This is run-of-the-mill budget trickery. True, Obama's tricks come festooned with strings of zeros tacked onto the end. But that's a matter of scale, not principle.
All presidents do that. But few undertake the kind of brazen deception at the heart of Obama's radically transformative economic plan, a rhetorical sleight of hand so smoothly offered that few noticed.
When a political commentator offers that he has noticed something few others have, it is usually safe to assume the reason few others noticed such a thing is that it doesn't exist.
"Our economy did not fall into decline overnight," he averred. Indeed, it all began before the housing crisis. What did we do wrong? We are paying for past sins in three principal areas: energy, health care and education -- importing too much oil and not finding new sources of energy (as in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and the Outer Continental Shelf?), not reforming health care, and tolerating too many bad schools.
Bear Stearns went under because of our dependence on foreign oil?!? Lehman Brothers disappeared from the face of the earth because our schools suck?!?
All you need to know.