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Don’t squander the coming surplus

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JOHN HOOD Syndicated Columnist Here’s the good news: North Carolina’s state budget is solidly in the black. From July to December, the first six months of the fiscal year, General Fund revenues are up four percent over the same time last year. At the same time, General Fund expenditures are…

Government Waste: Frittering away the funds

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ED FEULNER Guest Columnist I have good news for lawmakers looking to purge wasteful spending from the federal budget: It’s a target-rich environment out there. That’s not to say you won’t encounter pushback from special-interest groups bent on preserving their slice of the pie. But a quick tour of the…

Our View: Trump’s wall won’t make us any safer

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President Donald Trump’s wall along the southern border will not make this country safer. It will not protect American jobs. It will not stop illegal immigration. It will, however, cost many billions of dollars, with an incredibly low return on investment. Any minimally shrewd businessman should know better. Trump’s plan…

Give me money, or I’ll cut the arts program

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PAUL T. O’CONNOR Syndicated Columnist School officials say they need more money to fulfill an unfunded mandate from the legislature so, to exert political leverage on lawmakers, they’re citing the dreadful cuts they’ll have to make without a new infusion of cash. They could threaten to eliminate football and basketball,…

Be realistic about bipartisanship

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JOHN HOOD Syndicated Columnist Whether the frame of reference is North Carolina or the nation as a whole, no one can dispute the fact that there is a partisan divide — and that it has been growing. If you look at public opinion surveys over time, you will find that…

Fearing Trump, hating Obama

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ROB CHRISTENSEN Guest Columnist A large segment of the country viewed the inauguration of President Donald Trump Friday with trepidation. Many others were glad to see former President Barack Obama vacate the White House. If you think political polarization is getting worse, you are right. Polls show Bill Clinton was…

Our View: Press or politician?

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Journalists are supposed to hold themselves to a code of ethics that is designed to avoid appearances of conflicts of interest and bias and maintain high standards of integrity. Readers and viewers rely upon journalists to present the facts in a manner that’s free from the journalist’s political opinions, which…

A January week to ponder again race and schools

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FERREL GUILLORY Guest Columnist In its 1954 ruling in Brown v. Board of Education, the U.S. Supreme Court spoke in powerfully direct language. As it struck down the South’s “separate but equal’’ schools for whites and for blacks, the unanimous court declared, “Separate educational facilities are inherently unequal.” “Today, education…

Trump’s inaugural address, and the words that were missing

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WALTER OLSON Guest Columnist Donald Trump, in his inaugural address: “The oath I take today is an oath of allegiance to all Americans.” A harmless rhetorical flourish, no doubt, and one that Trump is by no means the first to make. And yet… Note that the president’s actual oath of…

Assessing Barack Obama’s foreign policy

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CHRISTOPHER A. PREBLE Guest Columnist President Barack Obama’s critics are happy to see him go, even as some acknowledge that he carried himself with dignity and grace for eight years in office. He departs the presidency with favorable approval ratings among the public at large, but is handing over power…