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By Jeremy Schiffres, Daily and Sunday Freeman, Kingston, N.Y.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Check your facts, Senator

A fax from U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer showed up in the Freeman newsroom on Wednesday with a header that began "As recession worsens ..."

Excuse me?

The economic definition of a recession is two consecutive quarters of negative growth. Put another way, the nation's "gross domestic product" - the widely accepted measure of all economic activity in the United States - has to contract, rather than expand, for back-to-back three-month periods in order for a recession to exist.

We haven't even had one quarter of economic contraction, let alone two. Despite Sen. Schumer's proclamation to the contrary, the United States is not in a recession.

Sen. Schumer has always struck me as an honest and decent fellow. I haven't supported all of his policies, but I've always considered him to be a straight shooter. I've met the man twice, and he impressed me both times as a respectable person and politician.

But sending a press release to the media that uses a lie as a premise to make a point is reprehensible. And Sen. Schumer should be ashamed of himself.



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