The Atlantic

What Would Keynes Think of Trump's Infrastructure Plan?

The famed British economist, known for championing Depression-era public-works projects, might not have supported similar initiatives today.
Source: Seth Wenig / AP

If President Donald Trump sticks to his campaign promises, politicians will soon be debating the merits of a $1 trillion infrastructure program. Before the election, he trumpeted an initiative that would create “jobs, jobs, jobs” in part by rebuilding the U.S.’s bridges and highways. After the failure of his efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, he will likely be moving on to infrastructure soon. In fact, this week the president suggested that perhaps he will accelerate the introduction of infrastructure-related legislation since it has the potential to attract votes from Democratic members of Congress. Herein may lie Trump’s chance for a grand compromise and some real deal-making.

And if the government is going to have a debate about infrastructure, then the public will almost certainly be hearing a lot more about John Maynard Keynes. After all, Keynes is widely considered the father of the idea that large government deficits can stimulate the economy and

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