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Opinion Letters Jim Davis living in Alice in Wonderland World?

Jim Davis is apparently living in a world in where up is down, less is more, and the truth in our world is the opposite in his. In a recent “Senate Update” (Aug. 17, 2012), he is talking about his accomplishments since he took office and wrote the legislature “cut the gas tax.” The month before he took office December 2010, the N.C. gas tax was 31.9 cents/gallon. The gasoline tax today is 37.5 cents/gallon.

Maybe in Jim Davis’s world 37.5 cents is less than 31.9 cents. This increase represents approximately $300 million more per year or almost $600 million since Davis took office. The vast majority of this increase is paid by average, middle class citizens like you and me. I’m sure Davis will probably say he actually did cut the gas tax after he raised it.

Jim Davis wrote himself in the Asheville Citizen-Times on Sept. 18, 2011 that, “It is a fact that teachers and teacher assistants were fully funded in the new state budget.” The N.C. Department of Public Instruction in a News Release on Aug. 31, 2011 writes, “This is the first time since the Great Depression in the 1930s that North Carolina public schools have decreased the number of teacher positions during a time of student growth.” Lost educator jobs (both vacant and filled) during the 2011-12 school year that Davis is responsible for were 1,723 teachers and 2,282 teacher assistant. A total of 4,005 educator positions were eliminated that were not available to our N.C. students. Clearly the state could have budgeted and funded every one of these lost positions but chose not to, and clearly these jobs were not “fully funded in the new state budget” as Davis wrote on Sept. 18, 2011.

Davis writes in Macon County News on 9-6-12 that “the facts have not fared well in Ed Morris’s hands.” He is complaining about a quote from the NC Department of Public Instruction website (www.ncpublicschools.org/budget) that reads, “The 2011-13 biennial state budget that was passed by the General Assembly in June 2011 contained more than $1 billion in cuts to public school funding.” He attacks me for quoting the N.C. Department of Public Instruction, but never denies that the quote from the Department of Public Instruction is factually true.

In 2008 because of eight years of disastrous policies by George Bush and the Republican Congress, the United States entered the greatest recession in the last 50 years. When President Obama came into office, N.C. was facing huge budget deficits because of the economic downturn. Obama was able to pass the Economic Recovery Act that allowed N.C. to receive $100’s of millions of dollars in Federal economic aid that helped N.C. at this time of crisis keep thousands of educator jobs funded until the economy improved and N.C. could again fund these jobs with our own revenues. Davis apparently would not have taken this federal aid and just eliminated all the teaching jobs this money funded. He and his Republican state legislature did not provide the state funds to replace the temporary federal funds when they took control in 2011. Davis apparently blames loss of education money on federal and local governments, and does not realize that it is our N.C. state government that is primarily responsible for funding public education for our children and grandchildren in our great state.

Perhaps the make believe world of Davis’s Wonderland is pleasant place to visit, but the citizens of Western North Carolina cannot afford to have a State Senator who lives in “Wonderland” and does not tell the citizens the truth. Let Davis stay in Wonderland, but send John Snow to represent the 50th District on November, 6th.

Ed Morris, MD — Franklin, N.C.


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