A selective reading of history
“Historically, infrastructure projects are boondoggles,” Nov. 27 George F. Will column.
In denigrating the efficacy of infrastructure spending by the federal government, George Will presents a conveniently selective reading of history when he asserts that New Deal spending during the Great Depression did not significantly reduce unemployment, which never went below 14 percent. While it is true that the unemployment rate never went below 14 percent from 1933 through 1940, Will neglects to inform his readers that it was 25 percent in 1933 when New Deal spending (not all on infrastructure) started. I would say that a reduction of more than 10 percentage points was significant.
Like most conservatives, Will credits spending on World War II for ending the Depression. The salient point is that government spending, not private enterprise, ended the Depression. And it was deficit spending; the federal deficit for the first year of the war, 1942, was about equal to all the deficits for the New Deal years 1934-40 added together. Send letters of 150 words or fewer to firstname.lastname@example.org or 101 W. Colfax Ave., Suite 800, Denver, CO, 80202. Please include full name, city and phone number. Contact us at 303-954-1331.