Recession Officially Over–But for Whom?

In June 2009 a panel of private economists declared the recession that had shaken the U.S. economy was officially over, but fifteen months after the fact one has to wonder just exactly who is no longer affected by the financial crisis. In fact, according to the Washington Post, many Americans wonder just that.

With the unemployment rate at 9.6 percent and holding, the masses seem to be holding on to a thread of hope with slippery fingers.

Since he took office in 2008, the economy has been a number one priority for President Obama, who addressed the financial crisis on financial network CNBC Monday afternoon in hopes of restoring a little hope to those who haven’t seen much in the way of positive change.

With mid-term elections just around the corner, there is some speculation that Obama’s talk was designed to rally support for his economic team, including Timothy Geithner, who could take a heavy hit come election time. Without support the team could lose their control over congress, potentially throwing a wrench into Obama’s plans to address expiring tax cuts put in place by President George W. Bush.

Republican John Buehner is proposing extending those tax cuts–cuts that affect only the upper-class two percent of the American population–but Obama’s plan is to only extend tax cuts to the middle-class, not big business.

Obama reasons the upper-class would not put the money they saved on these tax cuts back into the economy, which would theoretically spur its growth and put America back on the mend. Middle-class tax cuts would do just that, though one has to wonder if after everything the middle and lower-classes have been through during this economic crisis, if they would not save the money for rainy days ahead.

With taxes at a 30 year low, Obama noted he had no intention of vilifying business owners, but with big businesses on the mend increasing tax-rates for business owners could help push the economy even further in the right direction.

As a regular human being out in the world I have personally seen little hope for recovery. With my entire family still trying to piece our lives back together after the crisis it is difficult to find even a small thread of hope to hang on to. Having gone on to college, spending years getting educations we were told all our lives would help us get a leg up and succeed in our careers, I have deferred my student loans so many times the government is starting to think I’ll never pay them back. And I’m not the only one. Nearly everyone I know is still struggling, still wondering if they will find jobs or return to the jobs they have full time.

It would certainly be a fresh change of pace to actually see these positive changes in the economy firsthand.

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Recession Officially Over–But for Whom? — 46 Comments