WASHINGTON (CNN) - With 85,000 jobs lost so far in 2008, the yen surpassing the dollar for the first time in twelve years, and a recent NBC/WSJ poll revealing that 43 percent of Americans feel they were better off four years ago, the economy has become the number one issue for the American voter in the upcoming election.
As a result, the notion of a “recession” was the topic of choice for the Sunday morning talk circuit.
On ABC’s "This Week,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, in addition to warning against superdelegates determining the Democratic nomination, told host George Stephanopoulos she refrains from calling the current economic state a recession.
“I don’t like to use that word…I think that what we need now is confidence,” the California congresswoman said. She went on to praise the recently passed economic stimulus package and talked about plans for another stimulus package in the near future.
On “Fox News Sunday," Chris Wallace hosted Senate Banking Chairman Chris Dodd and Senate Finance Committee member Chuck Schumer to discuss whether the economy is in a recession.
Senator Schumer pulled no punches on the question of a recession, telling Wallace, “The economy is talking down the economy. The statistics that we see on foreclosures, gasoline prices, the dollar, and the deficit talked down the economy.”
Sen. Dodd took a swipe at the Bush administration and its track record with the economy. “This will be the second recession in this administration – twice in one administration to have a recession,” Dodd said.
CNN’s “Late Edition” interviewed Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson. Paulson downplayed talks of a recession. “I'm not focused right now on what-you-call-it, economists will argue about this for months and months,” he told Wolf Blitzer. “We know the economy has slowed down. The American people know it has slowed down. So the important thing is, what do we do about it?” The former Goldman Sachs CEO later predicted that a half million jobs could be added this year thanks to the bipartisan stimulus plan that President Bush signed earlier this year.
– CNN’s Jessica Rummel