The biggest news in the speech was the call for Congress to raise the federal minimum wage to $9.00 an hour. But the most important ideological moment in the speech came when he challenged the idea that reducing the deficit is good for the economy and renewed the push for more stimulus spending. “Let’s be clear: Deficit reduction alone is not an economic plan,” Obama said. “It’s not a bigger government we need, but a smarter government that sets priorities and invests in broad-based growth.” We needed Obama to renew the case for more stimulus spending — while skewering the idea that reducing the deficit alone is good for the economy. As unlikely as it is that this Congress will agree to any more stimulus, it was important to hear Obama make this case. ...Greg Sargent
The Republicans get it wrong. Over and over again. Deliberately.
Just a quick observation: for the past couple of days I’ve been seeing in a lot of places, including comments on this blog, the assertion that federal spending has risen 37 percent under Obama — that specific number. Does anyone know where it’s coming from? Because if I look at the actual data, I see federal spending rising from $3.475 trillion in fourth-quarter 2008 to $3.917 trillion in fourth-quarter 2012 — a rise of 12.7 percent.
Obviously this is coming from somewhere, and being broadcast by Rush or somebody. But it’s still kind of amazing how a totally wrong number can become part of what everyone on the right just knows to be true. ...PaulKrugman, Economics and Politics NYT