October 17, 2008
On September 18, 2008, the Smoky Mountain Times published this letter to the editor:
The most important presidential election of our time is approaching soon and the residents of North Carolina, and Swain County in particular, have a lot of issues to consider when deciding who they will support to lead our country.
A few things to consider are that since President Bush took office, we’ve lost more than 3 million good manufacturing jobs. Poverty has increased by 25 percent. The price of gas has increased from $1.50 to almost $4.00 a gallon and we are going broke as a nation financing, by borrowing from the Chinese, tax breaks for the wealthy that never should have been given and at the same time financing a war that never should have been started – a war that’s costing $10 billion a month.
Another huge issue is the fact that 47 million Americans are without health insurance. That is a national disgrace. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Table H1A-4, the numbers in North Carolina are even more startling. When George Bush took office in 2000 there were 1,191,000 North Carolinians without health insurance. During the next six years, when the Republicans controlled the White House, and both houses of Congress, that number rose to 1,585,000 hard working citizens of our state unable to afford health insurance. That is a whopping 52 percent increase in uninsured people in North Carolina alone! These statistics can be verified at www.census.gov. A vote for John McCain and Sarah Palin is a vote for more of the same.
What is the Republican response to this national disgrace? John McCain and Sarah Palin want to make those of us fortunate enough to have employer-provided health coverage to pay income tax on those benefits. They want to cut back employer-provided health care, leaving workers to fend for themselves in the private insurance market.
McCain has also tried to repeal the minimum wage and he continues to support tax breaks for Big Oil.
The choice is clear for ordinary working people. Unless you have done a whole lot better than I have in the last eight years, you should be ready for a change in Washington. That change can only come by supporting Barack Obama and Joe Biden.