WASHINGTON -- The definition of a failed, spend-thrift, debt-producing, fiscal policy is making the same proposals over and over again and expecting a different result.
In some circles, it's also the definition of crazy.
This is what President Obama has been doing over the past four years, with little to show for it, and what he intends to do over the next four years of his second term.
Obama's 2009 "shovel-ready" job stimulus plan ended up spending about $1 trillion in public funds on research, roads, bridges, education, dubious clean energy projects and a lengthy list of other federal, state and local programs around the country.
Government grew bigger, economic growth shrank, the federal debt mushroomed, and Obama presided over the slowest so-called "recovery" since the Great Depression.
Four years later, he's still proposing that we spend more public money on research, roads, bridges and education and dump more tax dollars into politically connected green energy projects -- many of which have gone bankrupt.
It should be clear to everyone that Obama's economic stimulus spending plan has been a tragic failure. Doing more of the same, as White House advisers revealed he would just before his State of the Union address, isn't going to produce a different result.
Let's recap just where we are right now after the past four years:
The Commerce Department says the economy stopped growing in the fourth quarter of 2012. The Congressional Budget Office forecasts the economy will grow very slowly this year and next, maybe in the 1 percent range, creating relatively few jobs. Unemployment rose to nearly 8 percent in January, according to the Labor Department. The CBO says the jobless rate will remain in this range for the rest of this year, at least, under existing policies.
Nobel Prize economist and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman, one of Obama's earliest supporters, had this to say about the economy in 2012: "Things are not O.K. -- not remotely O.K. This is still a terrible economy, and policy makers should be doing much more than they are to make it better."
Krugman is not among those in the White House and the national news media who are peddling the idea that the economy is back and we are out of the woods. Not at all. Last week's Washington Post paperback best-seller list included his book, "End This Depression Now!"
Do you get the picture? The American people do. A Pew Research Center poll near the end of January reported that Americans were far more worried about the economy than any other issue.