Conservatives who fear that investing in the nation’s infrastructure goes against core Reaganite values need to get over it. Our aging energy, water, and transportation systems are in dire need of corporate dollars and ingenuity, but “the private sector alone cannot handle the job—and the states are not appropriate venues for much of the prioritization that must occur,” former assistant Treasury secretary Emil Henry Jr. argues in the Washington Post.
“Economic conservatives recognize the difference between spending and investment,” Henry writes. “Like the maintenance of a strong military—investment that protects prosperity—investment in key infrastructure is consistent with Reagan principles. Moreover, such ‘expansion’ would promote several conservative ideals: economic growth, energy independence, national security, and U.S. competitiveness.”