Friday, March 04, 2011

The Speaker Comes to Town

Tennessee House Speaker Beth Harwell is coming to Morristown tonight:

East Tennessee's importance in helping to craft the Republican Party as a Statewide political force and shaping the hefty GOP majorities in the State House and Senate is being highlighted tonight in Morristown as Tennessee House Speaker Beth Harwell visits the area to address the Hamblen County Lincoln-Reagan Day Dinner. If you think that the Speaker of the House addressing a regular county party fundraising dinner in a predominately Republican part of the State isn't that big of a deal, someone apparently thinks that it is. Senator Lamar Alexander officially asked if he could attend tonight's event (as if anyone were going to tell the sitting Republican United States Senator from Tennessee "no"), and further inquired if he could be the one to introduce Beth Harwell. The Republican Party has not only arrived as Tennessee's dominant political party, but East Tennessee as the new dominant political region.

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Thursday, March 03, 2011

The Tax Man

Local officials should remember that everyone pays taxes:

One thing that some people need to get out of their head is that there is no such thing in Jefferson County, Tennessee or anywhere else as a "non-taxpayer." Anyone who lives, works, shops, or eats in Jefferson County pays taxes here. Just because you don't own property-and, by the way, this writer does-doesn't mean you don't pay taxes. Did you buy groceries at the Food City this week? You paid Jefferson County taxes. How about eat at the Gondolier? You paid taxes in Jefferson County. Stop at the Dunkin Donuts in the Wilco Hess in White Pine? County Commission is going to get your dime. Pay your property taxes this year? Need I say more?

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Wednesday, March 02, 2011

You Know When It's Real

IN order to change our economic situation, we have to be realistic about it.

The real economic indicator, however, comes when unemployment numbers are examined, and those tell us that one in every seven Tennesseans is without a job. When we include those in that situation who aren't measured in the official statistics because they have dropped off of the unemployment roles, that number likely shrinks to one in every six of our neighbors.

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Tuesday, March 01, 2011

The Continuing Crisis...

With fuel prices so high, it is unlikely we are in for a real economic recovery just yet:

The President and some members of his party want us to think that this is because of "greedy oil companies." In fact, the economic situation we are seeing could be the beginning of a more lengthy economic process wherein we see the price of fuel rise-and as a result nearly everything else as well-because nations around the world are slowly becoming less dependent upon the U.S. Dollar as their reserve currency. If the exporters of major commodities which our country imports-including oil-begin to demand payment for those commodities en masse in something other than the Greenback, we will see prices on nearly everything go through the roof. The fact that our federal government simply prints more money to keep pace with its debts and can afford to do this because of the Dollar's status as the world's reserve currency exacerbates the potential problem. If the Dollar ever loses that status-a prospect that isn't so far-fetched anymore with China signaling that it intends to move away from large-scale government purchases of U.S. Treasury bills.

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Monday, February 28, 2011

Good Reason To Be Mum?

Why isn't Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam saying much about the "union bills" under consideration by the Tennessee General Assembly? There may be a good reason:

The real issue that no one is talking about is why Governor Bill Haslam isn't saying much. Many would say that it is because he doesn't want to offend anyone and therefore is hesitant to take a side. While there may be some truth to that sentiment, a more likely reason for Haslam's relative silence on the Legislature's union-busting bills is that no matter what opinion he holds, it really doesn't matter much. The Republicans in the Tennessee General Assembly have the votes to pass what they want to, and Haslam can either sign it or his veto will likely be over-ridden, since it only takes a simple majority to override the Governor's veto in Tennessee.

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