As yet another bank fails and the stakes get higher, Congress and the White House continue to argue over the best plan for recovery. These are political institutions with some of the best politicians (best at being political) in the world, so it is difficult if not impossible to remove the political aspects of a public debate of this magnitude. And if you take your news and views from television it may be nearly impossible for you separate your emotions from the situation because these pols are so skilled at arousing the passions of those on their side. But if you can suspend your ire from the events of yesterday for a few moments a better understanding of the ideology behind what is going on might be possible.

Call it a slump, a slowdown, or a recession, whatever you want, but its here. The last shoe has dropped – employment. Today’s government report of hiring slowing faster than forecast and unemployment rising to a two-year high, employment one of the last strengths of the economy is faltering.

One of the last holdouts in the slowing economy story – employment - has now fallen in line.USjobs grew at its slowest pace in more than two years last month, according to the government. And almost all of the gains came from health care and government while the job losses spread beyond homebuilders and manufacturers. Unemployment rose slightly as well from 4.4% to 4.5%. The good news is that inflation pressure from wages appears to be on the decline. Workers' average hourly earnings rose just 0.2% after a 0.3% increase in March. Earnings were up 3.7% from April of last year. Easing inflation will give the Fed more room to loosen the money supply if needed to boost economic growth.

The government reported today thatU.S.gross domestic product increased at a 1.3% annual rate in the first quarter, which is the weakest since the first quarter of 2003, following the recession of 2002. The report will be revised in each of the next two months, but it shows some worrisome trends. Home construction continued to decline and the trade deficit grew. Inflation gauges in the report surged to their highest since 1991.