Arts + Entertainment

Republicans in the House and Senate supported a tax bill that was opposed by the majority of Americans. They insisted on passing a flawed, hastily-tacked-together bill with no discussion beyond the Republican caucus in both houses. Why?

Those few of us who will see our federal taxes go down should know that we’re benefitting because the Republicans in the House and Senate have no problem with killing and taking food from the mouths of impoverished children, sick children of the working poor and struggling middle class, and adults with intellectual or physical disabilities. Republicans have admitted that they will sooner or later choose to cut Medicaid, Medicare, and Social Security to repay big donors and buy upper-middle and upper class votes. The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office told us that 13 million people will lose their present health insurance. What many Americans worry about most is prescription medicine costs, yet the White House has already said they can’t keep their promise to bring your medicine bills down.

Are the majority of Americans actually going to benefit from the tax bill? First, let’s define which North Carolina voters we’re talking about because what’s middle class in every state differs in housing and food costs, local and state taxes, and so on.

According to the US Census Bureau, in North Carolina you’re middle class if you make between $33,890 to $101,170 a year. Every non-partisan expert group (for example, Pew Research/Business Insider and Kaiser Family Foundation) said that the lower middle class ($33,800 to about $56,227 per year household income) won’t see much difference. Half of North Carolinians make less than $50,584 a year. In other words, most Trump supporters will get a few crumbs of crow pie for their loyalty.

The Tax Policy Center explained that only the richest families, the top 1 to nearly 5 percent in the U.S. will see much change. Worse still, by 2027 53 percent of Americans will be paying more tax under the new tax bill. So for over half of Americans, the new Republican tax law is going to make you poorer in the long run.

If you are in that lower middle to mid-range in household income — $33,800 to about $68,795 — your tax savings will likely be wiped out by other costs rising, especially higher medical costs, including insurance. Experts predict that health insurance under the Trump administration policies will increase by at least 10 percent. To make matters worse for the middle class, you’ll gradually lose your standard deductions.

So why on earth did Republicans and Trump do this to most of the people who voted them into office? Because the tiny, rich minority of their supporters who gave them huge donations didn’t mind robbing the middle class to make themselves richer. Apparently they believe that their puppets in Congress really can fool all of the people all of the time. Only time will tell whether enough middle class voters are that gullible.

Mary Jane Curry

Haywood County

After voting down the measure just a couple of months ago, the Bryson City Board of Aldermen is now on its way to reversing its decision on the controversial Brunch Bill.

After serving as Bryson City’s town manager for more than a year, Chad Simons will be moving on to Murphy to take on the same position.

In its two years of existence, the Fly Fishing Museum of the Southern Appalachians has shown a willingness to travel.

First, from the mind of fly fishing enthusiast Alen Baker to the wood-paneled space of the Cherokee Chamber of Commerce. Then to the sunny Swain County Chamber of Commerce building in downtown Bryson City. And, soon, to a new building on Bryson City’s Island Street, just across the road from the trout-stocked waters of the Tuckasegee River.

Ben King, the 28-year-old co-owner of Bryson City Outdoors, was not only elected to the Bryson City Board of Aldermen, but the young challenger was the top vote-getter among five candidates with 154 votes.

Bunny Johns became a paddler mostly by accident.

As a college freshman in the early 1960s, she’d lined up a summer job in her hometown outside of Atlanta but returned to discover the position had fallen through. Then a friend of hers called to say she’d been offered a job teaching swimming at Camp Merrie-Woode in Sapphire but didn’t want to go — maybe Johns, who had been a competitive swimmer in high school, would want to take her place?

The five candidates running for Bryson City Board of Aldermen all hold their hometown near and dear to their hearts, but they also have different ideas and hopes for its future.

Heather and Robert Acton have it all figured out. Living on the outskirts of Swain County near the national park boundaries, they have found a perfect balance of business and pleasure.

When Bryson Senior Living, an assisted living facility in Swain County, opens in January, a major void in the community will finally be filled.

After months of negotiations, the town of Bryson City has finally closed on a piece of property that will allow the town to properly store vehicles and maintenance equipment.

Page 1 of 18

Reading Room

  • A strange mix of books crosses my desk
    A strange mix of books crosses my desk The first weeks of 2018 have seen some offbeat books shamble across my desk and into my fingers. First up is John Buchan’s Mr. Standfast, also known as Mr. Steadfast. Buchan, a Scottish novelist and politician who served as Governor General of Canada from 1935…
    Read more...
Go to top