In this article, Sheldon Richman exposes the wrong-headed notion that some agreeable "compromise" can be reached on the federal stimulus bill.
The problem with this outlook is that basic principles can’t be compromised.
If you catch a burglar in your home, you don’t negotiate over how much
silverware he may take. That wouldn’t be a compromise.
Richman then slays the silly "jump start" analogy so many are fond of using to describe what government spending will supposedly do to the economy.
The second reason the jump-start analogy is a bad one is that the government
spending would not inject real resources into the economy. This is easy to see
when you realize that the government will first have to borrow from elsewhere in
the global economy any money it spends. How can it be a stimulus if the money is
already inside the economy? Resources are always scarce, so any money the
government borrows and spends is money that would have been invested by private
businesses some other way. The resources the economy needs to readjust to
reality won’t be available because the politicians have hogged it for their own