Letters, Dec. 4

Dec 03, 2013

There’s a downside to reform

To the editor:

The letters r-e-f-o-r-m spell one of the most treacherous words in the English language. It ought never to appear in news columns, as it did in yours on Nov. 24, unless it’s within quotation marks.

What some people pretend to be “reform” often strikes others as an outrageous opposite.

A flagrant — one might say fragrant — example is the North Carolina “tax reform” of which Sen. Jim Davis, R-Franklin, spoke in that recent article.

According to the Budget and Tax Center, which speaks truth to the power he and his colleagues misuse, that “reform” will raise the overall tax burden on eight of every ten North Carolina citizens and reduce it on the wealthiest 20 percent.

The General Assembly’s dirty work this year will also leave the treasury some $650-million a year leaner, spreading a ripple effect of unnecessary hardship on the usual subjects: teachers, teachers’ aides, and school children.

To pay for cutting corporate and personal income tax rates and eliminating the inheritance tax, it repeals personal exemptions, broadens the sales tax, severely limits itemized deductions, abolishes the earned-income tax credit, and — retirees take notice — wipes out the exemption for pension income.

Among other things now to be reached by the sales tax: electricity, piped natural gas, and admissions charged by nonprofit groups such as the Haywood Arts Council and the HART Theater.

Someone with a million-dollar income would save more than $10,000 on average, while a household earning $40,000 could pay as much as $800 more.

The neutral term for this is income redistribution. Republicans profess to oppose it on principle--but do so only when it works the other way. In North Carolina, it means plundering the poor for the benefit of wealthy people like Art Pope, the puppet governor’s budget director.

As quoted in your article, Davis actually claimed that this swindle wasn’t bold enough: his ideal “reform” would spare all income and tax consumers like they’ve never been taxed before.

Shamelessness, it would seem, is now the principal tradecraft of North Carolina politics.

Martin A. Dyckman



Improved fitness has changed a life

To the editor:

I have been overweight since puberty and morbidly obese most of my adult life. Growing up, I was bullied and tormented in every PE class I ever attended.

I have never been good at anything athletic. I’ve never been part of a team. But all that changed when I took a leap of faith and joined CrossFit 2311.

CrossFit is an international fitness movement designed to prepare you for any physical challenge and help you achieve total fitness. But CrossFit is so much more than this.

The community we have built at CrossFit 2311 is made up of people at all fitness levels who encourage each other, spur each other on and cheer for the last to finish! Even the people who are in class before the roosters crow look forward to being together and working out.

Owners Shannon and Eric Yarrington are CrossFit level 1 trainers, USA weightlifting level 1 sports performance coaches and Eric is a doctor of physical therapy. They teach the movements and proper form and cheer for us throughout the workouts. They are encouraging, knowledgeable and dedicated to helping us reach our goals.

When I started CrossFit 2311, I was 100 pounds overweight, could only run 50 meters before giving out and could barely lift a 15- pound bar over my head.

In the last six months, I have lost two clothing sizes, completed two 5K races and can lift a massive amount of weight — all things I never though possible before I walked through the doors of CrossFit 2311.

Check us out at www.CrossFit2311.com and on Facebook. We are young people to retirees, physically fit athletes and completely unconditioned folks all working together to be “better than yesterday!”

Let your faith be bigger than your fear. Come join us.

Kalyn G. Matthews