Letters to the Editor

NC State should have hired UNC lawyers

Regarding “Timeline lays out details of FBI probe” (Apr. 19): UNC-Chapel Hill’s multi-year athletic scandal involved faculty members, administrators and counselors in a program that defrauded the very academic mission of the university and involved scores of students. The university suffered no consequences of any type.

At NC State, one assistant coach and an external agent concocted a financial arrangement involving a single player in a one-time payment that included no academic misconduct. The university is under scrutiny and awaits a decision on any possible actions, both legal and programmatic.

The lesson for NC State: hire the UNC-CH lawyers.

Michael and Betty Paesler


Budget improvements

As the mother of a former Wake County Public Schools student, a retired Wake County teacher and a former member of the Vance County Board of Education, I am well aware that North Carolina’s system for funding public education is designed to set school boards and county commissions against each other at budget time, with taxing authority the responsibility of the commission and running schools in the hands of school boards.

Without responsibility for taxing, school boards are inclined to push their particular issue to the limit, while commissioners must address multiple issues with limited resources, and are answerable to voters for their tax decisions. I do not know how to resolve that situation, but I know that the Wake County Commission has significantly raised spending on public education each of the last three years.

Wake County is now spending nearly $100 million more annually on our schools than in 2014. Wake County teachers are now the highest paid in the state, with a 44 percent increase in local pay in just three years. Because the NC Legislature has removed major funding from the public schools over the last six years, this deficit has to be made up at the local level.

As members of the Wake County community, we should be grateful for and celebrating the progress our county commission has made in the face of such a difficult task. As an educator, I certainly appreciate it and hope that the citizens of this county will take this knowledge with them to the polls and vote to retain our present hard working and dedicated commissioners.

Jacqueline F. Jackson


Rule of law

Regarding “Support Mueller? Tillis knows better” (Apr. 19): J. Peder Zane has critcized Tillis for supporting Mueller’s inquiry. Apparently, it isn’t sufficient that Tillis “voted at his party’s beck and call, and never thought of thinking for himself at all” in all other matters. Apparently, Zane is happy to ignore the Russian indictments and getting Flynn and others to own up, since he claims the inquiry is empty. Zane apparently feels that investigating Trump is against the rule of law (so how about Nixon and Clinton?)

Contrary to Zane’s unfounded claim, the dossier was not the only basis for Mueller’s warrant. It doesn’t matter whether Michael Cohen serves the president or an elected town clerk – if the hush money he paid came from campaign funds, that is against the law.

Steve Bravy


Tax cuts working

I am writing to correct what I believe to be flawed information in the letter to the editor “Tax cuts working?” (Apr. 24). The writer stated that although the new tax law roughly doubles the standard deduction, it also eliminates personal exemptions. Due to a significant omission, this is misleading.

The letter failed to mention that the new law also increases the child tax credit to up to $2,000 per child (an increase of $1000), and the first $1,400 is refundable, meaning the credit can reduce tax liability below zero and filers can receive a tax refund. The cut off for the tax credit also increases from $110,000 to $400,000 for married couples filing jointly. Note that this is a tax credit (a dollar for dollar reduction in taxes) and not a deduction from income and as such is, in most cases, more valuable than a deduction for those with children under 17.

Additionally, the writer stated “The assertion that the Affordable Care Act forces people to buy health insurance they cannot afford is patently untrue.” Affordability is subjective and there are many, especially the self-employed, who have been squeezed economically by their compliance with the AFC.

Barry Buehler