Regarding the May 25 editorial “Budget plan hits poor”: The disdain President Donald Trump’s budget shows for children, the elderly, people with disabilities, those struggling to make ends meet – and so many working families – is truly jaw-dropping. What happened to championing Americans who feel forgotten and left behind?
The White House intends to drastically cut basic assistance programs that help hardworking families put food on the table and get affordable health care. By slashing programs like SNAP and Medicaid, this budget imagines a future where millions of Americans will go to bed hungry and have nowhere to turn when they fall ill. This is cruel – not to mention breathtakingly hypocritical.
Instead of taking away food and health care, Congress should find ways to build on what’s already working to help everyone create a better future.
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Math is for all
Regarding the May 30 letter to the editor “Math importance challenged”: As Durham School of the Arts counselors, I hope that the letter writers strongly oppose the U.S. cultural belief that artists and athletes are incapable of learning mathematics or science. Many mathematicians are also artists or musicians, as talent for music is closely related to a talent for mathematics.
Respect the planet
Regarding the May 24 news article “‘Put up or shut up’: WRAL’s Greg Fishel goes off on climate change naysayers”: Professional scientific peer-reviewed studies follow rigorous protocol to ensure accuracy. Results should not be based on political or emotional bias.
Higher education is relevant today and is the key to the future. It prepares people to repair, maintain and improve the health of current and future generations by caring for and respecting this amazingly beautiful planet.
Senator’s action questioned
Regarding the May 28 news article “Tillis statement about police deaths in 2016 is inaccurate”: It’s a sad commentary when a spokesman for Sen. Thom Tillis essentially bashed the messenger after it was pointed out that the senator was incorrect in his statements. Since the article did not downplay the deaths of police officers, as claimed by Tillis’ office, and merely corrected a false assertion by the senator, one has to wonder at the motivation for blaming the media.
I expect senators to be truthful. The response by the senator’s office struck me as condescending and wrongheaded. If my representative has made an error of fact, for whatever reason, I would expect him to be more gracious in admitting his error.
I enjoyed the May 28 op-ed “How to Restore American Culture of Self -Reliance.” It was a consciousness-raising piece aimed at probing the problems of education and parenting in current society. It is true that children are growing up in a tech-savvy society, where hard work and “grit” are all but forgotten. They are coddled so much – many can’t even communicate without technology.
Nowadays, I have heard stories of parents doing their children’s homework so the child can have more time to date or play computer games. This is a terrible disservice that will leave young people ill-prepared for the working world, with its deadlines that must be met, discipline and long hours away from social media. Not only will their bodies suffer from a lack of self-reliance, but their minds will as well.
Regarding the May 27 editorial “ ‘Trumpcare’ a GOP glitch”: In this country, Americans have long believed in mutual support. Over time, however, the market for affordable health care for many has become tied to employment at a company with enough capital to subsidize the cost of insurance. Those at the lowest income levels have received some assistance through Medicaid, while the nation’s elderly can receive Medicare. For the rest – the underemployed, the self-employed, the unemployed, the small business owners and workers – the individual insurance marketplace has long been out of reach.
Even for those covered by an insurance plan, there are limits and exclusions that could leave people holding the bill at times when they are most vulnerable and in need of compassionate support. The Affordable Care Act was an important step toward limiting insurance companies’ power over the health care industry. Millions more Americans are now supported by the safety net of insurance due to this critical legislation.
However, it was not perfect. That does not mean it should be discarded wholesale. Instead, it should be improved and expanded. I believe the most effective, compassionate and comprehensive way to support the health of a nation’s residents is via a single-payer, guaranteed health-coverage plan. In this important moment, I urge representatives to consider doing what is best for the country as a whole.
GOP’s ‘power grab’
The May 27 news article “Cooper suit challenges GOP leaders on appointments” clearly illustrates that state Senate Republicans would do anything to strip Gov. Roy Cooper of power. They also have the gall to say he is not keeping his promise “to look beyond ourselves to see what’s right for the state, regardless of who’s in power.”
It took little time after Cooper’s inauguration for senators Phil Berger and Tim Moore to strip Cooper’s power to appoint his team. Republicans reduced the number of judges to the state Court of Appeals and took away Cooper’s right to appoint new judges and make two key appointments to the state Industrial Commission. That’s just the beginning of the Republicans’ power grab. Berger and Moore are moaning because they are being taken to court. I wonder if they never learned to try to walking in another person’s shoes.
Keep school funding
Regarding the May 21 news article “Alums appeal to keep state funds for summer program”: The budget proposal from the North Carolina Senate called for the elimination of public funding for the Governor’s School of North Carolina beginning in the 2018-2019 year. It would revive the Legislative School for Leadership and Public Service beginning the same fiscal year and fund it with $600,000 that would have been allocated to the Governor’s School.
The school was established in 1963 as a summer program for gifted students. It has given thousands of young Tar Heels the opportunity to improve their critical thinking and leadership skills while studying a specific field (the arts, social sciences, sciences). As the first program of its kind in the nation, it has since been emulated by other states. The North Carolina House of Representatives has not yet adopted a budget. We urge legislators to agree on a final budget that maintains substantial public funding for the Governor’s School.
Maury York and Will Hinton