To the Editor:
On Monday this first week of August, a group of people showed up in Raleigh complaining about teachers’ pay and the budget for the coming school year. Does anyone believe that Gov. Pat McCrory has a “stash” of money hidden in Raleigh somewhere he can use to increase pay for teachers or any other state employee?
We all know that teachers deserve more money, but how do we solve the problem? We have 1.7 million people in North Carolina on food stamps, up from 1.6 million the year before. Nationally food stamp use has gone up from 17.7 million people in 2006 to 46.6 million now. These numbers came from the Asheville Citizens Sunday Paper.
Our teachers are ranked in the bottom of the barrel nationally as far as pay goes. Our state’s tax rates have been the big reason these numbers are so high. Gov. McCrory and the Republicans have just redone our state tax rates to make us a more business-friendly state. We are now listed as one of the more friendly states to expand an existing business or start a new business. Adding new businesses and helping the unemployed find work is the key to rebuilding our state’s economy. Adding tens of thousands of new taxpayers to our employment rolls is the only way to build up our state’s income. When our state’s income goes up then teacher pay will follow.
Like Detroit, Gov. Beverly Perdue kept borrowing money from the U.S. Treasury to balance the budget. The Republicans are now forced to pay that money back along with the interest. Perhaps the people who went to Raleigh think the Republicans should keep borrowing money like Gov. Perdue did. That would be a grave mistake.
Gov. McCrory has put North Carolina on the path to economic recovery. It is always painful to do the right thing. We should be grateful our governor and his legislators have the guts to do the right thing for our state.