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You think you’ve got a tough job? Imagine being Joe Biden’s handlers. You spend all day trying to keep the guy away from hot mics. That’s not easy. Biden feels about microphones the way golden retrievers feel about casseroles. Leave one on a low table and he pounces on it and that’s not good for anyone. Biden could declare war on Russia or tell Israeli officials to “keep alive the honor of the Holocaust,” both of which, by the way, he’s actually done.
So, there’s never any upside in letting Joe Biden speak in public, but unfortunately for the White House, sometimes you don’t have a choice. Disasters happen and when they do, the public expects somebody to pretend to be president. The American economy is currently a disaster. Therefore, Joe Biden had to talk, so his aides dutifully let him out to the podium today to say something edifying about it. What happened next has got to be one of the weirdest presidential briefings ever conducted.
New economic numbers show our GDP has declined for two quarters in a row. That’s the definition of a recession. We’re in a recession. That’s why Joe Biden had to hold the briefing. And yet Biden never once mentioned those numbers, not a single time. Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play? It was completely bizarre. Instead, Biden simply announced that there is no recession in the United States, no matter what you may have noticed about your own country. I repeat, there is no recession. In fact, thanks to the stalwart leadership of Joe Biden, we can announce record potato harvests in the provinces. The people are happy and thriving. Period. And with that, Biden left the stage. Watch.
PRESIDENT BIDEN: And let me speak to one other issue. Let me speak to one other issue, the GDP and whether or not we are in a recession. Both Chairman Powell and many of the significant banking personnel and economists say we’re not in recession. Let me just give you what the facts are in terms of the state of the economy. Number one, we have a record job market of record unemployment of 3.6% today and the Inflation Reduction Act will add another $370 billion in clean energy tax credits in reconciliation, including incentives to accelerate domestic production of solar panels, wind turbines, batteries and critical materials processing. That doesn’t sound like a recession to me. Thank you very much.
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President Biden will turn 80 in November.
(AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
See, dumbo, significant banking personnel say we’re not in a recession. Plus, wind turbines. Wind turbines and if you don’t believe it, 3.6% unemployment. We are winning. Pay no attention to the millions of former workers who are being paid by the government to stay home, leaving businesses without anyone to staff them. Why is the ice cream stand near your house closed in July? Well, because welfare pays more than scooping ice cream does. But ignore that. The economy is in great shape.
If there’s one thing that might make it even better other than wind turbines, it’s printing billions more in fake money, which will definitely not accelerate our already terrifying level of inflation. That’s why we’re calling it the Inflation Reduction Act, because more money in the system will reduce inflation. It will, and it will because we say it will because what matters is not the way that things actually are, what matters are the words we use to describe things.
We can change reality merely by calling it something else. If we call a man a woman, that’s what she is. If we call an open border a secure border, that’s what we have, and as you just saw, if we tell you that a collapsing economy is a robust economy, well, then it’s time to celebrate our newfound prosperity and feel free to buy champagne on your EBT card. It’s on us. It turns out that when you think you’re God, all that matters is what you say, your commands. “In the beginning was the Word” and this week the word was definitely not “recession.”
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That word is now an operative. It’s obsolete and frankly, it’s embarrassing. It’s like “stewardess” or “fireman” or “the orient.” It’s not something you’d say are uneducated people. So, to herald this important new change to our language, on July 21st, the White House officially changed the definition of recession. They said it, so it’s true now. In a blog post, officials explained that two consecutive quarters of declining GDP is “neither the official definition nor the way economists evaluate the state of the business cycle.” Not convinced? Well, you’re not watching television because every official in the Biden administration, all these credentialed economists, went on camera to swear it was true.
JANET YELLEN: I do want to emphasize what a recession really means is a broad-based contraction in the economy and even if that number is negative, we are not in a recession now.
BRIAN DEESE: And certainly, in terms of the technical definition, it’s not a recession. The technical definition considers a much broader spectrum of data points.
JARED BERNSTEIN: The idea that two quarters of negative GDP growth is a technical definition of a recession is wrong.
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PETER DOOCY: If things are going so great though, then why is it the White House officials are trying to redefine recession?
KARINE JEAN-PIERRE: No, we’re not redefining recession.
DOOCY: If we all understand a recession to be two consecutive quarters of negative GDP growth in a row, and then you have White House officials come up here to say, “No, no, no, that’s not what a recession is, it’s something else,” how is that not redefining recession?
JEAN-PIERRE: Because that’s not the definition.
U.S. Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre holds the daily press briefing at the White House on June 16, 2022. REUTERS/Evelyn Hockstein
Okay. So, ignore the tape of Janet Yellen. We shouldn’t have played that. It’s hard to think clearly. Ignore how mind bogglingly repulsive she is, ignore all the work she’s done herself to destroy the American economy when she ran the Federal Reserve. Listen to what they’re saying. Two consecutive quarters of declining GDP, that’s not the definition of recession. Really? We thought it was. We thought that for about 50 years. Turns out we’re insane. We’re hallucinating. Lucy in the sky with diamonds stuff and the media have confirmed it.
This is from Politico,: “The White House is pretty obviously right that even two quarters of shrinking GDP would not show the economy is currently in recession.” That’s the word from Ben White, who is the chief economics reporter at Politico and he’s backed up by the Associated Press, which is totally real. Just today, the AP reported that, “The U.S. economy shrank for a second straight quarter, raising fears the nation may be approaching a recession.”
Oh, we’re getting close now. In other words, two declining quarters of growth is not a recession, just like the White House said, and that sounds definitive. It’s always been that way as long as you don’t have a memory that extends past, say, last week, because it was a few weeks ago before the White House declared otherwise that everyone was saying differently, including Ben White and the AP. They were still using the term stewardess. They were using the old definition. Want examples?
Okay, how about this? June 22nd of this year, this same Ben White, assuming he’s real, wrote in Politico, which unfortunately is and we’re quoting: “I’m sorry to report that the conditions are ripe for a slide in gross domestic product growth that lasts at least two quarters, the technical definition of recession.” Ooh, Ben White. Could that be the same Ben White, the same Politico? Could be. And then in January of this year, which is 2022, we think the AP reported the same thing, and we’re quoting: “Mexico’s economy entered a technical recession at the end of last year with two consecutive quarters of contraction.”
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Oh, wow. So, it turns out that was the definition prior to two weeks ago. In fact, it’s been the definition for decades. In fact, you’ll find it in every economic textbook ever written. It’s all over the archives of the AP, which because we’re paid to do it, we slog through today. Here’s one example. “French economy falls back into recession,” the AP reported back in 2013. Here’s a direct quote from the article “A recession is defined as two consecutive quarters of negative growth.”
Oh, you’re not insane. No one dosed you. You’re not hallucinating. Even CNN used to say this. As CNN White House correspondent John Harwood wrote on August 20th, 2019, back during Trump and Big Orange ran things no more quoting “recession equals economy shrinks for two quarters.” Oh, wow.
In fact, not to belabor the point, even Brian Deese, who is now the top White House economic adviser, used to run with that definition and we’re quoting “economists have a technical definition of recession, which is two consecutive quarters of negative growth.” He wrote that back in 2008. Unfortunately for him, we found it and yet this week, everything’s different because you can’t say stewardess is anymore. So, this is new position is “two negative quarters of GDP growth is not the technical definition of recession.”.
Wow. Okay. If you say so, because in the beginning was the word you are god now, but that does raise the question, if it’s not a recession, then what is it? Well, for this and all other important matters, including intimate marital questions, we go to the White House press secretary who informs us it’s not a recession. It’s “a transition.”
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JEAN-PIERRE: When you look at it more broadly at the data and that’s why what we’re seeing is that we are in a transition.
We’re in a “transition.” Does that mean the whole country is now taking puberty blockers and becoming a girl? No, different kind of transition. This is a transition to green energy and renewables. Joe Biden announced today say it’s a transition to handing China our energy grid. Oh, that’s a transition. Some might call it a collapse of empire in a subsequent disaster where we’re ruled by people who hate us. But no, it’s a transition in which China gets to making control the wind turbines, the lithium, the solar panels. Hmm.
What do actual voters think about this. Who cares cause that only matters in a democracy, but we’ll tell you anyway. Americans do not want to hand our energy grid to China or stop using air conditioning in the summer or drive your stupid little electric cars. Right. Because it turns out no one believes the experts who have told us the world is going to end for the past 50 years, but who still buy beachfront property.
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Paging you, Barack Obama and most people kind of understand what’s going to happen next. They could become Sri Lanka, a country that destroyed itself, committed national suicide in pursuit of a high ESG score. Turns out actual people of both parties, just all normal people, want to do things like afford gasoline or have someplace to live they can afford.
What Joe Biden said today will get us much closer to Sri Lanka. There’s kind of no dispute about that. We also know for certain that the spending under the Biden administration, under previous administrations, but certainly dramatically accelerated under Biden has devalued the dollar to the point that we have massive inflation and a decline in GDP, because as money loses value and things get more expensive, people at some point can’t afford to buy as much and then gross domestic product declines.
It’s not like some crazy theory. In fact, even the Fed Reserve Bank of San Francisco, hardly a right-wing institution, has pointed out that Joe Biden’s spending in his first year in office singlehandedly hiked the inflation rate by at least 3%. That’s higher than many other developed countries, including Germany, Canada and the UK. So, what’s been the effect for the rest of us? Now, they can say there’s no recession and the word is like “fireman,” you just don’t say it, but what’s America look like? Well, I don’t know. Let’s check your local food bank.
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There is a good chance your local food bank is overwhelmed. In Boise, Idaho, for example, the Meridian Foodbank reports they’ve gone from serving 2,800 people every month to 4,200 in just the last year. Another nearby food bank called the Care House Food Bank has reported a similar increase. A spokesman for the Care House told a local news station, “We’re finding out that with the rising rent costs and the rising gasoline costs, the rent each first, the gasoline eats second. So, the family has very little to buy food to eat.”
Sounds like a rich country to you, a place that’s thriving, that can afford to turn its energy grid over to China? No. It’s the same story across the country. Allentown, Pennsylvania—the Allentown Area Ecumenical Food Bank reports a massive increase in families who need food. In the biggest food producing country in the world? Yeah, that’s us, but still, the food banks director told the local news station there, “Since October, we’ve tripled the number of families we’re serving every month.” She added, 300 of the 18,00 families she served this month are first time visitors. They haven’t spent years at the food bank. They need to now because the economy is in, sorry to use the word, recession.
Outside St Mary’s Food Bank in Phoenix, the AP reported that hundreds of families lined up this month. The line went around the block. The food bank’s main distribution center served 4,271 families in just one week last month. That’s a 78% increase compared to last year. According to the AP, “More than 900 families line up at the distribution center every weekday for an emergency government food box stuffed with goods such as canned beans, peanut butter and rice.” That’s a breadline, by the way. That’s a breadline in the United States. Did you see that on NBC Nightly News? Probably not. It was happening everywhere.
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Alameda Foodbank in California, similar numbers. They’ve gone from 890 households served on a typical Friday in January to more than 1,400 families on a typical Friday last month. In central Florida, the Second Harvest Food Bank, which supplies around 500 food bank partners in the region, says the number of people looking for food, not for vacations in Antigua or a new Tesla, but for food to eat so they can survive, has gone up 25% in the last month.
The food bank used to distribute 150,000 meals overall a day. Now they’re up to a quarter million and that number is rising. The food bank’s director says the cause is inflation. Obviously, “it costs quite a bit to put millions and millions of pounds of food out the door every week and every month.” Tell that to a local news station. So, does the White House notice any of this? Do they know what’s happening? Who knows what they know. They certainly don’t care. They’re saying it out loud.
Joe Biden’s top economic adviser, Brian Deese, is telling you that it doesn’t matter. You’re worried about inflation? Well, it’s easy for Americans to find food, says Brian Deese. Watch.
BRIAN DEESE: The United States is in a stronger position to actually train our focus on tackling inflation than virtually any other country. For example, you know, with respect to our food, we’re a net exporter of agricultural commodities and obviously, the high prices are hitting Americans very hard, but in a way that is different from some places that are facing famine, for example.
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White House economic adviser Brian Deese was asked about the Biden administration’s plan for inflation during CNBC’s “Squawk Box” on Tuesday. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
Oh, lower your expectations of America. That sound you’re hearing is the goalposts moving. So, we went very quickly now from “Build Back Better” to “Hey, at least you’re not starving to death at least from a famine.” Well, hold on a second, Powell. This was America like a year and a half ago where the planes took off on time and people were getting killed every day on the subway and there wasn’t filth and graffiti and drug addicts on the streets and people weren’t worried about having enough to eat.
Those were our first world expectations, like electricity in the summertime. Oh, but there’s no famine. Just be glad there’s no famine and do your part, they’re telling us, to save us from the climate crisis, one that somehow isn’t affecting oceanfront property in Malibu and Martha’s Vineyard, but not just the climate crisis to save democracy in Ukraine. Way more important than inflation, your stupid economic concerns.
Just the other day, the president of Ukraine, Zelenskyy, the man they’re telling us is the new George Washington, decided, you know what, I don’t have to pretend to care about the United States anymore. I think Americans are ridiculous, decadent, overfed and I have contempt for them. So, he was asked, wait a second, “Can America afford to send $60 billion to your corrupt autocracies so you can shoot dramatic magazine photo covers for Vogue?”
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Well, of course, said Zelenskyy and we’re quoting “inflation, who’s thinking about inflation? We’re fighting for absolute communal values.”
What? Whose values? We’re not in anything communal with you, pal. You run a corrupt little Eastern European country. We have a right to worry about our own country and yet, the White House, they agree with Zelenskyy. That’s almost word for word what our national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, said when he was asked the exact same question on July 22nd. Americans are worried about sending all this money to Ukraine at a time when inflation is out of control and Americans don’t have enough money, I don’t know, to buy food or pay rent. So, the moderator at the Aspen Institute, which needs a lot more immigrants from the Third World immediately, as we told you tonight, asked this and you know what Jake Sullivan said fundamentally, I don’t care. Watch this.
MODERATOR: Do you worry about criticism that we’re spending billions and billions of dollars toward Ukraine not spending it here?
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JAKE SULLIVAN: It’s my job to worry, so I worry about literally everything. I worry about my answer to this question. So, yes, I guess I worry, but in a way that’s sort of not saying anything at all.
MODERATOR: I mean, this is the John Malkovich portion of the of our session.
SULLIVAN: But fundamentally, no. Congress passed a $40 billion package for Ukraine. Is the reservoir of support in this country as translated into the Congress and the executive branch, deep and sustainable from the point of view of doing whatever it takes for, as the president has said, as long as it takes? Yes.
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So, here you have Jake Sullivan and Jeff Goldberg, two midwits who have accomplished pretty much nothing in their entire lives, talking about the issues that will define this country for our grandchildren before an audience in Aspen and saying things like, “I’m not worried at all” and then the audience titters and you wonder and historians will review tapes like that when they try to figure out what actually happened to this thriving civilization we had, you wonder if these people can hear themselves. Do they know how they look? Do they know how ridiculous they are? Do they know how deeply the public despises them for good reason?
“Do you worry about criticism, we’re setting billions of dollars for Ukraine and not spending it here?” “Fundamentally, no,” and Jake Sullivan isn’t worried because he knows he can call inflation transitory when it’s not. He can deny we’re in recession when we’re obviously in one because the words are all that matter to them, not the reality.
They don’t walk through midtown in Manhattan and notice, “Hey, this is disgusting. This is worse than Mumbai. How did it get this way?” They don’t even notice. Tomorrow we’re going have an hour-long investigation into the actual state of our economy, how we got here, how we get out.
Tucker Carlson currently serves as the host of FOX News Channel’s (FNC) Tucker Carlson Tonight (weekdays 8PM/ET). He joined the network in 2009 as a contributor.