This morning, the Commerce Department reported that the U.S. economy shrank by 0.1 percent in the fourth quarter of 2012. It's the first GDP contraction since 2009.

On America Live, Megyn Kelly posed the following question to Fox News contributors Kirsten Powers and Monica Crowley: with the economy still struggling, why is the focus in Washington, D.C. on other issues like gun control and immigration?

Crowley said President Obama seems to have no issue taking the United States down the same "socialist" path as many European nations, with permanent high unemployment and high taxes. She pointed out that

under Obama, America has seen a "new normal" of low economic growth, which she described as "pathetic for the United States of America."

"Economics is a pretty straight-forward science. You look over the last four years and you see higher taxes, class warfare, radical wealth redistribution, socialized medicine, unprecedented spending, record-breaking deficits and debt and you say, 'well of course this is the logical result of all of those policies.' It's not a big mystery," said Crowley.

Kelly raised the question of whether there is any will in Washington to do anything meaningful on spending and deficits, pointing out Sen. Mary Landrieu's statement that discretionary spending is not the problem "despite what you hear on Fox News."

Powers agreed with Crowley that spending is out of control, but said the issue is that cutting spending significantly would have a negative impact on the economy. She argued that many economists have said the stimulus worked in preventing a worse recession, and disputed that taxes have increased significantly.

"The taxes have not really gone up (under Obama). We've had the Bush tax cuts now for a decade. They have not stimulated the economy in the way that Republicans said that they would," said Powers.

Watch the discussion: