If you asked the Administration, they'd say our economy is a little weak but we'll be better in no time -- thanks to all of the spending we've been doing. Don't believe me? Just see for yourself:
"The unemployment rate is unacceptably high at 10 percent, but the economy appears to be on the road to recovery because of the administration's actions," Alan Krueger [assistant to Treasury Secretary, Geithner] said at a conference today in Atlanta.
Because of the administration's actions. Right. He must mean the hundreds of billions of dollars that were supposed to boost the economy and prevent unemployment from going above 8 percent.
Hard to believe projections from an administration that "misread how bad the economy was," before. It sort of reminds me of that pushy guy behind the counter who tells you how the expensive watch or luxury item is really just perfect for you and you've just gotta get it. If you can't afford it, you should just buy it on installments or on credit. Problem solved -- for the salesperson, anyway.
For anyone who doesn't believe the hype, however, there is a more familiar forecast. Familiar, meaning it's the one we feel in our gut based on conversations we've had over the holidays about spending, savings, costs, and expenses -- and about jobs. It's that we're not out of the economic woods yet: "It will be difficult to have a robust recovery while housing and commercial real estate are depressed."
It's a necessity for Americans to buy into the whole "we're well on the way to recovery" line, if the administration is going to get any traction with its continual push of big ticket items (health care reform, cap and trade, and whatever else is looming around the corner.):
One reason is that U.S. consumers remain heavily indebted. Consumer credit outstanding has fallen from its mid-2008 records, but still stands at some $2.5 trillion, or nearly one-fifth of total yearly spending in the U.S. economy.
So, it looks like U.S. families aren't quite ready to go out and spend on a big ticket item. They're demonstrating prudence and they're waiting. They're paying off debts. It's something we all learned a long time ago.
It's something this administration could still learn.