Eric Cantor and a number of other Republicans are working hard to spin President Obama's expected call for "investment" in infrastructure, education, and R&D in tonight's State of the Union Address. "Investment," Cantor said, "is a code word for spending." True enough. But Republicans have their own code words for spending. Not long ago, they were falling all over themselves to pass budget-busting new entitlements like the Medicare prescription drug benefit. Curious about how they sold it, I went back and looked. President Bush characterized it as keeping "a solemn promise" to seniors. Other Republicans talked about fostering competition. Mostly, they avoided the spending part altogether. But not Cantor. A strong supporter of the benefit, he didn't duck the cost issue. He just referred to it as "premium support."
Joshua Green is a former senior editor at The Atlantic.