The whole idea of government "investment" is a sham. The government doesn't "invest" money, it takes money from taxpayers and then spends it. This is called "investing" because the government would like you to think that you'll earn a return that's more than what you put in. Generally speaking, though, the return goes to different people than those who made the "investment".
Barack Obama will expand access to jobs. Obama and Biden will invest $1 billion over five years in transitional jobs and career pathway programs that implement proven methods of helping low-income Americans succeed in the workforce.
That's not an "investment", that's just wealth redistribution. Maybe it's a good idea or maybe not, but the use of the word "invest" is Orwellian.
Second, there is no non-arbitrary way to determine whether a government program makes a profit or a loss. Indeed, government typically does not "talk" in those terms. If a private company is making losses for whatever reason, it must change and innovate in order to make a profit or it will continually make losses and go out of business. But with the government, if a program is labeled as failing, it receives more money—just think of FEMA, the current bank crisis, or, no doubt, Obama's future jobs program.
In contrast, when private companies fail it is not a proof of market failure; on the contrary, it is proof the market is working. It is eliminating failure; in sharp contrast, the government promotes failure: if you want more of something, subsidize it. Government's solution to government failure is consistent with Mises's theory of intervention: government meddling seems to require more government involvement (and more money). And there is nothing as permanent as a temporary government program.
I guess imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. When the Left steals appealing terms and concepts from the Right and then redefines them to cover socialism and totalitarianism, it's a tacit admission that people don't want what the Left is offering and that they need to be tricked into accepting it (for their own good, of course).