The president gave a speech today. No surprise there. And in this speech, which was nominally devoted to infrastructure spending, he praised his administration’s economic record. No surprise there, either, though it does take some cheek to boast about an economy in which fewer people than ever are in the work force. President Obama also kicked some dirt on the Republican’s shoes. And that, of course, is also no shocker.
A sample of presidential rhetoric:
After the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, our businesses have created nearly 10 million new jobs over the past 52 months. The unemployment rate is at its lowest point since September of 2008. We’ve made huge strides in energy independence. For the first time in more than a decade, business leaders around the world are saying the best place to invest isn’t China, the best place to invest is the United States of America. But you’ve still got a lot of middle-class families all across the country who are working harder than ever just to get ahead. They need a break. They need some help. And having better roads and less delays -- that helps.
And meanwhile, Republicans in Congress keep blocking or voting down some of the ideas that would have the biggest impact on middle-class and working families. Not just creating more new construction jobs -- they’ve said no to raising the minimum wage, to equal pay, to fixing our broken immigration system.
The only interesting aspect of this speech is the venue the White House chose for its delivery. McLean, Virginia. Tenth richest zip code in the Republic. The economy there is swell and whenever Washington spends money, it just gets better.
Which is not an automatic in the rest of the country where the economy contracted in the last quarter and appears, increasingly, to be just holding its own in this one.