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- published 3/27 (Larry) - unpublished ?

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Opinion

It is rare that Washington agrees on much of anything these days.

But last week, the Senate came together – Democrats and Republicans – to pass the most significant reform of American agriculture policy in decades.

Agriculture is the largest industry in our state, employing hundreds of thousands of North Carolinians, and my first priority during debate on the 2013 Farm Bill was making sure it worked for North Carolina’s farmers.

I was proud to work with Senators from both sides of the aisle to pass a bill that does just that.

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State leaders hope to offer increased support to older adults in the community and save money within the health care system starting in July. During the North Carolina Senior Tar Heel Legislature (STHL) meeting in Raleigh, delegates and alternates were briefed on Medicaid reform and plans for expanding Project C.A.R.E. (Caregiver Alternatives to Running on Empty). Unfortunately, the expansion of one program might mean possible cuts in another vital program.

Keynote speaker, Dr. Aldona Wos, Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Service (DHHS) in North Carolina, shared her history with the audience.

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TAX REFORM - We have received a lot of feedback from citizens across North Carolina – constituents, businesspeople, our colleagues in the House, the governor – and, of course, those who write the editorial pages. While we believe the plan discussed in the Senate over the past few weeks is sound and fair economic policy, we must pass a bill that can receive broad support. So now we have a compromise plan for tax reform – one that addresses concerns about the impact of having a sales tax on food, prescriptions and services heavily used by working families.

Our compromise plan will simplify our 1930s Depression- era tax code, provide substantial tax relief to working families, make North Carolina more attractive for job creation and cut taxes by more than $1 billion in the first three years alone.

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There’s a reason George Orwell’s 1984 is a predominant theme in my new book “A Government of Wolves: The Emerging American Police State” (available now on Amazon.com and in stores on June 25). It’s the same reason Orwell’s dystopian thriller about a futuristic surveillance society has skyrocketed to the top of book charts in the wake of recent revelations by former CIA employee and National Security Agency (NSA) contractor Edward Snowden that the nefarious spy agency is collecting the telephone records of millions of Verizon customers, with the complete blessing of the Obama administration.

Orwell understood what many Americans, caught up in their partisan flag-waving, are still struggling to come to terms with: that there is no such thing as a government organized for the good of the people—even the best intentions among those in government inevitably give way to the desire to maintain power and control at all costs.

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published: 10/18/2013
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