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Opinion Letters The ‘poor’ you will always have with you

How wonderful that the Democrats have found religion and all of a sudden are experts on what Jesus would say!

Jesus said, “You will always have the poor with you. And whenever you want to, you can give to them.” (Mark 14:7, Contemporary English Version)

Giving is voluntary. Allowing someone to “glean” from your fields is different from the government coming and taking it from you. Last year, North Carolinians gave $44 million to charity, up $17 million from the year before. Charitable organizations abound in WNC. Many area churches have food banks and benevolence programs to offer assistance to those that need it. CareNet not only provides food, they are also administrators of energy assistance for those that qualify; help with prescriptions and more. Much is being done locally to provide “for the poor.”

I have no problem helping those who can’t help themselves: the elderly on a fixed income, the physically and mentally challenged; single parents whose minimum wage jobs don’t pay the bills; those who find themselves temporarily in crisis. Perpetual government assistance fosters dependence. It was never meant to be a lifestyle. The preamble to the U.S. Constitution says government is to “promote the general welfare,” not provide for every possible need.

As for “tax cuts for the rich,” the so-called rich are the ones that pay the taxes. Fifty percent of Americans pay no taxes at all.

And the repeal of the sacred Earned Income Tax Credit that will “hurt almost a million middle income North Carolinians?” A single person with one child in North Carolina making $15,000 a year gets an Earned Income Credit (EIC) of a grand total of $158 from the state. However, the federal Earned Income Credit brings that person’s tax refund to $5,500 in addition to the $700 refund he got from the state. So the argument that the repeal of the N.C. EIC would “hurt” middle income families is bogus. If a $158 credit is “vital” to survival, the federal refund certainly eases the pain.

Perhaps a recent letter writer would like to share his statefinanced benefits. As an employee of the school system, his very fine health insurance is paid for along with paid vacations and sick days. Maybe as an act of good will, he could offer to pay for half of his benefits and “give” the other half to someone who is not fortunate enough to work for the state of North Carolina. If all state employees gave up half their benefits, maybe we could afford more for education, roads, police and other services. After all, if we’re talking about equality, why should they have benefits when so many North Carolinians don’t? It’s easy to point the finger at what someone else can do to solve the problem.

In his letter to the Ephesians, Paul admonished, “Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.” (Ephesians 4:28).

We are all going to be held accountable for what we have done in this life. I’m pretty sure we are not going to get to blame the N.C. legislature if our neighbor goes hungry.

Mattison Marr — Franklin, N.C.

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