Tuesday, June 12, 2007

The daily torture

The arrogance of the Democratic majority in the Tennessee House of Representatives shows itself by the day. Yesterday, a Republican Representative was flatly told that his opinion didn't matter. Rep. Mike Bell of Riceville raised the point on the House floor that the proposed propane tax would affect the poor of his district worst of all. He was concerned, he said, because many people in his district-like tens of thousands of Tennesseans all over our State-heat with propane during the winter. Many of these folks are people of very modest means, and some are living in poverty.

As written here before, the propane tax is more than just an issue of taxing people who are grilling out. Were that all that was being done here, bad as that might be, it would be a tax on a luxury much like liquor or tobacco taxes. A tax on propane affects those who heat with it worst of all, and most of those people are just getting by in life. Mike Bell should know something about raking and scraping, he is raising five children who are home-schooled. If anyone can have a little sympathy for those who have to cut corners, I am quite sure that Rep. Bell can.

His views do not matter, he was told, for it is going to pass anyway.

What the Democrats really want, of course, is an income tax. They are quite aware that the people of Tennessee do not want an income tax. The last time the people of Tennessee believed that one was going to be imposed upon them, there was a near-riot at the Capitol. Knowing that any further talk of an income tax will likely bring about the demise of Democratic legislative control, the Democrats have turned to a new tactic: We cannot have our way, so we shall make the people suffer. They believe that if they pile on additional taxes on things like propane and funerals and tires-taxes that we do not need since we have one of the largest surpluses in the Union-that people will clamor for relief and simply be told that the only relief will be an income tax. This is their strategy-politics through pain.

The conduct of the Democratic majority is such that they daily prove themselves unworthy of the mantle of power. The Leadership of the Republican Caucus should take note because the Democrats' conduct this session has been nothing but a daily campaign advertisement for Republican control of the House. Session clips ought to be used in ads next year so that the arrogance can be plainly shown to the people. We have a majority that is content to make everyone suffer, rich and poor alike, and they care about no one or nothing in this State except for themselves and the maintenance of their own control. They are like swine in a mudhole when they are together at the Capitol.

Mercifully, I was told that the legislative session could end today. For the sake of all of us and our ever-shrinking wallets and bank accounts, I pray that the torture ends today.



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