Budget cuts immoral
North Carolina’s U.S. senators need to provide some real leadership regarding the federal budget.
The budget was designed to benefit big businesses, as though they needed any aid, and grind the faces of the poor and middle class further into the dust. Lifesaving programs like food stamps are on the chopping block. This program serves 15 percent of the North Carolina population, many of whom are working poor. How can it be otherwise in North Carolina when the minimum wage is $7.20 per hour and 25 percent of children live below the poverty line? And yet cuts are proposed to this program, Meals on Wheels and school lunches for needy children. This is utterly immoral.
The president’s proposed budget would provide tax cuts to the wealthiest families while cutting refundable tax credits for the working poor. It would eliminate the deduction for state and local taxes. It would cut the EPA, the State Department and Health and Human Services. Are there not already enough homeless families? Is dirty water and air in anybody’s interest? In such an unstable world situation, is dismantling the State Department is a good idea?
Fair health care
Our president, who can self-insure all of his and his extended family’s health care needs with his billions, and many members of Congress, all of whom have comprehensive federal health insurance, are ideologically committed to “repealing and replacing” the ACA health insurance that directly covers millions of American and indirectly affects most Americans.
Most agree that the ACA needs modifications. All Americans, however, should insist that repeal of the ACA be coupled with the repeal of Congress’ federal health insurance and that the replacement insurance for Congress be identical in benefits and restrictions to that which will be available to those who elected them to Congress.
While this health care debate continues, we should all be reminded of the principle proclaimed by the late Clarence Poe of Raleigh, who had long advocated better health care for rural populations in his role as editor of The Progressive Farmer and who was a visionary leader of North Carolina’s unique Good Health Movement in the 1940s: “Our democracy will never be complete until every person, rich or poor, high or low, urban or rural, white or black, has an equal right to adequate hospital and medical care whenever and wherever he makes the same grim battle against ever-menacing Death which sooner or later we must all make.”
William W. McLendon, MD
Replace Silent Sam
Regarding “UNC chancellor says Silent Sam draining ‘energy and goodwill’” (Oct. 1): Remove the statue of Silent Sam at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Leave the pedestal. On it, place indestructible plaques bearing the language of The Mecklenburg Declaration, the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights.
However imperfectly these three documents have been interpreted and applied for more than 200 years, they are nevertheless aspirational, hopeful, and, now, inclusive. They teach a different and more honorable history than Silent Sam has embodied and now evokes.
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