He's getting flack for saying it, but he's exactly right. It's a simple matter of politics -- the Republicans have a vested interest in the economy being bad.
They calculate that the worse the economy is, the better their chances of beating Obama in 2012. Therefore, it's in their political interest to make sure that nothing be allowed to create more jobs or improve the economy. They must stand in the way of anything that helps the economy get better.
It's just politics.
The speech made explicit a message Democrats have been hinting at for weeks: Republicans are hurting the recovery with their focus on spending cuts, and it may be an attempt to slow "down the recovery on purpose for political gain in 2012."
"Now it is becoming clear that insisting on a slash-and-burn approach may be part of this plan -- and it has a double-benefit for Republicans," Schumer (D-N.Y.) said. "It is ideologically tidy and it undermines the economic recovery, which they think only helps them in 2012."
As proof, Schumer referenced remarks by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who said last year his main aim was to make Obama a one-term president.