The Stupid PartyThe twelve Tennessee State Representatives who voted against the final version of the State budget were accused of not wanting to find needed programs. Former House Speaker Jimmy Naifeh even made that accusation from the floor, insinuating that the Mighty 12 were meanies who didn't want to fund anything, but did want the political benefits of signing on to the enabling legislation of programs designed to help schoolchildren or returning wounded war veterans.
There isn't a Representative in the Legislature in either party who wouldn't be proud to help wounded veterans, or give Tennessee kids the best education we can, or fund any of the other necessary programs and projects that make this State a great place to live. However, initiatives should be funded in a way that is responsible and honest about the spending capabilities of the State in the current crisis.
The Republican budget proposal, as well as those who proposed it, were called "stupid" by the Governor because that proposal assumed that revenues would be far less than what the Governor's staff was projecting:
State revenue in June was $134.8 million less than budgeted. State officials said $1.088 billion was collected. The drop marked the 11th consecutive one in the current fiscal year.
Year-to-date collections for 11 months were $1.146 billion less than the budgeted estimate. Finance and Administration Commissioner Dave Goetz said the state is positioned to adjust to the economic downturn.
I would humbly suggest that if the Governor is really attempting to ascertain who the stupid party might be, he should begin by looking in the mirror.