Among businesspeople, bankers, and investors, there is a growing fear that the economy is headed towards recession or already in one. But that alone is not the source of worry. After all, an economy if left alone to function in freedom can recover. The real problem has to do with the political response. There is every indication that no matter who comes to be in charge in November, we face a future of massive spending, inflating, and regulating.
And here is the real danger. One only needs to look at such preposterous measures as the "stimulus package" that congress passed to much fanfare. Dumping money into consumers' hands, drawn from wherever they can get it, is the only means these guys can dream up to shore up prosperity. That only proves that they don't know what brings about prosperity in the first place, which is not congress but free enterprise.
Economist Robert Higgs compares a "stimulus package" to getting water out of the deep end of the swimming pool and dumping in the shallow end – all with the expectation that the water level will rise. As he emphasizes, economists should never tire of asking where the money for stimulus is going to come from. Mankind has yet to invent a machine to create it out of nothing: it's either taxing, inflating, or going into debt that has to be paid later (and crowds out capital creation now). There is no other way.
~ Lew Rockwell, "The Frightful Face of Stimulus," LewRockwell.com, February 15, 2008