The hits to the American economy just keep coming. Shortly before the crucial Christmas shopping season, the Commerce Department announced that the nation's gross domestic product declined more severely during the third quarter than previously estimated. It was the deepest decline since the months following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. The culprit was the biggest drop in consumer spending since 1980.
In an effort to resuscitate the failing economy, the federal government has racked up a record $455 billion deficit with the potential to balloon even bigger. The government wants to help banks loan money, so that businesses can grow and families can buy cars, homes, and other major items. The American economy crumbles without consumer spending, which composes two-thirds of economic activity. The significance of this fact hit home in the aftermath of September 11. Even before the dust had settled, the nation's leaders urged patriotic Americans to get out and spend.
"I would ...1