Making good use of the White House blog

MAKING GOOD USE OF THE WHITE HOUSE BLOG…. As a rule, the White House blog is fine. It’s not at a must-read, refresh-throughout-the-day level, but it’s a handy resource and I’m glad it’s there.

But the significance of the blog grows as its content becomes more aggressive (i.e., it starts to sound more like other political blogs of note). For example, on Wednesday, Jared Bernstein, Vice President Biden’s chief economist, posted an item, explaining the negative consequences of House Minority Leader John Boehner’s (R-Ohio) suggestion to scrap “unspent” stimulus funds. “John Boehner wants a lot of people to lose their jobs,” Bernstein wrote, before backing up the true/provocative claim.

Boehner’s office offered a response, arguing that the Obama administration should explain “how raising taxes on small businesses will do anything but further hinder job creation in Ohio and across the country.”

So, following the tradition of how this medium should work, Bernstein wrote a follow-up post.

Again, Congressman Boehner is confused. So we thought we’d take him up on the invitation to explain to the people of Ohio who has been fighting for small businesses here in Washington and who’s been obstructing that fight. […]

[C]ollecting his positions over the past couple of days, Rep. Boehner wants to: a) end the Recovery Act that has put more than 100,000 Ohioans to work, b) add $37 billion to the deficit by cutting taxes of the wealthiest households, and c) block tax cuts and new lines of credit to middle-class, small businesses.

It all sounds kind of familiar, doesn’t it? That’s because it’s precisely the policy prescription that got us into this mess. And it’s the last place we want to go back to.

Also yesterday, Deputy Communications Director Jen Psaki posted an item to the same White House blog, slamming the Republican drive to protect tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires. Notice the traditional blog-like tone.

Let me get this straight. Republicans are arguing that for the wealthiest Americans — those making more than $250,000 per year — it is not enough that they receive a $6,300 tax cut relative to what they paid in the 1990s, they need to maintain the entire bush tax cut. But at a pivotal time in economic recovery, they are refusing to provide necessary assistance to small businesses including zero capital gains, bonus depreciation and a small business lending facility that will help small businesses get the access to credit they need.

Talk about out of whack priorities.

Substantively, this is all completely correct, and I’m glad the White House is putting the information out there. But it’s also interesting to see officials use the WH blog to throw a few elbows and do some aggressive fact-checking, which to my mind, is why the site exists.