early November, 2007, the Commerce Department’s Bureau of
Economic Analysis (BEA) announced the United States had achieved a
third quarter Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of 3.9 percent. That
number was later updated to 4.9 percent. Those numbers set off my
“reasonable test” alarm. How, I wondered, with an
accelerating rate of inflation and declining economic activity, could
the United States turn in such a stellar performance? The
BEA’s report flunked the reasonable test.