For the second time in a long life as a tarheel (with generations of my ancestors so far traced back to 1725) I am ashamed of the state I live in from being a progressive, business friendly to any and all businesses, who had to do their share, education-centered state; we are now known as a radical, Republicam-dominated redneck state, comparable to Arizona, Alabama, Louisiana, etc. As Western North Carolina citizens we are now caught up in Republican agenda of crushing the 47 percent Mitt Romney said the Republican Party should forget about; the weaker, poorer, jobless, uninsured families. Most of them the working poor, too often disabled, elderly unable to do physically demanding jobs, low job skills. Paid by small businesses and corporations $7.25 to $7.59 per hour. Often only partime. So these employers can boost their profit margins. Skilled workers work for corporations like Walmart, Ingles, etc. and cannot make enough to cover the basics of life or health insurance as needed. I have been a citizen activist for years, researching valid county records and documentation, asking and respecting their confidences from citizens as to the low wages paid and their financial struggle to feed themselves and children.
For all of you who voted for Republicans Jim Davis and now Gov. McCrory, while ignoring the Republican agenda to radically dismantle the North Carolina system of government (by the Republicans already in power) in our state house; your reward is on the way. You have willingly and knowingly been a partner in putting the last nails in your financial coffin. As well as the citizens who are in tier one (a designation from the federal level for high poverty rate, high unemployment, low paid average job, insufficient food and medical care.) from Cherokee County through Jackson County funds will be made available to county governments to help alleviate pure and simple poverty. The Republican policies can now claim (they have controlled the N.C. legislature) out of 100 counties, 40 are in tier one.
Now that the agenda is in full mode, this is on their table and your plate. Protect the corporations, wealthier people’s assets. By doing away with state system of taxes. Have what amounts to a flat tax (8.5 percent - or whatever needed for state budget). Can be raised at any time if needed. Without income taxes at a certain level for corporate entities and investment earnings, etc. for the wealthiest to do their fair share for state budgets; the middle class and the most poverty stricken citizens (poverty annual income level is $1,450) will find they are paying taxes on everything they buy including necessities to sustain life. Every middle class family down to the most poverty stricken will be robbed of untold billions over the long term. The plan to rob families, children of food and education is beyond contempt. So is ranking number five in the nation with the highest unemployment rate.
Marie Leatherwood — Franklin, N.C.