December 13th, 2009
03:56 PM ET
9 years ago

State of the Union: John King's Crib Sheet for December 13

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="In his Crib Sheet, CNN's John King looks back at Sunday's talk shows and ahead to the topics that will be making news this week."]
Pocketbook issues drove the Sunday conversation, with mixed assessment on the question of the economy is at a point where it should cause more holiday season cheer than despair.

There was, at first glance anyway, a bit of a mixed message from two of President Obama’s top economic advisers on the threshold question of whether the recession is over.

“Today, everybody agrees that the recession is over,” Lawrence Summers, the director of the National Economic Council said.

“Of course not,” Council of Economic Advisers Chairwoman Christina Romer said when she was asked if she considered the recession to be over.

To be fair, Summers was speaking from a technical perspective; Romer more from the views of an American who still lacked a job despite some more encouraging recent economic data. Still, the different language will only add to the political debate about the administration’s economic policies.

The president’s Monday meeting with bankers was a hot topic, as was the question of whether a Democratic-controlled Washington would truly take steps next year toward real deficit reduction. And of course there was sharp debate over the evolving Senate health care bill, even with some Democrats saying they needed more proof it would bend the health care cost curve before they could pledge their support.

So let’s get to the Sound of Sunday:

National Economic Council Director Lawrence Summers on CNN’s “State of the Union”
“It will take time. A year ago the question was would we have a depression? Today everybody agrees that the recession is over. The questions are around how fast we'll recover."

Council of Economic Advisers Chairwoman Christina Romer on NBC’s “Meet the Press”
“The official definition, that talks about just when do you turn the corner, when do you go from plummeting to finally starting to go back up. I think we have at least in terms of GDP reached that point. What I think the president has said and what I firmly believe, you're not recovered until all those people that want to work are back to work,

David Gregory: In your mind this recession is not over?

Romer: “Of course not.”

National Economic Council Director Lawrence Summers on CNN’s “State of the Union”

“I don't think that there is any question that the recovery act is serving its intended function. Look, look at the economic debate today. People are talking about how much job creation there will be, and talking about the pace of the recovery from recession. We are not where we would like to be as a country, but, gosh, it's different from where it was when the recovery act was passed.”

Former Republican Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney on NBC’s “Meet the Press”
“This is not going to be a jobless recovery, the economy will come back, the private sector will grow again. But it has been a jobless stimulus. And that's unfortunate because the president had an opportunity to focus on the economy, to create jobs but instead Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid created something that stimulated government.”

National Economic Council Director Lawrence Summers on CNN’s “State of the Union”
“It was irresponsible risk taking that brought the economy to the brink of collapse. It was their irresponsible risk taking in many cases that brought the economy to collapse. And frankly after the Asian crisis and the 1987 stock market crash, and after other things that happened, it was not the first time. And they don't get in some cases that they wouldn't be where they are today, and they certainly would not be paying the bonuses they are paying today if their government hadn't taken extraordinary actions.”

National Economic Council Director Lawrence Summers on CNN’s “State of the Union”
“For them to be complaining about serious regulation directed at making sure this never happens again is wrong. For $300 million to be spent on lobbyists trying to gut serious efforts at financial reform is not how this country should be operating. For firms that have benefited from taxpayer support to be complaining about the government burdening them is frankly a bit rich."

Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Minority Whip) on ABC’s “This Week”
“When the president meets with the bankers, I hope that the discussion centers on what seems to be a real overreaction from the auditors in the regulatory arena that are looking at risk-taking as something that just should be done at all. we know in our economy that the prosperity we know has been built on calculated risk.”

Personal Finance Expert Suze Orman on CNN’s “State of the Union” on what she would tell bankers if she had the opportunity
“I would say, bankers, what in the world is the matter with you? You took taxpayers and you are giving out bonuses and acting like nothing is wrong and some of your stocks have increased in value from their low. However, you're not serving the people you should be serving and in my opinion, bankers, you are serving, not all bankers, but many of them, you are serving your own bottom lines and shame on you.”

The White House would not take a firm position, again, on whether it would support creating a new commission to recommend major deficit-reduction measures – with Congress required to cast an up or down vote on the recommendations when the work is done. Plus, a big spending bill that increase some Cabinet department budgets by 10 percent or more only added to the skepticism that real deficit reduction is in the offing.

National Economic Council Director Lawrence Summers on CNN’s “State of the Union” responding to the question of whether the White House would commit to or reject a proposal for the creation of a commission to address deficit reduction
“The president wants to see the problem solved. He’s prepared to accommodate others on the way that will work to do it. What’s important is that the problem be solved.”

Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA) on CNN’s “State of the Union”
“I think the way we will get spending long term under control is to get bipartisan commission, and Democrats and Republicans come together and put revenues and spending out there and come back and vote up straight and down. I don't see how the process where everybody kind of goes on is going to come to an end until we have the discipline to do a straight up or down vote on revenues and spending cuts.”

Sen. John Thune (R-SD) on CNN’s “State of the Union”
“Republicans share some of the blame. We were in charge. We did not control spending well enough either. You have a Democrat President, Democrat majority in the House and Senate, and all of them have their foot on the pedal. They are driving this thing over the cliff. Somebody has to put the breaks on.”

Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Minority Whip) on ABC’s “This Week”
“If you look at the kind of deficit that we've incurred over the last three years that the Democrats have been in control of Congress, 60% of the overall deficit from the last ten years has occurred in that period. And frankly with the incurrence of the debt, we’ve seen very little result. That’s why we think we ought to choose another way.”

And there was a feisty debate about the math – and methods – of the health care debate as well. As senators await new numbers from the Congressional Budget Office on the Democrats’ latest idea, there were bipartisan worries that as it now stands, the measure does not do enough to bend the health care cost curve.

Sen. John Thune (R-SD) on CNN’s “State of the Union”
“The main thing the President can do and the leadership in congress can do now is do no harm. The reason small businesses are not investing is they see the policy uncertainty over Washington. They see more borrowing and more taxing and more debt and more spending, and in the health care bill, they see the premiums going up.”

Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Minority Leader) on CBS’ “Face the Nation”
“I'm not in favor of no health care reform. I think we ought to go step by step. Target losses between doctors and hospitals, have inter-state competition among health care companies incentivize wellness programs that companies like safe way have shown can bring down the cost. There are things that we can do to improve what is already the finest health care in the world.”

Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) on CBS’ “Face the Nation” about whether he could support the current Senate compromise legislation on health care reform
“I certainly would have a hard time voting for it because it has some of the same infirmities that the public option did. It will add taxpayer cost. It will add to the deficit. It’s unnecessary.”

Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) on “Fox News Sunday”
“It has to slow down the increase of health care costs over time and that is bending the cost curve and, secondly, that it has to be deficit neutral. We have to be saving more money for our government than we're spending. And if we're not saving more money for our government than we're spending, then not only will I not support it. The President said he won't support it.”

Enjoy the rest of your Sunday and the week ahead,
John King

Filed under: Economy • Health care • Popular Posts • State of the Union • TARP
soundoff (13 Responses)
  1. Preston kathy

    Pkm i talked to a bank teller last week she pays her visa bill on time the bank still charged her extra service charges she is now over limit am i miSsing some thing

    December 13, 2009 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  2. A. Smith, Oregon

    Critically needed funding to America's dilapidated infra-structure, public education, police and fire departments, library's, bridges, harbors, electrical grid, electrical production, national highways, transportation, canals and levees all went largely unfunded and badly in need of repairs and updates for 8 long years under Bush-Cheney.

    The current Government Spending bill begins returning Federal funding back to critical domestic needs which were completely avoided and completely overlooked by Bush-Cheney for 8 long years.

    It will take several years of spending into America's domestic infra-structure before each of the critical needs are met. Another 5 years of spending into America's domestic infra-structure to update its aging electrical grids, electrical production capacity and transportation needs for the future.

    As long as each of those goals are met with small positive steps each year, there is nothing to blame President Obama for his continued efforts to rebuild America after the 8 years of horrific damage done by the Bush-Cheney administration.

    December 13, 2009 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  3. Allen, Texas

    From an economist's point of view, Bush's recession is finally over. However, as President Obama said, the recession is not over for those Americans who're still searching for work. The President have done everything right in managing thsi recession, however, the banks and the Wall Street types who got us in the this mess with their stupid and risky investments all of a sudden are becoming fiscally conservative and looking for their investors' interests. Now they want to be sure that they only extend credit to those with gold standard credit rating. Where were these conservative bankers for the last few years when they were sqeezing and robbing the middle class and the lower class silly. They now have the gall to take our taxpayer bailout money but refuse to lend money for investment. How un – American and unpatriotic!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    December 13, 2009 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  4. Donna

    Watching John King on Sunday has become like watching Fox News. I got tired of questions with right wing slant and the predominance of GOP complainers on center stage and last word. I'll pass on CNN on Sunday mornings, thanks. Too bad. I hoped for better.

    December 13, 2009 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  5. smiff

    Amazing the reporting on this recession ending proclaimation never refefred to anything close to technicalities. Everything floating around in the state controlled media declares the recession definitely OVER. How can we know anything they say is true anymore. Besides things around this area are in a downward slide lately. Who's this idiot answering to or COVERING FOR? OUR recession isnt over!!! PROPOGANDA NO DOUBT!!!!

    December 13, 2009 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  6. Mo Ahmed

    In the State of the Union program John King needs a much sharper investigative/incisive approach to his guests. John needs to drop the echo-chamber of CNN's own analysts, contributors and correspondents and bring in independent expert s on the subject. While "balanced" views are appreciated the viewers like to rely on expert facts and views., rather than Democratic and Republican paid hacks. Thus we can hear more independent experts rather than the same Gloria, Donna, Ed, Dana, Candy and others – give them a rest.!

    December 13, 2009 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  7. Preston kathy

    Pkm i know people with great educations who were laid off and live in there cars what in the world are are childern going to do i guess hey will go in the military and fight these these stupid wars

    December 13, 2009 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  8. They call me "tater salad"

    John King is a right wing, lap-dog, water boy........Go over to Fox where you belong, you'd fit right in with the rest of those lying, right wing loving, losers.......

    December 13, 2009 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  9. Hugo

    Not too right not too left, I demand a fiscally responsible small Federal Government. People have seem to forgotten that the States are supposed to run themselves per our Constitution and the Federal Government was to provide for mail delivery and National defense, end of story. What the hell went awry? Meglomaniac politician lawyers!

    December 13, 2009 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  10. tarheel

    John King definitely needs to start leaning a little more to the left with his remarks and guests. Else, he may wind up like Lou Dobbs. Currently, Fox News is the only channel with at least a semi-conservative slant. We certainly wouldn't want another channel that wasn't the property of Obama and the Liberal Democrats. The liberals (progressives) do not want a Newsman like John King who tries his best to be neutral. They got to have that stacked deck.

    December 13, 2009 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  11. pa. independent

    CNN is Fox light! I stopped watching.

    December 13, 2009 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  12. Merengo

    The genesis of our economic problems rests squarely in the lap of the Republican Party. They have absolutely no credibility with the majority of us, especially when they suddenly come up with all these "better" alternatives to what the Democratic Party's trying to do: reverse at least 8 years of the "Bushman's (and his cronies) mismanagement of our economy. Where were the republicans, now so vocal about alternative and better solutions to our problems, when those problems were growing and festering under Bush? Answer: Doing their best to see that big business was protected at the expense of the economy in general and the people in particular. The republicans are a failed party, and anyone who votes for a republican in any future election will demonstrate a very short memory... Not all of us in this country are gun-toting, bible spewers with limited gray cells.

    December 13, 2009 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  13. S Callahan Third week of Advent...light you candle for JOY

    When you see young parents in disress, with both adults working, and they can't afford to give their children a Christmas..I'd say...the recession is far from over....sometimes I think CNN would best serve their readers if they would just interview the guy off the least you'd get an honest answer! just sayin'.

    December 13, 2009 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |