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Interest can drive progress

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JOHN HOOD Syndicated Columnist If you base your political views on the assumption that people don’t tend to act in their self-interest, you doom yourself to chronic disappointment. That’s not to say that most people are venal, evil, or contemptuous. They aspire to serve their fellow human beings and care…

The University of North Carolina system’s new president

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Margaret Spellings’ tenure as president of the University of North Carolina system might not quite be the “fruit of the poison tree,” as Wilmington’s own Thom Goolsby put it. Still, the former U.S. education secretary will find her service hobbled by the manner of her selection. At best, she will…

Budget deal undermines tax reform

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CHRIS EDWARDS Guest Columnist The budget agreement between congressional leaders and the Obama administration would break prior budget caps and increase spending over the next two years by $80 billion. The Bipartisan Budget Act (BBA) of 2015 would theoretically offset that cost with savings down the road, but promises of…

More mission creep in an illegal war

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GENE HEALY Guest Columnist In the 15 months since the president unilaterally launched our latest war in the Middle East, he’s repeatedly pledged that he wouldn’t put U.S. “boots on the ground” in Syria. As he told congressional leaders on Sept. 3, 2014, “the military plan that has been developed”…

School vouchers: We need accountability before further expansion

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MATT ELLINWOOD Guest Columnist The subject of school vouchers remains a controversial and divisive matter in North Carolina. To many opponents, they pose an existential threat to the future of public education. To many proponents, they are a potential cure for all that is broken or imperfect in K-12 schools.…

OUR VIEW — An odd comparison

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A common tactic in political rhetoric is to conflate issues, in ways that don’t quite make sense, for the sake of an argument. State Sen. David Curtis did just that, in a story published in Wednesday’s edition, when discussing the Supreme Court’s ruling that legalized same-sex marriage and the North…

The sour mood of millennial voters

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PATRICK GANNON Syndicated Columnist The mood of Millennial voters ahead of the 2016 elections is a “sense of helplessness.” Voters ages 18 to 34 see a nation very much divided along partisan, racial and socioeconomic lines. “There is a sense that we cannot come together as a nation, that the…

Who said this about whom?

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D. G. MARTIN Syndicated Columnist The candidate “has the knack of doing things and doing them noisily, clamorously; while he is in the neighborhood the public can no more look the other way than the small boy can turn his head away from a circus parade followed by a steam…

Health plans post big losses

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JOHN HOOD Syndicated Columnist When the Affordable Care Act passed Congress in 2010, analysts from the Congressional Budget Office, the federal agency overseeing Medicare and Medicaid, and private-sector allies released estimates for how many Americans would enroll in ACA-exchange plans over the ensuing years. For 2016, the average projected enrollment…

We should expect more from presidential candidates

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MICHAEL GEBELEIN Managing Editor There was a time in American history, and it wasn’t that long ago, that we expected our leaders to be intelligent people. Our culture valued education and the arts and sciences and there was an expectation that our leaders, and candidates, were the kind of people…