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September 17th, 2009
08:10 AM ET

Is the U.S. Still in a Recession?

A new CNN-Opinion Research Corporation Poll shows that 86% of Americans believe the U.S. is in a recession. 42% think it’s a “serious recession.” 35% think it’s a moderate recession. These numbers come out just 2 days after Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke said the recession is "very likely over."

What do you think? Is the U.S. still in a recession?

Post your comments here


Filed under: Heidi Collins
soundoff (91 Responses)
  1. Charles Kopack

    The Fed Chairman and the economy "experts" can say what they want, but for those of us who have to live in the "real world" – yes – we are still in a recession.

    September 17, 2009 at 8:46 am |
  2. SpringWolf

    Recession? Try depression! The "experts" are still allowing Wall Street and it's Banks to continue their risky business practices at the expense of the American Taxpayer. The Government shakes their finger and does nothing substantial to stop them. The rich and the Fed Chairman can live in fantasy land all they want; those of us who have been out of a job for 2 years, lost our homes, worry about how to support our children know the "experts" are still LYING to us, while they're getting richer!

    September 17, 2009 at 9:11 am |
  3. Mark from Boston

    It depends who you ask. According to the government's numbers, NO; however, this is because they changed the metrics for CPI and PPI; therefore, the GNP/GDP is calculated differently. As a result, government liabilities such as Social Security are being cheated – Plain and Simple. This all during a time where people have lost their businesses, jobs, half their retirement and half the equity in their homes.

    Ask The Forgotten Man. Every expense they have has increased over the past three years: food, clothing, housing, education, taxes, etc. Yet, there's no inflation? The reason why everything seems more expensive is because our dollar is worth less, and we need more of them to buy the same items.

    Many of us are not confused.

    September 17, 2009 at 9:40 am |
  4. Josh

    YEAH..........im laid off and just ran out of unemployment, so im gonna have to say yes !!!

    September 17, 2009 at 9:42 am |
  5. kayur vyas

    the recession will end wen i have a job

    September 17, 2009 at 9:43 am |
  6. Fran B. Reed

    For me, it will never be over. At 71 I barely survive on food
    stamps and social security. Every day I wonder if I can pay my
    light bill or eat until the food stamp card is due. If I could afford
    a web page to announce I'm a writer, I could pull myself out and
    help others. I have no way to find work. I don't think it's over for the nation, either, with so many unemployed.

    September 17, 2009 at 9:44 am |
  7. Geeta

    I am amazed at such declarations made by people in higher offices. My husband was laid off at Merrill Lynch in feb 09 and I am getting laid off at the same company as a consultant early December. Tell that to my daughter who goes to college next year and I can do absolutely nothing to help her or my elderly mom who lives with me and has no place to go or my 5 year old who wants all Spiderman tapes but I cant get them for him as I have to save every last dollar.BTW the NYstate unemplyment is only 364.50 plus 22.50 per week after taxes-yah that will pay all our bills.Its a joke.

    September 17, 2009 at 9:44 am |
  8. Tim

    How can you say the recession is over while millions of professionals do not hAVE WORK AND HEALTH INSURANCE AND LOSING THEIR HOMES. iF YOU WANT TO CONDUCT A SURVEY CHECK WITH REAL AMERICANS. THE RECESSION IS NOT OVER

    September 17, 2009 at 9:44 am |
  9. Clyde Woodfin

    Of course we are still in a recession. It seems that Republicans are joined in an almost concerted effort to make recovery of the economy under any Obama policy impossible.

    September 17, 2009 at 9:45 am |
  10. Tom Kauffman

    The Fed Chairman certainly cleared the air about one thing – he has no clue what millions upon millions of Americans are experiencing. He needs to get out more.

    September 17, 2009 at 9:45 am |
  11. Kris

    Maybe it is really over on the upper end of things. But, for those of us working Americans we still feel it everyday. Just yesterday I was told I have to take an extra five furlough days by the end of the year makiing 15 total this year. Clearly through my eyes it's not even close to over.

    September 17, 2009 at 9:45 am |
  12. Matthew

    Dear Heidi,

    Nice poll. But the problem is in your communication of the data. The question as displayed was "Is U.S. in a recession?" and YOU said "Do you think the U.S. is STILL in a recession?", which communicates (To me) that the data shows people do believe in the question that was asked, but not the question you stated on the air, which provides a problem to the people listening to your program.

    Just figured I'd clarify. Not sure if you read that from the prompter but you should stop if you did, it's confusing people. Which is not to say that ALL people were confused, but I could see how easily the data was interpreted wrongly.

    You're very pretty by the way, do you date Canadians?

    Sincerely,
    – Matthew

    September 17, 2009 at 9:45 am |
  13. Diana

    Yes we are still in a recession. With unemployment at an all time high and lay-offs continuing being done by large companies in the thousands. Though the housing market is on a rise, I feel we are in a big time recession and then there is those without healthcare??

    September 17, 2009 at 9:45 am |
  14. Nolan

    I don't think the recession is over and I believe this last year has been a band-aid fix for a bigger problem. Who is going to rent all the unwanted real estate that was once used by retailers and corporations who went under? We need together ready for the commercial real estate disaster on it's way. Also we need to think about where all this printed money came from and how can the US back it up? Long and short is that this is a temporary fix that only digs a deeper whole.

    September 17, 2009 at 9:46 am |
  15. Liz

    I think the recession is ending (slowly but surely). A month ago, my dad got laid off. We all thought it would take forever for him to find a job equal to the one he lost or with similar benefits. Three weeks later, he found a great job ! If he would've lost his job this time last year, it probably would've taken him longer to find a job and probably not a very good one because of the competition out there.

    Also, I am graduating this year from college and was worried about the "Class of 2009 graduates" phenomenom where most graduates this year were not finding jobs. I am hopeful now that I will find a job post graduation.

    September 17, 2009 at 9:46 am |
  16. Carol

    I believe that the recession is almost over....everyone of us knows someone who lived through the 'great depression' and had to change their lifestyle so completely that even to this day they continue in that manner. That's why I think there is a bit of a reluctance for most people to concede that this is over, just protecting themselves.

    September 17, 2009 at 9:46 am |
  17. Sherri

    Didnt a year or so ago they denied we were in a recession for over a year. Everyone was like Hello! It doesnt take a rocket scientist to figure that out. Then they finally came out and said we were in a recession. And Everyone was like DUH!! Now they are saying The recession is over. They are just LYING again so people try to have hope and start spending money that they dont have. The Rich politics have to wake up to the real world out there.

    September 17, 2009 at 9:47 am |
  18. Charles

    We are definitely still in a recession in the most important place.....the minds of most Americans. Until that mentality changes the economic environment will remain stagnant. The Obama administration needs to focus on stability right now instead of radical change. The country for the most part is more than a little nervous right now about their financial future. Maybe "stability" needs to replace the "change" mantra.

    September 17, 2009 at 9:47 am |
  19. Angel R.

    Most Definately!
    These so called "experts" can say that we are not but they are the ones still collecting paychecks and are able to pay their bills. My husband lost his job in june and has not been able to find work anywhere since then.
    We cannot pay our rent,bills or anything else and we will be losing our home soon with nowhere to go. Just once I would like some of these "experts" to come and live in ours and many others like us shoes for a month so they can see just hard hard it really is.
    Instead of throwing money out for clash for clunkers and in my opinion other useless programs like it try putting money in our pockets and ACTUALLY creating more jobs so we can survive!!

    September 17, 2009 at 9:48 am |
  20. jennifer from Cali

    I felt the recession well before Bush acknowledged the state of the economy. Finally, my family is feeling relief as long as we can hold onto our jobs.

    But college is out of reach for my young adult children and healthcare is crippling the nation. America has a long way to go.

    September 17, 2009 at 9:48 am |
  21. Bruce Evans

    Economists and Politicians always want to say a recession is over before it actually is. But there are far too many people in this country whose only job is part time. The problem with unemployment figures is they don't track how many of those jobs are Full Time or Part Time. Some people may be employed or may have found a job, but quite often that job makes it very hard to pay the bills. Far too many citizens are having to struggle because the CEO's of far too many companies think 30 hours a week at minimum wage is enough. The economy would e doing better if CEO's were forced to give up most of the salaries and return it to the employees.

    September 17, 2009 at 9:49 am |
  22. LINDON

    In theory yes but in reality no, we are still feeling it.
    until the person on the street know it, NO!

    September 17, 2009 at 9:49 am |
  23. Matthew

    Seems like miscommunication is contagious, Heidi. I meant to imply that the first question, "Is U.S. in a recession?" meant the U.S is completely in the hole, and "Do you think the U.S. is STILL in a recession?" meant it was kinda backing off but not really. The way you said it does not imply the same meaning (To me) as the original question.

    My bad 😛

    September 17, 2009 at 9:49 am |
  24. Arthur Naman

    Different aspects of the economy feel recession or growth at different times. I think the US economy is heading up, but employment which is perhaps how most of us view the recession question may lag other indicators of the improvement.

    So I think we are heading up, but have a ways to go.

    September 17, 2009 at 9:49 am |
  25. Sherri

    Hey Josh from above, same story, I lost a great job, went on unemployment, ran out of that, lost house. And still struggling.

    September 17, 2009 at 9:50 am |
  26. Tyler Prior

    There's no doubt that we're in a recession/depression...whatever you choose to call it...

    There are those in positions of "power" and "authority" who do what they want, not what they know or think is right, there are decisions that have been made that weren't completely thought throught and over time this has bullied America into its problem; it's not going to reverse itself overnight.

    It's human nature to be greedy...but at what cost?

    Every little bit hurts...

    September 17, 2009 at 9:51 am |
  27. Fran B. Reed

    If you're a CEO of a bailed out company, there never was
    a recession. If you're a 71 year old widow on social
    security, wondering how you'll eat, it's not a recession,
    it's depression, that's not ending. To the millions of
    unemployed, it's certianly not over. It's all in view point, Fran

    September 17, 2009 at 9:52 am |
  28. valada lewis

    Yes, we are definitely still in recession. I am a seasoned professional with over 20 years of corporate experience.
    I have been unemployed and looking for work for over a year. I have been sending out resumes every week with only receiving acknowledgement of receipt and best wishes on my career search. This is my first time ever being out of work and it is frightening not knowing when companies will start hiring again. I am now applying for entry level positions that will not cover my bills.

    September 17, 2009 at 9:52 am |
  29. Fran B. Reed

    Yes, you bet. For many it's a depression, forget recession.
    If I could find work as a ghostwriter, my depression would
    be over, but for the millions unemployed, I don't see
    much to get them out. For CEO's , it never happened.

    September 17, 2009 at 9:54 am |
  30. Albert R.

    Heidi,

    All I have to do is ride a bus, and see the recession.

    Al – in New York City

    September 17, 2009 at 9:54 am |
  31. Monique

    The Media, Government and powerful rich people are living in a Field of Dreams. If you say we are coming out of the recession it will be come. Apparently we can all be hypnotized even to the point where we even believe this is a recession and not a depression.

    September 17, 2009 at 9:55 am |
  32. Sandy

    Yes, I feel we are in a recession and am currently unemployed myself: however, change...reform in so many critical areas is very, very difficult and will not manifest itself quickly in our markets. Greed in the stock markets and healthcare insurance companies have played havoc for Americans a very, very long time and with devastating impacts. The key is change and reform and it must. to be done, now, for our children and grandchildren. I applaud President Obama's administration for taking on these issues.
    Sandy-SLC

    September 17, 2009 at 9:58 am |
  33. Rachel Johnson

    This is a depression..not a recession. The economist have the jobs, you have the job. Its the little people like my family that doesn't have a job, and unemployment is running out for all the people in Oregon who lost their jobs last year. We worked for MOnaco Coach, and they not only left us jobless, they left us with mountains of medical bills because they were allowed to go bankrupt and stopped paying on said bills before the insurance ran out. We were even paying the premium at said time. So now the bills are going into collections, and we don't even have enough to live on. We are on food stamps, but it isnt enough. Also all those jobs the president said he was going to make, they are construction jobs and if you dont have experience you dont get the job. So many people in Oregon are in this predicament, and they are saying the unemployment is getting better...IT IS NOT getting better. People are afraid, and without hope because the government and the news are just ignoring us. One lady who worked for Monaco Coach also, was crying not knowing what to do because she had got yelled at by the unemployment office they said, "Your benifits run out in -– days, and thats it. Theres nothing you can do." So what now we are going to be treated like animals and not get compassion. No one deserves this whitewash...we are citizens. We want to work.

    September 17, 2009 at 9:58 am |
  34. david

    I think so. We retired and built a new smaller house intending to sell our "old" house, on two acres on the water. We listed it for $845,000 in June 2008, today it is down to $499,000 and still no sign of a sale. That was our "Retirement Fund". If we sell it for the present price – doubtful – our "Retirement Fund" will be in the hole, a minus figure. We will still owe money instead of having the money that we had expected to have for our retirement and had saved for our whole working life. Yes, we are in a recession, at least my wife and I are, I don't know about the rich polititions and bankers who stole the retirement savings of us and millions of other hard working Americans with their greed, but we are.

    September 17, 2009 at 10:02 am |
  35. Robert Montgomery

    Of course we're still in a Recession and will be until the unemployment rate comes down to 8.0% or less. New applications for benefits must drop more rapidly.

    September 17, 2009 at 10:02 am |
  36. David Ewaldz

    Quite frankly, if it wasn't for the continual commentary by the news media, the majority of Americans wouldn't know there is, or was a "recession". Being a retiree, and cattle farmer, I'm concerned about the excessive price of fertilizer, equipment, and the lack of rain fall.

    September 17, 2009 at 10:09 am |
  37. Albert R.

    Sandy

    what is your opinion on the TAX on families and individuals?

    All responses welcomed.

    Al

    September 17, 2009 at 10:14 am |
  38. Max

    No, we are not in a recession... We are in a depression.

    September 17, 2009 at 10:15 am |
  39. TXEconomist

    While recovery is going to be slow the state of the economy is coming out of recession, and according to all data should be out of recession before the end of the year.

    However, we have to be extremely careful that we do not backslide, and fall back into financial speculation that triggered the fall in the first place.

    September 17, 2009 at 10:15 am |
  40. Rajiv Raval

    No the recession is not over. I am out of work for year and job prospect does not look good. Until Unemployment drops the recession wont be over.

    September 17, 2009 at 10:16 am |
  41. Ola L.

    I was laid-off over a year ago and I am still at home looking for a job. I have a degree in information systems management and a semester away from completing my Masters program. I see no reason why I should be looking for jobs way below my qualification. Until I can get a job in my field, I believe the recession is still in full swing.

    September 17, 2009 at 10:16 am |
  42. Diann

    Let's just put it this way...we are seeing improvements and at this time the only person that we must give credit to is the President! Have a great day Heidi!!!!!!!

    September 17, 2009 at 10:16 am |
  43. Phil

    I would like to know which economists say we are out of a recession and what basis they have for saying that???

    The country is in worse shape now than it's ever been.
    You reported a half of a story. Details/references please.

    September 17, 2009 at 10:18 am |
  44. Mary

    I think we're still in a recession, but the economy is rebounding. I graduated this past May and live in hard-hit Tampa, FL. After months of job searching, I've finally managed to land interviews and receive several offers over the past month. Companies are starting to hire again, which is the most important indicator of our economic health.

    September 17, 2009 at 10:18 am |
  45. Rebekah

    I thought there had to be an increase in the GDP two quarters in a row before we were considered to be "out" of the recession. So far we have not even had one quarter of GDP increase. Hello government – we're still in a recession!

    September 17, 2009 at 10:19 am |
  46. Mark Ivan Wallace

    In March of this year both I and my wife lost our jobs. We have both been looking for a job every day. We have had two actual interviews and no job offers. The jobs available are slim pickens and the competition is brutal and if your 50's like we are, good luck. YES we are still in a recession.

    Mark Wallace
    St. Louis, MO.

    September 17, 2009 at 10:19 am |
  47. George D

    Until the unemployment figures improve substantially the recession will not be over. My oppinion is when unemployement goes down to 6% then we can start celebrating .

    September 17, 2009 at 10:19 am |
  48. Sherri

    YES! Without a doubt, and the continuing weekly claims in the THOUSANDS and 6 MILLION American unemployed most definitely proves the point! We will have over 400.000 THOUSAND jobless Americans exhausting their extended benefits from August through 9/30/09 and Congress have made no movement on HR 3548 which will extend the benefits for 13 additional weeks!. They worked expeditiously in passing the " Cash for Clunkers" program for addl funding in 3 days AND yet they are doing nothing to help us by getting HR 3548 to the floor for a vote even tho President Obama said he would sign it. YES We are still in a Recession! Of which I will remember when the November elections are here!!.

    September 17, 2009 at 10:20 am |
  49. john

    i think we are still in a recession but i think americans are being more cautious on what they purchase. i think we needed this to happen to wake us up on the reality of how life can change without notice.

    September 17, 2009 at 10:20 am |
  50. Mike in Pasadena

    Yes, we are still in the BUSH depression. I really don't understand why it is so taboo to hold the people responsible for leading us into this economic nightmare. I believe we will continue in this depression as the wealthiest 2% and corporations continue to dominate and control our government till they have bled us dry. Soon we will become the United Emirates of America.

    September 17, 2009 at 10:20 am |
  51. John FW, IN

    Lets see:
    I am still unemployed and cannot find work.
    I have no health insurance.
    I am falling behind on the bills.
    Thinking about bankruptcy.
    Go to bed hungry.
    Whats do you think?
    Anyone that says were are out of this recession is crazy.
    Step down from your high rise buildings and look at the country.

    September 17, 2009 at 10:21 am |
  52. Jeff

    Def. in a recession, with no end in sight. Bernanke has to be kidding. There prob will be another surge of lost jobs before it is all over. Social Security is being drained at an alarming rate and a huge tax bill will be due in the years coming. With less people working and less paying into the funds it will only get worse. The stock market going up so soon is only creating another scary bubble. Bailouts helped the high rollers but did little to help the common citizens. You cannot spend your way out of debt.

    September 17, 2009 at 10:22 am |
  53. Mike in Pasadena

    Ha! And I just got PROOF! As you introduced coverage of President Obama getting ready to speak, it was INTERRUPTED by a commercial by SCAN – an INSURANCE COMPANY! There you go. I rest my case.

    September 17, 2009 at 10:23 am |
  54. Fernando

    People with little or no economic knowledge will continue to say that the recession isn't over, those of u sfamiliar with "LAGGED INDICATOR" know that the recession is in fact ending, however the public will only SEE the results in the next few months as unemployment (which is likely to be the last thing to go down) lowers, and the economy strengths again. Look at the market, we are reaching 10,000 points again.
    This administration is doing what the previous didn't: TAKING CARE OF AMERICA and we will see results soon enough.

    September 17, 2009 at 10:24 am |
  55. Izzy

    Yea , The recession may be just about over for the rich and very rich. I'm sure he's going by the way the market has been rising every day, Which does not include the everyday Joe in america, that keeps on struggling to find jobs that pay wages that people can live well, since companies in america continue to offshore jobs that once produced jobs where people could live decent lives. This includes blue collar and white collar jobs. No the real recession is not over...

    September 17, 2009 at 10:25 am |
  56. walid

    if the question directed to government employee and wall street employee then they think in their small brain the Recession is ended but for us on the land of realty we still in the deep of the Recession only god knows what i will do where i will go if my car break down and this just a small example i have been on lay off since Oct/2007 looking for job there is nothing out there and no body willing to hire people for work . and instead they are working on health care!!!? how can we afford health care if we have no source of income ??!! give me job first then reform the health care bottom line i still appreciate the president concern but i would like to see his concern about jobs first

    September 17, 2009 at 10:28 am |
  57. Harry

    There is a lot of misinformation here:

    1) It takes time for the general employment market first to feel the effects of the recession and then, on the way up, to see the benefits of the recovery.

    Recall that in 2007, the common refrain from most Americans was that this was a "Wall Street problem" and that they were not seeing any effects on Main Street. Now we see some comments that perhaps the recession is only over for Wall Street. The reason for this is that the market is forward looking by probably at least several months. Another reason is that this was a financial sector-led downturn and therefore the recovery naturally takes shape as one led by the financial sector as well.

    2) Despite those trying to tie what is happening (or not happening) to one president or another...the reality is that we have just gone through a cyclical recession and to the extent that a more severe recession has been averted, it likely has much more to do with what the non-partisan Fed has done than the federal government. To the extent Obama's economic policies have an impact - positive or negative - there will be another period of lag time before we can properly evaluate. For the purpose of politics, rest assured we will see the impact clearly by 2012 - whether it is healthy job creation or inflationary concerns.

    3) We are not in a depression – we are not in anything even remotely close to a depression. Use of that term is incredibly misguided and alarmist. In the depression, the US economy contracted by about 30-35%, unemployment reached 25% and suffered deflation. In this recession, while more severe than normal, the economy has contracted in the low single digits, unemployment is 10% and the risks are on the inflationary side.

    I would encourage everyone who is feeling down here to remember that busts and booms end...unfortunately when things are going well, we have a tendency to make things worse by assuming things will always go well and we avoid doing the things we need to do for preparing for the rainy days. When things are going poorly, as they have recently, we all seem to assume that they will continue to go poorly – which is equally wrong! Bubbles burst and so too do recessions no matter how severe end.

    September 17, 2009 at 10:29 am |
  58. Jim

    I personally do believe we are still in a recession. In my State, manufacting plants are still closing. I live on a fixed income, and my dollar goes no further.

    September 17, 2009 at 10:31 am |
  59. Jen MI

    Heidi,

    We are still in a deep recession(great recession). I am unemployed – 21 months and counting and the unemployment rate continues to spike. There are 6 people for every job posting!!

    Congress is ignoring the unemployed AGAIN! Unemployment benefits will exhaust for 400k this month and up to 1.5m before December. A bill was introduced in July to extend unemployment benefits again. This is desperate! If this bill does not pass immediately, we will all see a deepening of this recession. Unemployment benefits are a stimulus and without means more foreclosures and less growth for the economy – homelessness.

    Please bring up the topic of extending unemployment benefits – BILL HR 3584/ S 1647 needs to pass NOW!!

    September 17, 2009 at 10:31 am |
  60. Peter C. King

    Heidi,

    The issue of when a recession is over is one of semantics.

    Economists see a recession as being over when the economy stops receding.

    At that point the economy enters a period of recovery.

    Which will lead to a period of prosperity.

    Which ends when the next bubble bursts and the economy enters a period of recession . . . again. Historically the next high is higher than the last. The next low is higher than the last. It's a boom and bust cycle that has been going on since there was such a thing as an economy.

    The public believes that a recession ends when prosperity returns.

    We have found the bottom in the current recession. Durable goods orders are up. Confidence in the stock market is up. Consumer spending is rising. New home construction is up. Each segment will recover at its own rate. Some sectors will not recover. New sectors will take their place.

    Alas, jobs are the last economic indicator to pick up. They will come. Many will be different that they were in the last prosperity. But the jobs will be there.

    We are in recovery.

    Hurrah!

    Peter

    September 17, 2009 at 10:32 am |
  61. Mike Armstrong TX.

    The resecion may be over for the banks and AGI but the people of America is still holding the bag paying for there Nazi crimes.

    September 17, 2009 at 10:32 am |
  62. walid

    if the question directed to government employee and wall street employee then they think in their small brain the Recession is ended but for us on the land of realty we still in the deep of the Recession only god knows what i will do where i will go if my car break down and this just a small example i have been on lai off since Oct/2007 looking for job there is nothing out there and no body willing to hire people for work . and instead they are working on health care how can we afford health care if we have no source of income ??!! give me job first then reform the health care bottom line i still appreciate the president concern but i would like to see his concern about jobs first

    September 17, 2009 at 10:34 am |
  63. Denise Willey

    I think the economy is getting better and Obama should be given a lot of credit for the turn-around , as well as, his staff.

    September 17, 2009 at 10:35 am |
  64. Connie Kallay

    Yes I believe the recession is coming to end, when I see many people rushing to the stores during sales buying furniture, electrical appliances, and other non essentials, I know people understand that they can afford these items and have money to support their families . Unemployment rate will gradually start dropping but will not be as fast as we would like it to be. The recession started long before we acknowledged it . So it will take some time before people accept the end of the recession.

    September 17, 2009 at 10:36 am |
  65. Jobless in MI

    Yes we are in a serious recession! In Michigan our unemployment rate is 15.2% and our officials don't care! There are 3 bills that would provide an extension to the long term unemployed sitting in various places in our government and no movement is scheduled, this is insane. HR 3404, 3548 and S 1647 are all a show for our elected officials to act like they care about those of us on the verge of homelessness. Why isn't CNN asking them to answer for the delays and shuffling around of responsibility for these bills?

    September 17, 2009 at 10:39 am |
  66. Mike in Pasadena

    Charles from above. I couldn't disagree with you more. What we are expecting IS CHANGE. "Stability" is really a euphemism for "more of the same", or continuing with the status quo. Let me ask you this. When was the last time you received a bailout, tax credit or any other type of relief? I don't want this kind of stability, it just continues to benefit corporations and the very very very wealthy at the expense of the middle class. We need change, and we need to see proof, not just words and useless legislation that is supposed to sound good but really does nothing (like using a "trigger") in healthcare reform.

    September 17, 2009 at 10:39 am |
  67. Kelley Butler

    I was shocked to see COMMERCIALS interrupt President Obama's brief speech on missile defense. What's going on with CNN. I've been a loyal fan, but see lately that it's mostly about reporters egos & $$$...not the news. Ted Turner would not be happy!

    September 17, 2009 at 10:40 am |
  68. Smith FW, IN

    I went from $60,000 per year. To unemployment $350 per week. Then the Indiana child support system started taking $183 from my unemployment check with out any notification. Went from $1,000 per week to $167 per week. I will be the one living under the bridge if you are looking for me. The American dream is lost in Indiana as far as I am concerned. Why couldn't or leaders see this coming? When you keep losing jobs to other countries for cheaper labor for years and unfair trading laws are excepted by our gov. All of these laws were put into place by our law makers. Our law makers receive money from big business and big Insurance.

    September 17, 2009 at 10:43 am |
  69. Pauline

    Yes we are still in a Recession! All is beautiful with the world when it comes to Wallstreet because the stocks are UP and they feel great. I am among the LONG-TERM unemployed that is exhausting benefits this month, in fact there are hundreds of thousands of us that are exhausting by the end of this month and 1.5 MILLION by the end of 12/31/09. Congress has a bill HR 3548 that is for 13 additional weeks of extended benefits and they are doing nothing to get it to the Presidents desk for his signature. Recession? Wallstreet-NO! Mainstreet-YES!. Congress pass HR 3548, get it moving.

    September 17, 2009 at 10:48 am |
  70. Matt, Washington DC

    Heidi,

    No we are NOT still in a recession. Government data to be released in three weeks will show we have been out of a recession for about two months. But, we all know these numbers are not an accurate metric. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics the (U6) unemployment rate is near 17% and climbing. The (U6) was the metric that was used to calculate unemployment for decades until LBJ changed it to unscrupulously hide the fact the country was not doing so well; consequently, many innocent citizens got entangled in bureaucratic red tape.

    Now I have a question for you. What do you think will happen when the over 10 million people on unemployment exhaust their benefits at the same time The Fed starts increasing the Fed Funds Rate, gas prices hit new highs and The Dollar Index hits new lows?

    This is like a bad remake of the Twilight Zone episode "Monsters on Maple Street" – Our version aptly renamed "Monsters on Wall Street"

    September 17, 2009 at 10:49 am |
  71. Nylea

    Until the news about the recession translates into jobs for the millions of American citizens who remain out of work AND have exhausted their unemployment benefits, nothing has changed.

    September 17, 2009 at 10:50 am |
  72. Monique

    I just love the people that are doing well in this depression. I love their charts, graphs, economic history lessons and their rose colored glasses. I want to live in Lollipop Land and Gum Drop Falls please send me a pair of those glasses. It all reminds me of when someones house is being robbed and a neighbor responds with " Oh, I thought they were moving",

    In Michigan the non violent prisoners are being released committing violent crimes because there is no money to keep them locked up. State workers are going to lose more money so the the phones were tampered with for a week and office doors were locked and emergency food and medical help was not available to those who needed it. The television news media in Michigan has not reported any of this negative news.

    if I had a pair of the rose colored glasses I could see that angels have been release from prison doing good deeds and the phones lines were down because of the horrible winter storm we just had.

    September 17, 2009 at 11:17 am |
  73. Matt, Washington DC

    Pay no attention to these speculators like some on this very blog. Just because everyone is betting the Pittsburgh Steelers will win the Superbowl doesn't mean they will, regardless of how they did in the past; Same thing with the economy. We are in UNPRECEDENTED times. Any economist worth their weight will tell you that most of the jobs that have left this country are not coming back ANY TIME SOON. Moreover, the bureaucratic NONSENSE delaying Healthcare Reform will only cause more people to suffer.

    People are putting the cart before the horse and yelling "Getty Up!' Businesses can't compete globally when healthcare costs and taxes are rising so fast; so, they leave (PERIOD) Until costs are controlled and they have an incentive to come back, most businesses WILL NOT, and many people will suffer as a result.

    In the interim, government will continue making the US a welfare state with program after program feeding our debt addiction instead of letting us go through the painful withdrawal necessary to correct these imbalances.

    September 17, 2009 at 11:37 am |
  74. Randy N

    If We Impeach this goverment . I with the help of all the people can get jobs going, I Can't except a jobless recovery9 Laugh) I know We are in a serious situation. So I made up my own party Vote Tea Vote Randy.

    September 17, 2009 at 11:39 am |
  75. Matt, Washington DC

    Monique You have my whole staff crying tears of laughter...

    Thank you for that.

    Good Bless!

    September 17, 2009 at 11:48 am |
  76. steve

    Jobs use to be everywhere,You could quit your job today and find another job the next day. Thanks alot Corporate America and Special thanks to BUSH!!

    September 17, 2009 at 12:29 pm |
  77. Mrs. Eileen Curras widow to Hernandez (WWII)

    I cannot simply understand the people that are doing well in this depression. The must live in a bubble world. Yes, I cannot deny that I am researching on stories from that era to see what I can learn. The reality is that the same as then politicians do not care for the less fortunate. I loved Monique analogy with the story of the house being robbed and a neighbor responds with” Oh, I thought they were moving”. I wonder when the same situation as in Michigan will start to spread thru the United States. In Florida a lot of services have being affected due to the cut or lack of funds and I wonder when the states will copy the attitude from the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico to deny services to Persons with Disabilities.

    September 17, 2009 at 12:37 pm |
  78. Mrs. Eileen Curras widow to Hernandez (WWII)

    Just like in Puerto Rico the government is using the media to argue the facts. The recession still here Heidi.

    September 17, 2009 at 12:39 pm |
  79. Unemployed IN

    This is how we got here:
    Big business and big insurance companies are paying the very people that we elected to office. Until this cycle stops, there will be no help for the people. Trust me the law makers base their votes on who is paying the most money to their camp. Until our elected government stops making deals with big business this will never end.

    September 17, 2009 at 12:50 pm |
  80. Wynoma Hollis

    Is the sky still blue? Of course we are still in a recession. At least the ones on the lower end of the totem pole are. However, for the big wheels, they were never in a recession in the first place. The made it big, and it seems as if they are still making it big. "HELLO"

    September 17, 2009 at 12:51 pm |
  81. Lisa

    I am not seeing an end to this. Never in my life have I had trouble finding a job, and have at times worked more than one, including while putting myself through college. I lost my job in March of 2008, and since then have applied for over 2000 (yes thousand) jobs within a 150 mile radius of my home.....the one I am in danger of being evicted from when my extended benefits run out in 3 weeks. Despite there being several bills introduced to extend these benefits, there has been little activity, and nothing is scheduled for a vote. These benefits are a lifeline for the unemployed – keeping us off welfare, allowing us time to search for non-existent jobs, keeping a roof over our heads and frugal meals on our tables. Once these benefits run out – what is left? Living on a park bench (since I had to sell my car to pay rent)? I predict a surge in homelessness as well as a rise in the crime rate once people are put in this desperate situation. I am already seeking someone to adopt my 2 pets – the only family I have – because I am preparing to not have a roof over my head. I worked hard my entire life, put myself through college, paid into the system since I was 13. We can't even get them to VOTE on passing an extension? Every day it is delayed is another day people are going hungry and losing their homes. This can NOT wait!

    September 17, 2009 at 12:54 pm |
  82. Matt, Washington DC

    We are out of recession and into

    Consider the following example of two friends Michaela & April. Micaela was raised not to borrow more than she could afford to pay back. So, when she was faced with tuition she couldn't afford, she was offered loans. She asked the counselor do the loans come with a guarantee of a job? "Of course not," the counselor exclaimed laughing. So, Michaela declined and paid as she went. It took her six and a half years to graduate college. After five years as a teacher and no debt she was able to take her life's savings a buy a condo, just as the market in California peaked. Months later she was laid off and could only find a job in another state for nearly half the pay. However she was so far underwater in her home she couldn't sell it. To make a long story short she ended up short-selling the condo, ruining her credit for years to come in the process and moving out of state.

    Now, her best friend April has been unemployed for nearly a year after being laid off from a six figure a year job despite the fact she graduated from an Ivy League school and now has school loan debt of nearly a quarter of a million dollars paid for by "We the people..." She also lost her home and vehicle and is finding it nearly impossible to find work in her field of study do to her credit history. The quick math? She was paying $1000 a month AFTER TAXES on her loans prior to her lay off with a rate of 8%. That's $16,000 a year for just the interest. So, her loan was increasing by nearly $5,000 a year. April now realizes that she has become and indentured servant for the rest of her life. She's thankful because she realizes others have it much worse.

    Unfortunately, many students will find themselves in one of these situations in the years to come; only they wont be able to pay as they go like Michaela if they can't find work. If the government continues subsidizing irresponsible behavior, I predict years from now there are going to be some very angry college graduates waitressing and working at Walmart.

    September 17, 2009 at 2:21 pm |
  83. David

    Dear Heidi,

    This economy was hit hard by the banking sector and by job losses simultaneously. The credit crisis, a long slow burn that intensified into full on financial wildfire that had to be addressed immediately had impacts on employment that we are feeling to this day, though, thankfully job losses are finally slowing down.

    We are in it almost as far as we can be but there are indicators the economy is gaining traction. Durable goods orders have been up at pts, housing prices too went up as well as pending home sales, and there has been a strong upturn in the GDP. Auto sales, due to cash for clunkers hit a year time peak that thrilled retailers. So I feel we're getting where we want to be.

    If Fed Chief Ben Bernanke says we're getting back to business again, that's of course a good sign. But could you please note the indicators that being considering and observed by the Fed Chief? All of the numbers I referred to above are important economic numbers, but is there a number that today we can call a key indicator?

    September 17, 2009 at 4:00 pm |
  84. Roger Heisen

    The country is not in a recession, its bankrupt and the Russians and the other "friends" in Europe know it.
    That is the reason why Obama is scrapping the Bush plan of missile shield.
    Neither Russia nor the Europeans like the US.
    The Democrats believe what they say not what they do to undermine the US.
    Look at the value of the US$, has fallen 50% in 2 years
    Mr. Obama is nailing the last nail of the coffin of the US forcing more entitlements that the country can afford (like the Public Health Plan)
    As a foreigner who loves this country I can only beg that he change the trend or this will be the end of a nice story

    September 18, 2009 at 10:51 am |
  85. MR.AL

    Yes I think we are still in a recession. Amercians from second class to the poor are feeling it the worse. I don't relate any of this to President Obama If anything he's trying to help AMERICA and not with lawmakers help they don't seem to careThey didn't have any problems with BAIL OUTS but when it comes to Americans it seems to stop? Lawmakers are acting like a spoiled brat if they don't get their way they scream you lie with a scowl on their face. Is this what government has come too?

    September 18, 2009 at 2:23 pm |
  86. Michael Trombly Jr.

    I'm hesitant to say that we're out of the recession. There were over 200,000 jobs last month so people are certainly still struggling in America. That being said, job losses are decreasing at a consistent rate. Also, in my opinion, the extreme fear and uncertainly that our country had 6 to 12 months ago seems to be more moderate now. I’m encouraged but maintain a healthy skepticism.

    September 19, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  87. joe

    yes it's over for those who can play after the bail out (wall street and major market players) another story for main streeters and have not muchers..not over yet... much work to be done

    September 21, 2009 at 1:46 pm |
  88. joggersax

    Where can I buy a pair of Bernacke rose colored glasses? The country will remain in a recession until lost jobs return or new ones are created.

    September 25, 2009 at 12:36 pm |
  89. Sabrina

    Are we making anything in this nation? If not then it will never be what it was, nations that did not have wealth did not produce and now they have wealth because we gave them our manufacturing and are paying them to grow food while we consume less for more with no jobs or less pay until we are no longer needed.

    September 28, 2009 at 1:37 pm |
  90. magnoliabel

    The government wants us to think that a recovery is happening, but that is not so. Bernarke is devaluing the dollar so just how are things going to get better. We will have high inflation, more unemployment, more foreclosures of homes and businesses and more bank failures. FDIC is broke and our government is printing worthless money. The U 6 government unemployment report is around 17% but the government doesn't use that report which is more acturate. One minute the government says we are in recovery and the next they say unemployment will stay high for years. Without jobs there is no recovery. Any recovery so far has been caused by taxopayer dollars and won't last. Economics 101. The government thinks the American people aren't fools and they are in for a big surprise.

    September 30, 2009 at 6:03 pm |
  91. stmh

    For the thousands upon thousands of people that are depending on a life line this week, I was hoping the Senate would finally vote on extending unemployment benefits. However, the hard working people of this country are left with nothing. The Senate is sitting on a bill that would extend unemployment benefits to more than 1.5 million people who will exhaust their benefits by the end of this year. More than 400,000.00 people have already exhausted their unemployment benefits since the end of September. Hard working people and their families are left to suffer while the Senate handles more pressing issues. What can be more pressing than a nation having to deal with one of the highest unemployment rates in decades? With one of the worst economic crises since the Great Depression unemployed workers and their families are now homeless or without food. If you ask me....we are in a depression.

    October 7, 2009 at 3:26 am |