Monday, December 1, 2008

IT'S 'Official' . . . finally!

Tony Fratto – Bush Deputy Press Secretary - Photo Credit: AP/J. Scott Applewhite

By l.t. Dravis

WASHINGTON, DC - Monday, December 1, 2008 – The ‘experts’ have finally gotten around to telling us that we’re in a recession and we’ve been there . . . for an entire year!

This brilliant deduction came in the form of an announcement by an organization that calls itself the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) (

NBER announced today that December, 2007 was when the economy went into recession; a recession which evidently precipitated the economic slide into the current financial crisis, culminating in September’s Wall Street meltdown and subsequent economic problems.

Who supports the National Bureau of Economic Research?

Well, don’t worry . . . you don’t.

NBER likes to say that it’s a non-profit, non-partisan research group dedicated to helping Americans understand how the economy functions.


The NBER has been around since 1920 and is quite proud of the fact that it has produced 31 Nobel Prize Winners, 6 Chairs of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers, and a thousand or so professors of economics and business teaching in universities all over the country.

Sounds good . . . but with all due respect to the NBER, thousands of people who lost their jobs a year ago could have told us – way back then- that we were in a recession.

All sorts of people in George W. Bush’s Administration with access to more economic data than you or me have yammered on and on about some sort of economic problem facing the nation at least since March; but not one of those people had the character or integrity to dare to use the “R” word.

Despite the fact that the 43rd President of the United States and all the people he considers to be the best and the brightest the nation has to offer wouldn’t be honest about something the entire world already knows says more about character and integrity than I could ever explain.

However, if it is true that we can’t change what we won’t acknowledge, why wouldn’t the President, Vice-President, all their advisors, and all the Cabinet Secretaries who accept our money and benefits come clean with us in time to fix the economy before it ‘melted-down’?

If the Bush Administration hadn’t been so concerned about covering its collective butt, it could have taken steps at the time, on time, in time, to prevent the collapse of Wall Street, the banking industry, the auto industry, and other industries that are laying off American men and women at the rate of 500,000 each week, every week.

Now, I admit I shouldn’t be so one-sided . . . it’s just that I hate to see people lose their jobs through no fault of their own.

So I’ll give the Bush White House the benefit of the doubt and ask a fair question; How did the Bush White House react to the NBER’s announcement?

Did the White House admit that if it had acknowledged the fact that we were in a recession a year ago, it could have done something sooner to protect the jobs of millions of Americans? Did the White House accept responsibility for trillions of dollars in retirement savings and investments lost by millions of Americans over the past year? Moreover, did the White House admit that George W. Bush’s failed policies contributed to the recession?

No . . . the White House made a political statement.

The Bush Administration sent Deputy Press Secretary Tony Fratto, 42, (a well-connected Republican . . . former spokesman for ex-Senator Rick Santorum, former campaign worker for Tom Ridge’s re-election as Pennsylvania Governor, and lobbyist who was rewarded by George W. Bush with a position as Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs at the Treasury Department and then re-rewarded by George W. Bush who named him Deputy Press Secretary in 2006) out to dismiss the fact that the nation has been in a recession for a year by saying, “The most important things we can do for the economy right now are to return the financial and credit markets to normal and to continue to make progress in housing and that’s where we’ll continue to focus.”


What does that mean?

We have to ‘return the financial and credit markets to normal’?

Why the heck would we do that?

A year ago the financial and credit markets were normal and look where that’s gotten us!

By the way, what did you mean when you said, “continue to make progress in housing”?

Ask home builders and home owners to tell you about the ‘progress’ they see and they’ll ask, “What progress?”

I gotta tell you, Mr. Deputy Press Secretary, I’m disappointed.

The taxpayers of this great nation pay you $141,000.00 per year ($11,750.00 per month; $2,937.50 per week), plus cushy benefits they can’t afford for themselves.

Yet, where were you a year ago?

Why didn’t you or one of your highly-paid, well-benefited colleagues on the White House roster earn your pay by coming clean with the people who pay you? Why didn’t you admit then what the President, the Vice-President, advisors, plus Cabinet members were too chicken to admit . . . that we were in a recession?

Wait a second . . . since we just discovered that we’re running a year behind on ‘official’ economic news, could we already be out of the recession and not know it?

I could ask the NBER or I could ask Tony Fratto . . . or I could ask one of the half million Americans who lost their jobs last week.

Who do you think would know best?


Copyright © 2008 by LTD Associates West, Ltd. All rights reserved.

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