Retired state employees like me got thrown under the bus - again - in the NC budget

·4 min read
Senate leader Phil Berger fist bumps Gov. Roy Cooper after his April 2021 State of the State address while House Speaker Tim Moore looks on. The state budget the three negotiated this year did not include cost-of-living adjustment raises for retired state workers. Instead, they’ll get one-time supplements.

NC retirees

I want to call out the N.C. legislature and Gov. Roy Cooper for throwing retirees under the bus again. It has been more than a decade since retirees have received a meaningful cost of living increase. Instead, we’re given paltry “bonuses” and lip service.

This is a shameful abandonment of the commitment we were promised for serving, some of us in dangerous and unpleasant situations. I was a former N.C. prisons psychologist.

The value of our pension payments have lost considerable purchasing power over these years, some say as high as 16%

Once again, in a year of plenty, we are neglected. Shame on N.C. leaders for failing their dedicated servants again and again. For some retirees it actually means choices between medication, food, electricity or heat.

Michael J. Trangaris, Francestown, NH

Corporate taxes

The proposal to eliminate taxes on C corporations means that N.C. citizens will bear the cost of those services for businesses, whether we use the products or services produced or not. We will also subsidize the sale of their products and services to consumers out of our state and country.

Essentially, the legislature creates a pseudo “corporate welfare” while effectively increasing taxes for all citizens contrary to the political posturing they have done about reducing taxes.

With our poor performance in public education, worker health and safety, environmental protections and roads, maybe our legislators should re-examine their priorities. Our elected officials are supposed to represent all of us once elected and put the public good ahead of self interests, partisan goals, or lobbyist’s causes.

Tim Dixon, Garner

DHHS leader

Regarding “Gov. Cooper’s next pick to lead the NC health department?” (Dec. 1):

Can you imagine making a non-attorney the attorney general? What an uproar there would be. However, it is just fine for someone who is not an MD to be head of the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services. Everyone is an expert these days even though they didn’t go to medical school. Just look it up on Google.

Dr. Christopher Paul Fleming, Cary

Mark Robinson

Our lieutenant governor should not look to hard in the rear view mirror or he will see the hate that he is spewing to our LGBTQ community was once directed at his community just for the color of their skin. I would also add that his “GOP” good ole pals were some of the worst offenders of this hate. Hate never wins.

Jim Morris, Raleigh

Robinson survey

I recently received a survey from Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson entitled “Weaverville Area Policy Impact Survey.” It contained such enlightening yes-or-no questions as: “Do you believe the government should have the power to stop Americans from celebrating the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays with friends and family?” and “Are you in favor of biological males competing in women’s sporting competitions, and vice versa?”

There were 11 more similarly ludicrous and incendiary questions in the survey. Few had relevance to any issues confronting our state government.

I have a question for Robinson: Will you personally commit to fact-based governance instead of fixating on outrageous, nonsensical balderdash, yes or no? I suspect we already know his answer.

Scott Shuford, Weaverville

Johnston schools

Regarding “Some Black students say they’re being racially bullied in Johnston County schools,” (Nov. 24)

Black students have reported multiple incidents of being racially bullied in different Johnston County public schools. County commissioners recently withheld $7.9 million in funding until the school board passed a policy preventing what commissioners called “critical race theory” from being taught.

The county and school leaders elected to spend my tax dollars and educate the children in my community could learn important lessons from the 1619 Project and “critical race theory,” whatever that is.

Racism is a permanent component in our history and our lives today. The events in our schools and the attitudes of commissioners and the school board shame us all and create an atmosphere in the community that we should fear and oppose.

Cliff Mitchell, Selma

Build families

It’s time to get serious about passing the Build Back Better Act. The next child tax credit payment goes out Dec. 15 and if Build Back Better isn’t passed, it will be the last payment.

Social programs in the 1950s contributed to family growth, which contributed to economic growth. According to a Pew Research Center survey released last month, 17% of non-parents ages 18 to 49 don’t want to have children due to financial concerns.

Extending child tax credits another year, extending the earned income tax credit, adding 300,000 new housing vouchers for low-income renters, as well as paid family leave, can help families move forward — an important piece towards having a stronger economy.

I applaud recent passage of the infrastructure bill. Now it’s time to focus on other things this country values — families and children — by passing Build Back Better.

Patti Maxwell, Cary

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