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Obama's economic philosophy

From NBC's Domenico Montanaro
If someone ever wanted to look back, historically, and understand how Barack Obama views government's role in spurring an economy, they can look to his jobs speech today.

He defended government's role, but acknowledged its limitations.

And, really, isn't this what the food fight over what to do about the economy is all about?

Obama said:

Of course, there is only so much government can do. Job creation will ultimately depend on the real job creators: businesses across America. But government can help lay the groundwork on which the private sector can better generate jobs, growth, and innovation. After all, small business tax relief is not a substitute for the ingenuity and industriousness of our entrepreneurs; but it can help those with good ideas to grow and expand. Incentives to promote energy efficiency and clean energy manufacturing do not automatically create jobs or lower carbon emissions; but these steps provide a framework in which companies can compete and innovate to create those jobs and reduce energy consumption.  And while modernizing the physical and virtual networks that connect us will create private-sector jobs, they'll do so while making it possible for companies to more easily and effectively move their products across this country and around the world.

Given the challenge of accelerating the pace of hiring in the private sector, these targeted initiatives are right and they are needed. But with a fiscal crisis to match our economic crisis, we also must be prudent about how we fund it.

Republicans would argue, you can't spend your way out of a recession. Obama's team would say, yes you can, and you must in dire and rare economic situations -- and that Republicans had it their way for eight years; Obama's had his for 10 months.