A slumping stock market, slower job and manufacturing growth, higher gas prices than last year and worries of a debt crisis in Europe -- it's enough to get the bears roaring and raise fears of another recession.
Last week's WSJ/NBC Poll showed more than 40% of Americans fear the country is headed for a double dip recession.
In an interview with The Daily Ticker's Aaron Task, outgoing director of the National Economic Council Austan Goolsbee admits the U.S. is "dealing with stiff headwinds," but "a double dip is not in the cards."
His predecessor as President Obama's top economic adviser, Larry Summers, isn't as confident. In an op-ed published in The Washington Post and Financial Times, Summers argued that the United States is at risk of falling into a "lost decade" of prolonged weak economic growth and high unemployment unless more stimulus is injected into the economy.
"We averted Depression in 2008/2009 by acting decisively. Now we can avert a lost decade by recognizing economic reality," he wrote.
Goolsbee didn't address the need for more stimulus in the interview. Instead, he focused on the progress the Obama administration has made during its time in the White House. "We've come a long way from where we were two years ago," he says. We've gone from "losing 750,000 jobs per month to gaining 1 million in the last six months."
Some would say the White House hasn't done enough, but Goolsbee's strategy -- to stay positive -- seems to be working. In that same WSJ/NBC poll, a majority of Americans said they don't blame Obama for the current economic troubles. (See: Americans Down on the Economy, But Don't Blame Obama: WSJ/NBC Poll)