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Opinion Letters

Is there evidence to believe?

There are some things that are difficult to believe, because they cannot be seen. Then there are some things even when seen are hard to believe. The belief of either the beginning of creations starting from nothing or from God can be hard to imagine. Then seeing a magician running a sword though a box and into a person seems so real, but should not be believed, even though it seems so real. Some say there is no God, no Christ – where's the evidence, I want to see to believe.

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Whenever a representative is elected to the U.S. Congress they are required to take an oath on a Bible or by affirmation. They vow to support and defend the Constitution of the United States and to faithfully discharge the duties of the office.

Among those duties is to create a budget and pay government bills. The government default in 2011 caused by the Republicans, cost the taxpayer (you and me) $1.3 billion according to the GAO. Now they are at it again, jobs will be lost, stock markets are in decline, faith in the government to pay its bills are in decline, the economy could shrink by .09 percent and if there is a default the cost could run into the hundreds of billions of dollars.

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This is a followup to my mid-August letter regarding student loans for federal staffers. Recently I called North Carolina's 13 Representatives and received similar responses to those from our nation's 100 senators. Most were receptive, a few were not. One staff member transferred me to someone who was out of the office, another told me to call my own representative and one refused to speak with me.

I was able to speak with staff of 10 of our 13 Representatives’ Washington office. Seven of the 10 said they didn't know where their rep stood on the student loan interest rate issue and seven also (not always the same seven) stated they did not know whether their rep uses the program's funding to pay student loans for their staff.

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I write this with the idea in mind that one strong voice can make a loud and long-lasting statement. September was Hunger Action Month and many of you may have noticed the status updates on Facebook, Twitter feeds and various other social media outlets showing support for this movement. One thing I’m sure you have noticed is all of the talk surrounding the House passing a bill that could ultimately cut $39 billion from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as food stamps), which would result in more than 1.5 billion meals lost in 2014 for Americans everywhere who struggle with food insecurity. “Food Insecurity” by definition means, “Limited or uncertain availability of nutritionally adequate and safe foods or limited or uncertain ability to acquire acceptable foods in socially acceptable ways” (Feeding America, 2009). As a nation our “food insecurity” rate is 16.4 percent which means 50,120,000 Americans face the reality of true hunger every day, here in Macon County that number is 15.9 percent or 5,350 residents (30.6 percent of children in Macon County or 1,930 food insecure children).

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