In our nation’s history powerful events have provided the catalyst for Americans to come together as one nation. The damage to the economies and families from Hurricane Harvey will run into billions of dollars. Much of that bill will be paid by all of us in the form of our tax dollars and increased deficit spending. There is an overdue need for Congress to work for the good of the country and pass badly needed infrastructure legislation. A piecemeal Harvey disaster relief bill avoids the difficult but necessary task of developing solutions to the array of infrastructure needs of this country. These needs range from highways, bridges, passenger rail service, airports, clean water, sewer, sea walls, levies, power grid security, and much more. All of these vital public projects need to be identified and prioritized by the administration and Congress for long-term planning and financing. Infrastructure financing plans must developed before tax reform. Americans need to know the cost and payment process of rebuilding and mitigating all our infrastructure needs — before we talk about tax reform. What should be on the bottom of the list is a foolhardy border wall costing billions. We simply can’t afford it.
John Szymoniak, Boise