Contrary to what Obama tells us in his speeches, all is not going so well in this brave new world.
Judging from today's breaking news, we've got no reason to rejoice :
The economy contracted at a staggering 6.2 percent pace at the end of 2008, the worst showing in a quarter-century, as consumers and businesses ratcheted back spending, plunging the country deeper into recession.
The Commerce Department report released Friday showed the economy sinking much faster than the 3.8 percent annualized drop for the October-December quarter first estimated last month. It also was considerably weaker than the 5.4 percent annualized decline economists expected.
A much sharper cutback in consumer spending — which accounts for about 70 percent of economic activity — along with a bigger drop in U.S. exports sales, and reductions in business spending and inventories all contributed to the largest revision on records dating to 1976.
Looking ahead, economists predict consumers and businesses will keep cutting back spending, making the first six months of this year especially rocky.
"Right now we're in the period of maximum recession stress, where the big cuts are being made," said economist Ken Mayland, president of ClearView Economics.
The new report offered grim proof that the economy's economic tailspin accelerated in the fourth quarter under a slew of negative forces feeding on each other. The economy started off 2008 on feeble footing, picked up a bit of speed in the spring and then contracted at an annualized rate of 0.5 percent in the third quarter.
The faster downhill slide in the final quarter of last year came as the financial crisis — the worst since the 1930s — intensified.
Consumers at the end of the year slashed spending by the most in 28 years. They chopped spending on cars, furniture, appliances, clothes and other things. Businesses retrenched sharply, too, dropping the ax on equipment and software, home building and commercial construction.
American consumers — spooked by vanishing jobs, sinking home values and shrinking investment portfolios have cut back. In turn, companies are slashing production and payrolls. Rising foreclosures are aggravating the already stricken housing market, hard-to-get credit has stymied business investment and is crimping the ability of some consumers to make big-ticket purchases.
It's creating a self-perpetuating vicious cycle that Washington policymakers are finding hard to break.
Before Friday's report was released, many economists were projecting an annualized drop of 5 percent in the current January-March quarter. However, given the fourth quarter's showing and the dismal state of the jobs market, Mayland believes a decline of closer to 6 percent in the current quarter is possible.
The nation's unemployment rate is now at 7.6 percent, the highest in more than 16 years. The Federal Reserve expects the jobless rate to rise to close to 9 percent this year, and probably remain above normal levels of around 5 percent into 2011.
Even in the best-case scenario that the recession ends this year and an economic recovery happens next year, unemployment is likely to keep rising.
So how could we believe in the con man's lies, when he asserts that thanks to him, the US economy is going to recover and he is going to cut down the deficit by half, increasing federal spending ?
Let me remind you this simple fact :
Obama's election was supposed to change everything and to bring a new era of optimism to the country, wasn't it ?
Where is this new era of optimism ?