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- published 3/27 (Larry) - unpublished ?

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Opinion

Legislative leaders and the folks at the think tanks on the Right are getting very nervous these days as the truth about the education budget passed by the General Assembly this year is spreading across North Carolina.

And it’s not just folks generally opposed to the agenda of the Republican majorities who are upset about the cuts to classrooms and the slaps at teachers from state lawmakers this session.

Many Republican voters are angry too, every time they read that thousands of teacher assistants are being fired and that hundreds more will spend fewer hours this year helping second graders read or understand a math problem.

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We’ve all heard the dire predictions about the Republicanpassed budget: “They’re going to decimate the whole public education system in this state!” and “This proposed budget will set back this state 25 years!” and “Cuts near this magnitude will dramatically eviscerate the ability of this state to provide a constitutionally- sound education to all of the students of our state!”

Do those claims sound familiar? They should — they’re from over two years ago. On Feb. 24, 2011, Democrat representatives Mickey Michaux, Rick Glazier, and Ray Rapp all clucked that under the Republican budget the sky was falling. Former Governor Perdue warned that 20,000 teachers would be fired, class size would double, and the Republican budget would “result in generational damage” to North Carolina’s public schools.

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A bipartisan, pragmatic roadmap to fix broken housing finance system while protecting taxpayers

Nearly five years have passed since taxpayers bailed out Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the entities at the heart of our nation’s broken housing finance system. Despite broad bipartisan agreement that the system needs to be fixed, Congress has yet to act.

As I’ve traveled across our state in the wake of the financial crisis, I’ve talked to too many middle-class families who have struggled to stay in their homes and keep their heads above water. I’ve talked to too many mothers and fathers who have had to choose between a roof to sleep under and a meal on the table for their kids. I’ve talked to too many men and women who’ve picked up second or third jobs just to keep a foreclosure notice off their front door.

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A few years back, my wife and I canceled satellite service at the house. Internet streaming, at a fraction of the cost, replaced the traditional broadcast format for our television viewing. After cutting the traditional TV cord, we never looked back or missed a commercial. We aren't alone pulling the plug on cable/satellite service.

What had started as a good value then witnessed “mission creep” as options and price escalated, with viewing pleasure diminishing. Years rolled by until the realization that the boob tube had become a money pit and I was the boob shoveling cash into the hole. Paying for hundreds of channels with little to watch serves as a segue to the concept of less is more.

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published: 10/18/2013
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