In last night’s press conference, President Obama said, “… by definition, part of any stimulus package would include spending …” That is, of course, true. But that doesn’t mean that all spending stimulates the economy in ways that lead to job creation. Russ Roberts, a George Mason University and Mercatus Center economist who excels at communicating economic principles to the general public, explains the difference at Cafe Hayek in a post titled “The Mystery of Job Creation.” You really should read the whole post, but in it he says,

“The idea isn’t just to employ people. The idea is to employ more people than we’re employing now. That’s the claim of stimulus. It’s not enough to spend money. It’s not enough to hire people … Job creation really is about net jobs not gross jobs.”