From the Washington Post's baby blogger Ezra Klein...
The president won't give his annual State of the Union address until later tonight, but in an important way, the speech has already worked. For the past week or so, news report after news report has dutifully relayed the argument the president is planning to offer tonight: America needs to be competitive going forward, and to be competitive going forward, it needs to invest in things like infrastructure, R&D and education, not just reduce the deficit.
And it's...worked. The conversation has changed. We've stopped just talking about deficits and begun talking about investments. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor was on "Meet the Press" on Sunday fretting that the word "invest" is mere code for "more spending." Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell echoed him on "Fox News Sunday." “With all due respect to our Democratic friends, any time they want to spend, they call it investment," he said....
It looks like we're going to have an argument over investment in this country, not just over deficit reduction. Obama will get to present his case that economic leadership requires investing in infrastructure and education and research, as well as cutting the deficit, and Republicans will be able to make their argument that the strategy should be pretty much all cuts.
I don't want to carp on his age, mostly because I'm only four years older than he is, but the naiveté this guy oozes makes me wonder if he is part of some ageist affirmative action program the Washington Post hasn't told us about. I'm sure Ezra is a nice guy, but analysis like this makes it so hard to believe he's been in the game as long as he has in his 26 years of life.
Maybe it's just that he's a product of an ideology that is myopically married to the notion that govnerment, in spite of its solid 80 year track record of failure in the extra-constitutional duties it has assumed since FDR was president, will save us so we can stop our worrying and go back to feeling like the United States is indestructible again.
Maybe it's a product of watching too much of what Hollywood puts out when it weaves politics into its programming. Where liberals invariably win using uninformed one-sided arguments (that you can't find only on Fox News) that he thinks this "changing of the conversation" to "investment" to reduce the deficit is the endgame to what they view as the Great Right Backslide of 2010.
Obama's stimulus was one of these vaunted "investments," one component of that investment was spending up to $10,000 on one single sign letting us know that stimulus money was being "invested" in...signs....roadwork, and by their own admission, non-existent shovel-ready projects.
I want Ezra to explain to me how this "changed" conversation will explain how spending nearly a trillion dollars on projects that produced little more than having fewer potholes on the road can set us on the path to long term economic stability, to say nothing of actual prosperity, that eventually gets our government to a point where it collects more revenue than it spends.
The left can wet themselves over the curve ball they think Obama is about to throw, but their idea of "investment" already has a track record, so I'm dying to know why they think this time will be different.
For two years I haven't seen one syllable come from the left that even hints at a serious solution for bringing the deficit, and ultimately the debt, down. Any talking head that that tries to suggest that cutting spending is not the only path deficit reduction is either attempting a move into comedy, or being human is too blasé for them and now they want to try their hand at frightened ostrich.
Republicans seem to be the only ones that understand that even though you'll see black doing this...
it is NOT the way we'll get out of being in the red. That is not "fretting," that is responding to the "tah dah" of the Ezra Kleins of the world putting lipstick on the pig of spending when we're trillions and trillions in the hole, and then telling us THAT is the path to deficit reduction.
This problem is reaching national life or death proportions, and its time the left dispense with the childish things.