Elizabeth Warren, on the Daily Show a few weeks ago, managed to successfully articulate a clear vision of how government and the market can and should work together. This success holds particular value when other Democrats appear to be giving in to Republican rhetoric on the relationship between government and the economy. President Obama, in his address on the budget compromise, said: “A few months ago, I was able to sign a tax cut for American families because both parties worked through their differences and found common ground. Now, the same cooperation has made it possible for us to move forward with the biggest annual spending cut in history.” Really? The budget compromise, brought about by bringing the government to the brink of shutdown over which social programs to cut, signaled great cooperation and government doing what’s right for the economy?
Far from it. Even after agreeing to the budget compromise, arguing as he did that it was the best deal he could get for the American people, the President still could have used the bully pulpit to put forward another vision of what government should be doing for families in need. He could have put forward a vision of how government can help make the economy run better by, for example, pointing to specific programs attacked by Republicans that do just that.