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Letters: The wrong time for deficit obsession

June 16, 2013

Re "Deficit extremists, blind to data, are doing active economic harm," Column, June 12

It is so refreshing to read Michael Hiltzik's explanation of how Congress' ill-timed obsession with deficit reduction actually retards economic growth. Other priorities, especially job creation, deserve much greater emphasis.

But Hiltzik makes another valuable point that merits wider discussion: With current interest rates so low, this is an ideal time to start digging ourselves out of our backlog in infrastructure maintenance.

In its "2013 Report Card for America's Infrastructure," the American Society of Civil Engineers gives America a "D+" for the state of our dams, levees, roads and schools, among others. Just one of many distressing examples: The National Park Service struggles with an $11 billion maintenance backlog.

To create jobs, grow the economy and remedy this shameful underfunding, we need investment in infrastructure now.

Grace Bertalot

Anaheim

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