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Home Publications Blogs Beat the Press Does Kent Conrad Know the Economy Is In a Downturn?

Does Kent Conrad Know the Economy Is In a Downturn?

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Wednesday, 16 March 2011 04:54
It seems from his comments on Marketplace Radio that Senator Conrad doesn't realize that the economy is in a serious downturn. If he did, his complaint that the government borrows 40 cents of every dollar it spends would make no sense. The reason that the economy has a large deficit at present is that the economy has an 8.9 percent unemployment rate and is operating well below its potential level of output. If the government were not borrowing 40 cents of every dollar it spends the economy would be weaker and the country would have a higher unemployment rate. Senator Conrad should have been asked about this issue during his interview.
Comments (6)Add Comment
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written by izzatzo, March 16, 2011 6:18
Stay out of this Mr Whose Your Nanny. Kent Conrad is a good person.

He understands that the good people of rural North Dakota must keep the full services of the US Nanny Post Office despite the red ink because they will never have broadband under his term as Senator from a state no larger than a big city. They already have electricity and landline phones and jobs that's enough socialism for now to prevent everyone from leaving.

The important thing is to keep repeating that the USA borrows 40 cents on the dollar to make the room go quiet with gasps, sighs and sobbing for the benefit of those who cannot even read the snail mail they do get.
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written by skeptonomist, March 16, 2011 8:24
The US has had a substantial deficit, increasing debt/GDP, in every year since 1981, except for the bubble years 1998-2001 (there were small surpluses of 2 and 86 billion in 1999 and 2000). There is no reason to think that deficits will disappear unless tax rates are raised.
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written by zipline2, March 16, 2011 8:25
I think this blog is pretty unfair. You either unintentionally or deliberately failed to look at the context of Conrad's comments (see transcript of interview here: (http://marketplace.publicradio...us-budget/).

His reference about borrowing 40 cents of every dollar was in the context of needing to get a long-term plan to tackle deficits in the future - not complaining about them in the current economic context. Anyone who follows Sen. Conrad's position on this issue would know that.
So, what's wrong with deficit?
written by Nassim, March 16, 2011 8:31
If I didn't have a deficit in my personal account, my kids would not have been able to go to college. I borrowed over $150K between 1985 and 1995 to send three kids to college.

Two have PhDs from Harvard, and Sorbonne, the little one is getting his masters at Columbia with another "deficit" increasing loan.

The two that are working bring in over $200K per year between them. Which can support the third one, but I don't ask for that. I rather borrow to invest than use my own capital.

Thanks for economists who can think straight. Without my deficit spending, my kids would be hardly making $80K annually instead of $200K.

This is not a boast, you don't know me and this is a pen-name. But a real story.

Of course, anyone who buys a house is deficit spending. But few would argue with that in normal time, or even today, if the prices were not so falsely inflated.
N. Dakota's Economy is NOT in a Serious Downturn
written by Paul, March 16, 2011 8:51
So why should Senator Kent (Oblivious-N.Dak.)be concerned about the rest of the country? "Got mine Jack; screw you!"
The Senator Is Right Even Tho He Is Left
written by Hans, March 16, 2011 8:33
Frankly, another mindless thread by this website....

Maybe time is wasted coming hear...

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About Beat the Press

Dean Baker is co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, D.C. He is the author of several books, his latest being The End of Loser Liberalism: Making Markets Progressive. Read more about Dean.

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