More bad news on the economy today. In the second quarter of 2011, the gross domestic product only grew 1.3 percent. We had originally thought the GDP grew 1.7 percent in the first quarter, but a revision reveals that it actually only grew .4 percent — and in fact the updated data all the way back through 2007 shows an even slower recovery than we thought. Consumer spending has been "extraordinarily weak" in recent quarters, according to the Times, increasing this last period by a mere inflation-adjusted .1 percent. Although steep recessions are traditionally followed by steep recoveries, American output is currently growing at about the third the average rate it grew over the past sixty years.
But yes, Congress and the White House, please do continue to risk consumer panic in a theoretical fight over paying bills you already agreed to pay. Now seems like just the time.