Donald Trump

In Stunning Reversal, Trump Gives Up on Private Sector Infrastructure Investments

Libertarians have increasingly little to like about his presidency.

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President Trump
PAT BENIC/UPI/Newscom

Infrastructure was one of the few areas where a Donald Trump presidency offered any cause for optimism among libertarians.

On the campaign trail and in office, Trump had promised to tap private capital to deliver $1 trillion in infrastructure investments, spin off the nation's air traffic control system from direct federal management, and pump the breaks on the billions in federal pork currently wasted on local transit projects.

None of this has happened.

Despite his self-proclaimed skill at deal-making, the president has so far failed to shepherd air traffic control reform through a reluctant Congress. His Department of Transportation has continued to greenlight spending on rail boondoggles, including California's high-speed rail disaster.

And now, in a stunning reversal of pretty much everything he has said over the past year, Trump is abandoning the idea of tapping private investment capital for his trillion-dollar infrastructure dream.

According to a Tuesday Washington Post report, Trump told congressional Democrats in a closed-door meeting he was abandoning plans to employ public-private partnerships for infrastructure investment preferring, instead, the old-fashioned tax, borrow, and spend method.

"He dismissed it categorically and said it doesn't work," said Rep. Brian Higgins (D – New York), who was in the meeting with Trump. A White House Official later confirmed this, telling the Post that private investment was "not the silver bullet for all of our nation's infrastructure problems."

"I was both astonished and dismayed," says Bob Poole, director of transportation policy for the Reason Foundation, which publishes this website. "Everything the administration had said up until yesterday was that public private partnerships and private investment in infrastructure improvements was going to be the core of the program."

Trump's campaign first endorsed making use of private dollars for infrastructure spending in an October 2016 white paper. Trump's 2018 budget proposal lists "leveraging the private sector" as one of four key principles for infrastructure. Trump has personally advocated for the idea in public speeches and pronouncements.

Yesterday's departure from this key principle makes meeting the president's goal of a $1 trillion investment in infrastructure impossible.

"There is not $1 trillion of federal money available," says Poole. "There is no way, no how that a trillion dollars of new spending over ten years is going to be enacted so long as Republicans have majorities."

Meanwhile, the country has pressing infrastructure needs. Nearly 44,000 miles of interstate highways are nearing or exceeding their 50-year design lives. Some 240,000 water mains break each year. And an estimated 58,495 bridges are structurally deficient.

Public-private partnerships offer the federal government, as well as states and localities, a way to address this problem without raising taxes or taking on debt. Private capital could be harnessed, with investors taking a return from the tolls, utility charges, and other user fees these projects generate.

Private spending, according to Poole, would also route money around a federal infrastructure funding system "so politicized that a lot of the investments are not in highest and best uses." Private sector money "would not go to bridges to nowhere, it would go to projects that actually could earn a return on investment," he says.

Until yesterday, Trump had promised, albeit in limited detail, to remove regulatory barriers to private investment infrastructure, while limiting the federal government's role in the whole process. So far, the White House has offered little explanation for the president's sudden reversal.

One possible reason is that Trump—short on any real legislative accomplishments—is desperate to get some part of his agenda through. The idea of greater private sector involvement is a poison pill for most on the left. This could be a way of soliciting Democratic support for his infrastructure plan.

It is also possible that the ever-mercurial Trump is just saying stuff.

"There have been so many bizarre statements that Trump has made that don't actually reflect policy," Poole says. "I hope it was just a throw-away set of statements but you never know. It's very hard to tell."

Whatever the explanation, we have a president stepping back from many of the free market and deregulatory ideas he pitched coming into office. It's a depressing takeaway for those who had hoped Trump might be better on this issue. And it leaves little room for optimism about any limited government reforms coming from this administration.

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  1. “He dismissed it categorically and said it doesn’t work,” said Rep. Brian Higgins (D ? New York), who was in the meeting with Trump. A White House Official later confirmed this, telling the Post that private investment was “not the silver bullet for all of our nation’s infrastructure problems.”

    Ahhhh, let your hate for the Free Market flow through you….

    1. something something … can be solved with a silver bullet?

      1. Werewolves?

        Not having any shitty beer?

        1. I’m making over $7k a month working part time. I kept hearing other people tell me how much money they can make online so I decided to look into it. Well, it was all true and has totally changed my life.

          This is what I do… http://www.netcash10.com

        2. I’m making over $7k a month working part time. I kept hearing other people tell me how much money they can make online so I decided to look into it. Well, it was all true and has totally changed my life.

          This is what I do… http://www.startonlinejob.com

    2. Public-Private Partnerships are a pretty far cry from a free market, but declaring “categorically” that “it doesn’t work” commits the usual political fallacy of comparing them to a hypothetical-but-nonexistent system that “does work” vs. comparing them to the existing system of direct government management, which is far worse in every single case I have ever observed.

      1. That’s a good point. When people rail against the free market, they are almost always sparring with an imaginary dystopian version of capitalism, and/or what they perceive to be economic inequality.

        Free market capitalism is a system for which there is no historical or recent example, especially in the US. What we have now could arguably be called simply cronyism.

        And this is the fallacy of those who would use government to advance their goals. What ends up happening is that the people we give the money to inevitably figure out a way to make it look like they’re doing what we want, and at the same time shoveling huge piles of money to their corrupt cronies.

      2. I didn’t vote for Trump. (Hell NO! I didn’t vote for Hitlery!!)

        The main reason was I was skeptical regarding his sincerity. It’s one thing to promise something during a campaign. It’s quite another to actually deliver. I had doubts about Trump delivering.

        So far, Trump has been massively better than Hitlery – but that’s such a low bar that it scarcely bears mention. If Trump wanted to be a good president, even a great one, he’d press through on the issues that got him elected.

        If he doesn’t, he’ll be just another footnote in history – the crazy orange mop that fooled his way to the presidency.

  2. This is just America learning the art of the deal. Pay attention. You may be called to testify.

  3. Nearly 44,000 miles of interstate highways are nearing or exceeding their 50-year design lives. Some 240,000 water mains break each year. And an estimated 58,495 bridges are structurally deficient.

    But let’s continue to look to the Federal Government to manage our infrastructure spending.

    1. Republicans don’t care if bridges collapse because they are on the side of the people who see public money and see an opportunity to be a parasite on it.

      So if we stop putting them in charge, we’ll stop seeing their terrible governing.

      1. Republicans … are on the side of the people who see public money and see an opportunity to be a parasite on it.

        Trump apparently promised private capital investments, not corporations getting government contracts. Which is probably why Republicans are against it, so you may be right.

        And Democrats would never associate themselves with people who want to be parasites on public money.

      2. “…they are on the side of the people who see public money and see an opportunity to be a parasite on it.”

        You really don’t know what a parasite is, do you Tony?

        1. He must not have a mirror.

      3. Said un-ironically after a Democrat President left office, and during that term at least two years where there was also a Democrat majority.

      4. they are on the side of the people who see public money and see an opportunity to be a parasite on it.

        Yup. That’s just them. You know – the Bad Guy party. The Democrats never do that type of thing.

        So let’s make plans based on assuming that the virtuous and not-at-all corrupt Democrats will be in power forever, because that’s a completely realistic assumption!

        1. It’s not Democrats’ fault that Republicans are so awful. Republicans being awful is a bad thing whether they’re in or out of the majority.

          1. I don’t see how that responds to what I said in any way.

            It’s also not the Republicans’ fault that the Democrats are so awful. So? Counting on either one of them being out of power forever is probably not the wisest plan.

            Exhibit A: ObamaCare Implementation

            1. It is the only plan we got. I never said it didn’t suck that Republicans are a radical right-wing anti-intellectual nihilistic force of evil. Especially since they still get votes. Democracy doesn’t run itself you know.

              1. It’s statements like these that really make me think that Tony is vaguely aware that he’s a joke, but simply wants in on the laughs every so often.

                Truly, you are the Chunk to our Goonies.

                1. Fat, drunk, and stupid is no way to go through life, son.

              2. I never said it didn’t suck that Republicans are a radical right-wing anti-intellectual nihilistic force of evil.

                I didn’t either. What I said was that it probably wasn’t a very realistic plan to assume that they’d never be in power again. But you can’t seem to think yourself past “Republicans Bad.”

              3. Well then, maybe its time to start working on another plan if your current plan isn’t working.

              4. Actually, the GOP leadership is pretty much left of center anymore. Hence why they’re so worthless. Only a commie shitbag, such as yourself. Would see the, as ‘far right’. You just live in some progtarded echo chamber shithole to believe all the bullshit you puke out here.

          2. Nice non-sequitur.

          3. “It’s not Democrats’ fault that Republicans are so awful. Republicans being awful is a bad thing whether they’re in or out of the majority.”

            As a matter of fact I think each party is to blame for the awfulness of the other. In both cases their primary “constituents” are the interest groups that give them power, not the rest of the public who they only throw symbolic bones to as needed to survive. They collude on entrenching the two-party system in law, then are as corrupt as they can get away with, while trying to only be slightly better than the other side enough to win. At least when it’s near election time.

            1. Equating the two parties will obviously only benefit the worse one. Since they disagree on nearly every policy matter you can think of, it would be a rather strange coincidence if they were indeed equally bad.

              1. Yeah it would be a big coincidence… unless of course there was some kind of balancing effect inherent resulting from competition in a legally-restricted two-party system. And considering that this not-a-fucking-coincidence-at-all argument was my entire point, you want to try again?

              2. Since they disagree on nearly every policy matter you can think of, it would be a rather strange coincidence if they were indeed equally bad.

                Yea, one party thinks we should be okay with 200 billion a year in defecits and a 3 tiered progressive tax regime, while the other things we should be okay with 500 billion a year in defecits and a 5 tiered progressive tax regime. Those two opinions literally span the entire swath of options on this subject.

                Republicans want to grow government at only 3% a year, while Democrats want it grown at 5%. Polar opposites, to be sure. No possible way any other option exists that would make these look dumb.

      5. How did those bridges fair under Obama and Clinton? ‘Cause when you’re running things for 16 out of the last 24 years you don’t get to complain that the other dude screwed you over.

        Then let’s look at things on the state level – at what quality are the roads in the democratically controlled cities compared to their Republican controlled peers? Pretty much the same or worse. So its not ‘ebil rethuglicans’, its ‘maybe your model of strong centralized control of these things’ simply doesn’t work.

        1. Democrats have had 4 years (nonconsecutive) of total government control since 1980.

          1. Democrats have

            2009-2017 Obama 8 years
            1993-2001 Clinton 8 years
            1977-1981 Carter 4 years

            If you’re going to start crying that ‘but that’s not *Congress* – then maybe you shouldn’t have been so supportive of the expansion of executive power and the abdication of Congress’ authority when it was a *Democrat* in the White House.

            Oh, and you have a Democrat in all but name in the White House *right now*. You should be ecstatic that Trump is President – he’s saved your PPACA, he’s killing privatization left and right, he’s extending all our current wars, and he’s getting worked up for a new one.

            1. Can’t really blame Trump for NK.

      6. Republicans don’t care if bridges collapse

        Good Lord. That is awful even coming from you.

        1. Then you tell me why they don’t want to fund any fixing of bridges.

          1. “Why do Democrats want to kill babies?”
            “Why do Republicans want to kill grandmas?”
            These types of leading questions are bullshit all around.

            I am about the last person around here to engage in whataboutism, but I will just point out that not long ago, Democrats did spend $800 billion on a stimulus bill that was supposed to be spent on fixing roads and bridges, and that money was largely wasted. Why is that, Tony?

            The main reason, IMO, that neither tribe wants to put serious effort into projects “for the public good”, like infrastructure projects, is simple public choice theory. Democrats will support an infrastructure project only insofar as it helps them get re-elected, so they make sure that these types of projects are structured to provide maximum benefit for their constituencies, i.e., labor unions. That is why the 2009 stimulus money was largely wasted. It went to feather the nests of Democrat interest groups rather than spending the money on some “public good”. Likewise, Republicans will support an infrastructure project only insofar as it helps them get re-elected, and the Republican base is somewhat divided on the issue: some see it as “more wasteful government spending”, and some see it as MAGA-worthy. So if you really want to see more government spending on infrastructure projects, then you should start supporting Trump. It’s his base of voters that are most inclined to be supportive of that sort of thing.

            1. Except de o rats love killin babies. Look how they even attempted to sweep the Kermit Gosnell mess under the rug. Government funded, institutionalized infanticide really is the democrats stock in trade.

              1. “Except de o rats love killin babies.”

                I presume you mean “democrats”. I believe an unborn child is a living human being. But I believe accusing “democrats” of being “baby killers” is needlessly inflammatory and serves no constructive purpose.

          2. For the same reason Democrats never want to fund things like the DC Metro – because building new shit gets your name in the paper and maintaining old shit doesn’t.

    2. Nearly 44,000 miles of interstate highways are nearing or exceeding their 50-year design lives.

      This is Poole-speak for making them all “public-private” toll roads and letting the government spend fuel taxes on bike paths and fast choo-choos.

      1. My city’s roads are falling apart. The progtards on the city council spend all the money narrowing arterials to provide expensive bike lanes no one uses. We have winter weather five months a year here.

        1. My city’s roads are falling apart. The progtards on the city council spend all the money narrowing arterials to provide expensive bike lanes no one uses.

          And the county legislature in Ulster County NY likes to tear up functioning tourist railroads (bringing money into the county) to build bike trails no one will use (other than Zuck and his dirtbag friends, who probably lined a few pockets to get it done)

  4. Well it was a horrible idea anyway. How many times do we have to try something that obviously doesn’t work just to satisfy the OCD twitch of people who dogmatically hate government? Outsourcing public infrastructure to for-profit interests. Yeah, we’ve tried it. Read the NR piece.

    1. “for-profit interests”

      Gasp!

      1. They tend to look out for their profit and not the public good. Which isn’t a problem when they aren’t tasked with public goods.

        1. Bureaucrats and politicians are, of course, pure altruists.

          1. They are however democratically accountable to the people. (Or are supposed to be.)

            1. They are however democratically accountable to the people. (Or are supposed to be.)

              They’re “accountable” to the majority of voters in the next election, which is not “the people.” But, they have power over all “the people.”

              Some random private company has no power over me. I can choose to do business with them or not (except for health insurance). I cannot choose to decline “services” from the government.

              In reality, “public servants” are less accountable to “the people” than private companies.

              1. I like how we just pretend that we haven’t engaged in large-scale experiments on this very question and found privatization of what are normally considered public goods to be overrun by corruption and negative outcomes. But I suppose since we’re talking fairy tale bullshit, we have to set aside things like evidence.

                Some things have to be public. You have to share some things for the world to work. We learn this in preschool. It means you won’t get your way 100% of the time. But take away government and just see what choices corporations with no checks or balances will leave you with.

                1. I like how we just pretend that we haven’t engaged in large-scale experiments on this very question and found privatization of what are normally considered public goods to be overrun by corruption and negative

                  And you’re going to whip out that long list you have of these “large-scale experiments” in privatization any day now, right?

                  1. The only plac3s Tony whips it out are in front of the elementary school in his area and at the local bath house.

                2. I like how we just pretend that we haven’t engaged in large-scale experiments on this very question and found privatization of what are normally considered public goods to be overrun by corruption and negative outcomes.

                  Like?

                  Now, let’s take a look at the DC Metro system for an example of large-scale infrastructure that’s overrun by corruption and negative outcomes. There are many others, but this is the one in my backyard.

            2. If this is an argument, it applies equally to Republicans. Oops.

              1. I don’t know if the blame is equal, but they certainly have a significant share of it.

          2. Don’t forget the public sector unions that they are beholden to.

            1. What does that even mean.

              1. You really don’t know, do you??

                1. I know what “beholden” means, but I’m not sure you do.

                  1. Obliged to provide favor. As in, “I’ll give you pensions that taxpayers can’t afford in exchange for your support and endorsement.”

                    1. So you’re saying public sector employees don’t like it that they have unions looking out for their interests? They can always quit an go work for a non-union private company and get all the wonderful benefits that entails.

                    2. Generally, yes, Tony appears to be intentionally obtuse.

                    3. So you’re saying public sector employees don’t like it that they have unions looking out for their interests?

                      No. He’s not saying that. But you knew that.

                    4. He speaks what he needs to be true.

                    5. Tony, you do understand that a 7nion is just a labor corporation, right? Not some magical altruistic charitable foundation.

        2. Do you work for free? Because you certainly don’t sound like someone that’s ever offered anything of value in return for money.

          1. There’s a reason the public and private sectors are distinguished in normal language.

            1. That’s the greatest non-answer to a question ever posted on this site. Congrats.

              1. It was a non-question. Public sector outcomes are measured by different values than private sector outcomes.

                1. “Public sector outcomes are measured by different values than private sector outcomes.”

                  Only partially, or in your case in the mind of someone who’s never had to offer anything of value in return for money. Apparently you did answer my question. Albeit indirectly.

                  1. My employer seems to think I’m worth the money they pay me. That must mean I am, right? Markets can do no wrong.

                    1. My employer seems to think I’m worth the money they pay me. That must mean I am, right?

                      You have at least successfully convinced them that you are, yes. Do you disagree? Do you feel you deserve less? If so, why?

                    2. I have no idea what I deserve. I want more. I could get more if I had more negotiating leverage, but people looking out for “individual liberty” did away with that so that I now have a “right to work.”

                      What if I’m seriously overpaid? Am I a market failure?

                    3. I could get more if I had more negotiating leverage, but people looking out for “individual liberty” did away with that so that I now have a “right to work.”

                      Yeah – you could get more if those asshole libertarians would let you forbid other people to compete with you. That’s the warm-hearted liberal position, right?

                      What if I’m seriously overpaid? Am I a market failure?

                      What would it mean for you to be seriously overpaid? You say you want more. Your employer would probably like to pay you less. How do you determine what you are “really worth?”

                    4. Markets are supposed to allocate resources efficiently.

                    5. Is your argument that you think you’re worthless?

                    6. It would probably be the first time Tony’s beliefs have lined up with reality.

                    7. Your employer, while a part of the market, is not THE market themselves. Employers are certainly capable of making mistakes. Which is why the market allows for businesses to fail, and be replaced ultimately by a more successful version. Your answer leads me to think you’re confused about how that works.

        3. Of course, is a project loses money year after year and it’s financed on the backs of taxpayers than…

          1. They just appropriate more funds.

        4. They tend to look out for their profit and not the public good.

          Their profit and the public good are both orientated in the same direction. That is the whole POINT of a public-private partnership. For example, you build a shiny highway that has tolls – the highway is well maintained and actually goes places that people want to travel (the public good), AND the investors get a return (the profit). If the highway falls down, bad for public good and bad for investment. If the highway is a bridge to nowhere, bad for public good and bad for investment.

          1. Their profit and the public good are both orientated in the same direction. That is the whole POINT of a public-private partnership

            ^ This.

            In practical political terms it’s a way you can sell a project both to people who don’t trust that a free market will serve the public good and people who see public projects as pointless money pits. The government gets to set the goal of the enterprise, but a baseline of profitability has to be met.

            To coin a phrase, it’s no silver bullet, but it mitigates some of the bigger problems with government-provided services.

      2. I have special concern with all Public-Private collusion. It’s a far cry from actual privatization and often results in significant cronyism.

        1. As you should. As for privatization, we should just realize that what we’re going to get is not a public good but a private product, so the question boils down to what types of things we want to be accessible to the entire public. Maybe nothing, if you’re a libertarian.

        2. ^ This.

          But in practice it beats direct public management of services.

          1. ^This. I lived it firsthand in Brazil. The only infrastructure (mostly freeways in my experience) worth a damn were those leased to private companies. Clean. No pot holes. They were on par with the best freeways I’ve driven on in the US.

    2. I like the framing you do by calling it outsourcing. Nice touch.

    3. How many times do we have to try something that obviously doesn’t work

      How are you defining “doesn’t work?” Can you provide an example of a public-private partnership that doesn’t work at least as well as the same practice conducted entirely by the government?

      1. Read the article linked in this article. It’s a rare instance of Reason providing an actual counterpoint to itself.

        1. There are like twelve links, none of which say what you say they do.

          Again, can you provide an example of a public-private partnership that doesn’t work at least as well as the same practice conducted entirely by the government?

          It would seem that the answer is “no.”

          This is my shocked face: : /

          1. The TNR piece. Just because I’m lazy doesn’t mean I’m wrong.

            1. You mean this one? Which contains not one example of a public-private partnership that doesn’t work at least as well as the same practice conducted entirely by the government?

              Being lazy doesn’t necessitate you being wrong, but they’re not mutually exclusive, and are in fact highly correlative.

      2. example of a public-private partnership that doesn’t work

        I thought Trump’s idea was to have private entities build infrastructure with their own money. So talking about government paying private corporations to build infrastructure (the way it’s almost always done) being a corrupt system makes no argument against the original proposal.

        Of course, Trump would probably find a way to still fleece the taxpayer, but this is all hypothetical at this point anyway.

        1. I thought Trump’s idea was to have private entities build infrastructure with their own money.

          Yeah – the whole argument is a bit of red herring, because Trump’s dumb-ass plan was not actually for “Public-Private Partnerships” in the first place. His plan seems to just have been “I’m gonna have the government build some stuff, and I’m gonna talk some private investors into paying for it.”

          1. He is a master negotiator.

            1. He is a master negotiator.

              I always thought he was more of a master debater.

    4. Well, in the case of roads, its would be nice to try it *for once* before we toss the idea.

      Because its working for national and state parks. Its working for *DMV’s* for Christ’s sake.

  5. “Libertarians have increasingly little to like about his presidency.”

    Drudge breaking news siren material right there…

    1. It was not as if there was a likely presidency they would have liked very much.

  6. Libertarians are for “tapping private investment capital for… trillion-dollar infrastructure” projects? News to me.

  7. Libertarians have increasingly little to like about his presidency.

    Gorsuch futhermug.

    #MAGA


  8. “There is not $1 trillion of federal money available,” says Poole. “There is no way, no how that a trillion dollars of new spending over ten years is going to be enacted so long as Republicans have majorities.”

    *cue riotous laugh track*

    1. There is not $1 trillion of federal money available

      What about a platinum coin? He should study more economics.

  9. “And now, in a stunning reversal of pretty much everything he has said over the past year,..”

    I’ll bet you really believed that he was going to get a border wall built and have Mexico pay for it too.
    You have to understand that Our Dear Leader Kim Jong Trump has far more important…I mean far more politically expedient issues to promote, like forcing American Citizens to stand during the National Anthem!

    1. I call him the Tangerine Dreamer.

      1. Watch your mouth. That doesn’t convey an appropriate amount of respect.

  10. It is also possible that the ever-mercurial Trump is just saying stuff.

    Ah, so that’s how you say that. I’ve been going with “Whatever shit pops into his fat head falls out of his fat mouth and he has no fucking idea – and even less interest – in what it is he just said. He’s a troll, stop feeding him by responding to anything he says as if it actually means something.”

    1. The Trumptards at my work have completely moved on. They are paying not attention to what he doesn’t get done, or the turds coming out of his mouth. They’re just crying about giant goons who play points ball taking a knee during the National Hymn.

  11. If Chuck and Nancy succeed in flattering Trump’s hairdo and whatnot to the extent that he sees it possible to win with a coalition of Democrats and moderate Republicans, it will be the weirdest turnaround in American politics in some time. So beset with ugly compromises that it warms a pragmatist’s heart. By that I mean the racism, treason, and rapey stuff Democrats would have to overlook.

    1. By that I mean the racism, treason, and rapey stuff Democrats would have to overlook.

      But they have some practice, so they’ll be okay.

      1. Why would they overlook it? They supported *two* Clintons and its hard to cram more rape, treason, and racism into a single pair of people than that.

        1. Hillary Clinton raped someone?

          1. Well, at least you know about her treason and racism.

      2. Why not ? The Dem’s “lions” usually have at least two of those on their resume.

    2. It shouldn’t be that hard considering that Trump is more of a Democrat than he is a Republican, and he’s been intent on proving that for almost a year now. The only reason the brakes were slammed on the Democrats is because they pumped the brakes themselves with all their ‘Russia’ fear mongering. Otherwise I’m pretty confident they would have already attained at least a few big items on their wish-list.

      1. I think it’s funny that Tony thinks he and Trump are polar opposites when in reality they agree on 90% the issues.

        1. ^ This.

  12. Libertarians have increasingly little to like about his presidency.

    I didn’t start with much.

    1. You started with Drumpf. And you have precisely that.

      1. Fuck off, troll..

  13. SHOCKED! That’s how I.don’t feel!

    This entire presidency is going to be one long morning dump.

  14. The phrase “public-private partnership” makes me cringe. The way the article is written it sounds like the government was just planning on borrowing the money and taxing people to pay it back anyway. It’s potentially more damaging to free market advocates to put a “market” stamp on something that is so very interventionist in the first place.

    1. Yeah – what’s being described is not really what the phrase “Public-Private Partnership” is generally understood to mean, anyway.

    2. Reason has a long history of supporting the “privatization” technocracy that bears no resemblance to free markets.

    3. “public-private partnership”

      Think “rent seeking”, “crony capitalist” “corruption” and (economic) fascism. It doesn’t have to be that way but that is the way it can turn out

      Do you like speed cameras? Kelo-style eminent domain? this shit ? Those are “public-private partnerships” . The kind Robert Poole desires is letting private companies collect tolls on what are now non-toll roads.

  15. Have public private infrastructure projects ever worked?

    1. Yes. We do it in CA kind of a lot. Like I say above, it’s pretty damned far from being “free market,” but it works a hell of a lot better than public agencies managing things directly.

      You do have to turn the private contractors out about every ten years. But you can, which is the primary difference between “Public-Private” and just “Public.”

      1. So fascism is preferable to socialism?

  16. Stunning reversal in some pipe dream that never sounded like it had a chance in hell.

  17. If you’re still stunned by trump not having any scruples, I think that’s on you.

  18. Libertarians have increasingly little to like about his presidency.

    Libertarians have never had anything to like about the dude – other than ‘he’s not as bad as Clinton’.

    From a libertarian perspective that’s, literally, his one virtue – he isn’t quite as large a sack of shit as his opponent was.

    1. Niel Gorsuch?

      Title IX?

      I vaguely recall there have been other things. Lots of regulation-ending stories.

      1. I haven’t seen the end of any significant regulation. I have heard about plenty of new ones. Protectionism.

        He hasn’t ‘ended Title IX’, only allowed a rollback of the ‘dear colleague’ letter (and its particular implications) issued by his predecessors Justice Department. All the other noisome parts of Title IX are still there.

        1. Oh now you’re just being argumentative. Yeah “only” the dear colleague letter. And there’ve been plenty mention of the regulations rolled back on reason. I recall at lots of left-wing teeth-gnashing about the EPA. and some big ass national parks reduced to counter the cynical games Obama played to stop drilling. As for the really big stuff like Obamacare and Dodd-Frank, he has hit them with a lot of executive orders. And at least he pushes on congress to try real changes, which is kinda the president’s only role. I put that in the “anything to like” category myself (though reason seems to be more in the perfect-is-the-enemy-of-all-else camp).

    2. Yes, he fills up a much bigger swamp

    3. other than ‘he’s not as bad as Clinton’.

      That’s no small thing.

      Kinda like “Salazar wasn’t as bad as Hitler”or “Tito wasn’t as bad as Stalin”

  19. RE: In Stunning Reversal, Trump Gives Up on Private Sector Infrastructure Investments
    Libertarians have increasingly little to like about his presidency.

    Why is it I’m not surprised Trump the Grump reneged on his promise?

  20. “The idea of greater private sector involvement is a poison pill for most on the left.”

    Yeah I’ve been noticing this fact for the last decade. Can we stop being such prudes about calling them communists?

  21. Oh no, now sevo will have to find another cock to suck.

  22. Trump voters don’t care about results or details which is really working out quite well for everyone so far.

    1. Agreed. And democratic voters don’t care about those things either. They may occasionally make noises about good intentions, but asking for practical results is considered very bad form.

      As much as the system is rigged to allow for only two shitty choices, I’m kind of amazed either side has any real supporters left apart from paid party hacks.

      When I see normal people of reasonable intelligence actually believing any of the utter bullshit that Republicans and Democrats spew, it continually surprises me.

      1. Now, be fair: they do both occasionally say libertarian things.

        Usually through gritted teeth, granted, but even so. Am I the only one who’s found it hilarious to watch Hillary and her fellow New Democrats struggling and straining to get with the cool kids on legalizing the Devil’s Weed? It’s like watch Jim Carrey trying to write “the pen is red” in Liar Liar.

      2. Voters in general don’t care about those things – regardless of party.

        FFS, *Libertarian Party* voters mostly don’t care about results.

      3. When I see normal people of reasonable intelligence actually believing any of the utter bullshit that Republicans and Democrats spew, it continually surprises me.

        These are the same people who watch reality TV and listen to Justin Bieber and Kenny G. What else would you expect?

      4. Well, there are a few paid D hacks on this thread….

  23. “Stunning”

    Whole lot of bars being lowered around here.

  24. “public-private partnerships” is another name for “fascism”. Infrastructure such as roads and ports should be sold to private investors.


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