The Democrat governor of Kansas broke with White House officials this week, acknowledging the likelihood of a recession hitting the United States soon.
“We have managed the budget so well that we now have done all of these things: We have paid down billions of dollars in debt, and we have still left in our ending balance a $1.5 billion surplus. And that doesn’t count the now up to $950 [million] rainy day fund,” Gov. Laura Kelly said in a speech on Monday in reference to the state’s budget.
Later, she said, “And you hear people talking about, you know, a recession coming. Bring it on. Because we now have enough money to be able to ride it out still funding everything that we’re supposed to be funding.”
Her comments come several weeks after top White House officials, including President Joe Biden himself, rebuffed claims that a recession is looming.
“Come on, don’t make things up,” Biden told a reporter who asked about whether a recession was likely to occur. “Now you sound like a Republican politician, I’m joking, that was a joke, that was a joke,” he continued. “But all kidding aside, no I don’t think it is. I was talking to Larry Summers this morning, there’s nothing inevitable about a recession.”
National Economic Council head Brian Deese said that rather than a recession occurring, the United States is currently in a transition phase. Deese, like Biden, then claimed the United States is actually making an economic recovery following the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Our economy is in a period of transition. We’re moving from the strongest economic recovery in modern history to what can be a period of more stable and resilient growth,” he told Fox News in May.
However, the administration’s public optimism doesn’t appear to be translating to confidence among top business leaders or consumers alike.
About 60 percent of CEOs who were polled about an upcoming potential recession say they are expecting one to occur within the next year to 18 months.
“In the U.S., the Measure of CEO Confidence fell to 42, levels not seen since the start of COVID-19, while confidence levels in Europe dropped to 37. At 34, confidence levels were lowest among CEOs of Western and non-Chinese multinational companies in China, where the measure was taken for the first time. A reading below 50 denotes more negative than positive responses,” a report from The Conference Board said.
And Summers, meanwhile, a former Obama administration official, warned in recent interviews that he believes a recession could happen. What’s more, he argued that a downturn is possibly the only way to deal with rampant inflation, which hit 8.6 percent year-over-year in May 2022.