Whoever wins, the defenders of big government entrenched in Washington will come out in force during the next administration to protect high levels of government spending. Keynesian economic models argue that more government spending is better. …

The president’s approach is no mystery and it hasn’t worked. Yet many of the crystal balls in Washington and on Wall Street three years ago were certain that Mr. Obama’s huge $787-billion 2009 stimulus would cause fast growth and reduce unemployment. When the surging fiscal deficit and centrally planned investment choices (read: Solyndra) instead added to unemployment, the administration blamed it on insufficient federal spending. The private sector’s concern that deficits lead to higher taxes went unaddressed.

The good news is that markets are naturally forward-looking and dynamic. America is in a very deep economic hole but can improve quickly if steps are taken to encourage the private sector, restrain government spending, and improve the tax code.

Mr. Romney’s explicit foundation for growth is to rebuild private-sector confidence. His emphasis is encouraging: Businesses indeed are eager for a policy improvement and will respond with greater investment and hiring.