Saturday, March 01, 2003

Half-Bakered Fisks The Commercial Appeal on Bredesen

Mike Hollihan of Half-Bakered delivers a well-earned rebuttal of the Memphis Commercial Appeal's editorial on Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen. Good (if lengthy) reading, but a few points:

"Currently seven percent, maybe nine [percentage cuts being made in the state budget]. I'm still amazed to see this, and the apparent seriousness of his actions. I'm still in the "cautiously non-pessimistic" category, though. I'm a deeply suspicious person by nature (You're surprised, right?) and I still think it's entirely possible that this isn't good faith on Bredesen's part. Naifeh and the unions that depend on State money have been far too compliant and quiet here.

I think it may also be possible that this is the setup. Bredesen will make cuts and then sit back. As the complaints roll in, as the evidence piles up of people being "hurt," as "services" are cut, he'll slowly begin to make the case that he tried, but real solutions will only happen if we put the income tax back on the table. In other words, this is the "cover your ass" period, to be followed by the "look over there!" period, then to be concluded with the sad, head-shaking "we have no choice" endgame.

I could be wrong; I worry that I'm not."
MIke, I understand you're deeply suspicious by nature, but so far these seem to be the right things to do. Don't you think you should be giving Bredesen the benefit of the doubt that he is doing the right thing? Somehow, remaining suspicious and waiting for him to grow an evil mustache is not helping matters, and is unfair. If he actually does something you disagree with, feel free to criticize, but don't count your taxes before their hatched...

"Naturally, they don't pass up the chance to repeat the tired "horn-honkers" slur, but to claim that protesters rioted inside the Capitol is a plain, pure lie! There is nothing to support that claim but the cold reptilian minds of the editors. Every television station in the State played video of that protest and the crowds inside were loud and barely respectful, but they were merely an angry, aimless, milling crowd."
Regardless of how you define the word "riot", but that does not excuse the shameful and neandrathal behaviour of all the people involved in that "horn-honking, storm the capital" fiasco. Which leads me to....

"Bredesen promised, under all but the most dire of circumstances, to avoid the income tax if at all possible. Probably. He didn't say anything about 'giving it a rest'..."
I understand people were, and continue to be against an income tax. I don't know enough about economics to have a strong opinion either way, although from what I've been able to gather I wouldn't mind if it were implemented, if it would help the Tennessee economy. BUT...too many people who oppose the Income Tax seem to think there is an unholy quality to the idea. Somehow, if it were implemented the portal of the Abyss would be opened and the draconians from within would leap out to devour us and drag the citizenry back into the Abyss for torment by the Dark Queen Takhisis herself... Folks, it's a tax structure, that's all. It's a way of handling money. There are better ways of getting your points across regarding Taxation Methods than the righteous indignation I've seen from the majority of the Anti-Income-Tax laws. There were lawmakers actually running scared from appearing to support it, and some were actually voted out of office because of it. Other issues such as lobbyist bribes are forgiven or conveniently ignored - but should our State Senator support an Income Tax! Burn the Witch!!! C'mon, how about some perspective???

UPDATE: Half-Bakered responds to my response. Or something like that...

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