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A little rain couldn’t drown out the voices of a small group of protestors who gathered at the Historic Haywood County Courthouse on Tax Day, April 18, to demand President Donald Trump release his tax returns.

Our new denier-in-chief believes “The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.”

North Carolina Congressman Mark Meadows, R-Asheville, is known as a staunch fiscal conservative, opposing expansive federal fiscal policy set forth by his Democratic colleagues — except when it comes to his own district.

By Norman Hoffman • Guest Columnist

A guest column by Joseph Trisha in the March 22 edition (www.smokymountainnews.com/archives/item/19589) makes a plea for unity and putting aside opposition to President Trump. This would be more credible if the Republicans had done the same for Obama when he became president instead of opposing virtually anything that Obama accepted or supported.

The difference with current concerns about Trump is that his political career is based on lies. His initial ascent in politics, his campaign, and his presidency all have a foundation based on lies. He gained national prominence with the lie that Obama was not born in the U.S. — as if that made a difference. McCain, Romney, and Cruz were all born in foreign countries, yet that was not an issue. Why? Because their mothers, like Obama’s, were all American citizens — and they were white.

During the campaign, Trump lied about almost everything form the Clinton Foundation to unemployment statistics. Trump claimed unemployment was not around 5 percent as the data showed, but as high as 40 percent, which was ridiculous even for a lot of minority subpopulations. As soon as he became president, the 5 percent figure was declared accurate.

Trump lied about giving healthcare to everyone. In point of fact, the TrumpCare bill that he pushed was nothing but a tax cut for the wealthiest. It did not increase healthcare coverage to anyone. More than 20 million people covered by the Affordable Care Act would have lost coverage. Insurance would not have been more affordable for anyone. What the TrumpCare bill did was cut the taxes on the rich in the ACA that help pay for subsidies for those who would otherwise not have coverage.

Trump claimed he had no business with Russia, but his son stated that Russians were involved with a disproportionate proportion of the Trump family businesses. In 2014 Trump bragged that he did business with Russian oligarchs.  Last year his son-in-law met with Russian bank officials who also have ties to the Russian spy agency and possible involvement in money laundering. 

The previous columnist stated, “President Trump has accomplished many positive changes…” However, Trump has no positive accomplishments. The alleged saving of 800 jobs at Carrier was a case of smoke and mirrors. A recent news report indicated that Carrier was cutting 700 jobs in Indiana. Other jobs were also cut. The so-called saved jobs were not going overseas in the first place.

The writer correctly indicates that the debt is an important issue, but not for Trump. His new budget would cut taxes for the wealthy and increase the debt. It makes no economic or mathematical sense to cut taxes if you want to cut the deficit or national debt. One does not take a pay cut to be better able to pay the mortgage. Tax cuts have never improved the economy or created jobs — they have only added to the deficit.

In short, we cannot believe anything President Trump or his administration say. Their history is to say one thing and do the opposite.

(Norman Hoffman lives in Waynesville and can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..)

Renewed concerns about the local impact of President Donald Trump’s proposed budget cuts and his attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act could affect some of Haywood County’s neediest — and smallest — residents.

Many rural Americans who voted for Donald Trump last November did so based on his promise to cut the federal deficit and rein in spending. When he announced his preliminary budget proposal March 16, however, Democrats and Republicans alike were shocked at the extent of proposed cuts to programs that serve some of the nation’s poorest rural communities.

As near as I can tell, the readers of this newspaper are pretty evenly divided on whether I should continue writing columns about President Donald Trump. I get emails, letters, Facebook messages and comments from readers I bump into at church or in the grocery store who assure me that I am contributing something meaningful to our democracy and urge me on, as a member of the much-maligned free press doing my best to speak truth to power. At the very least, those of us in the media who are willing to take on Trump are providing some measure of relief or catharsis to those who feel threatened, disgusted or alienated by the president.

There has never been a president like Donald Trump. There has never been a campaign like the campaign that Trump waged to win the election. And there has never been a first month of a new administration like the first month of the Trump administration.

His detractors — and I am one of them — need to stop saying, “This is not normal.” Of course it is not normal. It was never supposed to be normal. The appeal of Trump was built upon that precipice. The American people were fed up with “normal” as it pertains to American politics, so to use that particular phrase as a rallying cry of the resistance is to miss the point entirely.

By Martin Dyckman • Guest Columnist

The press must be the keyboard on which the government can play.

— Joseph Goebbels, Nazi propaganda minister, March 15, 1933

Donald Trump’s tantrums when he’s criticized or doesn’t get his way betray an emotional maturity that did not get beyond the “Terrible Twos.” Unfortunately, there is no one and no way to send the man-child in the White House to time out. To the contrary, grownups around him and in Congress are encouraging and enabling his behavior because it serves their own dark purposes.

A blanket freeze on federal hiring is having a local impact as the agencies tasked with managing Western North Carolina’s roughly 1.5 million acres of public land halt the hiring of seasonal employees responsible for keeping the area’s national parks and forests safe, clean and educational for the millions of visitors who seek them out each year. 

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