A quick review of the first few pages of the Bible could help our government see why the obsession with stimulating spending is tragically misplaced. The curse of sin makes labor less rewarding and more painful. At the same time we have unlimited wants and no desire to delay their gratification. If we work and save we do so because the expected future gains outweigh the pains of toiling and waiting.
If I skip lunch this month, I do it to save enough money to take my wife to a fancy restaurant for her birthday next month. If I walk the cold streets instead of taking a cab, it's to save for a mission trip to Bulgaria in May. People don't save unless they plan to spend later: to buy a home, to pay for their children's education, etc.
It is not thrift but our "buy now, pay later" mentality that landed us in this mess. President Obama and his comrades in Congress don't offer a change-their plan is "much more of the same." It is extremely silly to worry about creating additional incentives to spend. Responsible citizens need to help their elected servants shift attention from the demand to the supply side of the economy. We need to restore the traditional American ethic-to work hard and to postpone consumption.
To improve our conditions we need to become more productive. Productivity is a result of investment in human and physical capital. We cannot invest collectively what we have not produced and saved individually. And how many will invest in the absence of guarantees that they and their loved ones will benefit from the sacrifices?
If we want tomorrow to be brighter than today, we need to unchain our entrepreneur whose economic function is to transform today's savings into future consumption. Our government has an important role to play in bringing that strategic turnaround. The current tax structure is among the major obstacles to growth. Taxing personal income, business investment, and profit punishes people for being productive, for creating wealth, and for serving the needs of their fellow man. It should be reformed to encourage us to obey God and be good stewards.