January 16th, 2008
03:30 PM ET
9 years ago

Blitzer: How quickly things change

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.l.cnn.net/cnn/2008/images/01/16/art.blitzeriowa.cnn.jpg caption= "CNN Anchor Wolf Blitzer."]
WASHINGTON (CNN) - It’s amazing how quickly things can change. It wasn’t that long ago when the war in Iraq and terrorism were the number one issues on the minds of Americans. Now, according to the latest polls, it’s back to the economy.

I suppose that’s the result of serious recession fears and the reduction in casualties in Iraq in recent months. New government numbers show that inflation last year in the United States was at a 17-year high. That’s disturbing enough. But when coupled with the other recent economic woes – loss of jobs, mortgage failures and home foreclosures – the news is even worse.

Economists have a technical definition for a recession – two successive quarters showing negative economic growth. That definition has not been met, since there has not yet been even one three-month period showing negative economic growth.

But many economists believe we already are in a recession, even if the technical numbers have not yet caught up with it. And they say all this talk of a recession makes matters even worse: people begin to act as if the country already is in a recession – meaning they may limit their purchases. That, in turn, can further slow down the economy.

There is now plenty of talk here in Washington about the urgent need for a new economic stimulus package. President Bush is said to be considering some options to unveil during his State of the Union address to Congress on January 28. And House and Senate leaders from both parties are talking to each other about possible steps.

Let’s see if they can actually get their act together and do something constructive. There are many people out there who are having trouble paying for their energy needs, staying in their homes, and even putting food on the table.

- CNN Anchor Wolf Blitzer


Filed under: Wolf Blitzer
soundoff (62 Responses)
  1. Vaskeo

    The best way to fix the economy is to choose Obama as president. He will eliminate poverty in America by making wages equal. He will double the minimum wage to $12 and peg it to the inflation rate so that there will no longer be any poor people. He will also make sure that we all have houses instead of apartments and make sure the people in those neighborhoods don't discriminate against us anymore.

    January 17, 2008 09:11 am at 9:11 am |
  2. Terry, El Paso, TX

    Oh, oh. Here comes an economic stimulus package.

    We should all know what that means by now. How about a dramatic cut in taxes for the wealthiest of Americans? Perhaps by lowering the minimum wage, we could encourage businesses to hire more immigrants? How about getting rid of those pesky accounting regulations that have caused so many problems for corporations who are trying to hide costs and overstate assets? If corporations don't have to pay accountants and lawyers to cheat on their accounting, they would have more money to build steel mills and oil refineries. And don't forget to repeal the Death Tax.

    And why should corporations have to pay for health insurance? Why shouldn't each worker be free to choose his or her own insurance? Why should healthy people have to pay for sick people's problems? That isn't the American way! Down with socialized health insurance! Up with free choice! And if poor people can't afford their own insurance, why allow them a ten dollar annual tax credit; we can call it the American Health Tax Credit.

    The high priests of Voodoo Economics will be beating the drums loud and hard. Many of you Conservatives will be dancing to that irresistable beat.

    January 17, 2008 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  3. JC, Topeka, Kansas

    Let's see, what makes it any different today than 7 years ago. Tax cuts for the rich so that they could reivest in the economy, hmmmm, third world economies thats right. Supply and demand economics in the energy market, we have the supply and can demand what we want. So we have out sourcing of manufacturing jobs, increased energy costs, resulting in less money in the hands of the consumers, thus less demand for manufactured goods, espesicially items with the label made in the USA, which cost more to make than similar items in a third world country, with luxary items such as heat, gas and food costing more because if increased energy costs taking disposable income out of the pockets of consumers.

    To me it appears that everything that real people predicted would happen, has happened to the nations economy. The answer is not lower interest rates, the answer is control of the spirling prices and a redefinition of just what ethical buisness practises really are, currently, it would appear ethical buisness practices mean not getting caught. Other wise how could one set up sub prime morgages, with full knowledge that the individual would never be able to meet the payments once the interest rates kicked in. How else can one justify that the fed is supose to keep dropping the prime, while credit cards keep increasing the annual rates.

    So how do we save ourselves from recession? We don't, it's already here, but since our econonists no long have a ethically ran economy to obtain indicators from, the numbers have not caught up yet. Now has a weaker dollar helped out economy, not one bit as far as I can see. Weaker dollar means lower costs on exports, but we do not make anything any more. Weaker dollar means imports should cost more, some do, so don't, made in Japan, Germany, France, Korea yes, made in China, low low prices,,,,hmmmm. Does nothing for the American economy though. Weaker dollar, higher oil costs, makes sense the oil industry deals in dollars, dollar worth less cost more to buy a barrel of oil, which in turn means high gasoline, heating oil, aviation fuel, etc costs.

    We need a stronger dollar, that means we need to replace the federal revenues that the administration gave to the upper 1% for reinvestment overseas and invest that money here in the USA and create manufacturing jobs. Thus we generate additional money for consumers to spend at home. We need to rise the prime since the only ones that seem effected in reality by it are the holders of federal bonds. This will cost the nation a little more but it will bolster the dollar in crease its value by offering a higher interest rate on treasury bonds making the dollar more appealing to to have. A higher valued dollar, lower oil prices, which should in a time of ethical pratcises cause a reduction in energy costs thus lower manufacturing costs and everyone profits.

    Or we contiune with the failed economic plan of the administration and make permanent their tax cuts, actually increase the tax cuts to pump more money into third world nations rather than America. Lower interest rates making the dollar even less appealing than it is today as an investment option, driving up the cost of energy, driving up the cost of luxary items such as fuel and food subtracting from the disposable income of Americans reducing the demand on manufacture goods and producing generally a down ward spirial such as we are in today.

    January 17, 2008 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  4. Fred, TN

    The War in Iraw has drained us dry. We can not afford this war. One trillion dollars and counting. Fix the economy by ending the war. I think this is what Ron Paul has been saying for a long time.

    January 17, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  5. Jose Card - Independent

    A short recession may be healthy for our economy.

    We need to bring down the housing prices for more people to afford a home.
    Any attempts to save the subprime mortgage crisis cannot outdo this housing corrections. People need to learn more math to make sound financial decisions for themselves. You can't depend on the salespeople who are just waiting for your signature to make money out of you.

    If we keep on printing money, there will be too much money for the same amount of goods and services in the country. No wonder prices for these products will increase, which can cause inflation and devalued US dollars.

    January 17, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  6. marbol

    No one seems to want to recognize that R o n P a u l is an economist. He has the best plan. Read his books sometime.

    January 17, 2008 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  7. Carina

    I tried to add a response three times already, My friends and my husband have tried to add theirs.
    I guess you don't like posting the truth, I'm sorry my view is something you don't promote, it seems that you don't want to have a flood of Ron Paul support following your article.
    Oh well, let America keep sleeping.
    Ron Paul is the ONLY candidate who understands the Economy he would change America for the best, It's sad you don't want to see that happen.

    January 17, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  8. The Great William Wallace is Ten Feet Tall!

    Funny how when we start winning the war and things are going well, all of a sudden "the war isn't an issue anymore."

    When suicide explosives were ripping women and children apart on a near weekly basis, it was wall to wall blood and gore in the media. Now, well... now that the terrorist threat has been effectively squashed and the bombings have dried up, so has the media coverage.

    See, when events do not fit the liberal media template, they are simply ignored. "What's that... the war is going well? Hey look! What crazy thing is Britney Spears doing now?!!"

    Typical liberal tactic: "goal posts on wheels."

    January 18, 2008 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  9. Georgia voter

    Give more coverage to Edwards -–CNN and the media is deciding the election!!!!!

    January 20, 2008 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  10. Katie, PA

    Are the Democrats ever going to discuss illegal immigration.? This impacts both our national security and our economy. I have heard almost nothing from that side, especially from Hillary Clinton. Not likely that she said anything about this issue before the Nevada caucuses. What is she going to do with the millions of people already here illegally ....and then what for the future to prevent the same problem from reoccurring???

    January 21, 2008 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  11. Richard Muszynski

    God forbid we would have an attack on America after Hillary or Obama would be elected, since they both recommend pulling all troops from Irac and surrounding areas. What would their plan be in the event of a terrorist attack on this county.

    1. Redeploy troops and how many?
    2. Fire a missile as President Clinton choose to do?
    3. Or do nothing?

    January 21, 2008 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  12. Kook

    The aliens are coming to Texas!!! The aliens want to take over the world!!! Let the world unite, we must have a world government to take on the aliens!!! uuuuuu
    Entertain your minds people on the news and forget about the race, don't do any research you may find trash that will spoil our plans...I mean that you don't want to hear. Yes the aliens want you to choose someone who will unite the world and at the same time engage in wars and entangle alliances...watch the aliens as they invade...forget there is a revolution ...forget about Ron Paul.

    January 25, 2008 03:15 am at 3:15 am |
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