Buried in a January 7th Heritage WebMemo by J.D. Foster and Bill Beach is this passage explaining in careful logic via eloquent metaphor the nature of, and reasons for, economic growth:
The American economy does not rise and fall with the level of aggregate demand or deficit spending. Further, government cannot simply pump up total demand through deficit spending. The deficit for 2009 is already projected to exceed $1 trillion, so if deficit spending were effective, the economy should already be poised to take off.
Yet the economy is contracting despite these unprecedented deficits because government spending in excess of tax revenues will be financed by borrowing from the private sector, which deprives the private sector of a like amount of purchasing power. In short, deficit-financed government spending goes up and private spending goes down, changing the composition of demand but not the total.
Focusing on demand in this way is like focusing on the sound of one hand clapping. The other hand is supply, and that is where the economic action really is. There are normal processes that launch a recovery and drive an economy. These processes involve individuals and businesses responding to opportunities and incentives. When they respond, these individuals and businesses produce more goods and services valued in the marketplace, simultaneously increasing production, demand and income. An effective stimulus policy recognizes these economic processes and seeks to accelerate them. Lower marginal tax rates stimulate the economy because they improve the incentives facing individuals and businesses to work, invest, take risks, and seize opportunities.
Yes, “An effective stimulus policy recognizes these economic processes and seeks to accelerate them,” not use devious blitzkrieg tactics to break the line for social agenda while calling it ’stimulus spending.’