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Tell It Like It Is

J. Wellington WimpyThe N&O has two strong stories today, juxtaposing budgetary priorities that Chris has already written about. Namely, that Health and Human Services will see their lean budget slashed by 12%, while university booster clubs keep their overly generous financing – all of it. My only complaint is the headline:

Out-of-state athletes keep tuition break

This really confuses people, they start to think, “Oh, come on, we can afford to give an athlete a break, can’t we?” Yes, why not help these students get the educations to which they’re soooo dedicated. Without delving too deeply into the mockery that is big-time college-level sports, this funding is NOT for athletes, out-of-state or otherwise. They get their scholarship money whatever their tuition status.

This money benefits athletic booster clubs. They offer the scholarships, and could certainly afford to continue doing so even in the face of recessions, downturns, shortfalls, and all other manner of financial snafus. Why? Because their wealthy members will pay no matter what the economic weather. They certainly don’t need my help, or yours. They’ve got all the friend they need in my boy who would gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today. The mentally ill citizens of North Carolina could really do with a big cool bud like him. They’ll just have to suck it on the streets and in the jails, though, ’cause they don’t finance campaigns – hell, they probably don’t even vote – and running and winning are the only things he cares about. The Wimp is obviously not alone because there weren’t enough leaders in the legislature to stand up for the people. Too many are too busy boostering boosters. Remember that as you step over the forgotten on the streets on your way to a sporting event.

3 Comments


  1. Kimberly

    August 6, 2009 at 8:02 am

    This absolutely sickens me. Our state elected officials care more about sports programs than they do helping the mentally and physically ill adults and children! This is so incredibly wrong! I could easily write a few pages of how and why and the ramifications of what they have done!! But they wouldn’t care either way because the mentally and physically ill don’t have enough money to throw at them. Our state definately needs campaign finance reform to include a law that would disallow any contributions from the very rich and powerful to our elected officials.

  2. Harold A. Maio

    August 6, 2009 at 11:30 am

    The mentally ill citizens of North Carolina could really do with a big cool bud like him. They’ll just have to suck it on the streets and in the jails,

    You apparently do not know us. Very few of us, just like any other group, are on the streets or in jails. Mental illnesses do not discriminate, we are as likely to be millionaires.

    Did you really not know?

    Harold A. Maio
    khmaio@earthlink.net

  3. Andrea

    August 6, 2009 at 1:07 pm

    Thank you, Harold. I am not trying to imply that mental illness only strikes the poor. You are correct, not all people with mental illness are on the streets or in jail. But far too many of those people who are in jail and homeless are, in fact, mentally ill.

    Mentally ill people who are poor need the state’s care more than those of means. They’re not going to get help with the state de-funding mental health at this rate. Thus, too often, they end up in jail or in under-staffed facilities like Cherry Hospital, from which they’re often discharged without proper planning. The beauty of our private health insurance model is that even people of means who have insurance cannot afford to be mentally ill. They, too, frequently have to rely on the state system for help, help that they will not get because of the skewed budgetary priorities of our Legislature.

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