We should make sure that President Obama and his congressional colleagues don't take credit for what we do. It wouldn't be the first time a "leader" ran in front of a crowd and claimed to have led the way.
What if the economy is still in bad shape a year or two from now? Will we get apologies from Obama and the stimulus advocates in Congress? Not a chance. Their excuse is already prepared: The stimulus was too small.
On the day Obama signed the bill, his aides put out the word that another may be needed. The blame will not be put on the folly of stimulus, only on the meagerness of the spending.
Heads -- big government wins. Tails -- free people lose. I don't want to play that game.
It's important to remember that government has no resources it hasn't first commandeered from the private economy. Anything it does to stimulate economic activity necessarily preempts private activity. Where is the gain?
Worse: Since monopoly bureaucracies are not as efficient as competitive businesses, government efforts won't get as much bang for the buck as private efforts. They will likely destroy wealth.
Ah, say the Keynesians, people aren't buying, and that's why businesses aren't investing and hiring. Only government can jumpstart the economy.
But people didn't just wake up one day and decide not to consume and invest. They hold back because the economy is uncertain. Then they hold back more because they don't know what activist government will do next. Will it prop up housing or other prices? Will it nationalize the banks?
The way to get private activity going again is to let markets adjust to reality and set prices accordingly. Only then will economic activity resume and unemployment recede.
If, through your perseverance, things begin looking up, credit belongs not to President Obama and Congress. It belongs to you.
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