The Economy

Obama: Recession 'Still Real'

President Obama told a town hall audience that even though the recession is officially over, millions of people are still struggling, due to lost jobs and other economic hardships. “It’s still very real for them,” the president said, responding to the National Bureau of Economic Research’s assessment that the recession lasted from December 2007 to June 2009. The 18-month downturn was the longest since World War II. "My goal is not to convince you that everything is where it ought to be. It's not," he Obama said. But, he insisted, the economy is moving in the right direction. He also took the opportunity to challenge the Tea Party, calling out the grassroots movement for being too vague: "What would you do?" he asked of them. “It’s not enough to say ‘get control of spending.’ I think its important for you to say, ‘I’m willing to cut veterans’ benefits,’ or ‘I’m willing to cut Medicare or Social Security,’ or ‘I’m willing to see taxes go up.’ ”