David Brooks writes The Progressive Shift in The New York Times, 3/18/13
Now, of course, liberals have always believed in Keynesian countercyclical deficit spending. But that was borrowing to brake against a downturn when certain conditions prevail: when the economy is shrinking; when debt levels are low; when there are plenty of shovel-ready projects waiting to be enacted; when there is a large and growing gap between the economy’s current output and what it is capable of producing.
Today, House progressives are calling for a huge increase in government taxing and spending when none of those conditions apply. Today, progressives are calling on government to be the growth engine in all circumstances. In this phase of the recovery, just as the economy is finally beginning to take off, these Democrats want to take an astounding $4.2 trillion out of the private sector and put it into government where they believe it can be used more efficiently.
Economics is not the science that many of its practitioners assume that it is. What works in one period (and there is legitimate arguments about how well it worked even then) does not mean it will work in another period under very different circumstances. Also what works in one quantity does not necessarily work in another quantity. And how will it really works depends largely on when you start and stop measuring.
Sowell noted that there are some ideas so ludicrous that only an academic would believe them. Our polices are increasingly driven by people who are absolutely clueless about wealth is created to support their endless programs.