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No, Marco Rubio, government did not cause the housing crisis (WaPo)
Roosevelt Institute Fellow Mike Konczal argues that Marco Rubio’s State of the Union response had problems that even a bigger bottle of Poland Spring couldn’t have fixed, like how it blamed the housing bubble on the government extending credit to poor people.
Yes, President Obama: Working Families Desperately Need Access to Preschool — And Childcare (Forbes)
NND Editor Bryce Covert notes that while the president’s surprising call for universal pre-K is great news for children who will benefit from early education, it would also help working parents whose office culture frowns on carrying their kids around in a papoose.
Details Emerge on Obama’s Call to Extend Preschool (NYT)
Motoko Rich reports that the president’s plan would expand the Head Start program and provide federal matching dollars to states to create more public preschool slots, though critics argue the money could be wasted. Hmm, better give it to a rich adult instead.
The Economics Behind Obama’s Unapologetically Liberal Second-Term Agenda (The Atlantic)
Heather Boushey writes that President Obama’s proposals for investing in the middle class might sound like blatant pandering to progressives, but the upside is that the research shows that the things progressives want are also just smart things to do.
Obama embraces the audacity of freedom (WaPo)
E.J. Dionne writes that the Obama who spoke on Tuesday night seems more confident in challenging conservative ideology now that he’s been reelected, but he’s obviously still interested in building a majority consensus, not seizing the means of production.
Raise the Minimum Wage! (TNR)
Timothy Noah is pleased to hear the words “minimum wage” escape President Obama’s lips for the first time since 2008, but less enthused about the “$9 an hour” part. As long as we’re raising the floor on wages, why not do the same for our ambitions?
Growth isn’t enough to help the middle class (WaPo)
Jim Tankersley writes that proposals from both parties are grounded in the idea that economic growth will lead to broadly shared prosperity, but the last few recoveries haven’t brought many good jobs with them. Maybe it’s time for us to get that growth checked.
Small Businesses Still Struggle, and That’s Impeding a Recovery (NYT)
Catherine Rampell writes that small businesses continue to struggle with weak sales and limited access to credit, although they’re increasingly likely to complain about new taxes and regulations the White House would be surprised to learn it has passed.
Bushonomics Is Back (Slate)
Matthew Yglesias argues that Rubio, like Bobby Jindal, is trying to reposition the GOP to deemphasize Paul Ryan’s relentless austerity and embrace the legacy of their prodigal president, George W. Bush, who just wanted to cut taxes and paint his feelings.
Valentine’s Day and the Economics of Love (Bloomberg)
Betsey Stevenson and Justin Wolfers write that survey data shows that money does seem to buy a little more love for those who have it, but there’s plenty to go around even in relatively impoverished parts of the world. And lucky for us, it’s a renewable resource.