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Opinion Letters

Are you better off now than you were, say, a year ago? For most of us that depends on whether the bank account is larger and we have more money in our wallets. In North Carolina, that depends on how much money you make.

This year, we all got a cut in our income taxes. Near the bottom of the income scale, your taxes went down about 0.2 percent, so you may not have noticed. In the middle of the scale the decrease was about 1.2 percent and the top earners saved almost 2 percent on income taxes. However, if you’re among the “working poor” and used the Earned Income Tax Credit in the past, forget it for the future because your Republican legislature repealed it.

Have you noticed that you’re spending more on your kid’s school supplies recently. It got worse this year when the tax holiday for school supplies was repealed. If your child is in college, their meal plan is now taxed for the first time. You also lost the deduction for your college savings plan.

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How shameful to see the town of Franklin adding insult to injury by refusing to return the Nikwasi mound to its rightful owners, the Cherokee peoples.

To refuse the request for transfer by asserting our ownership and hiding behind a fear of legal reprisal only serves to continue a legacy of exploitation and betrayal. To lay claim to the mound, the sacred heart of the displaced Cherokee peoples’ community, is to tacitly condone the thievery and genocide that facilitated its acquisition.

As I see it, the real problem is this: here we are in 2014 and the people chosen to represent the town of Franklin don’t understand that the Nikwasi mound is not theirs to give.

Jeff Southerland — Franklin, N.C.

I have not voted for Jim Davis previously, primarily because I didn't think he (or his party) was at all fair to John Snow. However, that was another election, this time I will vote for him.

During the debate with his opponent at WCU, Davis got himself in hot water with the less than friendly crowd by stating that "72 percent of all black children that are born in this country are born to an unwed mother."

That Democrats in the audience would take offense at that remark and call it "racism at its worst" is not only wrong but terribly disingenuous certainly. I will get to the why in a moment.

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Overall quality of life in North Carolina has drastically deteriorated during the past four years due to Republican driven legislative policies.

Our public education system is struggling to meet the needs of our children in overcrowded classrooms, with too few and outdated textbooks. Our Republican governor and state legislature rejected Medicare denying coverage to 500,000 North Carolinians. Hospitals are strapped financially and burdened trying to care for uninsured sick people.

Our tax burden has shifted to average citizens. One example is the increased tax on admission to all forms of entertainment. The number of days allowed for early voting has been reduced. Other measures have been enacted restricting citizens' democratic voting rights. State and local government offices are operating with greatly reduced staffs. The Macon County staff issuing drivers licenses has dropped from five to two workers. All this is happening while the population of Macon County continues to grow.

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