Is There a Double-Dip Recession Coming?

Recession-themed newsprint cuttings
Recession-themed newsprint cuttings

With slowing growth and a dismal employment situation, many investors are concerned about the outlook for the U.S. economy. We decided to ask the Kudlow Caucus if we're headed for further trouble...

Take our poll below and tell us what you think! Watch "The Kudlow Report" tonight at 7pm ET and find out what out caucus members have to say or check back here later for a summary from our caucus members.

The Kudlow Caucus Breakdown

Jerry BowyerEconomist, CNBC Contributor
Probably not, but it sure will feel like one. Americans are used to recoveries in which people get things like jobs and raises. Instead we've got a West-Euro style recovery, to go with our West-Euro style welfare state.

Kellyanne ConwayCEO and President
the polling company™
The US economy is flailing, employment is stagnant, all three major U.S. indexes have turned negative this year. Washington's monetary policy (as it were) is hostile to growth and entrepreneurship and has failed to stimulate much except government expansion. Allowing the tax cuts to sunset is tantamount to a tax increase and invites a double dip. Blaming a "W-shaped" recession on "W " won't work, either.

David P. GoldmanSenior Editor
First Things
No, unless the Obama administration increases taxes (e.g., by letting the Bush tax cuts expire). There are enough pockets of growth in the world to keep manufacturing growing modestly; the US economy most likely will flatline like Japan in the 1980s.

David GoodfriendLawyer
I'm a card-carrying member of the Economic Optimists Club. We just avoided a bona fide depression and finally see modest employment gains. The Fed announced it will take its own stimulative action. Slow, anemic growth? Probably. Double dip? Just say no.

Jim LaCampPortfolio Manager, Portfolio Focus, RBC Wealth Management
Co-Host, Opening Bell Radio Show, Biz Radio Network
I'm only 55/45 on this, but I see diminished inventory rebuilding, sluggish consumer spending, cautious employers, capacity that is not tight enough to warrant new hiring and while the Nov. elections could bring a better outlook, the private sector needs to be very quickly mobilized, or the odds of a double dip will only rise. It can be avoided, but so far we aren't taking the right steps and time is running out.

Art LafferFmr. Reagan Economic Advisor
Chief Investment Officer, Laffer Investments
You can't have a sound economy when the government is overspending, increasing taxes, printing too much money, overregulating, and restricting trade. The expiration of the Bush tax cuts on January 1st, 2011 will push the economy over the edge into another recession.

Donald L. Luskin Chief Investment Officer, Trend Macrolytics LLC
There is no evidence for it. Anyone who believes it is coming needs to say why.

Steve MooreSr. Economics Writer, The Wall Street Journal Editorial Board
No, but I think we’re in for a prolonged period of weak and disappointing growth that will feel like we’re still in a recession.

Peter Navarro
Business Professor
University of California, Irvine
We will have a double dip recession if “recession” is appropriately defined as a period of sustained slow growth (1%-2%) and not necessarily a period of negative growth. Absent tax and trade reform, our economy will continue to underperform.

James Pethokoukis
Money & Politics Columnist
I think growth is slowing dramatically, and we may be looking at a one-handle in the second half. But I also think Congress will eventually have the good sense to at least temporarily extend all the Bush tax cuts. If they don't, then I may change my vote to "yes."

Robert Reich
Former Labor Secretary
Professor of Public Policy, UC Berkeley
There's not enough demand.

Mark Walsh
Political Strategist and Campaign Innovator
Not enough stimulus spending, and too tight on government spending on job creation in the government sector, along with incredible belt tightening at the corporate world… not just in not hiring but in increased responsibilities and job content for the people they kept. Companies have effectively used this shock wave to decrease net salaries for work done.