Letters to the Editor

4/22 Letters: Food stamps benefit the poor

U.S. Rep. George Holding’s campaign ad would have us believe he and President Trump invented “workfare.” In fact, it’s been the law since August 1996 when President Clinton signed the bill. Currently, in North Carolina in order to receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits (food stamps) an able bodied adult without dependents must work at least 80 hours per month, participate in qualifying education and training activities at least 80 hours a month or comply with a workfare program.

Additionally, a single, able-bodied adult in a household of one can earn a maximum of $1,276 a month to receive $194 in food stamps in addition to the other above requirements. That’s $7.98 per hour without food stamps and $9.18 including the value of the food stamps. Republican politicians like Holding want us to believe that poor people are lazy and don’t want to work. In over 30 years of working with hundreds of low-income families, people with disabilities and the elderly, I met two people that did not want to work. Neither received food stamps.

The vast majority of food stamps benefit children in low-income families. When you next hear Mr. Holding’s campaign ad ask yourself, would you voluntarily limit your income to $7.98 an hour in order to qualify for food stamps?

Mike Pedneau worked for the state of North Carolina in the areas of public health, mental health and social services management and as the state Mental Health Director.

Why obstruct?

Regarding “Support Mueller? Tillis knows better” (Apr. 19): The Mueller investigation is not unchecked power. Mueller was given that power by a Republican, Rod Rosenstein, whose credentials are impeccable. Trump should want this investigation to conclude and not fight against it. If there is no wrongdoing then why obstruct it?

Our government has not strayed from the rule of law. Those who oppose getting at what Russia did and may do again should be supportive of Mueller. There is no overreach, search warrants are legitimate, a look into possible criminal activity within the Trump family or organization is warranted.

Zane’s perspective places him on the wrong side of history in this possible case of Russian collusion and obstruction of justice .

Fred Howes


What about deficit?

Calling Erskine Bowles. Please fix the deficit.” (Apr 18) and “How Congress’ and Trump’s deficit binge paves way for next one” (Apr. 17) deserve the serious attention of all Americans. Noteworthy plans to fix the deficit like that of Erskine Bowles and Sen. Alan Simpson have now passed into the dustbin of history. Future generations will look back on our current generation of lawmakers as the generation that failed America in the early 21st century with its costly wars and spending/tax programs leading to record setting deficits.

Therefore, the question for all Americans is: Will our next generation of lawmakers and presidents step up to the plate and return the country to a sound financial system of lower deficits along with reforms to Social Security and Medicare to ensure their future solvency? Will they remind us of Tom Brokaw’s “The Greatest Generation” of the WWII era by declaring war on excessive spending and deficits? Only time will tell.

John F. Bridgers


Stop gag rule

Despite the admirable coverage of reproductive health advocates calling to reduce New York’s maternal mortality rate among black women, “Advocates call for action on state’s maternal mortality rate” does not address the larger global issues plaguing reproductive health and maternal mortality, specifically among women of color.

Trump’s global gag rule, which denies desperately needed funding to global healthcare organizations if they even mention the word abortion, will have a far more devastating affect on maternal mortality rates for black women around the globe. When a similar policy was in place between 2001-2009, abortion rates in sub-Saharan Africa nearly doubled. Nearly all were unsafe.

The Global Health, Empowerment, and Rights (HER) Act is currently a bill in Congress working to block Trump’s global gag rule. Senators Richard Burr and Thom Tillis will not be voting to pass this bill, and are clearly not supporting reproductive rights for women around the world. We must demand for our policymakers to take action for the rights of women around the globe, as it is our duty as Americans and citizens of the world to do so.

Sarah Blau