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Are Conservatives Coming Around to New New Deal?

Reaganomics, be damned, times are tough and call for drastic measures, say two right-wing thinkers with op-eds in major newspapers today. Emil W. Henry Jr. (pictured), the assistant secretary of the Treasury from 2005 to 2007, and Nicole Galinas, a scholar at the fiscally conservative Manhattan Institute,..


Reaganomics, be damned, times are tough and call for drastic measures, say two right-wing thinkers with op-eds in major newspapers today. Emil W. Henry Jr. (pictured), the assistant secretary of the Treasury from 2005 to 2007, and Nicole Galinas, a scholar at the fiscally conservative Manhattan Institute, writing in the Washington Post and Wall Street Journal, respectively, are both on board with rolling out an extensive public works program to cure our economic woes.Henry says that investment in infrastructure is not only responsible in managing a crippled democracy (and a company), it can be done in a way that keeps it in line with Reagan-era doctrine, namely by involving the private sector:Conservatives know that the private sector is better than the government at designing, building, operating and financing infrastructure. This, combined with the magnitude of the spending required, means government will have to tap private capital and expertise. Conservatives can supply leadership in private-sector participation, encourage public-private partnerships, and help ensure that central planning and prioritization are rooted in clinical cost-benefit analysis, not politics. Gelinas goes further than Henry, warning that while private companies can make bails of money one day and ask for bailouts the next, the government can't rely on anyone if it mismanages an undertaking of this magnitude:... when it comes to responsibility for cost overruns or timeliness of completion on a project that uses an unproven technology in an intricate urban environment, any government that thinks it can transfer such risks to the private sector is probably fooling itself.Investing in infrastructure at a time when the unemployment rate is shooting skyward and wallets are tightening nationwide seemsboth necessary and forward-thinking, especially if we're putting money toward projects that promotes renewable energy. On the one hand, it's good to see these voices coming out in agreement. But, I can't shake the feeling that there's a an undergirding of reluctance in both of these columns.
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