15% on 2 trading days. If it was really bad like Carter's term, that wouln't have happened. It would be nice if you could tell me that Carter was a better president than George W. Bush. I could always use a good laugh

    January 9, 2009 at 3:57 pm |
  116. Gigi

    Cutting taxes for the rich is a joke that is why we are in trouble today. For the last eight yeas the rich have been feeding on the backs of the middle class and sceaming of the top for themselves the trikle down.

    January 9, 2009 at 3:57 pm |
  117. Jeff A.

    Let's put it in perspective: The deficit is currently $1.18 trillion without the new president's finance package. That's more than the inflation adjusted cost of the Korean and Vietnam wars combined, and the gross national products of all but 13 countries on this planet. It's equal to $3,881 for every living human in the US and enough to buy 190 billion bushels of wheat, 27 billion barrels of oil, or 1.5 trillion diet cokes. No economy could possibly withstand that kind of deflationary pressure.

    January 9, 2009 at 3:58 pm |
  118. Jay Va.

    So far, I haven't seen anything that will make things improve in fact, there is a lot of lip service to saving government money and create jobs but no examples how. Instead we are seeing more waste, IE the train trip Obama is taking from Philadelphia to Washington. Just imagine the cost for securing the rails, the surrounding areas, the chemical plants the train goes by and the planes that will be overhead.

    January 9, 2009 at 3:58 pm |
  119. Conor in Chicago

    It will never get better. This is a situation that will get much worse and stay that way mainly because that's what the Establishment wants. Just look at the tax money they give to their CEO friends, the concerted efforts of our government to destroy Unionism in this country over the last 30 years in general and the last 8 years in particular, a growing allegeance of our government to corporations that fund them, and the continued borrowing of money from foreign governments who depend on our success for their own. It's a great plan for the upper 1%. Decimate the American middle class, pretend like their is no way to fix it, and allow people to suffer and then give them crumbs and convince them that there is no way it will get any better. It's just like "Shock and Awe" but this is class warfare.

    January 9, 2009 at 3:58 pm |
  120. jyll from TEXAS

    I think it's gonna get a whole lot worse......I just hope it's not beyond repair....Maybe everybody needs to go to the church of their choice this Sunday and pray like there is no tomorrow.....

    January 9, 2009 at 3:58 pm |
  121. Judy

    Jack – Further decline in home values will drive a worsening recession, more job losses, etc. I am compelled, however to state my dismay at the behavior of some of our congressional leaders. I know they are out of touch with the real world, but this is ridiculous. Closed-door meetings, silly, meaningless statements of opposition, all in the name of stalling the stimulus. Shame on you people, and you know who you are. This is not the time for political games.

    January 9, 2009 at 3:58 pm |
  122. Pugas-AZ

    I'm afraid we need a hard lesson, and we are getting it. Things will undoubtedly get worse, with layoffs leading the way. There will be a lot of "restructuring" of the country's business models as well as the government's approach to running the country as a whole . This will hurt -but is long overdue.

    January 9, 2009 at 3:59 pm |
  123. Ima

    PS...If i do get the $500, it will go directly to my ING account and sit there earning interest. Sorry, but I am not in a spending mood.

    January 9, 2009 at 3:59 pm |
  124. Katiec Pekin, IL

    Things are going to get worse, Jack, even more so if our politicians do not work together to try and resolve all these diasters. The
    pandering, postering, finger pointing and party affiliation first must
    take a back seat and the future of our country be their priority.
    This is our survial and they must do the job they are responsible
    for doing.

    January 9, 2009 at 3:59 pm |
  125. Sue from Florida

    SImply put Jack..remove the lawn you've been grooming and start planting vegetables.

    January 9, 2009 at 4:00 pm |
  126. Betty---IN.

    In my area of IN., it can't get to much worse! The unemployment rate here is a little above the 12% mark. Lets all Pray some of Obama's ideas work. Let us American's demand made in America products & Buy only American made Products!!

    January 9, 2009 at 4:02 pm |
  127. Dr. George Rimini, Italy

    There will be 2 to 3 more years of an economic recession. I believe that the government will have to provide soup kitchens, housing, hopefully more humane than the present day shelters, and energy relief for the cold winter months. Free access to medical care and to have free medicines, will be a must! But then with some luck and with the help of God, the economic crisis will pass. Hopefully the recession/depression, will help us get in touch with our humanity, and the narcississum, egocentricity, and avarice which brought us to this low point in history, will dissipate, and lead us towardsa better path. A path that will bring advancement in social evolution and civilization!

    January 9, 2009 at 4:02 pm |
  128. Alton Drew


    When GDP, employment, and borrowing get back to pre-2000 levels. This was the period right before America entered the "bling-bling" era full force. As long as real incomes stay flat or continue to decline relative to our expenses, the recovery is two to five years off.

    Alton Drew

    January 9, 2009 at 4:02 pm |
  129. Darern

    You know what they say about it being darkest before the dawn? I fear the Sun is just setting.

    January 9, 2009 at 4:03 pm |
  130. Pat,Clearwater Florida

    It will take until Spring to even see a1% improvement thanks
    to Mr Bush, Fox and all the usual cronies!!!!!

    January 9, 2009 at 4:03 pm |
  131. Karen - Tennessee

    The economy is like a pendulum, and now it's on a downswing that will probably gain momentum for the next couple of years. Unfortunately, when it reaches equilibrium another generation of optimists will give it a big push.

    January 9, 2009 at 4:04 pm |
  132. Marjorie Lominy

    This economy has been good for my diet...I only eat twice a day.

    January 9, 2009 at 4:05 pm |
  133. Marcel-Canada

    Did not American people and you the media elected the second Christ that will fix the world including the economy?
    Remember the sky will open and people will chant OBAMA ,OBAMA and you Jack will sing songs and praise His name.
    Regards Marcel

    January 9, 2009 at 4:05 pm |
  134. Jack R

    How quickly we forgot the lessons of the first great depression.

    With spending falling and savings rates soaring, the bottom will be determined by when we regain confidence in ourselves, and our government's ability to govern.

    The sooner Obama gets people back to feeling confident about the future of the economy, the sooner it will be over.

    That means, among other things, re-regulating the commercial banking system and segregating it from the speculative excesses of the investment bankers.

    Keep the speculators away from the capital of the commercial banks.

    Jack R
    Princeton NJ

    January 9, 2009 at 4:06 pm |
  135. Karl from SF, CA

    It is going to take at least two years to get back on our feet. The "at least” depends on how long Congress has to think over Obama's plan before doing something with it. Let us pray John Boehner and Mitch McConnell get over their holier than thou attitude and work to get things rolling as soon after January 20 as possible. Congress moves slowly because it wants to, not because it has to. We all need to write our Congresspersons and Senators and tell them we are sick and tired of this game they seem to have to play. It’s our lives they are playing with. Screw this one up and they could get thrown out of the game, next inning.

    January 9, 2009 at 4:06 pm |
  136. Bill, Bristol CT

    It took eight years of Bush administration policies to get us into this mess. Figure on it taking at least that long to get out of it. For the better part of the last 30 years, our government has committed itself to supply-side economics, thinking that as long as companies and executives got richer, we were all fine. The trickle-downs never happened, people got fired or had to take lower-paying jobs, and slowly but surely the spending power of the bottom 98% of this country diminished. Eight years of Bush at the tail-end of 30 years of supply-side economics have thrown this country into a financial tail spin. I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if it took that long to fix the problem.

    January 9, 2009 at 4:06 pm |
  137. Pat

    In 1945 there were a lot less people in the U.S. than there are today. Why do you, most of the time, insist on painting a worse picture? To make the stats more accurate use percentages.

    January 9, 2009 at 4:07 pm |

    I think it is going to get so bad that United State will no longer be a fat country. If you can't afford food, you can't eat and if you can't eat or have to eat smaller portions you lose weight. I know this is a serious situation, but I guess I just like looking at the brighter side of things.

    January 9, 2009 at 4:07 pm |
  139. Sam Taylor Lake oroville, CA

    I wish I could be the beare of good tidings, except our economy is so over inflated as for it's real worth, we must endure some real
    serious deflation to level off.
    Except Wall street, and the banks will do anything to prevent the
    leveling influences of deflation, that will prevent any quick fix.
    After all they should never take any losses they have forced upon the rest of us.
    They can keep their Corporate jets, while those that actualy produce good cannot, but then they trade in paper products of questionable worth.

    January 9, 2009 at 4:08 pm |
  140. Sam Taylor Lake oroville, CA

    I wish I could be the bearer of good tidings, except our economy is so over inflated as for it's real worth, we must endure some real
    serious deflation to level off.
    Except Wall street, and the banks will do anything to prevent the
    leveling influences of deflation, that will prevent any quick fix.
    After all they should never take any losses they have forced upon the rest of us.
    They can keep their Corporate jets, while those that actualy produce good cannot, but then they trade in paper products of questionable worth.

    January 9, 2009 at 4:09 pm |
  141. JC_ in NJ

    Hi Jack,

    It's going to worse. What did Washington think would happen when you send all of the jobs overseas. When people here lost their jobs to companies moving overseas, that takes money from the economy. Slowly but surely, as people were buying homes, then losing their jobs, it all had a effect on the economy. Sure, companies were saving money but look what happened it the long run. Now, everything is manufactured out of the country, but no one in the country have money to pay for it. So you know what, everybody loses.

    January 9, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  142. hugh ~ tracy, california

    It looks awfully bleak out there; the damage to our economy is far from over–the worst is yet to come. It will take at least two years to start recovering from the wallstreet collapse. Unless Corporate America stops outsourcing our jobs to increase their greedy profit margin, I don't have a sunny outlook, or envision any rainbow with a pot-of-gold at the end of it any time soon.

    January 9, 2009 at 4:11 pm |
  143. CJ in Atlanta, GA

    I feel the economy will get worse until investors and companies stop panicking. Additionally, consumers need to stop living beyond their means. If you make a small income, you should live in a small house. It's easy math that makes the world go round. Unfortunately, during the sub-prime lending boom, people threw logic and reason to the wind and got in over their heads – now we're all suffering.

    January 9, 2009 at 4:12 pm |

    Economy will not get any better until govt. bails out the main street. PERIOD

    January 9, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  145. Patty in the CA mountains

    Totally depends on how long it takes for the pontification to end and and the cooperation to begin

    January 9, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  146. Chris Beatty

    This question assumes the economy IS going to get better. I think America has seen its best days. "Vacation" to China anyone?

    January 9, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  147. mitchell, arkansas

    i'm sure the political/military industrial complex will find a way to maintain their status quo control on power and our economy. it will get better as soon as the new administration caves in to them, and accepts the fact that the people are not in control anymore, and haven't been since before JFK.

    January 9, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  148. Chris - Savannah GA

    It will only get better when Americans decide to get back to the basics. A simple roof over head, food on the table and a place to sleep. Personally caring and volunteering for families and your local communities rather than throwing money around. No more keeping up with the Jones mentality!

    January 9, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  149. David

    I think we will get pass this but it will take time. at least now we have somebody that can and is willing to tell us how things are going good or bad in away we can comprehend.

    January 9, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  150. Mari - Chicagoland

    Jack....it will get worse before it gets worse, and then worse even before it hits that state of being. In God we trust.....we really need it now!

    January 9, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  151. Larry in Vermont

    Easy answer Jack, about as long as George Bush is still in the White House.

    January 9, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  152. Dicky Neely

    Hi Jack,
    I am afraid the depths to which the economy will sink will shock us all. Our country and the world will be tested during this downturn and it will affect everything we do in the future. Now is the time to seek for renewable enrgy sources and scale back to a more modest living style. It could turn out to be a way to build a more sustainable future.
    Dicky Neely
    Corpus Christi, Tx.

    January 9, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  153. Jose from Hoboken, NJ

    What economy? the one built on filling up overpriced house with Chinese crap.

    The new economy is going to take time to built as the prior one was not reality based but just a mirage.

    January 9, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  154. Amy Parnell

    Not to sound like a doomsdayer, but things are only going to get worse. I see very little hope in sight for this economy. We are already trillions of dollars in debt and leaving a legacy of sorrow and poverty for our children. I see our economy on the way to a barter economy, what else will people be able to do when there is nothing available for them.

    January 9, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  155. Jason William Egroff

    If you pay attention to the value of the dollar, you'll quickly realize that it's only a matter of time before our currency dies. It's been destroyed systematically by Paulson and the Fed. The banker bailout was the initiation of this insidious plan and its working just as it was designed to. Soon, the introduction of the one-world currency will be the solution the elites offer to end the crisis they engineered. Until we recognize the real problem, the global bankers who own the Federal Reserve, we are slaves to the masters. Ending the Federal Reserve and going back to a currency based on something tangible, such as gold would be steps in the right direction.

    January 9, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  156. joyce larusso

    If Congress drags their feet, as usual, we will be in a world of hurt. this is one time that they have to put aside all the usual crap and deal with the reality of the situation. They need to act and act quickly on Obama's economy package.

    West Milford, NJ

    January 9, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  157. Scott Bornstein

    From Lakeland, FL

    Bad enough for "the Cafferty File" to go Pay-Per-View?

    January 9, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  158. Luv/Canada

    When a great nation like yours ellect an incompetent idiot for eight yrs,you should expect another 16 years to clean after him before it get better.

    January 9, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  159. Roy Bertalotto

    The economy of the USA can't be carried on the backs of MicroSoft and McDonalds We can't get out of this mess by "doing each others laundry".

    The only way a country creates wealth is by selling goods and/or natural resources. We have shipped all manufacturing overseas and the environmentalists won't let us mine, harvest or drill. What a mess!

    January 9, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  160. JW in Atlanta

    I don't believe the U.S. can recover. We can perhaps make things a little bit better eventually. But we have ticked off the world, burned up our energy reserves, gone into stratospheric debt both collectively and individually, have elected corrupt and stupid leaders, and over the last eight years have squandered every single opportunity. I only hope I'm wrong.

    January 9, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  161. jacob

    The system must get worse before it gets better. The two worst things we could see Obama do "for" the economy is to pump the system with still more fiat currency, further debasing the dollar; and the other is for the government to buy bad mortgages from the banks for losses, further enhancing federal debt and placing that debt on us taxpayers.

    January 9, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  162. Steffen

    The longest recession was 16 months. So far, we've been in this recession 14 months and the pundits say mid-summer. So add 6 months to 14 months and we have....the longest recession in history! Time to pay a lot more attention America....

    January 9, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  163. Della

    Della Big Sandy, MT

    January 9, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  164. Arielle Haze

    I keep hearing different reports – some say things will stabilize soon, and pick up again by the 3rd or 4th quarter of 09, other reports say things will get worse for the next year, and should start to come back in 2010.

    I don't know what to believe! From what I can see, more companies are laying off employees. Where I live, most companies are on "hiring freezes;" so you cannot even get a new job if you get laid off! It looks very grim.

    When I don't get called in for interviews after sending resumes to dozens of companies each day, I have to tell myself, "It's not me, it's the economy." Still, it's very depressing. My hope right now is to find a job that pays my bills, forget continuing with my management career... that's not likely right now.

    Glendale, CA

    January 9, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  165. Randy


    The glass is neither half full nor half empty. It's broken. The problem was vast and George Bush's response was only half vast.

    Rockford, IL

    January 9, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  166. Al Montgomery

    We have the "hot dog vendor" approach and business is better than ever! We are leading our industry by LOWERING OUR PRICES so that more customers can afford to buy our products that not only provide safety, but will reduce energy bills for our customers.

    If your company is in a position to lower prices to make your product more affordable and help the public, then just DO IT!

    Shatter Safe

    January 9, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  167. A.G.Herrera

    I believe this recession will will go on just long enough for our leaders to come forward and tell the baby boomers

    "Sorry about that Social Security thing"

    We are on our own...

    January 9, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  168. John Oliver

    It will continue to get worse if people continue to spend money on products made outside the USA. Keep the money at home and only buy products from conpanies that are willing to provide jobs by making products at home. This will create the jobs and taxes that will get the economy back on track.

    January 9, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  169. Hippie Chick

    YES – it is going to get much worse. This is going to be devastating so the Feds need to refund all of the social security they have collected fromUS citizens. We can use that money right now . I have contributed over $65K that would truly be an economic stimulus pacckage!

    January 9, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  170. Bill Brody

    The economic situation will continue to worsen in direct proportion to the extent to which members of the Congress attempt to use the situation for personal political gain. How they can continue to exploit the nation's problems is beyond comprehension. They again demonstrate that we have the best politicians that money can buy - and that they're bought and sold every day.

    January 9, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  171. Sherri in Illinois

    Hopefully this Stimulus Recovery package will be a stop loss to further decline for 2009, I am trying to be positive about this crisis in our country knowing that we will recover and thank God the Bush Administration will be a thing of the pass & yet a recurring nightmare every time I see a Republican on TV criticizing President Obama about EVERYTHING he does when President Bush sat on his brains for 8 years and the GOP was busy kissing the feet of the lobbyists for the BIG corporations.

    January 9, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  172. neil from florida

    It will get a lot worse; thats for sure. As we have seen in the past, it takes quite a long time to recuperate from such a profound economic crisis. It won't be here forever, but it will take a good two to three years to get us all out of this hole. After that, we'll let Obama take control and hopefully lead us into better light.

    January 9, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  173. Joel reger

    When in hell will the government acknowledge how many jobs are lost to illegals. It's killed our jobs and our state budgets. Stop the BS.

    January 9, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  174. David

    The situation is worse than most people are willing to believe, and unlike what we are led to believe, these events are absolutely unprecedented and cannot be compared to, or dealt with in a similar manner as, any other economic crisis in history, especially the Great Depression.

    January 9, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  175. Chris Springfield IL

    I believe the ecomony has a long way to go until we see any improvement. I think more people will lose all assets along with their homes. With homes being lost, corrupt CEO's and businesses shutting doors, it seems no end is near.

    January 9, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  176. Phil Kraker

    The economy today is the result of the media trying to talk it down for the Bush Admin, Barney Frank and Chris Dodd handing out free homes. It will continue until the media start telling the folks the economy is Okay again,

    January 9, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  177. Chuck Wright


    We should set the number of seats in Congress (both House and Senate) on the unemployment rate. Every point the rate going up from 2% each state loses 1 Congressman and 1 Senator!! Wow, I bet we hit Full Employment within 6 months!!!! Currently they have No Skin in the game, they can just sit on their duff and talk!!!


    January 9, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  178. Maurice B Thomas

    In a crisis situation of any kind, cooler heads always prevail.

    If those who have been in control of the economy, continue doing what they habitually find themselves doing, the situation will worsen tragically.

    If the frenzy of politicians and media and public becomes a bit more thoughtful, then we have a shot at turning the ship of state and the economy.

    Meanwhile, everybody chill out.

    January 9, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  179. Matt

    The problem with predicting how bad things will get Jack, is that with all the chatter about this, neither the optimists or the pessimists are truly correct. It's never as good or as bad as they predict things will be.

    Saint Augustine, Fl.

    January 9, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  180. Tom (Mount Prospect, IL)

    Every day the news is worse about the economy. We learn about one more personal disaster after another, only on a large scale. We still don't know how bad it is NOW. Suffice to say, it's only going to get worse before anything can be done to make it better. I'm only hoping Americans at all levels get help and not only the rich who trickle their wealth down at their leisure. Help is needed NOW!

    January 9, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  181. Irene

    We've seen the bank failures, the automotive industry failures BUT, we have yet to see the failures of the credit card companies. That will come this year. Oh yes, it can get much worse. On a positive note, I just paid off my credit cards, so if they fail it ain't my fault!

    January 9, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  182. Serge in Chicago

    How bad can it get? Well for the past 8 years I would think this is the worst and yet there is another day and year.
    Just when you think you will get a good answer from Blago he gives more singing and danceing.
    Just plays like a rock star to get everyones attention. How bad does it have to get and start going up is the real question and who could answer that?
    Hope for a better tomorrow.

    January 9, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  183. Randy

    Who knows how bad the economy will get before it gets better? At best we need the government to tread very lightly, spend money only where it will create jobs, replace the oversight on both Freddie and Fannie, and frankly either get rid of the SEC or completely change their mission. statement. So the question is not how bad the economy will get it, it really is how quickly Obama can overhaul the governmental process.

    January 9, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  184. Lou Seidel

    Jack, I believe things will get a lot worse. For the first time in my life, and I am approaching 60, I am truly fearful for this country's future. I am outraged that the greedy people that caused this depression are living the good life, safe in their penthouses and mansions. Bernie Madoff is SATAN!

    Baytown, TX

    January 9, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  185. Randi Dennis

    To say this will get worse is being very kind.

    As scary as this sounds, we may be led into the abyss by our government and the atmosphere of greed that has been fostered by many. To paraphrase a science-fiction book from years back..'May darkness blessedly fall' upon this nightmare and maybe we will wake up to our society before 'greed is good' became our mantra.

    January 9, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  186. Jennifer Brown

    Somewhat worse but GOD – enough with the same BAD news from the media over an over. I would be out of debt if I got a dollar for every time CNN mentioned the lost job number today.


    Maybe we should take all the bailout money and bail out the people...give every head of house in the us 500,000 bucks and all is well! People will spend, small biz will improve, people will buy cars, pay off their credit card and other debt and make good on their mortgages, out of work people can survive till things get better...DOES ANYONE ELSE FEEL LIKE BAILOUT MONEY IS GOING DOWN THE TOILET?

    January 9, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  187. Christo Garcia

    Our whole economy is a massive ponzi-scheme. Each "Stimulus" plan should be more accurately called an "Inflation" plan. We'll know the economy has hit rock bottom when you go to the grocery store, and a 1000 bucks won't buy a cup of coffee. Obama says to do nothing is not an option, but it's a much better option than debasing our currency.

    January 9, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  188. Stephee

    I can't really say how bad this economy will be if nothing gets done. If nothing gets done, then we will be facing many hardships for years to come. Yet enough, we have to have faith, pray, and hope that we will be alright. You just have to keep your head up and pray for a miracle in this situation.

    January 9, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  189. Booth - Wolcott, CT

    Well it took Republicans 7 1/2 years to screw it up. So it'll probably take Obama nearly 2 terms to fix it, if he can.

    January 9, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  190. Greg

    Jack I think the worst is yet to come, I work at a casino and have for 10 years now, I love it but now for christmas they gave us a seven thousand dollar a year pay cut (not all in actual cash but my benefits went out the door) I have a lot of faith that obama wants to help the economy but he will face the usual politics watch and see!!!!

    January 9, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  191. jack

    The economy will be left in the worst shape Bush could leave it for Obama. Now that Paulson's friends are bailed out (the banks),to hell with the American home owner or worker.

    January 9, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  192. Robert Clark

    Hi Jack. What is needed to solve this recession is a Continental approach and strategy. Canadians are Canadians, Americans are Americans and Mexicans are Mexicans, but in the North American economy co-operation is going to be a prerequisite for getting through this and we are all in it together. The G8 summits are not going to be able to resolve it quickly so we have to look after our own house and that is North America since our economies are so closely tied.
    Rob (a proud Canadian)

    January 9, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  193. KDSingh

    If you study the history of downturns, this is turning out to be a once in a lifetime event. It will get worse, much worse before it starts to get better. We will see at least 15% unemployment, still a lot less than Great Depression. Industrial production will definitely go down a lot more, we are already seeing it. And I agree with Obama, in that if we don't do something, even if it just going to be a cushing event, we could end up with a borderline depression. This massive stimulus will take a while to show any affects.

    January 9, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  194. Maurice - Two Rivers, WI

    The economy won't recover until we clean out the politicians in the House and Senate in Washington. Their inaction for 15 years or more is why we have these troubling times again and again and again. The Governor of Il. is a politician that has been caught, unfortunately we have not caught enough politicians in Washington and never will. The only solution is never re-elect anyone.

    Two Rivers, WI

    January 9, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  195. Ron Young

    We haven't seen anything yet. Not to be a doomsayer, but as the President Elect said, it will get worse before it gets better. My question is when will corporate America begin to "share the pain". As a pilot for a major airline, I had my pension stolen and my pay cut 42%, 6 years ago! My CEO still makes over 10 million a year (a 4500% pay increase in the past 7 years). Where's the fury? Revolt people!! Ron Young

    January 9, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  196. Ken in NC

    I think the economy is going to get much worse Jack. I'm about as concerned about it now as a Long Tail Cat in a room full of Rocking Chairs where the unemployed are coming in taking seats.

    January 9, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  197. brian krajci

    My friend Ralph manages a catering hall here on Long Island. I was doing some work there and asked him how was business. He said that he was off only three parties from last year(2007); then he got really agrievated and shouted " THE ECONOMY WILL GET BETTER AS SOON AS EVERYONE STOPS SAYING HOW BAD IT IS!" I kinda agree with him.

    January 9, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  198. Terry in Fayetteville, NC

    Jack, I think think things are going to get so bad that gays won't be able to afford a wedding. Then the party that brought us here will have achieved their purpose in life.

    January 9, 2009 at 4:18 pm |

    We will continue down this dark road until the public and its elected representatives decide that banks and insurance companies are not entitled to every dollar they can squeeze out of us.We have been wrung dry. Ajustable rates, late fees, transaction fees, management fees, overdraft charges, and all the rest. I hope their yachts sink.

    January 9, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  200. Frank, Arizona

    there's no need to worry, for the last 18 months 'Bama promised us he'd fix it. t'will all be fixed come the 21st!

    January 9, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  201. Craig


    The economy will get better when the media stops reporting on how bad it is. Maybe instead of constantly reporting on the dire straights the economy is in, a few positive stories ( and I'm sure there are a few if someone felt like looking) may get people thinking that things are turning around a little. The constant reporting of depression is making us all ill.

    January 9, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  202. Danny

    Sorry to hear of the passing of your wife. The economy will get much worse before it gets better no matter who the President is. We do how ever need term limits on the house and senate.

    January 9, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  203. Adam from Santa Cruz, California

    i agree with wolf saying that it's going to get worse before it gets worse. what we all need to do is buy a tent and get used to camping.

    January 9, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  204. Mike McKibben, lady lake, Fl

    If we don't revitalise our manufacturing base in this country, and stop buying items made in other countries that we can make here, any proposed stimulus will be short lived at best. The key to getting out of this economic nose dive is job creation here in America. If not, we are just pouring money into an economic black hole...................and we are racing towards the "event horizon" of this black hole everytime we buy more and more items made in China and other countries. All this does is give more reason for big business to move more and more manufacturing off shore. Does anyone hear that sucking sound?

    January 9, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  205. Bob Bailey

    It was not we the people who put us here and until the corruption on wall street and in our government officials is corrected we will continue in a downward spiral.

    January 9, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  206. James W. Blevins

    By the beginning of next year, everyone will remember how quickly and neatly Obama pulled pulled us back from the brink of oblivion.

    Jim, Craig, CO

    January 9, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  207. KD Singh in MA

    If you study the history of downturns, this is turning out to be a once in a lifetime event. It will get worse, much worse before it starts to get better. We will see at least 15% unemployment, still a lot less than Great Depression. Industrial production will definitely go down a lot more, we are already seeing it. And I agree with Obama, in that if we don’t do something, even if it just going to be a cushing event, we could end up with a borderline depression. This massive stimulus will take a while to show any affects.

    January 9, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  208. Alan

    I'm afraid we're in deep do-do. My guess is that the USA, as we know it will be extinct within the next 10-15 years.

    January 9, 2009 at 4:19 pm |


    January 9, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  210. Lloyd N. Greenspan

    Jack, the economy is going to get much worse, because the problems that brought us here are not going to be solved by bailouts or stimulus dollars. Who is going to have the nerve to stand up and say that we are absolutely "surrounded" by crooks masquerading as business leaders, politicians and the like? Then you add the "lobbyists" to the mix, and basically, we're "cooked"! Keep a running list of all the improprieties, beginning wit Enron to Madoff, and you will fall off your leather Aeron chair! I promise!

    Lloyd N. Greenspan
    Sutton Place, N.Y.

    January 9, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  211. James in TN

    Perhaps the dow will reach 6000 and then Washington will finally wake up and realize they got to do something besides talk about it.

    January 9, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  212. eddie

    it's gonna get a lot worse-they will not get the ding-bats in congress to work together but they all agreed with the ongoing ding-bat what a place we live in?

    January 9, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  213. David

    Hey Jack:

    The economy will lose another 3 million jobs and contract 5 percent in '09 and then in mid 2010 there will be a slow come back.

    Griswold, CT

    January 9, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  214. Steven

    I believe our global economy is going to get depressingly and stead fastly worse, before it gets Ridiculously and sickenly worse !!
    Why can't the CEO's of BIG Industries and Oil companies, as well as the top officials worldwide take a pay cut so the employees wont have to loose thier jobs.!!
    I can see that given a short time period, This is going to turn from a long ressession to a Huge and even longer depression!
    And Next time thier is a major tramatic disaster in another part of the world, dont be spending such huge amounts of donated money, price gouging to the highest bidder, for the materials they so dearly need.
    STart with fixing what needs to be fixed in our own country first as there are a majority of below poverty citizens here that need the help first as we as taxpayers are paying too high taxes now, and NOT getting the services we so dearly need.

    January 9, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  215. Dave in Saint Louis,MO

    It can't get much worse because Jan, 20th is coming! That is the day the economy becomes strong and the world is at peace!

    January 9, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  216. Tim

    I'm stockpiling Raman Noodle Soup. I hope I can stay in my apartment so I have someplace to keep it.
    Tim in Texas

    January 9, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  217. Joely Bear from Kansas

    "Let me end my talk by abusing slightly my status as an official representative of the Federal Reserve. I would like to say to Milton and Anna: Regarding the Great Depression. You're right, we did it. We're very sorry. But thanks to you, we won't do it again."

    -Ben Bernanke Chairman of the United States Federal Reserve

    Sounds like history got stuck in the revolving door again.

    January 9, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  218. Lee North Vancouver

    Why does it seem so hard to figure out? Take the "money" (imaginary as it may be) out of Iraq and spend it at home. Invest in your own country. It's not that difficult. Pay your own citizens to build, create and innovate. The benefits of this concept are mind-numbingly obvious. Put the money in the hands of normal hard-working people and you will see how fast an economy can recover. If America can afford to fund a multi-trillion dollar war then they can surley afford to get out and invest in-house. The average Americans blind faith and total ignorance has caused this mess. No one to blame but yourselves. WAKE UP!

    January 9, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  219. Joe in DE

    The financial markets appear to be stabilizing. Within 18 months, some jobs loss by this fiasco will be recouped.

    However, job loss due to ovement of industry overseas or oytsourcing will continue unless Trade Agreements are renegotiated to provide the imports to the US meet US Health & Safety standards and that countries with inadequate Environmental regulation are penalized – this creates FAIR trade and stops the loss . Without such action, the economy will deteriorate.

    January 9, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  220. Axil in Iowa

    Actually, I wouldn't consider it to be "bad" yet. This present state of affairs is nothin' new to me as I'm sure many other Americans. I grew up poor, I 've lived paycheck to paycheck, slowly improving year after year till now. Although I hope not, I'll likely die poor according to most peoples definition. When it does get "BAD" and the reality sets in throughout the world, I hate to imagine what evils will come to bear.

    January 9, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  221. dan krause

    You are asking a difficult question, and I don't know whether to consult an astrologist, a palmist, or an economist, although it might be possible to find someone with credentials in all three fields. Anyway, I think once we get rid of the pathetic Bush team, it will be something taking a muddy car through a car wash. Afterwards, the car may not run better, but it will look a lot nicer and it will just feel better when we go down the road.
    And I have a comfortable feeling that Obama is bringing some good mechanics to Washington with him. It may get worse for awhile, but I know it is going to get better because we are finally getting rid of what was causing all the problems.

    land-o-lakes, Wi

    January 9, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  222. Liz in California

    I believe things will turn around when people (and I'm generously including Congress here) learn or RE-learn the concept of frugality. Frugal doesn't mean "cheap" - it means "smart." Fortunately, PE Obama appears to grasp the concept.

    January 9, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  223. Kirk Williams

    In 1989 institutionalized communism collapsed, not with a bang, but with a whimper. It appears institutionalized capitalism might be on its way to the same fate. Your question can only be answered with a question. If the economy does turn around, what will be left, and what will that be?
    Peoria, Arizona

    January 9, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  224. Ralph Nelson

    I've been forecasting 11-to-12 percent unemployment for a year. At 7.5% unemployment things are not as bad as people think, but it's going up. We have a double-dip recession here with disinflation (proper definition of depression). How about a 30-to-40 cent per gallon gas tax with the money going to highways, streets, mass transit, sewers. and tax rebates for buying fuel efficient cars. Other tax cuts, reductions for buying; you buy, you get a tax cut. Get people buying U.S. goods, to include the Chinese. Stop exporting money and tax breaks overseas. Ralph, Yakima, Wa.

    January 9, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  225. Larry

    I don't think the question is How bad the ecomony will get? but how bad does the economy have to get before Obama does something about it?

    January 9, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  226. Ryan

    Hello, I've been in business for over 5 yrs(computer data company)and i've told people for over 2 yrs that the economy was is deep trouble before it hit the fan. We haven't even begon to see the bad part yet !! It takes 4-6 months after a person is laid off to see the affects of that one layoff. Now take that times total that have been unemployed. And we(tax payers) spent 350 billion on something that hasn't been used yet. (which is criminal) We need the WPA programs again ASAP!!!,,,, I figured my company has about 2 months left before i close doors and layoff 14 people(salary jobs 40k each) layed off 3 people already and have decreased my pay over a year ago....People demand our money back from wall street its just setting their and not doing anything....unemployement will hit 12.6 b4 it starts to leval out and then 2 years b4 it goes down. just think about it.

    January 9, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  227. Erik

    I am going to ramble a little.

    First off, our economy has been a superficial bubble for decades. It is about time we clean these people out of rising credit card spending. it's there fault and they need to pay for it. If that means they have to live in the streets or move in with there parents then so be it.

    This is no different then the internet bubble. I hope the economy cleans out the trash that infiltrated our system, regulations and get govt the hell out of people lives and quit balling people out. Invest the money in new technology for energy and cars. The tech is there, big corporate has been suppressing it.

    When I see a (hourly worker) McDonalds worker or a construction working buying a $40,000 tahoe then something is seriously wrong. In the apt complex I live in people are driving $70,000 BMWs. What the? you buy a car before a house? I hope the economy gets worse so people can get their priorities straight.

    January 9, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  228. Francisco

    I think this is going to get so worst that we might stand in line for blocks in order to get a bowl of soup and a piece of bread. I think this is because the American economy is based from the top down. Lower and middle class just wait for crumps to fall off of the table. It's getting to the point that there is not enough falling. In other words, distribution of wealth is very uneven. The saddest part is that that is just one of the third world traits the U.S. Is aquiring.

    January 9, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  229. Pat

    The economy will continue to worsen. Jack, this bailout package will stimulate the econmy as much as the last one did. Just a blip on the screen. Oh yeah, and where are we going to get all that money? Printing it up or borrowing it from overseas? Either way, wave goodbye to the middle class.

    January 9, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  230. Ed Yuchowitz

    Jack, The people in Washington are so removed from reality that I expect we are going to experience a depression, if we aren't there already. How do elected representatives with big salaries, great health benefits, money from lobbyists, superb retirement packages begin to relate to how the American public is suffering. I think Joe the plumber is smarter than most of the people in Congress and the Senate. Pres-elect Obama should speak with Art Laffer and learn what needs to be done. Thanks, Ed

    January 9, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  231. Ron Ouellette

    If nothing get's done it will probably be worst than the original depression so its time for the obstructionists to get out of
    the way. Of course Washington, DC especially members of
    Congress don't want change, and that's what he ran on, so
    I don't expect to see any change until at least mid March
    while these objectionists try to weave their way around this
    thing. Are they in for a surprise when they find out they can't.
    Its like the 12 Steps to Recovery, the sooner you surrender
    the sooner things get better.
    Ron – Florida

    January 9, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  232. Robert J Blood

    Dear Jack:
    I believe that the US economy will continue to decline over the course of many years. It is obvious that the typical American worker will be forced to meet the same standards as the typical Chineese worker, both in income, and standard of living. Look forward to crime, the likes of which have never been seen, in this great country. God help our children who will inherit unfathomable debt, I wonder if it will be any consolation to future taxpayers that the money they will be forced to pay back to the government was used to help rich bankers! Rob Blood

    January 9, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  233. Bob Sagona

    For those who a presently employed lin relatively secure jobs or with pension income:.

    Establish a montthly spending budget, for a specific night out for dinner; purchase of one needed item each for the family or individual members. Budget a specific savings amount

    Hopefully this would help break the vicious economic cycle we are in.

    Bob Sagona, Apple Valley, CA

    January 9, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  234. dom

    hey, Jack. It has taken the Bush adminastration, 8 years to put this country in a big mess, its going to take a lot more than just the democrats and one 4 year term to get it back on track. Good luck Obahma! Dom Pa.

    January 9, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  235. Mike

    Over 2 years ago Pelosi and the Democrats had the opportunity to reign in what I and many people believe has been the most incompetent and corrupt presidential administration in history in the history of this country. Since then billions of dollars has been wasted and unaccounted for.

    Looking back over the destruction of our economy that has since ensued and looking forward to how bad it could still get......

    I have to wonder...... Maybe taking impeachment off the table wasn't the right answer..... Especially considering Cheney's remarks...... "If you don't get impeached....its legal". In fact, impeachment may very well have prevented the catastrophe that has yet come to pass.

    Well at least there won't be any diversion in the country.....we will all be in the same leaking boat.

    January 9, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  236. Julie - Elizabethtown, Kentucky

    A lot worse! As long as no one wants to work on making it better. Obama is trying to put together some sort of solution. He is the only person who seems to be worried about it. The Republicans don't care about the country's well-being. As long as they can keep Obama and the Democrats from accomplishing anything, they are happy, and will continue the same childlike partisan games that they always play. For example, Sarah Plain is in the spotlight again complaining about how unfairly she is treated while the country is in crisis. Should we all stop worrying about the economy and try to figure out how we can make her feel better about herself? I never hear her say anything about the economy or important issues. The only thing she talks about is Sarah.

    I say we need to keep our eye on the ball and get busy. This is serious.

    January 9, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  237. Mitchell

    Let's take a moment to consider our men and women in uniform. As Permanent Chage of Station (PCS) orders come in, many of them are faced with ownership of home they cannot sell. They are not moving by choice...they are relocating due to orders. Federal employees have the benefit of "mortgage buyout" programs while those that serve and protect our freedoms are left to figure it out on their own.

    January 9, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  238. John, Fort Collins, CO

    As soon as the number of new jobs being created is higher than the number of jobs being lost the economy can start growing again. Even if the Congress gets off the dime quickly on Barack Obama's job creation propsals, it will take years to get everything implemented. Other than the dust bowl, I think this will be very much like the Great Depression–it could take five years or more to get the economy back on track. Other than that, the future looks great!

    January 9, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  239. Stephen O'Danison

    Much worse. Stores down the street are still open, I still have my job, fire isn't falling from the sky! I fear things will continue to fall and fall unless we not only make swift action to aide the economy, but also against the forces that drive it, and I'm not talking about the general public.

    January 9, 2009 at 4:25 pm |

    It depends on how Congress and the people cooperate. Mr. Obama has the right idea, but a lot of people don't want to see it work as they would have to give up some of their material things. Greed is what got us in this shape in the first place. The Republicans and the Bush Administration, taking care of the fatcats. The biggest bunch of thieves ever and the poorer people have to pay, as usual.

    January 9, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  241. Susan Haught

    i don't know I my husband has lost his job. We are behind in our mortgage. My health insurance has gone up $500 for lousy coverage which means another 40 a month up from the $173 I already pay and I am making only min. wage. You figure it out . Middle to low class can't take it any more. Can't pay our property taxes and we are over 60. Where do we go from here. After years of paying taxes and working all our lives who is going to bail us out. Thanks Bush and the republicans who still don't want to do anything but ruin this country.


    January 9, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  242. cristian

    As long as the brains in DC will not stop the madness with China, India, Mexico etc, we will turn into a 3rd world country.

    Burger King or Wal-Mart type of jobs will not sustain the US economy.


    January 9, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  243. Wes Guthrie

    The state and condition of America as of late sickens me, and it will only be a matter of time before history repeats itself. What happened to the morals and values this great nation was founded upon?

    January 9, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  244. Buster in Poughkeepsie, NY

    It can't get any worse Jack. You know the economy has hit rock-bottom when Wolf has to reduce himself to getting paid on the side for shaking his booty for Ellen DeGeneres just to pay his bills.

    January 9, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  245. Greg, Ontario

    What people don't seem to understand is the economy is right where it should be. We have been living in a dream world of spending what we don't have for years and it's time to wake up.
    America is not alone here it's a world wide problem. It's time to tell the politically correct to shut the hell up and face the world the way it really is. We are broke, we don't need more government involvement. All free nations need to tell their governments to get out of the way and the people will turn it all around in the next 6 months, but spending money you don't have has got to stop.

    January 9, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  246. ron in ohio

    Things will get much worse. I have been out of full time work since the end of 2007, and do not expect to find anything full time until sometime in 2010. I also know people with a little more education than me, and out of work much longer. They are in Columbus, and have masters degrees. You know what that tells you. The only places hiring are the Unemployment offices themselves, and of course the bill collection agencies. It looks like we will all have to fight over a few part-time jobs each, and continue to just cut back.

    January 9, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  247. Paul

    We don't learn from our mistakes. We didn't stop him in 2004. We were talking about Irak war without talking about $12 billions every month. Do we invest by sending our braves to fight the wrong war?

    January 9, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  248. andy

    i jack
    i work in the rail industry in eastern canada. things will get alot worse
    we are the last to feel the crunch and the first to see recovery so far
    it's all crunch. this will go on for at least as long as the one in the 80's
    so yes hold on we are all in for a rough ride.

    January 9, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  249. Danni

    At this point Jack im not even looking for a recovery, more of a stability. I see it as it can still get worse, if the adult industry is looking for a bail out, who next. we put all our chips in this up-coming president, lets see what comes out from it

    Upland CA

    January 9, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  250. johnchristopher

    The Economy...The Economy...The Economy...why do intelligent people discuss the economy as if it was human? It is not human! It has become so because the Merchants of Greed have created the illusion that it is synonymous with life itself. Give your heads a shake.
    People are dying out there, by the thousands, and you're chattering about how fat Oprah is this week and the Dow Jones. People are dying every minute for God's sake! Wake Up people. The economy is the least of our problems.

    January 9, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  251. oneil

    i think the economie will go down to where people paycheck will value the same credit as the soup lines obama have to create if congress doesn't pass the stimilus package , however america is a strong country an just like how we manage to get out of the first deprission we will get out of this one.

    January 9, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  252. Rocco in Rockford, IL

    The economy will continue to worsen until it self-destructs! But, on a positive note, come to Rockford, IL. where, when the end of the world comes, you'll still have 20 years!

    January 9, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  253. Lynn, Columbia, Mo..

    We're up the creek without a paddle and the levee broke. There's no way back. Our economy will be like the 9th ward of New Orleans which still hasn't recovered from hurricane Katrina. I predict it will get alot worse for a long, long time.

    January 9, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  254. Linda in Bisbee, AZ

    I think we are in uncharted waters. Things could get much, much worse. We are teetering on the edge of an abyss. And with that in view, stupid Democrats want to stand in the way of PE Obama's best plans. They don't call it the party of self-destruction for nothing.

    January 9, 2009 at 4:27 pm |
  255. Jeffrey in Minneapolis

    The economy will continue to worsen until the common folk demand a change in the status quo.
    We need to roll back the Reagan tax cuts that have created the huge disparity between the haves and the have nots. Demand universal health care at once, increase the minimum wage by several dollars, give everyone a raise, give employees the right to organize, and stop throwing billions of dollars at the top and start building the economy from the bottom up.

    January 9, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  256. Tim

    The state of the Economy will solely depend on the coming of Obama's presidency. If it is continued to be run with high government self interest at hand, we will all be in trouble. I am not convinced that Obama's presidency will be able to fix all the problems, but am hoping he and his groupies can put a bandage on the wound, stop the bleeding, and let the healing process take place.

    January 9, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  257. Ronald White

    Myself and others I know have talked about this and we all believe that it will get so bad, that people will start getting shot over stealing gas out of anther persons car. More and more companies are laying off and closing and no work is available, therefore, people are going to have to resort to steal and crime will go sky high and those who own guns are not going to be robbed. I think this is just the tip of the iceberg and the worst is yet to come.

    January 9, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  258. Stephen Chilingirian

    The economy will definitely get much worse. This is an evolutionary advancement which I believe will eventually purge the giant corrupt corporations which have allowed our world economy to suffer as a result of their greed and unlawful business practices.

    It is a time for revolution among this country where we will once again see the small business coming back and being a foundation in the community as opposed to the Wall Street giants. For too long have I seen these giants slowly put the small businesses out on the street with their promise to the community for lower prices only to raise them once the competition is destroyed.

    And lets discuss the greed of the banks, credit card issuers and insurance companies who have been lining their pockets with Billions of dollars while the struggling American family continues to plunge into the abyss of financial despair.

    Yes, it is time for a rejuvenation of our society and a complete restructuring of our entire financial system including the most elusive oversight that has been carelessly thrown to the side with the Bush administration. Furthermore, it is time the States answer for themselves and their failing administrative practices as well. Most of the specific item funding they receive is not at all used for their designated purpose and they should have to answer for that as well.

    January 9, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  259. Colette

    I am absolutely certain that President Obama will do his best to use our tax dollars wisely and will come to the right conclusion. However, I believe the only thing this stimulus will do is keep us afloat to the end of this year.
    I have been groomed for an economic devistation my whole life by my grand parents. I am a firm believer 100% that this Recession will not only get worse, but that the Bottom will fall out. There will be a Global Depression which will send us back to the dark ages.
    We won't be able to keep or maintain order and discipline... And so on.
    We are only seeing the tip of the iceberg with the Oakland shooting, and the billionares committing suicide. Things will get worse before they completely fall apart.
    If I am wrong, and 4 years from now we are doing fine and are in recovery, I will be the first to admit being wrong. But this Economy is so bad all we can do is wait and see.

    ~Colette, Minneapolis (Libertarian)~

    January 9, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  260. Wayne

    We know the economy will get worse because our elected LEADERS refuse to help the victims of this crisist and insist on passing money around to areas that they know will come back to them in some form. If they were serious about this problem they would have started with the people involved in this rather than the corperations. We then in turn would have rescued the from the bottum up. That would have been to easy tho...

    January 9, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  261. Patricia new hampshire

    Back to basics , One pair of shoes, one coat, library books,Rice, beans,chicken.the upside is great time for some valuable life lessons.change the things you can and accept and grow from adversity.

    January 9, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  262. ellen pinkas

    Jack, we really have moral reccession in our democracy. While Israel is committing war crimes we are supplying them with military aid and veto protection in the UN. However, here at home we are more worried about our economy not the innocent lives that are being lost with the help of our resources. As long as we don't stand up for whats right the world will continue to hate america, and not buy our products.

    January 9, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  263. John, Toronto, Ontario

    I think that a lousy economic outlook will be SOP until large profit making corporate sectors like the oil, pharmaceutical etc are encouraged / forced to plough their massive profits back into the economy rather than into the pockets of senior executives, Do you remember a time when paying out a dividend to investors was the rule rather than a very rare exeception (reserved as a poison pill against a takeover)? I don't.

    January 9, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  264. Miles in Allentown

    We should expect it to get as bad as, if not worse than, the Regan Recession numbers in excess of 10%

    January 9, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  265. Valorie, TN

    With the way things are starting off in Congress, I'd say things are going to get a whole lot worse and we will probably end up in another Great Depression due to Congress already starting their shenanigans. The Republicans are hell bent on tanking the economy and turning the US into another China re: low wages, no workers' or consumers' rights and they are going to use the deficit argument to do it. Just look at what Senator Corker had to say and you see where the Republicans's loyalties are. The only way the economy will be jump started is if WE, THE AMERICAN PEOPLE stand up to Congress and tell them they MUST support President Obama's plans. He and his team gets it that we are going to have to run huge deficits thanks to Wall Street gambling away trillions of dollars so it will take trillions of dollars to get the economy back on track. Time for WE, THE AMERICAN PEOPLE to help President Obama take our country back.

    January 9, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  266. Robert in Louisville, Kentucky

    I want to believe it will start to turn around as soon as Obama is sworn in and the congress acts responsibly by giving him the money and tools he needs to start the recovery. Am I dreaming? YOU BETCHA.

    January 9, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  267. Susan from Greenfield, Wi.

    It's going to get much worse because the general public will continue to hold onto their money. We no longer have any faith, confidence, or belief in our government, or our business leaders to behave with the best interests of the nation at heart. The proof of who is responsible for all of this is too easy to see, and yet they do not suffer. Until there is justice, the beat will go on.

    January 9, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  268. Daniel, Indiana

    It will teeter on the brink of a 1930ish depression before our self-important politicians will decide that the time has come to cooperate andwork for more than their own glory. That is IF they (those politicians) see that they are seeing themselves as self-imoprtant.

    January 9, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  269. David Richards

    If Barack Obama can slow the failing economy he will have been successful. The Republicans are going to run in 2010 and 2012 on "all this spending didn't save the economy, it just out us further in debt." The day is coming when someone is going to have to raise taxes to pay for all this stimulus.bailout/deficit spending. China isn't going to lend us money for ever. Sooner or later we're going to have to live within our means and provide for ourselves.

    January 9, 2009 at 4:32 pm |
  270. Kevin, Chester Springs PA

    Oh, it'll get worse. Maybe 9% unemployment. But it'll probably hit bottom by 2nd or 3rd quarter this year and then start to rebound. Yeah, it's bad. But bad times are also cyclical. It had to happen sooner or later. Unfortunately, we had a bunch of turkeys running things for 8 years which made it a lot worse than it had to be. And those folks will be on the speaking circuit making lots of money talking a bunch of crap. the irony is the financial companies we bailed out will probably be paying most of the speaking fees! Only in America!

    January 9, 2009 at 4:32 pm |
  271. Jake, Oregon

    Naysayers are 9 cents a dozen, adjusted for inflation. Americans have every reason to be positive about the next 4 years of the new administration. They will be trying to replace some control within the government that was so badly eroded during the incompetence of the previous warlords. It will take time, and faith and a heck of a lot of work on our parts as well, but it will work out. For the first time in 8 years we can look forward to a smoother road.

    January 9, 2009 at 4:32 pm |
  272. Sami Hou. TX.

    Yah Jack

    I just forwarded your question to "Psychic readings by Ava Brooks' i will forward her answer A.S.A.P..
    By the way Ava is gonna call you to get your credit card info......She has a strickt C.O.D. policy.

    January 9, 2009 at 4:32 pm |
  273. EugeneWiese

    If the banks will lend money,and we can get our manufacturing base back we would be on the road to recovery,especially,withjob creation for infra structure and alternate energy sources. This means to me,it will be 2010 before we empty the pipelines and stuff mfg. here will be bought and sold. The present recessation is no different than we've had for the past 50 years.The pipelines are full of foreign stuff.This country has been hostage to a trillion dollar ponzi scheme,but with new government we will get out in a couple of years. Gene Midlothian,Va.

    January 9, 2009 at 4:33 pm |
  274. Julie in Topeka

    Worse because we will continue to spend billions on foreign aid and overseas construction projects rather than help Americans.You know, the people whose money it really is and who need it desperately now?

    January 9, 2009 at 4:33 pm |
  275. Mike,Wisconsin

    Unfortunately,things are going to get much worst,in fact I dont see thingsgetting any better so long as we continue to pretend to be a christian nation. as I see it we are a nation of hippocrates our elected officials continue to lie to the ones who trust them to do the right then only to be let down once again.

    January 9, 2009 at 4:34 pm |
  276. Franceen Ellis

    The economy will get worse in 2009, but I believe it will slowly start to pick up in 2010 or 2011. Obama's stimulus package will take lots of time to get things moving. People who have lost jobs might have to consider the choices that Obama is proposing in order to stay employed. Let's hope for the best.

    January 9, 2009 at 4:35 pm |
  277. Happy Camper Pet Resort

    I pray it gets better; although, I don't think that will happen for a while.
    The high gas prices and frequent lay-offs have killed my business. We may be shutting down early Feb. unless we find investors or a buyer.

    Our Chrysler plant in near-by Belvidere may close. They are still shut down now.

    Doggie Daycare is not a "necessity", although many of our customers-think otherwise. They are asking me, "What are we going to do with our dogs now? Where we board them when we leave town"?

    I meet with our banker next wk. Hopefully-our bank isn't as tight on credit as what you guys say.

    January 9, 2009 at 4:35 pm |
  278. Baltimore James

    Well Jack as with most things in life one mans misfortune is anothers opportunity.

    I myself feel fairly optimistic that if I can hold on long enough I'll be able to pic up a really swanky home in beverly hills for two sacks of grain and one stout pony.

    Bring on the apocolypse baby I want me a ferrari for two abba zabbas and a carton of smokes!

    Baltimor James
    Los Angeles, CA.

    January 9, 2009 at 4:36 pm |
  279. David, Tampa, Fl

    Another 2.5 million jobs lost in the first half of 2009. More and more folks unable to find work of any kind. More Hoovervilles popping up, larger and larger jail populations. Food banks and soup kitchens that turn people away because they cant get donations. And inspite of all efforts this BS going on for at least 4-6 years before things begin to turn around. Too bad the people that deserve jail the most will be the ones skipping off to far away places with the wealth of this nation.

    January 9, 2009 at 4:36 pm |
  280. Jacob (Minnesota)

    What really gets me is that we don't pay attention to whats really important. We are so prone to distraction and dumbed down that critical thinking is near impossible for the vast majority, and we don't care!! I start talking monetary policy and I get blank stares and inquiries of sports scores. End the Fed, abolish income tax (which was never ratified), limit credit, fire the politicians, and hit restart. take the pain, for tomorrow looks like a dark day for the young generation that can't do much anything to fix this right now.

    January 9, 2009 at 4:36 pm |
  281. Tim- Durham, NC

    The state of the Economy will solely depend on the coming of Obama’s presidency. If it is continued to be run with high government self interest at hand, we will all be in trouble. I am not convinced that Obama’s presidency will be able to fix all the problems, but am hoping he and his groupies can put a bandage on the wound, stop the bleeding, and let the healing process take place.

    January 9, 2009 at 4:36 pm |
  282. Joe in VA

    I fear it will worsen for another year or more. I don't know what they are teaching in economics schools but it clearly is not common sense. We export jobs for basic commodities we all need like textiles and shoes and replace them with "services" . "All good"say the experts. Now , when I need to buy shoes it will help retain a job in China, not in the USA. That former shoe maker is in the "service industry", maybe he's a hotel clerk. Now when money is tight, I'll not take that trip and stay at that motel. I can do without a lot of services. I cannot do without shoes. We've built an economy that thrives by spending for things we no longer make and we employ these former manufacturring folks in services we can do without. What about this seems crazy?

    Joe in VA
    Chatham, VA

    January 9, 2009 at 4:37 pm |
  283. NANCY , Grand Ledge MI

    If past behavior is the best predictor of future behavior, we can't count on Congress for any help in the near future! They will continue to squabble over petty details while the snowball keeps rolling downhill!
    It will take an avalanche to get them to accomplish something!

    January 9, 2009 at 4:37 pm |
  284. carol from pittsburgh

    Times are tough and getting even tougher in the new year. My husband had to lay-off 20% of his department because of stopped orders and orders put on hold. What concerns me is that Congress is posturing to protect their turf and image. These are bad times and it would be nice if our elected representatives thought about the "big picture" and not just their own backsides. Jeez.

    January 9, 2009 at 4:37 pm |
  285. Laurieann Petker-Huffman Willits, CA

    Oh Jack, I fear that until they figure out that they need to fix it from the bottom up...foreclosures, jobs, the cost of everything of necessity not to mention the pleasures, the economy is going to only worsen with a vengeance. The driving force of Americas economy is the people, and the people have nothing left. Citi bank is charging me 28.99% on a credit card that I just came out of hardship on. How's that for thanking me for my tax dollars. Point is that with things like that going on to everyone, we can't recover, therefore we can't spend. Therefore, it will get much worse!

    January 9, 2009 at 4:37 pm |
  286. Charlie in Belen, New Mexico

    How bad it will get depends on your perspective. If you are a benificary of Paulson's handouts , you will be aking "What bad economy???" while the rest of us are trying to pay the bills and find jobs....

    January 9, 2009 at 4:38 pm |
  287. Mabus

    Give it another six months and you'll all think things are pretty good right now. Just wait till the credit card bubble busts, the financial sector starts asking for even more money, and we all realize that there is really nothing our elected leaders can really do. That's when the real fun starts. Hopelessness, frustration, and desperation and are in our future for some time to come.

    January 9, 2009 at 4:39 pm |
  288. Bruce in Colorado

    At least Wolf will keep the purple tie Manufacturers in business.

    January 9, 2009 at 4:39 pm |
  289. Richard in Kansas

    It will get worse for sure. And if we don't immediately require all U.S. based businesses to bring all overseas jobs back here and send all the illegal's we can round up back to their home, it wil get really bad.

    At some level I truly dislike these mandates but alot of people need jobs and the economy needs us to spend. Really tough decisions need to be made. The time is now.

    January 9, 2009 at 4:40 pm |
  290. Will


    This is just the beginning of a long, hard road ahead. The economy will get much worse before it begins to get better, and will not fully recover for several years. Why do I think so? Simple. All you have to do is look at historical examples of all previous asset bubbles and you will see that they take almost exactly as long to unwind as it took to wind i up. The housing bubble started around 2000 and peaked in 2006, so add six years and you get 2012. However, I predict that US dollar will collapse and the US will go bankrupt before then. Why? Because the the Federal Reserve and the Federal government are manipulating the market too much with bailouts for failed companies that will further weaken the economy and lead to more and more otherwise healthy companies failing due to lack of available capital, while the government goes bankrupt trying to maintain the status quo.

    Someone, please wake up and hit the reset button before we waste years and trillions of dollars trying to prop up a failed financial system that will never work in a world where there is no longer a cheap surplus of energy and resources to fuel the growth required to keep our current debt based fractional reserve banking system alive and functioning.

    Check out the Crash Course by a guy named Chris Martenson and will begin to understand why this is all happening and why the next 20 years are almost certainly going to be a lot different than the last 20 years...

    January 9, 2009 at 4:40 pm |
  291. circy in New Mexico

    Do you mean it could get worse?

    January 9, 2009 at 4:40 pm |
  292. Ima

    @ Jennifer Brown,

    I'm with you! Let the gvt give us the money ($500,000) and we will decide who needs bailing out by where/how we spend it!

    Happy New Year,

    January 9, 2009 at 4:40 pm |
  293. Ken in NC

    If we can get Senator McCain to speak right behind the Obama speech at his inauguration and have him state to the world that "THE FUNDAMENTALS OF THE ECONOMY ARE STRONG", it will all turn around early tomorrow morning

    January 9, 2009 at 4:41 pm |
  294. kathy feeney

    It will get worse if we continue to bail out companyies that won't help the American pepole. We need to give a large sum back to the taxpayers in order for them to buy cars, invest, put down payments on foreclosed houses and jump start the economy. #1,000 will not do anything to help. Since banks won't lend or car companies won't approve credit for cars, etc. let the people bail out the country. It would create more jobs because there will be demand for products. Giving money to individual companies is a waste of money. 700 billion did nothing but line Ceo pockets. They deserved nothing for failing their companies.
    We nedd something sizeable to give people confidence tat this economy has hope.

    January 9, 2009 at 4:41 pm |
  295. John in Santa Barbara, CA

    It is now at the street level, the heart of American. People losing their homes, then their jobs. No jobs, no money to spend and now the stores are going out of business; more lost jobs. This is where it turns nasty and tears everything up like a tornado on a mobile home park. It hits bottom when crime is so rampant that everyone puts aside their differences and agrees on anything to put an end to it.

    January 9, 2009 at 4:44 pm |
  296. Mari Fernandez, Salt Lake City, Utah

    I see there are folks blaming the Democrats! What a joke! What the far-right-people do not want to acknowledge is this:

    1. During the Reagan years and again from January 1994 through January 2007 the Republicans who controlled both House and Senate had a grand time DE-regulating banking and Wall Street.

    2. When Bush took office in 2001 (Jan.) Clinton had left $5 trillion in National dent and a hefty SURPLUS! A balanced budget to boot! And we were experiencing one of the most prosperous times in our Nation's history.

    3. Bush spending went out of control. The war in Iraq, which was started on lies, has cost us dearly not only in the lives of our Troops but .......we are still spending ..... $10 billion a month there! Not to mention the billions paid to the crooks at Halliburton!

    Bush's Legacy:

    $12 TRILLION in National debt

    The highest unemployment since 1945!

    Over a trillion dollar budget deficit for fiscal 2009!

    How can anyone blame the Democrats who only took a slight majority in Congress in January 2007????????????????

    To answer Jack's question, things will get worse and then they will get better! This is a wake-up call to all Americans living "high on the hog" with no savings, and spending like maniacs!

    January 9, 2009 at 4:47 pm |

    I expect things to get a lot worse, which in my mind isn't a bad thing. We are focusing all of our efforts to try to sustain a credit economy when we should be moving back to a cash economy. That transition, however, will take years and be extremely difficult. That's also something that I don't think any president will volunteer to do during their term (it's not popular). What doesn't make sense is Government is trying to make it easier for people to borrow money, which ends up putting them further into debt that they can't service in the first place, which is how we got here in the first place!

    As for "Bailouts"...I don't feel those will ever work and will cause more problems in the long run – plus we can't afford it! It's okay to fail!! This is how we learn from our mistakes and become stronger and more successful. By letting companies go under, investors will come in a buy up the assets for pennies on the dollar, then turn around and make the products again better and cheaper that people will want to by. People will start working again and America will profit from this.

    This situation we are in is a big wake-up call for Americans that needs to happen! We have been living unrealistic, lazy and waistful lives for far too long and "Change" is something we need. I actually look forward to harder times because it will bring people together, get us off our butts and start producing again!

    What doesn't kill us makes us stronger and that is what this country was founded on!

    January 9, 2009 at 4:47 pm |
  298. Dave in Canada

    CNN continously reporting about job cuts is not helping matters very much. Talking so much about recession is a self-fullfiling prophesy. If you scare enough people into cutting back on spending, then you will certainly have a recession. It all boils down to a matter of self-confidence in your government. I, myself, refuses to take part in this so-called recession. My spending has not changed. If I want something, I buy it. I'm already looking forwarded to buying my new car next summer.

    January 9, 2009 at 4:48 pm |
  299. Frank F

    Jack its gonna get much worse till the pinheads including the President Elect understand that you cannot spend your way out of debt. Obama's fiscal plan gets us nothing. Sure jobs will be available, to build museums, waterslides, zoo's and all kinds of nice things. But those things are not going to payback the debt that goes along with those projects. What is need is to allow business that cannot make it to fail. What is needed is investment in industry that we as a nation can sell to the rest of the world.

    In 1945 we lost 2.5 million jobs and they were government jobs because WWII ended. However very shortly after that those jobs were recovered by private industry making cars, building jet engines and nuclear power that we sold to the rest of world and made us a great nation.

    Who's gonna buy the zoos.

    January 9, 2009 at 4:48 pm |
  300. Ken in TN

    In the Great Depression, the crash took place in 1929 with the bottom felt in 1933, this was laregly in part that Woodrow Wilson did little about it. For this Next Depression, the crash took place in 2008, likely the bottom will be in mid to late 2009 or 2010, that is if Bush, the Treasury and CEOs have not put us so far in debt that our hands are tied and we have no power to combat the economic decline.

    January 9, 2009 at 4:49 pm |
  301. Barb in Arlington, VA

    House and Senate Dems and GOPers are acting like they usually do. They are the dividers and not the uniters. They haven't gotten the word that we the voters don't want to hear their parti-insanities. Mr. and Ms. Politician you had a lot to do with getting us in this mess, and while it's a stretch to appeal to your better natures, you'd do best by getting after it, or you'll be coming in the Capitol Visitors Center after the next election.

    January 9, 2009 at 4:49 pm |
  302. Wally Ruehmann las vegas nv

    i'd tell you but i'd hate to see a grown man cry

    January 9, 2009 at 4:49 pm |
  303. romnak, corbin KY

    It will last until our elected lraders start doing their jobs credibly. No more perks, sweetheart deals with big business, organized labor, wall street, bankers, less interfering in foreign affairs. No matter how you spin it, we are down to basic needs. Food, shelter and jobs. Take care of that and I think you'll see a turnaround.

    January 9, 2009 at 4:49 pm |
  304. Nancy Herman

    The economy could go up or down depending on how effective the new administration is with their new plan. One huge area of improvement would be to overhaul the IRS. We could go to a simple flat tax system, thus allowing the country to have a much smaller tax agency and save billions of dollars. The IRS has a long history of being an abusive agency toward US taxpayers. Lets save a lot of money and dump this abusive agency at the same time. Nancy Denver, Colorado

    January 9, 2009 at 4:50 pm |
  305. Jon

    This economy will get better. However, there are jobs out there many in fact. It's just that people need to open their eyes and get off the mindset I'm to good for it, or it doesn't pay enough. My answer is "Then get 2 of them". Single parents (mostly women) out there can do it why can't you. As my grandma used to say "Get off your duff mister".


    January 9, 2009 at 4:50 pm |