RUSH: Here’s the economic news. This is first from Reuters: ‘The US economy grew at a slightly slower-than-expected pace in the first quarter, held back by inventories and exports…’ Now, that’s key, held back by inventories and exports. ‘… but resurgent consumer spending offered evidence of a sustainable recovery. Gross domestic product expanded at a 3.2 percent pace, the Commerce Department. Analysts polled by Reuters had forecast GDP, which measures total goods and services output within US borders, growing at a 3.4% rate,’ so they were shocked and surprised and stunned and disappointed that the growth rate was not what they had forecast. ‘Despite the slowdown from the prior quarter, details of the report were fairly upbeat, with consumer spending accelerating at a 3.6 percent rate, more than double the 1.6 percent pace in the fourth quarter. … When businesses slow the rate at which they are liquidating inventories, manufacturers raise production and this boosts GDP.’
So here’s the real nut of this. ‘Excluding inventories the economy expanded at a 1.6 percent rate following a 1.7 percent pace in the fourth quarter.’ So there was no economic growth. If you take the census workers out of this, if you take the federal spending out — I mean look at the anemic economic growth that we have bought with a $787 billion stimulus package. That’s what he’s trying to claim here, the stimulus did it. So it was just inventory adjustments, not real growth. One-point-six percent is nothing to write home about. Still, this is the way CNN writes it up, and, by the way, folks, I’m not trying to be anything but honest here. I’m not happy reporting to you the truth about economic growth. You know me. I’m Mr. Optimism, but it’s gotta be based in fact and truth and reality. Phony optimism is unkind to people. It’s like John Edwards saying, ‘If you elect John Kerry, Christopher Reeve will be walking next week.’ That’s a very cruel thing to say to people who have spinal cord problems. So to sit here and be phony about the economy, that’s what Obama’s trying to do, creating an image and a template, I just have to tell you, it isn’t happening, and the reason it’s not happening is because of his policies. They continue to deplete resources from the private sector.
Here’s how CNN says it: ‘Still, while there may be signs of greater strength, the report also detailed some of the headwinds facing the economy. Investment in residential real estate fell nearly 11%, ending a two-quarter rebound in that battered sector and subtracting from overall growth. And commercial real estate investment dropped at a 14% rate.’ Now, my friends, if residential real estate and commercial real estate are dropping at 11% and 14%, pretty much tells you what’s happening out there. There is no growth. Commercial real estate, there’s no expansion taking place. ‘While federal government spending increased 1.4%, that was outweighed by a 3.8% spending cut by state and local governments dealing with budget crises.’ Now, we went back, we got a 3.2% economic growth rate, right? Yep, yep, yep, there it is. And hey, you know what? ‘It’s a recovery, it’s really happening, it’s going to be slow, a tough slog, but it’s really happening.’ They’re doing everything they can to shape and spin this as good news.
CNBC, August 28, 2008. The GDP, August 2008, was 3.3%. The media was reporting it felt like a recession. ‘Despite the surprising growth in the US economy in the second quarter, many economists and average Americans aren’t convinced that the country has avoided a recession. ‘The reason this feels like a recession is from the standpoint of the consumer it basically is,’ said David Resler, the chief economist at Nomura Securities. ‘Consumer spending is very weak. It isn’t going to get any stronger at any time soon, and that’s with the benefit of the economic stimulus.’ The Commerce Department attributed the unexpected 3.3% jump.’ It went up. They were stunned, and they still called it a recession in 2008 because, of course, this is right before the election. This was still a Bush economy. So the Commerce Department attributed the unexpected 3.3% jump in the GDP to stronger than expected consumer spending and exports. So today we’ve got 3.2%, and, boy, are they doing everything they can to tug that number across the finish line, ‘We’re coming back.’ They still, later in their story, have to be honest. Most of this is inventory manipulation. ‘Still, a growing number of analysts fear the country will hit another economic pothole in the third and fourth quarters.’
So they’re claiming the recession began in December 2007, which it hadn’t. Here we have 3.3% growth in August of ’08. It was up. Everybody was shocked, and yet they still wrote about it in doom and gloom terms. It’s a teachable moment here, folks, to give you evidence of how economic news is treated depending on who’s in the White House. Now, we gotta be fair to the media here, we have to be fair to the media because it was an election year and the Democrats needed a bad economy and so the media was chipping in trying to create the image or the notion in people’s minds that we were headed for a rotten economy. Now, here is the Reuters story, and their story is noncelebratory. It makes me ask, ‘Why hasn’t somebody officially declared the recession over?’ ‘The US economy grew at a slightly slower-than-expected pace in the first quarter, held back by inventories and exports, but resurgent consumer spending offered evidence of a sustainable recovery, a government report showed on Friday.’
RUSH: What’s striking about the economic report on the GDP today versus the one in 2008, back in 2008, they were surprised at how big the economy grew, and they sort of downplayed the fact that it was all related to consumer spending. Sort of downplayed that. Now consumer spending’s everything in the economy, when the economy is rolling: ‘Look it! Consumers are starting to spend again!’ So it’s… Folks, it is no longer arguable that the Drive-By Media, the State-Controlled Media, reports economic news entirely differently, on purpose, depending on who is in the White House.