Economic policymakers think that’s because people don’t have confidence in the future. So, they keep coming up with new things they think might bolster confidence.

The real problem, however, is that people don’t know what the rules will be in the future. So, they don’t know whether to have confidence or not.

The federal government is in the early stages of completely rewriting the rules for finance and health care. Until the rules are written, businesses don’t really know what kind of capital markets they will be operating in or what their employee benefit costs will be.

High-income individuals and small businesses don’t know what their tax rates will be after Dec. 31. This has some not readily obvious downstream effects.