Biden Admin Officials Changing Definition of ‘Recession’

Officials are getting the word out during media appearances.

QUICK FACTS:
  • Biden advisor Gene Sperling spoke on Fox News, saying that what economists are calling a “recession” isn’t appropriately labeled.
  • When asked during his interview if two contracting quarters, or negative quarters, means recession, Sperling denied it.
  • “That is not the actual definition of a recession,” Sperling said. “It is a significant contractionary period over a few months.”
  • Biden administration economic advisor Jared Bernstein made a similar denial, saying that the recession label was a “semantic claim,” during an appearance on MSNBC’s Squawk Box.
COMMENTS FROM BIDEN OFFICIALS:
  • Fox News’ Martha MacCallum put the question to Sperling saying, “I’ve got to ask you really quickly here. The most-read piece in The Washington Post, ‘Quit, Joe, quit! Biden could save the midterms with a one-term pledge.” It’s one of the most popular pieces on the internet today. A quick response to that: should he announce now that he will not run for reelection?”
  • Sperling responded, “Oh, I’m not getting into all that talk. This president has got his head down and is focused every day on what he can do to keep this continuation of gas prices going down near 70 cents. What he can do to pass this historic chip bill, what he can do to lower prescription drug costs. What he can do to extend the Affordable Care Act for fifteen million.”
  • “That’s what he’s doing. He’s not doing the politics of all these projections, he’s focused right like you would like him to be: on helping middle-class working families have more opportunity, keep this low 3.6% unemployment, have resilience in this economy and work with Congress. We hope to bring down costs for American families who are definitely dealing with things and higher prices.”
BACKGROUND:
  • Sperling’s flat denial came more than a month after his appearance on MSNBC’s “Chris Jansing Reports,” where the adviser responded to a survey showing the majority of CEOs expect a recession in the next year and a half.
  • The presidential advisor responded for the administration, saying, “we think that too many people are not looking at the more reassuring elements of resilience in this economy right now and they’re not realizing that the American Rescue Plan put a historic number of people back to work.”