Letters to the Editor

1/19 letters: Give Trump credit for gains

It is typical that the media do not give much (if any) coverage to the economy growing at 3 percent for the last two quarters, with a good chance of 4 percent for the next quarter. The stock market is up over 7,000 points since President Trump came into office. Also, Apple is creating 20,000 new jobs, and many other companies are investing in the United States.

The Islamic State group has been decimated under this president. Illegal border crossings are way down.

All good stuff, right? Why not report all the news. Don’t suppose my comments will make your paper either, which is unfortunately typical.

Tom Austin


Tax cut helps middle class

Gene Nichol’s column “In the US, the inequality gap is ever widening” begins by ritualistically referring to “a gigantic tax cut for the richest Americans.” In dollar terms, this is certainly correct since the richest 1 percent of Americans paid 39.5 percent of total federal income tax receipts in 2016, more than the bottom 90 percent of taxpayers combined (40-something percent pay zero federal income tax). However, those incomes in excess of $500,000 had their tax rate reduced for 2018 by a rather modest 6.6 percent, from 39.6 percent to 37 percent (not even remotely gigantic), while incomes between $9,525 and $38,700 and between $38,700 and $82,500 received quite substantial 2018 tax rate reductions of 20 percent and 12 percent, respectively.

In addition, the doubling of the standard deduction for everyone disproportionately benefits lower- to middle-income taxpayers, percentage-wise. So, on a percentage of tax-reduction basis, and contrary to what the media would have us believe, the working and middle classes made out relatively much better on the 2017 tax bill than the wealthiest Americans.

Christopher D. Cortese


Let college athletes learn

The sports commentary by Victoria Jackson “Take it from a former Division I athlete: College sports are like Jim Crow” about the mistreatment of Division I athletes was thought provoking and timely. College football and basketball players make billions of dollars for the sports industry, yet only a small fraction of these players will be rewarded by a contract with the NFL or NBA. In addition, as Jackson, a former UNC track star, states: the “professionalism required of big-time college football and basketball players leaves no time for the ‘student’ part of the student-athlete equation.”

Why not guarantee all football and basketball players who don’t make it to the NFL or NBA an additional two years of free tuition, room and board after their eligibility to play sports runs out? During these two years as full-time students, they could earn a meaningful university degree. In addition, while they play sports, they should take a reduced load of courses. The bottom line is that all student athletes should be permitted sufficient time and resources to earn a meaningful college education.

Tomas Baer

Chapel Hill