Is the United States in a recession or not? The Biden administration has tried to put the best face on data showing the national economy contracted for the second straight quarter. Some economists pointed out that this indicated that the country was already in recession, while Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen insisted strong consumer demand and labor markets were signs that the economy remains strong.
“It doesn’t look like a recession to me,” President Joe Biden said. Critics have accused the president of denying reality.
In the main editorial cartoon gallery image, Bill Bramhall of the New York Daily News takes up the semantic debate with Biden asking a salivating bear: “But do you identify as a recession? Tribune Content Agency’s Dana Summers riffs on the saying, “If it gets stuck like a duck…” The Las Vegas Review-Journal’s Michael Ramirez also uses “bear market” imagery, drawing Biden on a tightrope over from the open mouth of a grizzly bear.
Several cartoonists comment on inflation and the Federal Reserve’s attempt to address it by raising interest rates. But is the medicine too strong or too weak? Scott Stantis of the Chicago Tribune draws Uncle Sam in the coils of a snake. The Fed aims a shoulder-fired missile at both of them, saying, “Stand still! I’ve got this!!!” Steve Breen of the San Diego Union-Tribune sees inflation’s hand as armored and the Fed’s as a skinny Spiderman.
Another popular topic was the weather. In a surprise announcement, West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin agreed to support some of Biden’s climate priorities, in return for some concessions on fossil fuels, Counterpoint.com’s Nick Anderson drew Kermit the Frog standing in a pool of oil, saying, “Hey, it’s not easy being green.
The cartoonists also noted the effects of climate change all around us: wildfires, dried up lakes and cockroaches preparing to take over a barren world. Don’t miss Breen’s tribute to Andrew Wyeth’s iconic painting “Christina’s World” his verdant Maine farm field turned brittle by an unforgiving sun.
Other subjects in the cartoons include the January 6 hearings; loyalty to former President Donald Trump by the Republican Party and the Secret Service; Biden’s fight with Covid-19; and the fallout from banning abortion in many red states.
The cartoons were drawn by Nick Anderson, Bill Bramhall, Dana Summers, Drew Sheneman, Scott Stantis, Walt Handelsman, David Horsey, Phil Hands, Joel Pett, and Joey Weatherford of Tribune Content Agency; and Steve Breen, Mike Luckovich and Michael Ramirez of Creators Syndicate.