Monday, February 12, 2007


Taxing Tennessee

In the past few weeks, Governor Bredesen has reiterated what I have been saying about him for some time now - he's just another tax-and-spend Democrat.

Bredesen - For higher state gas taxes.

Bredesen - For higher state cigarette taxes.

Bredesen - Against any food tax deductions.

All of this in the face of a gigantic revenue surplus and a state bureaucracy that is more obese than when he took office.

Many conservative commentators think Bredesen is just groovy and not at all bad for Tennessee because - with all due respect to them - they've been told that is the way it is and they haven't thought much for themselves.

The fact is that there are more people on the government payroll now than there were five years ago. The fact is that we are being taxed more now than we were five years ago. The fact is that the State of Tennessee spends more now on bloated government programs than it did five years ago (in fact, the State budget for 06-07 is nearly 25% higher than it was when Sundquist left office).

I am interested to see how Lt. Governor Ramsey fights to end the tax on food. Will he find a way to compromise with Bredesen, or will he stick to his guns and refuse to let yet another bloated budget come out of his chamber? The general feeling amongst most Democrats that I have spoken to on the subject is that Ramsey will roll over on this one. I hope they're wrong. I hope that Ramsey has more Dick Armey in him and less Newt Gingrich when it comes to dealing with the Executive.

There are many important issues before the General Assembly this year, but I don't see any more important than getting the unfettered growth of Tennessee government under control.

UPDATE: More from Terry Frank, David Oatney, Volunteer Voters, and Mark A. Rose, along the same lines as above. Of particular note are the figures in Rose's post, because, as he points out, there is still a massive government surplus with the tax on food abolished.

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Here's a balloon I floated last August. It's a "trial" balloon - only a first step to elimination of the sales tax on groceries:
Mike -

Bredesen won't budge at all. He's for higher taxes and increased spending.

I guess it's easy to keep raising taxes when one is made out of money.


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