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On debt ceiling, Sen. Tillis got it right. Sen. Budd got it wrong.

Aug 03, 2023

Sen. Ted Budd feels he supported N.C. residents’ wishes by opposing the compromise debt ceiling agreement. However, many of those he serves would have been harmed if Budd and his conservative Republicans prevailed and their Social Security or VA benefit checks did not come. While I may not agree with Sen. Thom Tillis’ politics, I give him credit for knowing when to compromise and work for the benefit of all North Carolinians. Enough political division. Let's work for the good of all Americans.

Mark G. Rodin, Morrisville

Gov. Roy Cooper and Chatham County officials are confident in VinFast's corporate vision even though a May 26 Wall Street Journal commentary suggested the Tar Heel state bought a lemon. The state and county have been making way for the VinFast project — destroying homes, businesses and a historic church. Since signing its N.C. incentive package, VinFast has delayed without rescheduling its IPO, delayed its start-up for one year, had three top sales executives resign, and lost $2.1 billion last year. What's happening here is reprehensible. What kind of people does Cooper have making incentive decisions for the taxpayers? What an embarrassment. He needs to delay or stop this project immediately.

Philip Johnson, Siler City

Although I’m registered as an unaffiliated voter, I generally lean toward Republican positions. However, I totally disagree with the position N.C. Republican leaders are taking on teacher salaries.

When you combine the importance of the position, the shortfall of candidates, and the impact they have, it's hard to believe increased salaries are being limited to a paltry 4.5% over two years. Any good leader would understand the need to investigate why an important position is not being filled. Teacher salaries are undoubtedly a primary reason.

If you compare the impact of teachers vs politicians, you are rewarding and compensating the wrong people. Yet, it was decided to increase salaries for politicians over that of teachers. I’m very disappointed and embarrassed by the Republican Party on this issue.

Frank Acquanita, Garner

When tweeting about private school vouchers, Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson stated "Our Republican legislature is allowing families to chart their own educational destinies because they know what their children need better than a bureaucrat." So according to Robinson, when it comes to educational decisions, families know best and the government shouldn't be involved. But when it comes to abortion decisions, it's OK for bureaucrats to tell us what to do?

Jessica Bell, Rolesville

The Republican legislation that would allow private school students of any income to receive Opportunity Scholarships negates the concepts behind the scholarships and the charter schools that benefit from them.

Opportunity Scholarships were sold as a way to give students from low-performing public schools an opportunity to attend schools that offer a higher level of education, and charter schools were supposed to be models for that higher level of education.

If students already enrolled in private schools receive these scholarships, they remain at their schools and just substitute government money for family or school financing. There is no upgrade in education level. This would simply be a tax cut through third parties. The claim that these scholarships (to the already-enrolled) improve education is absurd.

Irv Shiffer, Garner

Regarding "Should UNC athletes get academic credit for what they learn from sports? (May 31 Opinion):

The UNC Faculty Athletics Committee chair argues that universities are asking student athletes to do too much. She proposes student athletes be given credit for sport-related courses in lieu of academic courses.

I got an excellent education at Carolina. It has been hard to watch Carolina follow other universities gradually turn into sports businesses with academic departments attached.

The university does not demand too much time from student athletes. The sports programs do. The remedy is to reduce the excessive time spent on sports so student athletes have time to get a genuine education and earn degrees that benefit them for life.

Larry McBennett, Raleigh

Raleigh is closing the Jaycee Park Recycling Center in response to illegal dumping. (May 23) This is the opposite of what should be done. Raleigh needs more recycling centers and solid waste disposal facilities, more conveniently located and equipped to accept things people need to dispose of.

People have demonstrated that they’ll bring trash to conveniently located centers, such as the one at Jaycee Park, but they are not going to drive 25 minutes to Deponie Drive to discard a few corrugated boxes and a defunct toaster oven.

The waste is not going to stop coming, particularly as the population expands. A city that's serious about recycling and solid waste disposal would not close recycling centers — it would expand them.

Richard Ferguson, Raleigh