Wednesday, May 30, 2007

The party that screws the working man

As the first session of the 105th General Assembly draws near a close, Governor Phil Bredesen has conveniently decided to reshuffle the budget at the last minute and include-among other things-a tax on propane. I am quite certain the Democratic-controlled House will give the Governor whatever he wants, but I urge those in the Senate who are known from time to time to be wafflers to reject this abhorrent tax.

The so-called party of the common man has presented, through their Governor, a budget to this General Assembly that could give huge corporate tax breaks to large corporations doing business in Tennessee whether they are an in-State company or not. Yet this same budget will not give any relief to middle class and poor Tennesseans through a reduction in the tax on food at the grocery store. The State can spend millions on pork but not give one penny of relief to Tennesseans who need it the most.

Now the Governor wants to tax propane. This is more than just taxing the gas that people may use for their backyard barbecues, though this proposal will certainly do that. The worst part of this tax is that it will hurt the thousands upon thousands of Tennesseans who use propane gas as their winter fuel. It is at these people that the Governor is aiming this tax, and that is a near-certainty. Many of these citizens are lower-middle class or working poor.

This is all leading somewhere, and the somewhere it is taking us is right back to another income tax debate. The Governor knows that Republicans and many right-thinking Democrats will oppose this measure, and I would venture to say that he will attempt to hold up the income tax as the "only viable alternative"-nevermind our massive surplus. It will be even worse if the propane measure should pass and we happen to have a particularly bad winter-who shall bear the brunt of the Governor's needless tax?

They will tax the gas many Tennesseans use to heat their homes. They tax the food we eat. They are not content with their other sales and utility taxes. A $1.3 billion surplus is apparently not enough for these people. Next they shall tax our very living so that when we do begin to do well for ourselves, our living is taxed away. I am certainly not opposed to wealth that is honestly earned, but some folks forget where they came from when they make their millions, and I believe our Governor is one of these people.

If these measures pass as they are being proposed, the Governor might as well just punch the middle class square in the eye, not to mention spit in the face of the working poor. The Tennessee Democratic Party is many things, but a party that represents working people it is not, and it proves this by the hour.

It is a shame we must wait another year for an election, because the people of Tennessee cannot afford another second of a Democratic-controlled General Assembly.



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