Saturday, October 03, 2009

Revenue Enhancement

This week's question of the weekend concerns the Tennessee Department of Revenue's new mandate to business owners in this State that they must file their business sales tax paperwork online:

The Examiner contacted three Tennessee legislators this week-Stacey Campfield, Frank Niceley, and Tony Shipley. None of the aforementioned members of the Tennessee House of Representatives could recall any legislation passed this past session which gave the Tennessee Department of Revenue the authority to FORCE business owners to file sales taxes online.

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Friday, October 02, 2009

Yes We Can! Wreck the Economy

Saturn vehicles aren't made in Tennessee any longer, but we know that employees at the Spring Hill GM facility where Saturns used to be made will be losing their jobs. The circulating rumor (as of yesterday) is that the GM parts-making facility in Spring Hill may also close. In the Examiner today, I point out that Tennessee legislators and revenue officials can't be the least bit pleased with these developments:

The loss of GM jobs in Spring Hill will already have a harsh impact on next year's State budget. If the parts-making facility also ceases operation in the near future, Tennessee political leaders and the Department of Revenue will not be rejoicing at all. Each job lost represents a taxpayer who can't contribute to the local and State enonomy through the purchase of goods and services. In some cases, the increased job losses could lead to further foreclosures, housing market depreciation, and a general drag on the economic health of the State. A total shutdown of all auto-related manufacturing in the area will likely lead to a significant increase in the demand for State-funded emergency social services, which will be hard-pressed to meet the demand in a budgetary climate that will already be riddled by forced cutbacks due to a general loss in Statewide tax revenue.

Don't you just love nationalized industry? More people out of work and States going even further in the hole, but YES WE CAN!!! These are the people who want to have their way with our health care...I can't wait.

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Thursday, October 01, 2009

Do Tennessee County Governments Work?

In today's Examiner column, I ask the uncomfortable question that most State-level political leaders would rather avoid, and all county officials don't want to discuss, thank you: Are our county governments really effective?:

County Commission is often viewed as being unable to deliberate, and many of its members seem to residents to be blissfully unaware of many of the issues about which they are called upon to make decisions. The county mayor would like to reduce the size of the commission, ostensibly so that he can then have a legislative body which will be more likely to agree with his own plans for the county and its future-a kind of reverse "packing" of the legislative branch of county government with yes-men for the executive.

In neighboring Knox County, the public was convinced to amend the county charter to reduce the size of the Knox County Commission from 19 members to 11 after nearly four years of conflict and chaos in Knox County Government over a term limits amendment to the county charter adopted in 1994 but ignored on the advice of the State Attorney General, who at the time said that the relevant charter amendment was unconstitutional. The Tennessee Supreme Court didn't hear the case until 2006, at which time the Justices declared that the amendment was valid and constitutional.

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Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Nevermind Henry's Experience

In their rush to condemn a member of their own party to the garbage heap, Tennessee Democrats are showing that they really don't care about what is best for Tennessee's future:

If you thought that this year's budget was bad, next year's will be a nightmare. If money could be pulled out of walls or grown on trees to keep the State of Tennessee running, next year will be the year in which it would have to be done. Such would have been the case this year were it not for the false cushion of federal stimulus money. Of course, as in every budget year, this program, that association, or such-and-such an agency will be lining up for their piece of a non-existent pie.

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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Elder Statesmen and Democrats

Some Tennessee Democrats are oh-so-nice to their Elder Statesman:

Doug Henry will continue to be as kind and generous to all of his constituents, even to those who oppose him, as he has always been. Senator Henry is a gentleman and his desire to serve is as genuine as his genteel conduct. All this primary shows is that Democrats just don't appreciate good public servants when they have them.

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Monday, September 28, 2009

Lack of Confidence

There is very little confidence from those who have to deal with the minutiae or running an election that Tennessee can be ready for the Voter Confidence Act by next year, yet we have to be careful about spreading that reality around:

The need for a delay in the implementation of the Act seems to be the only course of action that could save many a beleaguered county election administrator in Tennessee. Few if any Tennessee counties are prepared for the new law as written, and the deadline for the submission of primary petitions and the subsequent printing of ballots for county primaries is about six months away. Early voting in those local primaries will start in April, and that means that ballots will need to be printed and loaded into voting machines by late March. In layman's terms, that means that county election commissions across Tennessee have just over six months to make sure that everything is in order in order to comply with the Voter Confidence Act-a nearly Hurculean feat.

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Sunday, September 27, 2009

Now We'd Better Get Right...

Mark 9:37-47:

John answered him, saying: Master, we saw one casting out devils in thy name, who followeth not us, and we forbade him. But Jesus said: Do not forbid him. For there is no man that doth a miracle in my name, and can soon speak ill of me. For he that is not against you, is for you. For whosoever shall give you to drink a cup of water in my name, because you belong to Christ: amen I say to you, he shall not lose his reward.

And whosoever shall scandalize one of these little ones that believe in me; it were better for him that a millstone were hanged around his neck, and he were cast into the sea. And if thy hand scandalize thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter into life, maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into unquenchable fire: Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not extinguished. And if thy foot scandalize thee, cut it off. It is better for thee to enter lame into life everlasting, than having two feet, to be cast into the hell of unquenchable fire: Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not extinguished.

And if thy eye scandalize thee, pluck it out. It is better for thee with one eye to enter into the kingdom of God, than having two eyes to be cast into the hell of fire: Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not extinguished.

Day of wrath! O day of mourning!
See fulfilled the prophets' warning,
Heaven and earth in ashes burning!

Oh, what fear man's bosom rendeth,
when from heaven the Judge descendeth,
on whose sentence all dependeth.

Wondrous sound the trumpet flingeth;
through earth's sepulchers it ringeth;
all before the throne it bringeth.

Death is struck, and nature quaking,
all creation is awaking,
to its Judge an answer making.

Lo! the book, exactly worded,
wherein all hath been recorded:
thence shall judgment be awarded.

When the Judge his seat attaineth,
and each hidden deed arraigneth,
nothing unavenged remaineth.

What shall I, frail man, be pleading?
Who for me be interceding,
when the just are mercy needing?

King of Majesty tremendous,
who dost free salvation send us,
Fount of pity, then befriend us!

Think, good Jesus, my salvation
cost thy wondrous Incarnation;
leave me not to reprobation!

Faint and weary, thou hast sought me,
on the cross of suffering bought me.
shall such grace be vainly brought me?

Righteous Judge! for sin's pollution
grant thy gift of absolution,
ere the day of retribution.

Guilty, now I pour my moaning,
all my shame with anguish owning;
spare, O God, thy suppliant groaning!

Thou the sinful woman savedst;
thou the dying thief forgavest;
and to me a hope vouchsafest.

Worthless are my prayers and sighing,
yet, good Lord, in grace complying,
rescue me from fires undying!

With thy favored sheep O place me;
nor among the goats abase me;
but to thy right hand upraise me.

While the wicked are confounded,
doomed to flames of woe unbounded
call me with thy saints surrounded.

Low I kneel, with heart submission,
see, like ashes, my contrition;
help me in my last condition.

Ah! that day of tears and mourning!
From the dust of earth returning
man for judgment must prepare him;
Spare, O God, in mercy spare him!

Lord, all pitying, Jesus blest,
grant them thine eternal rest. Amen.

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