When Gov. Roy Cooper explained why he would veto the Republican-backed budget plan, he got straight to the heart of what is wrong with our Republican legislators. He said that the budget plan values corporate tax breaks over classrooms, gimmicks over guaranteed school construction, and political ideology over people.

I came into North Carolina from another state as a registered Republican. I soon recognized some political things that seemed wrong to me, and I have voted exclusively for Democratic legislators since I got here.

There are a lot of poor people in North Carolina, and it seems that the Republican legislators want to keep them that way. They refuse to expand Medicaid. They cut unemployment compensations. By raising the sales tax, they, in effect, raised taxes on the bottom 40 percent at the same time that they were cutting taxes for the top 5 percent. They removed many poor people from food stamp programs. They cut child care subsidies and slashed dental care programs for poor kids.

What I don’t understand is why “the people” keep re-electing them. They are not there “for the people.” They are there to please the wealthy and the corporations that donate to them.

Ken Owens, Pinehurst

(24) comments

Richard Wright

Lowell - the Republican House passé a replacement in May 2017. And why should they have to submit a replacement anyway? ObamaCare is not a health care bill but a way to redistribute income forcing people to purchase insurance that they did not want and others to pay for services they did not need. And deductibles made and premium costs rose - and continue to rise.

Richard Wright

Mr. T - the Republican House passed a bull in May 2017. They offered several others during Obama’s reign. Try goggle.

Jim Tomashoff

Rats! You're correct, my bad.

Ed Pieczynski

Ken....I hate to burst your Republican bashing bubble but the recent sales tax increase was voted on by the people of Moore County with almost 60% approval. Republicans and the legislature had nothing to do with the increase.

Lowell Simon

wrong tax increase - I'm talking about the sales tax increase on intangibles like car repairs, haircuts etc. which puts extra burden on working folks.

Stephen Woodward

They removed many poor people from food stamp programs, Ken?

No one has been “removed”. In 2015, the state legislature took a common sense step to rein in food stamp program abuse. It reinstated a federal requirement — invoked during the Obama administration — requiring food stamp applicants to demonstrate they are working, volunteering or taking classes a minimum of 20 hours a week. And it impacted only adults under 50 who do not have children. As usual, Democrats eventually opposed these minimum standards because they champion soft tyranny through economic enslavement of citizens. They want reliable voters to become addicted to entitlements that go on forever, no questions asked. Read more reaction to other baseless claims: https://resolvenc.blog/2019/08/01/soft-tyranny-prevails/

Lowell Simon

According to The Mercatus Center of George Mason University (a right-wing organization funded by the Koch brothers) the projected cost of National Healthcare Expenditures under the Medicare for All proposal is $4.469 trillion. Currently American citizens pay $13.473 trillion in out-of-pocket and premium expenses. Do the math.

Mark Hayes

Until the cost of a government provided, tax funded healthcare plan is fully explained, real numbers, and by those who actually are qualified to do so, this issue is just another political talking point by those pursuing elected office. How can a plan that gives cost free care become a reality when we have one of the worlds highest number of those not just over weight, but are actually considered to be obese. The cost long term care for them is not sustainable, from heart complications, cancers, etc., the results of over indulgences, the complications of drug addictions, a list of self inflicted conditions that tax paying citizens will be burdened with, Wall Street is not going to pay, the wealthy should not have to pay, and the working stiff, tax paying American citizens, those who live a healthy and normal lifestyle should not bear the burden of others who fail to do so, having little concern as to how their medical needs will be met. Not slighting the VA facilities, but the civilian population that is so supportive of government ran healthcare, they should experience for themselves the limitations that accompany VA care. It is only fair to the younger generation that they be told how all these " free " programs will be funded. From tuition free college, to free healthcare, politicians should not offer up generosities that they themselves cannot give a realistic financial analysis, so far none have been able to do so, well, other than tax the rich.

Jim Tomashoff

Mark writes: "How can a plan that gives cost free care become a reality...." Who ever said a tax funded healthcare plan is "cost free?" What does "tax funded" mean to you? It's easy to be against something when you intentionally choose to misrepresent its key component. Some people, not me of course, would suggest that you deliberately lie, just like your President, to score debate points, without advancing the argument one bit. Or maybe reading comprehension just isn't one of your strong points so you don't understand that you can't say something is tax funded and then say it's free in the next sentence and appear literate.

Lowell Simon

No one is saying it is "free." The solution is for healthcare to be "free" of premiums and deductibles. People do not understand that they are already paying for everyone else's care. Why do you think an aspirin costs $12 in a hospital? What do you think happens when someone with $200 in their bank account gets a $2,000 invoice from the ER? Is it cost effective for a mom with a feverish infant to go to the ER instead of a family doctor? Who pays to keep the hospital in business? You are - you pay with higher premiums and higher co-pays due to higher medical costs. People need to understand that they are already paying for universal health care but they are not getting what they are paying for because of the inefficiencies built into the system. Anytime you wan to have a forum to discuss these issues I would be glad to attend.

Jim Tomashoff

Perfectly correct, well said!

Mark Hayes

Lowell, I stand corrected, " free " is an incorrect assumption, setting aside as one has suggested, my lack of being " literate ", my comment addressed several issues that are already, or will become a reality for many . Many of our own citizens in the future will no longer be a contributor, through poor health habits, addictions, and most being self inflicted conditions, all requiring medical care, the majority never to actually contribute through taxes, they become the recipients, we become the contributors, so yes there is a grain or two of truth in the assumption that " free " rings true. Our younger generations should be given the future cost analysis, as they will be the citizens that bear the burden. From what little information that is being provided by these campaigning politicians, all that has been mentioned is taxes, because face it, the government is a tax funded entity, so the only cash they have to work with is ours. All roads lead to the coffers of tax contributions, and that road starts with those who pay taxes. Campaigning Democrats are presenting theoretical plans, the younger generation needs to be provided realistic plans that include future cost, to them, most government programs do not favor those paying for them.

Richard Wright

Ken- support the left for whatever reason you want but let’s not make up things. The state Republicans did not raise the sales tax, did not cut dental care for children or reduce child care subsidies. The SNAP program ( food stamps) is a federal program not state , this the state legislature has nothing to do with that either. The Republican legislature and a Republican governor got the state out of a huge debt incurred by Purdue, Easley and the century old democratic legislature. Do a few fact checks before you pass along your complaints.

Stephen Woodward

On the money.

Lowell Simon

Actually they did. They placed taxes on services beginning in January 2017. If you're nor sure who was in power at that time I'll let you do your own research. I was seating no more than four feet from Sen. Tom McGinnins when he proudly claimed "we have brought in more taxes than ever before" and this is form Speaker Moore's email TODAY; "Revenue collections for North Carolina’s 2018-19 Fiscal Year were $896.7 million above expectations, according to the Fiscal Research Division of the state General Assembly. An email to lawmakers from the nonpartisan division’s chief economist on Thursday noted personal income tax final payments on the 2018 tax year exceeded expectations by more than $150 million. Sales taxes also exceeded expectations by $73.9 million in May and June alone." Boy, that sure sounds like people's taxes have been increased to me.


Richard Wright

The state sales tax remains 4%.

Lowell Simon

yes they just started taxing things that weren't subject to the tax previously

Stephen Woodward

Ken, the myth of Medicaid expansion is that it would close the "coverage gap" for uninsured individuals. Medicaid for all is unsustainable, perhaps not just financially, but because it will force overburdened medical professionals to deny Medicaid patients treatment so as not to neglect existing patients. The answer is not government mandated coverage. The answer is block granting so that states can incentivize competition within the insurance marketplace, making it affordable for more people, and -- here's what really matters -- making health care accessible by insuring more people have coverage they can actually use. Republicans support policy that works over the long run, not policy that merely sounds good in radio ads and social media posts.

Suzanne Martin

Where is the evidence that the existing market based private health insurance is in any way sustainable in the long run? I've worked in health care for 30+ years and see no signs that we can continue business as usual. It is unsustainable for health care organizations, undermines public health, and contributes to the poor health outcomes we have in this country compares to other industrized countries. Moreover, what specific Republican health care policy are you referring to? I haven't see one presented.

Conrad Meyer

Suzanne, I'd be most interested in your thoughts on what the best alternative might be to replace the current system. I think most can agree that it has its faults.



My biggest fear is that the government will take over, they have demonstrated that they are incapable of running the VA, so what makes them think they can do it all?

Richard Wright

What do you propose? The Republicans submitted several alternatives during Obama’s last six years. Because you have not seen one only means you have not paid attention. Do you believe that ObamaCare solves any issues? I suspect you understand the tax implications to all Americans of universal health care and the waits we will see as care is rationed.

Jim Tomashoff

You state: "The Republicans submitted several alternatives during Obama’s last six years." I think that is untrue. Perhaps individual Republicans offered broad outlines of alternate plans, but to the best of my knowledge neither the Republicans as a Party in the House, or Senate, or the Republican Party Central Committee ever offered a fleshed out alternative health plan to the ACA. And by fleshed out, I mean actually putting out a comprehensive piece of legislation to be considered as whole by Congress. Prove me wrong.

Jim Tomashoff

Richard, see my comment below. Still waiting, you've had ample time to respond. I'm betting you won't (or can't).

Lowell Simon

Republicans have had three years of control and still have not submitted an alternative to the ACA.

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