Contemplate the sailboat. It's a very ungainly looking apparatus out of the water. Big sail sticking up in the air, big keel makes it hard to put down on land.
Contemplate designing sailboats. You have a trade off between the keel that sticks down in the water to stabalize the boat, and the sail which sticks up to catch the wind and drive the boat forward. If the keel is to big it slows the boat down. If the sail is to big you will probably capsize and end up dead in the water.
Economies seem very similar to sailboats. Government is the keel - it provides stability. The private sector is the sail. It provides the driving force to move the economy forward.
Democrats always tend to want to put a bigger keel on the ship of state. So when Democrats are in charge we end up with a big keel that the sail has a hard time pushing it through the water.
Republicans always want to put bigger sail on the ship of state and reduce the size of the keel. So when Republicans are in charge we go like hell for awhile then capsize and end up dead in the water.
The conservative approach would tend to err on the side of too much keel rather than too much sail.