Remembering 9/11 :: September 11, 2001

- published 8/21 (Larry) old link: http://www1.cfnc.org/applications/NC_Community_College/apply.html?application_id=1527

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Opinion Letters

Re: Bob Scott’s recent letter about Duke Power’s request for more money. I agree, a 17 percent decrease in pay will still leave them with millions so it shouldn’t be a problem for them.

I just calculated my monthly expense for insurance and power and found that it is about one third of my small monthly income. We are in a recession. Insurance is mandatory, and electricity is nearly so. If we are required to make these payments then the government ought to do a better job of regulating the charges. Last year, my power bills went up about 15 percent and now they think they need more? Duke Power takes in billions. What do they do with it all? They sure do not look for alternative means of power generation. Heaven knows what the real cost is to our health and environment from coal fired power plants. The Smokies get smokier every year. Cancer and respiratory disease are up.

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Bob Scott, Alderman, Town of Franklin, wrote a pointed letter to the editor last week — “Rate increase should be met with salary cuts.” Scott has done solid research into the hefty salaries of Duke Energy’s top executives. Their pay is certainly a slap in the face to thousands of their customers who have lost jobs and unemployment benefits.

In the same July 7, issue of the Macon County News Duke says, “Get the facts: Why is Duke Energy asking to increase electric rates?” In the next-to-last paragraph the reader is told, “In exchange (for rates approved by the North Carolina Utilities Commission), the company (Duke) is allowed the opportunity to earn a fair return for investors who bear the financial risk of capital investment.”

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The election campaign of 2012 has begun! Republican candidates seek to outdo each other in attacks on President Obama. These candidates are simply a sideshow. The main event is being staged via the media. “Crossroads Grassroots Policy Strategies,” aka, “Crossroads GPS,” is running commercials blaming President Obama for our huge national debt, high unemployment and skyrocketing gas prices. This political ad, and similar ones, will be aired innumerable times before the 2012 election. Joseph Goebbels, Adolph Hitler’s Minister for Propaganda, said “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.”

Crossroads GPS is an offshoot of American Crossroads, a PAC created in June 2010 by extremely wealthy Wall Street moguls, spearheaded by Karl Rove and former RNC chairman Ed Gillespie.

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On Jan. 26, 2011, members of North Carolina’s General Assembly took their oath of office. I was humbled and honored to stand with those who swore the oath. The speed with which we began our official duties was unprecedented. We did not have the luxury of time to waste. We were faced with a deficit of $2.5 billion, $7 billion in debt, and $32.8 billion of unfunded liability for retiree health care. In addition, in the last two years, North Carolina has borrowed $2.3 billion from the federal government to pay for unemployment benefits.

The interest we pay on that loan is $100 million each year. North Carolina accepted $1.3 billion of federal stimulus money that was used to delay cuts in the education budget.

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