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January 31, 2013 at 7:00 AM

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Economic growth in the United States

Awareness of cost structure is necessary in good times and bad

The opinion piece by E.J. Dionne Jr. [“Keeping our eyes on the prize,” Opinion, Jan. 29] is correct in saying that long-term economic growth is necessary to achieve many of our shared goals.

What he fails to mention is that, when times are good, nobody seems to care about the cost structure of all the programs (defense, entitlements, etc.) we have created. They rise to the surface only in the bad times.

If you don’t do something when the issue is right in your face, it will never happen. That is where we are now. Make some hard choices now by adjusting the trajectory of spending, and reap the benefits in the long term.

--Joe Cook, Seattle

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