HeroesThe rumors of a budget deal coming from the Senate appear to be true. Senator Jim Kyle not only Tweeted about a deal but I discussed it with Mike Faulk, whose honest reaction to it was that he doesn't like it but he will hold his nose and vote for it anyway, largely because he said that he fears a Senate holdout would bring a government shutdown, and that the House still has too many Democrats to get the House to cave in to a truly balanced budget.
Instead, the compromise reached is said to only contain bonding for building projects, the road bonds which would have placed the State into completely irrecoverable debt are supposed to be out of the agreed-upon framework, pray God. This version of the budget is still a piece of gross excrement, but may have lost the foulest part of its smell. Even my own Representative-who was a solid "no" vote at 2:00pm this afternoon-admits that he now may change his vote, admitting that this deal may be the best we're going to get this year.
It is probably true that Republicans can't squeeze any more political juice out of the Democratic turnip, but I applaud those members who are still willing to put their vote where their mouth is on the budget and refuse merely to hold their noses and accept it. One of these patriots is Jon Lundberg (USN, Ret.), who told me this afternoon "I will vote no on the budget that Ron Ramsey and Jason Mumpower vote yes on. If you think that we have it bad this year, wait until next year, or two years from now if this budget passes. This is terrible, and I have no trouble explaining my vote to my constituents. We need to do this right the first time. I don't care if we are here until Christmas."
As I explained to Jon Lundberg, throughout our history as a State, and certainly as a nation, those who tried to do the right thing to begin with often went it alone and were isolated at first. I believe that history will vindicate every member who votes against this budget as the people who stood in the gap between Tennessee's future and her fiscal ruination.
Jon Lundberg is a hero.
He served our country, and today history will record him in the annals of Tennessee alongside names like Jackson, Blount, Sevier, Hull, and Quillen as people who made a great difference for Tennessee and stood in the gap of history, as it will for all who take the hero's stand today.