The MSNBC "Lean Forward" commercials with Rachel Maddow extolling the example of Hoover Dam and other giant government projects as the way to revitalize the economy always set me to head-scratching.
I mean, I understand that putting a bunch of people to work on a government project would increase the amount of people with jobs, and the theoretical idea is that more people having jobs would pump money out into the economy. And more people working would raise the tax revenues of the country, too, right?
Except that if these newly employed people are newly employed by the government, then the taxes they're paying are coming out of salaries that came from tax money in the first place, and no matter how quickly you scoop buckets of water from one end of the pool and dump them into the other, the pool isn't going to get any deeper.
For every person getting paid by taxes, somebody, or more accurately several somebodies, has to pay those taxes in the first place, or you're just playing with more Monopoly money.