We as a nation have(for the past decade or so) been steadily marching to a situation where the definitions of technical terms and the measurement of data available to us, both of which are used for making hugely important policy decisions, have been rendered increasingly vague or illusory. The end result is that the government can describe the technical aspects of the economy in any way it likes and have the end result be confusion and apathy rather than understanding and anger.
The definition of the term "recession," for example. It once has a very well-known mathematical definition (I believe it was 2 consecutive quarters of decline in the GDP, but that's neither here nor there), and the definition most commonly used has since become significantly less firm. In some cases, the duration of decline necessary for a recession has telescoped to a year and beyond, and in other cases the word is used as if it's some kind of slang adjective.
At any rate, this is nothing new, it doesn't surprise me, and I don't see it stopping anytime soon -- no matter who is in the White House or running Capitol Hill.