Can economic recovery be achieved while the government is attempting to enact social and economic changes?
That is the question posed by 20/20 co-anchor John Stossel, writing on the Constitution Party’s website to raise questions about the effectiveness of President-elect Barack Obama’s stimulus plans.
Stossel raises doubts about the ability of the government to "impose a utopian vision based on the belief that an economy is a thing to be planned from above."
Instead, he describes an economy and a society as being made up of different individuals striving to meet their goals, which cannot be controlled by a larger force.
Stossel points to FDR as an example of another president who opted to reform central tenets of the economy during a time of economic challenge, saying that the result was "long years of depression and deprivation."
During periods in which the government takes a strong role in the economy, investors may back off from risk due to uncertainty about having their efforts undermined, he says.
"Grand interventionist reforms go in precisely the wrong direction," Stossel concludes.
His comments come as some analysts have predicted the cost of Obama’s stimulus package could reach $1 trillion.