Even UKTN’s Chris Cillizza mocks the White House for recession spin: ‘I laughed at myself’


UKTN editor-in-chief, Chris Cillizza, mocked the White House for attempting to distort the definition of a recession, saying he was “laughing at myself.”

The White House published a blog post late last week suggesting that traditional definitions of a recession don’t necessarily mean the economy will be on the same path this time around.

Business Insider defines a recession as “when gross domestic product (GDP) falls for two consecutive quarters,” although they note there are other factors to be sure.

The Biden administration’s blog post says: “The decline in GDP in the first quarter of this year — even if followed by another GDP decline in the second quarter — is unlikely to indicate a recession.”

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White House runs on recession parameters

While several Republicans have targeted the White House for supposedly “redefining the recession,” Newsweek notes that the entry is simply a blog post pointing to a more comprehensive definition by the National Bureau of Economic Research.

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Either way, it’s clear that the government is trying to get a hold of the GDP figures to be released later this week.

President Biden himself, when urged by a reporter about how concerned the public should be about a recession, said he doesn’t think it’s happening.

“I don’t think we’re going into a recession,” he replied.

RELATED: Survey: Nearly 50% of Economists Believe a Recession is Coming

‘You can’t change the nomenclature’

Cillizza, normally a Biden loyalist to his network, laughed at the White House for giving a twist on how nuanced the term “recession” can be.

“I laughed to myself with the ‘in my opinion’ thing,” he joked. “I would like to. In my opinion I should be called up to the NBA. NBA executives disagreed. It doesn’t matter what you think.”

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UKTN’s political expert noted that two consecutive quarters of GDP decline is a “technical definition” that has been used for some time, and that each turn to the contrary is an attempt to “prepare” the expected economic report.

“It really doesn’t matter what you think,” Cillizza added, referring to Biden’s “in my opinion” comment.

“We have these conditions for a reason. You don’t have to like it,” Cillizza continued. “Joe Biden’s way of dealing with the economy was 25% or 30% in the most recent poll.”

“It’s a problem for them, this increases the problem, but you can’t change the nomenclature in the middle of a campaign because it doesn’t work for you.”

A recent Bloomberg survey of economists indicates that nearly 50% believe the United States economy is headed for recession in the coming year.

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A separate poll by Magnify Money shows that Americans are even more concerned about the state of the economy, with 70% predicting a recession will come, while a majority of those (59%) expect it to happen in the next six months.

And while the White House and the president’s personal opinion aren’t predicting a recession (they didn’t see inflation coming either), a new UKTN report indicates the US economy is “at least teetering on a recession.”

“The economy has at least a fair chance of meeting the rule of thumb of recession of two consecutive quarters with negative GDP readings,” they write.

To what extent the White House will try to evade the coming recession fears, we’ll have to wait and see.


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