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Republicans are playing games with the debt and it’s hurting Americans

·4 min read

Debt and the GOP

Republican leaders say they cannot support raising the debt ceiling. What they don’t add is: with a Democrat as president.

During Trump’s presidency the GOP increased the debt ceiling once and suspended it twice, increasing the debt by $7.8 trillion (the third-largest increase by any president.)

Though COVID-19-related expenditures contributed, Trump’s 2017 tax cut, reducing the 35% corporate tax rate to 21%, further decreased government revenues and exacerbated his debt increase.

Mitch McConnell and the GOP are once again using Jude Wanniski’s 1970s playbook. During a Republican presidency, it advocates substantial spending coupled with debt-increasing tax cuts — small for the masses, substantial for the wealthy. Then, during a Democratic administration, Republicans refuse tax increases and, except for military funding, reject almost everything else because of the national debt.

COVID-19 is yet another example of required federal government help when our individualism is impotent. Unfortunately, by following Wanniski’s playbook, and pledging to never vote for a tax increase, disingenuous Republican legislators are crippling the federal government’s ability to govern in our interest,.

Thomas McKee, Cary

COVID deaths

The CDC has confirmed 680,688 deaths of U.S. citizens due to COVID. That means COVID deaths have surpassed U.S. combat deaths in all U.S. wars between 1775 and 2019, according to statistics from the Veteran’s Administration and others.

That includes the American Revolution, Civil War, WWI and II, Vietnam War, Middle East wars and all the U.S. skirmishes in between. Total number of combat deaths: 666,441.

It’s time for our state legislature and Congress to pass laws requiring all Americans to be vaccinated and carry vaccination cards proving they have been inoculated. Our government requires that we have driver’s licenses, wear seat belts, get vaccinated for school and pay our taxes.

COVID continues to be one of the largest threats to the health of our population in history. One must ask lawmakers and anti-vaxxers: Which side are you on in this war?

Robert D. Brown, Cary

A sad COVID irony

Regarding “COVID’s unanswered toll on North Carolina’s children,” (Sept. 17 N&O Editorial):

We are complicated beings and when we cannot take responsibility and make reparation we often blindly ‘”take it out on ourselves,” and sometimes our children. This reminder helped me, at last, to feel some empathy for those of my fellow North Carolinians who, through their actions, prolong both pandemics we currently face — COVID and racism.

It is both sad and ironic that, by refusing to accept the universal human need for the protections of masks and vaccine, they greatly increase the chance that they themselves, or their children, may die gasping, “I can’t breathe.”

Christine Erskine, Raleigh

NC vouchers

Some lawmakers in Raleigh want to phase out the Opportunity Scholarship program. They don’t understand the vital role it plays for families like mine. The program has been a tremendous assistance over the last seven years in giving my 10th grade son the type of education that works best for him. He has benefited from the reduced classroom sizes, higher academic standards, a Christian foundation, and access to sports and fine arts curriculum. He never would have had access to all these benefits without the scholarship.

Delicia Hare, Rolesville

Act on carbon tax

The time is now to act on climate change.

Thousands of U.S. economists signed the Statement on Carbon Dividends to show support for this policy that could save our planet. Janet Yellen, the U.S. Treasury Secretary, and John Kerry, the Presidential Climate Envoy, as well as multiple organizations performing studies on how to counteract climate change have also signaled support for the carbon fee and dividend.

A University of Maryland survey showed that 62% of registered voters support a carbon fee, Republicans and Democrats. The support is there, the action is not. Bold action is needed to protect future generations.

Ryan Johnston, Chapel Hill

Gen. Milley

Civilian control of the military is one of the most important pillars of a democracy. But there are exceptions to any rule, however hallowed it might be. Thank God that Gen. Mark Milley knew when to act on such an exception., whatever the consequences to his very distinguished career.

Robert J. Cain, Raleigh

Too much publicity

Regarding “Cawthorn urges Johnston County schools to not require masks,” (Sept. 15):

The issue addressed by the Johnston County school board is certainly newsworthy, but not the politician highlighted in the article. I won’t mentioned his name as I want to avoid click bait, even if it’s negative. He’s not a representative of Johnston County. He has no children in the school system.

Still, if he was making an argument based on scientific reasoning, I would at least be willing to listen. But all he’s doing is politicizing the issue to promote his own political agenda and keep his name in the media. Please stop playing into his game.

Brad Bradshaw, Raleigh

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