Regarding the Dec. 24 news article “Reports ranks senators and congressmen”: It is gratifying to know that our state’s junior senator, Thom Tillis, “has an estimated $8.9 million in personal wealth, making him the 20th richest U.S. senator.” It is nice to be 20th in something.
If we were 20th in unemployment, we would have a 4.5 percent unemployment rate like Ohio, instead of a rate of 5.7 percent. If we were 20th, our teachers might have an average salary of $54,300 as do those in Hawaii, instead of an embarrassing $45,737. About 2,200 fewer North Carolinians might have died in 2013, and who knows how many more would have lived through 2014 and 2015, had we had the same crude death rate as No. 20, North Dakota. Our children would have been better off had we had No. 20 South Dakota’s child poverty rate of 18 percent in 2014 instead of our devastating child poverty rate of 24 percent and a ranking of 42nd in the nation in infant mortality. How many babies would have survived if we had been No. 20?
As former speaker of the N.C. House, Tillis is responsible for North Carolina’s not being 20th in anything that is important to the lives of everyday North Carolinians.