During President Obama’s press conference on Monday, the first question was:

Can you talk about what you know or what you’re hearing that would lead you to say that our recession might be permanent when others in our history have not? And do you think that you risk losing some credibility or even talking down the economy by using dire language like that?

Obama spent close to 10 minutes answering these questions and little of his answer directly addressed either question. In his answer, though, he said something interesting:

You have some people, very sincere, who philosophically just think the government has no business interfering in the marketplace.

And in fact there are several who have suggested that FDR was wrong to intervene back in the New Deal. They’re fighting battles that I thought were resolved a pretty long time ago.

He said this in that incredulous way that he has refined to a fine art. But that just plays to his base. I think it’s great that he’s raising this issue.