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- published 3/27 (Larry) - unpublished ?

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Opinion Letters

A Candidate Issues Forum was held in Sylva on Oct. 15, 2012. The forum was sponsored by the Macon County League of Women Voters, Canary Coalition, Occupy WNC and Smoky Mountain News.

There were two candidates participating in the forum for Jackson County Commission, two for NC House District 119, and two for NC Senate District 50. The sponsors of the forum asked questions that were answered, in turn, by each of the candidates. In a nonpartisan fashion, Republicans and Democrats alternated answering first or second, for each of the positions. The forum was enlightening and it was readily apparent that most of the candidates were well prepared to answer each of the questions and clearly stated their positions on the issues.

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I hear people say, "when is Mitt Romney going to tell us how he is going to run the country?" Using the illustration of our country being our "ship of state," I would suggest that an experienced pilot cannot tell us exactly how he is going to pilot the ship, but he can show us, through his vision for the country, when given the chance.

We gave a man the chance four years ago. We were given a lot of promises by a community organizer (who had no governing experience) calling it "hope and change." We have seen hopes fade for a bright future for our children, and lots of negative, Marxist changes. For the past four years, we have seen our country being steered by this "pilot" toward the shallows of socialism.

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Guided by Paul Ryan’s recommendations the U.S. House of Representatives has rejected every plan submitted by the Obama administration to create jobs for the middle class. Republicans refuse to consider plans which included even the slightest tax increase on wealthy Americans. They insist on balancing the budget by slashing programs benefitting middle- class Americans, programs such as Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. Making Obama a one-term president has been their number one goal and to heck with the economy!

Senator Jim Davis and the Republican dominated N.C. legislature have not generated a single job creation bill.

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In the ’70s the USA was #1 in the world in education. We are now 16th in the percentage of adults 25-34 years of age who hold an associate, bachelor, or advanced degree. For years N.C. was a national leader in education. In the past two years the Republicans have made drastic cuts in educational funding and we now rank 45th in per pupil spending. Romney thinks students should "shop around" for the "best education they can afford." He even talks of doing away with the Department of Education.

How your child compares educationally with other American students is no longer the issue; the competition is now with students from around the world. South Korea, Canada, Japan, Norway, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Australia, and France all rank higher than the U.S. in education.

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published: 10/18/2013
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