4 RHINO TIMES | Thursday, March 16, 2017 | www.rhinotimes.com



by John Hammer Editor Here is one that is just unbelievable to me. A bill has passed the state Senate to put a constitutional amendment on the ballot to limit the state income tax rate to 5.5 percent. Only two of the 16 Democratic senators voted for it. Who is in favor of higher taxes? I guess the answer is the Democrats, but most people I know would like to pay lower taxes and this bill doesn?t actually do anything except give the voters of the state the opportunity to make that decision. One survey showed that the state income tax cap is supported by 68 percent of North Carolina voters. When the Democrats were in charge of the state and raised the state income tax to over 8 percent, business recruitment and job growth stagnated. When the Republicans lowered the income tax rate, which is currently at 5.5 percent, the economy took off. Maybe Democrats believe that is just a coincidence. What I don?t understand is that if Democrats think the tax rate should be higher, why don?t they send more money to the government? The government does accept donations, so if Democrats think the state tax rate should be 10 percent, why not just pay 10 percent to the state government? If all the Democrats in favor of higher taxes would donate more of their money to the government, then the taxes on the rest of us who like to keep and spend our own money could be lowered. I think it?s a great idea. Allen Johnson?s editorial column in Sunday?s News & Record was, to no one?s surprise, against a bill introduced in the state House to allow concealed carry by people without concealed carry permits. What the column failed to note is that these people can already carry a gun in all the places that they could in the future carry a concealed weapon. The difference is that without a concealed carry permit the gun cannot be concealed. It doesn?t mean you can?t carry a gun, it just means you have to carry it openly. Periodically, the mainstream media will run an article about someone who chooses to carry a pistol on their belt, and as long as it isn?t concealed and they are in legal possession of the Photo by John Hammer Former Guilford County Republican Party Chairman Ernie Wittenborn (left) congratulates the new Guilford County Republican Party Chairman, Troy Lawson, on his election at the Guilford County Republican Party County Convention on Saturday at the Gate City Charter Academy in Greensboro. Lawson was elected at the convention by acclamation. pistol, it?s legal in North Carolina. The law in Texas used to be the opposite. Any legal gun owner could carry a concealed weapon but it was illegal to carry a gun openly. The theory in Texas was that carrying a gun openly was intimidating. The First Rhino Times Schmoozefest of Spring is Thursday, March 23 from 6 to 8 p.m. at Fresh. Local. Good. at 433 Spring Garden St. It will be in the Morehead Foundry, the first multiplex dining facility in Greensboro. Beer, wine and hors d?oeuvres will be served gratis to those who sign in and wear a name tag. City Councilmember Tony Wilkins announced that he was running for a seat on the City Council this year at the Guilford County Republican Party County Convention on Saturday. Right now nobody really knows what the districts will be, so he didn?t say which seat. Under the current system, Wilkins could run for reelection in District 5, for an at-large seat or for mayor. If the new redistricting is upheld by the courts, Wilkins will be limited to running for election from his district or running for mayor. The new redistricting doesn?t have any at-large seats, and, until federal District Court Judge Catherine Eagles announces her decision in the lawsuit challenging those districts, nobody knows whether the city will have elections under the current system or the new eight-district system. We kinda, sorta got some free air time on Fox 8 recently. When Fox 8 anchor Neill McNeill gave the leadin for the Say Yes story, he used the headline from the front page of the Rhino Times, ?Say Yes May Have to Say No,? almost word for word. Even though we broke the story about the financial difficulties of Say Yes to Education Guilford, McNeill didn?t give the Rhino Times credit. I?m sure it was simply an oversight on his part, but a shout-out would have been nice. When you win a big award year after year, it becomes kind of commonplace. The Greensboro Finance Department under Finance Director Rick Lusk has once again won the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting from the Government Finance Officers Association. It?s admittedly not an Oscar, but it?s a pretty big deal in the world of government finance. The city has won the award every year since 1992, so it has a pretty good streak going. Congratulations to Rick Lusk, who also won an award for financial reporting achievement, which I suppose is like winning best picture and best director if you happen to be a finance director instead of a movie director. Back before I was forced to start attending school, my day always started by watching Captain Kangaroo. Or I thought my day should always start with Captain Kangaroo and was pretty upset on weekends when the show wasn?t on. So, with the magic of the internet, I watched a couple of episodes of Captain Kangaroo last week. I didn?t realize that the show ended with the Captain telling his audience not to forget to say their prayers. Can you imagine a network show with that kind of admonition today? The lawsuits would be instantaneous and no doubt Captain Kangaroo would end up in jail, even thought he didn?t advocate any particular religion.

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