Back during the 1990s, President Clinton cleverly began to refer to his spending initiatives as “investments.” He obviously hoped that voters could somehow be tricked into supporting bigger government by playing a bait-and-switch game with words.
Since the burden of federal spending fell significantly during the Clinton years, I’m not sure he was successful in his efforts.
But he did win reelection in 1996, and that may be why President Obama has adopted the same tactic, using some derivation of “invest” about ten times in his big speech last week.
If that sounds like overkill, the good news is that he didn’t use the term as much as he did in 2011. He was so repetitive that year that Chuck Asay produced this cartoon. Needless to say, it is equally funny when applied to this year’s speech.