The Government Can
You don't need to worry about running your own affairs...the government can!
The biggest expense when you raise your own chickens for eggs is the feed. For new hatchlings, you need chick starter. When a hen first starts laying, it is best to give enriched feed designed to produce sturdier, heartier eggshells. Good feed won't break the bank, but it isn't cheap, either. Until the Honorable Phil Governor and his Revenue Commissioner Reagan "Run for the Border" Farr started looking for more ways to strafe the wallets of taxpayers in the last two years of Democratic control in Nashville (2006-2008), we could get an an exemption from paying State sales tax for our chicken feed at our local Farmers' Co-op because it was being used in food production. Now we can't because Phil Governor says we don't own enough land that is in agricultural production.
No decent employer wants to tell their employees that they need to cut their salaries or cut their jobs, and I suspect Governor Bredesen is no different in this regard. However, both Bredesen and the Democrats in the General Assembly forget that the majority of Tennesseans do not work for the State, and that in asking the Legislature to lift the sales tax cap the Governor is asking for the citizens of Tennessee to pay for State employees to keep the same pay that they have while many Tennesseans in the private sector have seen their pay cut in order that their companies can afford to keep them.
Observing the Knox County race from a bit of a distance, I have been surprised at how little I have heard from Tim Hutchison. Both of these candidates have strong positives-Burchett his years of experience in the General Assembly, Hutchison his years of experience in Knox County law enforcement and dealing with a county government that has often been hostile to him. However, in this election cycle Hutchison seems unable to connect with voters, all monetary issues aside. His very public personal financial problems being splashed all over the News-Sentinel hasn't helped his campaign either. Even that, however, can't alone defeat Hutchison. People unfortunately remember the nightmare of January 31, 2007 and-rightly or wrongly-many Knox Countians blame Tim Hutchison for what happened that day (I understand this as a former Knox Countian with many connections in Knox County). I have always thought that Hutchison was unfairly plastered with much of the blame as part of a propaganda hit by Knox County Mayor Mike Ragsdale and his henchmen. Nonetheless, Tim Hutchison's presence in the room that day didn't help his reputation.
Is Attorney General Cooper telling us that the Attorneys General of 13 States are all mad? To listen to some people talk about this legislation and about attempts by various States to fight the federal health care boondoggle in court, one would think that opposition to the health care bill is treasonous and that some cataclysm is imminent whereby the nation will be plunged into the abyss if the offending States are not brought into line.
It may be that the frustration which we expected to see last year has made its appearance this year instead. Democrats are beginning to come to the realization that the 107th General Assembly is likely to have fewer members of their party, making it less likely that they'll be able to influence who the next Speaker of the House is without a coalition. Republicans meanwhile are becoming frustrated with the slow pace of the legislative session since they can't raise campaign money while it is underway and both their primary opponents (if they have them) and any Democrats who they may have to face in November are busy having a field day campaigning, attempting to make the perceived Republican edge disappear by November.