Letters to the Editor

Observer Forum: Letters to the editor 04.20.15

In response to “House bill would cut N.C. gas tax” (April 17):

Lower the gas tax but raise fees? No thanks

If Republican Rep. John Torbett of Stanley County ever chooses to leave the N.C. General Assembly he has a great future as a pickpocket.

He appears to have mastered the art of distracting the mark – the taxpayer – while simultaneously removing the contents of their wallets.

We get a bogus gas tax reduction while he proposes raising the auto registration fee $14 and adding a new 6.5 percent tax on auto insurance premiums.

The headline should have read “Higher costs masquerading as tax cut.”

Mary F. Englebert


In response to Paul Krugman “Stark choice awaits voters” (April 14 Viewpoint):

Income divide I see is between Hillary and the GOP crew running against her

Unapologetic uber-liberal economist Paul Krugman, who never met a conservative that he trusted or a progressive he didn’t love, claimed that the growing divide between the Democrats and the Republicans is income inequality.

While Republican rich guys are presenting as many as 20 candidates to represent them in the 2016 presidential race, the Democrats have put up just one single candidate: Hillary Clinton, who by now may be richer than all 20 Republican candidates combined.

What am I missing Paul?

Barry Marshall


In response to “Bank moved to seize home despite insurance policy” (April 17):

Banks have fines to pay and customers are paying the price

Laura Biggs’ situation with a Bank of America subsidiary is just another example of how the banks are running over people. It’s an example of how the banks – all of them – are trying to bolster their profits to make up for the fines that have been imposed.

Bill Lane


Push to expand solar in N.C. would bring new jobs, curb utility rates

The “Energy Freedom” bill before the N.C. General Assembly could be a game changer for many reasons.

First, it’s a Republican-sponsored bill with bipartisan support, a rare thing.

Second, its provisions will allow N.C. citizens to generate and purchase solar electricity on their own property at costs lower than those of utility companies.

It will also bring new green jobs to the state and help curb ever-increasing electrical rates from the big utilities that are fighting the bill tooth and nail.

North Carolina should join Arizona, New York, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania in allowing citizens to reduce energy costs, encourage employment, and care for the environment.

Bruce Yelton


In response to “City must do what rest of us do when we overspend – cut back” (April 17 Forum):

I’m not buying the ‘cut services to the bone to keep taxes low’ argument

The argument Forum writer Lewis Guignard makes presumes there is no base number of dollars needed to fund a growing city like Charlotte. Simply cut services to the bone, if necessary, to keep taxes low.

This mentality of “make more bricks with less straw” is designed to frustrate taxpayers who stand in long lines at every government office, or wait undue lengths of time for services. Then, these “I told you so” naysayers will offer to privatize public services because “corporate America gets things done.”

Those who believe the private sector will do a better job of providing services must not read the Observer. Governments have a level of accountability to the public that private businesses never will.

Betty Hassler


Hudson’s take on middle class taxes nothing like the reality I’m living in N.C.

I read U.S. Rep. Richard Hudson’s op-ed piece about how the middle class in N.C. is suffering under the federal tax burden. (“On tax day, let’s work toward a fairer, flatter system,” April 15 Opinion)

Maybe Mr. Hudson should “phone home” before he speaks.

Almost everyone I know got nailed by the N.C. GOP legislature’s “tax reform.” Middle-class North Carolinians are being forced to take up the slack created by cuts for the wealthy and corporations.

Actually, the “Obama economy” looks pretty good compared to what’s happening in Raleigh.

Jack Matthews