Wednesday, January 14, 2009



"There are more fundamental reasons to doubt whether throwing more money at a problem largely if not entirely caused by loose money and government incentives and mandates to overspend and over lend will yield the kind of recovery that President-elect Barack Obama and most Americans would dearly love to see. In his speech on the economy and his stimulus package Thursday -- a speech still notably short on details -- the president-elect declared that 'only government can provide the short-term boost necessary to lift us from a recession this deep and severe.' The unspoken assumption behind such a statement is that government has a virtually inexhaustible supply of money that can be deployed without having deleterious side effects, only beneficial ones. The problem, of course, is that government has no money of its own, only the money it takes by force from the productive sector of society or it borrows and must pay back with taxes extracted from our children and grandchildren. In the private marketplace economic transactions take place only if both (or all) parties believe they benefit. Such private, profit-making activity, as most of American history demonstrates, involves not simply the redistribution of existing wealth but creation of new wealth. Increased government spending, however financed, takes money from the private wealth-generating sector of society and allocates it to projects not on the basis of their capacity to be economically self-sustaining, but on the basis of their political attractiveness. ...[A] government 'stimulus' can only be accomplished by taking money away from genuinely economically productive activity. Pumping dollars that will eventually be worth less than they are today into various projects may provide some short-term relief or appearance of relief. But only the private sector can actually create wealth and thereby stimulate genuine economic growth. This seems pretty elementary, but most people in Washington have powerful incentives to ignore elementary truths." --Orange County Register

"[T]his is no time to throw good (borrowed) money after bad. If all this spending was going to get the economy growing, it would be working. Yet nobody expects things to improve soon. ... In times of uncertainty, it's natural that people will look to government for answers. Yet the long-term solutions to our current economic problems don't lie in more government spending, controls or regulations." --Heritage Foundation president Edwin Feulner

"I didn't expect Obama to know what to do about the economy; Obama's knee-jerk Keynesianism and allegiance to the disproved New Deal mythology ensure that he will try the Big Government solution, even when Big Government is the problem." --columnist Ben Shapiro

"In fairness to Obama, there is a huge consensus around the notion that government must do, well, something -- something big. ... It's the consensus that scares me. ... Obviously, consensus can be good. But it also can lead to dangerous groupthink. ... Everyone knows everything is right, until everything goes wrong. If that's not one of the great lessons of the financial collapse of 2008, I don't know what is." --National Review editor Jonah Goldberg

"President Elect Obama and his congressional henchmen are in the midst of swiping another $1 trillion-plus from American taxpayers. And Republicans -- who once upon a time professed concern for taxpayers -- could apparently care less. Either they believe stealing from our grandkids makes for sound policy, or they're too afraid to second-guess the second coming of Jimmy Carter." --radio talk show host Laura Ingraham


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