25th Annual Leaf Lookers GEMBOREE :: Friday, October 17 - Sunday, October 19 at the Macon County Community Building

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

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Opinion

Protecting military families in tax reform

We have asked so much of our military servicemen and women, and they have bravely delivered after a decade of two wars. They take on the ultimate responsibility of protecting our nation, but they don’t do it alone. Family members of America’s military personnel are too often the unsung heroes of war, and they make their own unique sacrifices every day – enduring months apart from their deployed loved ones, establishing lives in new places when their spouse or parent is reassigned and dealing with the physical and emotional injuries caused by war. Yet too many military families struggle to make ends meet, especially veterans after military service.

As a member of the Armed Services Committee and a Senator from North Carolina, the most military friendly state in the nation, I am committed to honoring the service and sacrifice of not just our active duty soldiers and veterans, but the sacrifices of their families as well.

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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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