Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Gov. Bill Lee proposes two-week sales tax break on dining out, groceries in budget amendment

State of Tennessee press release, Tuesday, April 13, 2021,  NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Today, Tennessee Governor Bill Lee announced his amendment to the proposed Fiscal Year 2021-2022 budget.

The amendment includes $580 million in available funds as a result of fiscal prudence. These funds will be invested in strategic long-term projects that focus on a return to pre-pandemic priorities and deliver critical services while not growing government. The budget amendment also includes nearly $100 million for a two-week sales tax holiday on all grocery sales, purchases at restaurants, and all prepared food. 

“This proposal supports Tennesseans by strategically investing in long-term initiatives that will move our state forward,” said Gov. Lee. “I’m especially proud to provide tax cuts to get money back to Tennesseans to encourage them to frequent industries that have been disproportionately and negatively impacted this year.” 
 
This amendment reflects the Governor’s priorities and includes record investments in broadband, economic development, safety and law enforcement, increasing reserves, and education. 
“Due to Tennessee’s strong financial leadership, Tennessee has been ranked number one in fiscal stability by US World News & Report in both 2019 and 2020,” said Commissioner of Finance and Administration Butch Eley.
  
“Our prudent and cautious approach has established Tennessee as a leader in fiscal conservatism, and we thank the General Assembly for their partnership in these efforts.” 

Notable investments in the FY 21-22 budget amendment include:
 
Tax Cuts 
  • $25M for a two-week sales tax holiday for groceries 
  • $75M for a two-week sales tax holiday for restaurants and all prepared food 
  • $16M to reduce the professional privilege tax by 25 percent 
K-12 Education and Mental Health 
  • $250M trust fund to assist K-12 families who are facing significant mental health issues in the wake of COVID-19 
  • $18.5M to transportation to students for summer learning 
  • $2M to provide an additional 4 high quality, grade aligned books and resources over the summer for the 88,000 rising first graders in Tennessee 
Higher Education 
  • $79M to eliminate current TCAT waitlists statewide, currently at 11,400 students 
  • $25M to Tennessee Promise to permit increases in the Hope Scholarship 
  • $4M to increase Agriculture Extension Agents at University of Tennessee and Tennessee State University 
Rural & Agriculture 
  • $50K to support the state fair (in addition to the $250,000 recurring in originally proposed budget for total of $300K and $5M non-recurring) 
  • $3M to provide additional funding for rural projects as part of the Rural Economic Opportunity Fund (in addition to $21M in originally proposed budget for total of $24M) 
Safety 
  • $500K to provide gun safety programming for children 
  • $17M to replace radios for state troopers 
  • $18M to improve the statewide disaster communications system 
  • $680K to add 4 new Homeland Security Agents 
Economic Development 
  • $5M to provide grants to restore and preserve historic downtowns across the state 
  • $3M to increase employment in Tennessee through the Small Business Innovation program
Transportation 
  • $3M recurring and an additional $10M nonrecurring to provide additional direct funding to airports across Tennessee through the Transportation Equity Fund (total $50M investment in air infrastructure) 
To view the full budget amendment, click here.

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I got a fundraising letter from the Tennessee Democratic Party today.

by Rod Williams - I doubt many Republicans get Democrat fund raising letters but I like to know what the other side is up to so I subscribe to the Tennessee Democratic Party newsletter and occasionally get a communication or fundraising email from the Tennessee Dems. 

Now, I don't take fundraising letter rhetoric very seriously. They are by nature inflammatory. Both sides, in order to motivate their supporters to give, have to get them riled up. Pointing out how evil the other side is seems to work better than touting the benefits of your side's policy positions and accomplishments, so often partisans resort to demonizing the other side. I am okay with that because I think Democrats need to be demonized. Abortion-on-Demand, Defund the Police, Socialism, The Green New Deal, advancing Critical Race Theory, trampling the constitution, and bankrupting America deserve demonetizing. Hell, Dems may be demons, or demon possessed or demon fellow-travelers and demon apologist. Demonize away! 

While there are many caring and good people who vote Democrat, and I have some among my family, the philosophy for which they vote, I do think is evil.  These people I love are not themselves evil, but they vote for evil. It is okay to demonize evil. 
 
I recently got an email from Hendrell Remus, Chair of the Tennessee Democratic Party.  There is nothing earth shattering in this April 14th fundraising newsletter but I thought readers might find the tone interesting. Here are a couple excerpts. the bold highlighting is mine.

Rod, 

Bill Lee, Marsha Blackburn, Bill Hagerty – they’re all the same. They are Trump’s legacy and will continue to push his hateful ideology and dangerous agenda as long as they remain in power. That’s why the TNDP is laser focused right now on our Build Back Blue program, and why we need help reaching our mid-month goal. We still have $4,790 to raise before midnight tomorrow. Will you help? 

Notice the anti-Trump emphasis.  We can expect this for years to come. While some may not like Trump or be disappointed in him, it is hard to overstate how much Democrats hate him.  I myself am not a huge Donald Trump fan.  I certainly preferred his policies to those of the Democrats but thought Trump a bully and a BS artist with an oversized ego and was not even sure he was a conservative. I doubted he had an ideology or even core values to which he was committed.   Democrats, however, think he is "a monster," or "the greatest threat to mankind since Adolph Hitler."  Their hatred of Trump was visceral and that was from day one. They will use Trump to raise money as long as Trump is around. 

More:

The TNDP has been long overdue for an overhaul, and that’s exactly what we’re doing now.

"Long overdue for an overhaul;" is this a slap at  former chair Mary Mancini?  She did not reverse the losing streak of Tennessee Democrats and in fact I think the number of Dems holding office continued to shrink in Tennessee while she was chair.  I thought she was the wrong person to build the party but was pleased to see her in the role as chair because I did not want to see the party rebuilt.  I did not think she would be able to appeal to that moderate rural voter in say, Carol County or White County.  In fairness, I don't think any chair could have done much better. Maybe, someone with a Tennessee accent and Tennessee roots could have done a little better, but not much.  The Democrat Party has moved so far to the left that they can not appeal to most Tennesseans.  

For one thing, there is not much of a middle.  We are divided into our respective camps and there are not many people who are wavering or are persuadable or undecided. Face it, the Democrat Party's values and policies are not attractive to most Tennesseans. The Democratic Party is simply too woke, too socialist, and too radical to appeal to Tennessee voters. The Democratic Party is out of touch with Tennessee voters.

Currently the Democrat party has two blue islands in a sea of red. Democrats have a lock on Memphis and Nashville.  Democrat prospects for wining beyond these two liberal strongholds depend on immigrants moving into the state and voting for the same policies that created the disaster of the places they fled; not in changing the minds of Tennesseans who vote Republicans.  While their parents and grandparents may have voted Democrat, Tennesseans recognize that the Democrat Party of John F. Kennedy is not the Democrat Party of today. I don't think many Republicans will be persuaded to return to the Democrat fold.  I don't think an overhaul will help the Tennessee Democrat Party.

Continuing:

The TNDP has been long overdue for an overhaul, and that’s exactly what we’re doing now. On April 22, our Build Back Blue Kickoff event will mark a turning point in our efforts towards defeating Bill Lee and his co-conspirators.

"Bill Lee and his co-conspirators?" This is just thrown out there without any explanation. How did Bill Lee conspire and with whom did he conspire and what did he conspire to do?  I really do not know what he is talking about. 

Continuing:

P.S. Please, only donate if you can afford to. The impacts of this pandemic are real, and we completely understand if times are tough right now.

What??? I guess as long as Dems have the super rich liberals they don't need money from the little ole ladies on Social Security.  I have never seen a Republican fundraiser letter excuse a person for not giving.  I get inundated with Republican fundraising letters and never have I been given and escape hatch for not giving. I think Republicans would talk the grandma on social security eating cat food out of a can, out of her last dime.  Maybe, in some ways, Democrats are kindler and gentler. 

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Join The Bastiat Society of Nashville on April 29th | "Where Have All the Capitalists Gone?" with Richard Salsman



Dear Rod,

AIER's Bastiat Society of Nashville invites you to join us on April 29th at 6:00pm for an in-person event with AIER Senior Fellow Richard Salsman

The past two decades have seen a widening, intensifying hostility toward capitalism, even though few people can even define it. Capitalism has become a scapegoat for a range of personal displeasures and societal ills. Not long ago, in the 1980s and 1990s, respect for capitalism was increasing and spreading; in the middle of those decades (1989-1991), the U.S.S.R. collapsed and the Cold War ended peacefully, with freer systems (U.S. and U.K.) the obvious winners. Yet this victory for liberty has been derided by so-called intellectuals as "neo-liberalism." 

The last two decades have seen a tragic revival of anti-capitalist ideologies and practices, including Marxism, Keynesianism protectionism, nationalism, and racism. What explains this? How can it be fixed? Who were the pro-capitalist champions that created the 1980s and 1990s? Do they exist today? Where have they gone? Dr. Salsman answers these important questions. The key point: capitalism requires a moral defense, not merely an economic one. 

The Bastiat Society of Nashville's speaker series is co-sponsored by The Beacon Center of Tennessee & The Political Economy Research Institute (PERI) (affiliated with Middle Tennessee State University). This co-sponsorship does not necessarily constitute endorsement of the speakers' positions on the issues discussed. 

Ticket Prices: 
$0 for Founding Members 
$10 for Annual Members 
$20 for Non-Members $0 for Actively enrolled university students who register with a .edu email address. Those who register with a non- .edu email address will be unregistered and asked to purchase tickets at full price. 

Registration Required. Let us know if you're coming.
More about the speaker: 
Dr. Richard M. Salsman is an assistant professor of political economy at Duke University, founder and president of InterMarket Forecasting, Inc., a senior fellow at the American Institute for Economic Research, and a senior scholar at The Atlas Society. In the 1980s and 1990s he was a banker at the Bank of New York and Citibank and an economist at Wainwright Economics, Inc. Dr. Salsman has authored three books: Breaking the Banks: Central Banking Problems and Free Banking Solutions (1990), Gold and Liberty (1995), and The Political Economy of Public Debt: Three Centuries of Theory and Evidence (2017). His next book, Where Have all the Capitalists Gone? (2021) will be published by the American Institute for Economic Research. Dr. Salsman has authored a dozen chapters and scores of articles. His work has appeared in the Georgetown Journal of Law and Public Policy, Reason Papers, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, Forbes, the Economist, the Financial Post, the Intellectual Activist, and The Objective Standard. Dr. Salsman earned his B.A. in economics from Bowdoin College (1981), his M.A. in economics from New York University (1988), and his Ph.D. in political economy from Duke University (2012).

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Sunday, April 11, 2021

Truth in Taxation will give TN taxpayers a fighting chance to stop a massive tax hike.

From Americans for Prosperity- Tennessee


Listen to the AFP-TN team breakdown "Truth-In-Taxation." 

Truth in Taxation will give TN taxpayers a fighting chance to stop a massive tax hike. When a city has a reckless spending & debt problem ( Nashville) they will be required to give advance public notice before raising taxes. 

Let your lawmakers know you support (HB 1315 / SB 1353) by emailing them here: www.truthintaxationtn.com 
Or, join us in person at the Property & Planning Subcommittee hearing:
When: Tuesday (4/13) at 4:30pm
Where: Cordell Hull Building (425 Rep. John Lewis Way N, Nashville, TN 37243) -- Hearing Room III (3).

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A Voter ID laws Comic Book



 













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Friday, April 9, 2021

Former scumbag disgraced judge, Casey Moreland, gets out of federal prison this weekend.

by Rod Williams, April 9, 2021 - Remember Judge Casey Moreland? You should.  He was the Davidson County General Sessions judge who pled guilty to obstruction of justice, retaliating against a witness, theft from a federally funded program, destruction of records and witness tampering. Details of his offences included swapping favorable treatment of women who appeared before him in court in exchange for sex. It also involved stealing money from a non-profit foundation he sit up to help people who needed substance abuse counseling services and could not afford it.  In the investigation of these crimes it was exposed that he hosted trips for other judges and lawyers and supplied prostitutes and marijuana. 


Corruption appears to have been a way of life for Moreland, not a lapse in Judgment. There was the case reported in the Tennnessean on March 21st of this year involving Circuit Court Judge Michael Binkley of Williamson County that reveals more of Moreland's corruption.  In a case before Judge Binkley, Binkley slapped a fine of $700,000 on one of the lawyers arguing a lawsuit.  This huge fine reportedly appeared to be prejudicial and vindictive. This led to a state appellate court booting Binkley off the case and striking down his sanctions order. In the process of this action, it was revealed that Binkley had been caught in a prostitution sting in 2010, two years before he was elected to the bench. But, get this! Former Davidson County General Sessions Court Judge Casey Moreland had erased all record of it the same day Binkley was arrested.  Had this not been done, Binkley would never have been elected as judge.

Judges once elected are hardly ever scrutinized and are hardly ever defeated when running for reelection.  How many people did Moreland punish for prostitution or marijuana arrest?  How many blowjobs did he get for reducing some poor women's sentence? When a judge shares pot and whores with an attorney who will appear before him in court, can one expect impartial justice? How many judges are just as corrupt?

Lawyers, other justices, and other elected officials and Democrat Party insiders have to know this stuff goes on, yet they keep quite about it and let it continue. Just how corrupt is the judicial system? I don't know, but I assume the corruption runs deep. Shame!     



Casey Moreland
Casey Moreland
May 24, 2018 - The Casey Moreland scandal is a disgusting tale of corruption, bribery, embezzlement, obstruction of justice, greed and taking advantage of the powerless by the powerful.  I hope they throw the book at him.

Nashville is probably no more corrupt than many other cities but power corrupts. Casey Moreland is an example of why we need a vibrant press, an engaged political opposition, citizens who are paying attention, and a healthy skepticism and distrust of government.  For more on the Casey Moreland affair follow these link: here, here, and here.

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Thursday, April 8, 2021

Here are the 10 Safest Cities in Tennessee for 2021

 

1. Church Hill 
2. Signal Mountain 
3. Mount Carmel 
4. Oakland 
5. Whiteville 
6. Camden 
7. Pleasant View 
8. Brentwood 
9. Loudon 
10. Atoka 

For details behind this list and to see if your city made the top 20, follow this link

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Life-time health insurance for former council members drastically reduced

by Rod Williams, 4/8/2021 - After an effort of more than ten years, finally the provision of life-time health care insurance for former council members has been curtailed.  It has not been completely eliminated but significantly reduced.  The bill reforming this benefit for former council members passed Tuesday night. 

Currently, and it has been this way since sometime in the eighties, once a council member leaves office, he may continue to receive Metro health insurance under the same terms as a current metro employee.  The former councilman pays 25% of the premium. We are the only city in America providing such a generous benefit to former council members.

As changed, former two-term council members would continue to get the metro health benefit for two years and would pay 25% of the premium.  Then, for two years they would pay 50% or the premium and then the portion paid by the former councilmember would increase to 75% of the premium. When they reach age 65, the Metro insurance becomes their secondary insurance to Medicare.  Probably most would drop it at that time because there are better plans for a secondary insurance rather than paying 75% of the premium for Metro insurance.

The "whereas" section of the bill (with portions highlighted by the me)  explains why this change needed to occur:

WHEREAS, in 2019, Metro Council members received a $8,100 raise approved in the prior term which was recommended by the Department of Human Resources under the belief to properly compensate Metro Council would help to promote a more diverse and inclusive Council body; and

WHEREAS, the citizens of Davidson County expect the Council to manage taxpayer money wisely, yet over $800,000 per year is spent on a benefit for Councilmembers that is not offered to other part-time Metro Government Employees; and

WHEREAS, the Metropolitan Government spent $837,438 health insurance benefits for both current and former Metro Council Members in 2020. This cost is expected to increase to $1,208,134 by 2024; and

WHEREAS, July 17, 2020 the Metropolitan Council passed a $1.066 property tax rate increase in the USD ($1.033 in the GSD), constituting the highest increase in the history of Metropolitan Nashville; and

WHEREAS, the Metropolitan Government is $4.5 billion in debt, with depleted reserves; and 

WHEREAS, in 2014, the Mayor's Office contracted with an independent consulting company (Deloitte Consulting LLP) to provide data upon which Metro could make decisions about current pay levels. This study revealed that none of Metro Nashville's peers offer retiree medical coverage to council members. To be consistent with common practice, the study recommended that Metro eliminate lifetime medical coverage for Council Members; and

WHEREAS, the Metropolitan Council should remove the lifetime health insurance benefits for Council members after they leave office.

I would add one more reason:

WHEREAS, when this benefit was passed sometime in the 80's, Metro did not have many former Council members.  It was not uncommon for  members to serve twenty or thirty years and be old men when they retired, so this benefit was not very costly.  Now, with term limits and younger people serving, there are a lot of former council members and being younger, they can receive the benefit for a much longer time. 

 This change does not effect current former councilmembers or current members who will have served two-terms by 2027.  They still will get the current level of benefit.  Members elected from now on will get the reduced benefit. 

While I would like to see the benefit eliminated in its entirety, there is no doubt that something stronger would have failed. Since 2012, efforts to end the benefit failed on four separate occasions. 

The lead sponsor of this bill was Council member Tonya Hancock.  She is commended for her taking on this fight. The bill passed by a 34-3 vote.  

Council members Emily Benedict, Colby Sledge and Tanaka Vercher were the only "no" votes.

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Study: Tennessee's violent crime rate 3rd highest among 50 states

(The Center Square) – Violent crimes in Tennessee numbered 595.2 per every 100,000 residents of the state as of 2019, the third-highest rate among the 50 states, according to a new analysis from the website 24/7 Wall St. 


The total number of murders in Tennessee in 2019 came in at 498, according to the 24/7 Wall St. analysis of FBI crime data, while the state’s poverty rate was estimated at 13.9%. The study’s authors pegged Memphis as the most dangerous city in the state.  

Nationwide, the violent crime rate for 2019 was found to be 366.7 incidents per 100,000 Americans, according to 24/7 Wall St. The violent crimes tracked in the study were aggravated assaults, robberies, sexual assault and murders or non-negligent manslaughters.  

The poorest states also tend to have the highest rates of violent incidents, the study’s authors concluded. New England states, which have relatively high incomes and less poverty, were among the safest in the nation, while many lower-income Southern states had the highest violent crime rates, the analysis found.  

The most dangerous cities in Hawaii and Alabama could not be pinpointed because of a lack of municipal crime data in those states, according to 24/7 Wall St.


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Nashville is home to more billionaires who control more wealth than any other city in Tennessee

by Samuel Stebbins, 24/7 Wall St. via The Center Square Apr 5, 2021- There are nearly 2,400 people worldwide whose individual net worth exceeds $1 billion -- and more than one-quarter of them live in the United States.  All told, there are over 250 cities and towns across the country that at least one of the world's ultra wealthy calls home. 


Using data from Forbes' Real Time Billionaires list, 24/7 Wall St. identified the city in every state with the most billionaires. The combined net worth of the billionaires in some U.S. cities exceeds the entire annual GDP of many states. 

The U.S. cities that are home to the most billionaires are often closely tied to the sources of their wealthiest residents' net worth. For example, many of the wealthiest people in the country have made their fortune through some association a successful company -- and these people often live in close proximity to these companies. As a result, many of the cities on this list have high concentrations of companies in well-paying industries like finance, tech, and oil. 

In Tennessee, Nashville is home to more billionaires who control more wealth than any other city. A total of three billionaires live in Nashville with a combined net worth of $20.7 billion. Of Nashville residents with a minimum 10-figure net worth, Thomas Frist Jr is the wealthiest, worth an estimated $8.2 billion. Although Franklin, Tennessee is also home to three billionaires, their combined net worth of $6.9 billion falls short of the combined wealth of billionaires in Nashville. 

To determine the city in every state with the most billionaires, 24/7 Wall St. compiled data from Forbes' Real Time Billionaires list. Data on residency and net worth came from the list, which is updated every five minutes to reflect changes in stock prices and private company valuations. In cases where the number of billionaires in two cities within the same state was a tie, the city with the highest total billionaire net worth was given preference. Data is current as of March 29, 2021. This is the city in every state with the most billionaires. (To continue reading and see the list follow this link.)

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Tennessee lawmakers considering government ban on COVID-19 vaccine passports

By Jon Styf,  Apr 7, 2021, (The Center Square) – A measure to prevent any government in Tennessee from requiring a COVID-19 vaccine passport is making its way through the General Assembly. 


Amended House Bill 575 is supported by Gov. Bill Lee, who worked on the language with House sponsor Rep. John Ragan, R-Oak Ridge, and Rep. Jason Zachary, R-Knoxville. 

“I oppose vaccine passports,” Lee tweeted Tuesday in a statement also read by Ragan to the Tennessee House Health Subcommittee. 

“The COVID-19 vaccine should be a personal health choice, not a government requirement. “I am supporting legislation to prohibit any government-mandated vaccine passports to protect the privacy of Tennesseans' health information and ensure this vaccine remains a voluntary, personal decision,” Lee said.

The bill would not stop a business from requiring a vaccine passport. The move is similar to those made by Republican governors in Texas and Florida. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis recently issued executive orders that said governments cannot require the passport for COVID-19 vaccinations. 

Subcommittee member Rep. Robin Smith, R-Hixson, said she supported the bill but believed it could go further related to HIPAA medical privacy laws. Ragan said he has a health condition that has prevented him from wearing a mask, using a shield instead, and he has not run into issues when he explains he has a medical condition. Ragan said that at least one Tennessee county has passed rules requiring a vaccine passport or something similar already. 

The bill will head to the full House Health Committee.

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Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Take a break: Let me show the bouquet I made from flowers out of my yard.

 

I had a delightful Easter with my daughter, son-in-law, and grandson.  We enjoyed French 75 cocktails, a delicious dinner of lamb and other delicious side dishes with a good Boudreaux wine.  It was a delight hunting Easter eggs with my grandson.

This is bouquet I made for the occasion.  All of the flowers came out of my yard.  There are Irises, Wisteria, money plant, Vinca, Hyacinths, another blue flower the name of which I don't know and the yellow flower is from a bush, the name of which I don't know. 

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Illegal aliens eligible for Metro to pay their rent and utilities. No Soc. Sec. # required for rental assistance program.

 Eviction moratorium offers more time to pay, while these programs cover what you owe 


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — ...The Housing Opportunity Partnership and Employment (HOPE) was made possible after Mayor John Cooper applied for and received $20.8 million for MAC to cover past due rent and utilities. 

Lisa McCrady of MAC says this new funding expands their previous rent assistance to make it far more inclusive than ever before. ....

...One notable requirement that no longer exists is the need for a social security number. McCrady says this ensures we can help even the undocumented tenants who often find themselves without options. She says many have been too worried about their status to claim benefits, making this a potential game-changer.

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Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Arkansas's Republican governor vetoed a ban on puberty blocking drugs and genital mutilating transition therapy. When the similar bill passes in TN, Gov. Lee should sign it.

by Rod Williams- Arkansas Republican governor Asa Hutchinson vetoed a bill that would ban doctors from performing gender transition surgery or offering puberty blockers or cross-sex hormones to minors. The bill “would put the state as the definitive oracle of medical care, overriding parents, patients, and health care experts,” Hutchinson told reporters at a press conference on Monday. “While in some instances the state must act to protect life, the state should not presume to jump into the middle of every medical, human, and ethical issue. This would be, and is, a vast government overreach." (link)

I certainly do not agree with the governor on this issue.  The Republican governor was wrong to veto this bill.  Shame on Governor Hutchinson. Fortunately, the Arkansas legislature can override the governor's veto by a simple majority vote.  They should do so. 

A bill similar to the Arkansas bill is working its way through the Tennessee legislature. The Tennessee legislature does not need to defer this bill.  It is common sense and is needed and needs to pass and when it does pass, Governor Lee needs to sign it.  

If one only reads the news stories about the Arkansas and Tennessee bills, then I am sure some may think that an absolute ban on sexual transition therapy for minors is wrong because there is the rare case of the person born with a ambiguous genitalia. About one in 1,000 babies are born with ambiguous genitalia but true hermaphroditism is rare and occurs only about once in 83,000 births.  Both the Arkansas bill and the Tennessee make exceptions to the ban for special cases where there is a medical need for such medical procedures. Exceptions should be made for one with a rare medial condition that needs treatment, but not for one who is simply experiencing gender dysphoria.

There are lots of young children who may wish they were of the opposite sex at some time in their young childhood. Little boys may want to be like mommy or little girls may want to be like daddy.  Parents should not take them so seriously; after all, they are children.  Administering hormone blocking drugs or performing sex reassignment surgery is not as simply as changing from wearing boy's clothes to wearing girls clothes.  This is radical treatment and risky surgery.  It involves numerous surgeries to make a convincing girl out of a boy and not yet possible to make a convincing boy out of a girl.  And the treatment can never be stopped. And, if one changes their mind after the transition has started, they may be a freak for life. Even hormone blockers and hormone therapy can have a profound impact on one's appearance and size and physical characteristics for the rest of their life.

Some people do start the process of transitioning and then change their mind and attempt to reverse the process.  The term for this is "Desistance."  Desistance rates for adults are relatively low. Desistance rates among young children are much higher. Among children referred to gender clinics for either gender dysphoria or gender non-conformity, most changed their mind by the time they were in their 20's (link).  Some of the changes cannot be undone.  Even in the best of transition cases, there are serious side effects.  Gender reassignment has serious medical consequences and side effects including the risk of death.  

Many people who grew up to be normal males or females, at a young age, thought they were really the opposite sex in the wrong body.  Much of this is the result of media attention to the issue.  Now, that children are giving an option of thinking they may be of the other sex despite their genitalia telling them otherwise, and facing the challenges and confusion of experiencing puberty, some are thinking they may be transsexual.  Previously, they did not even know that was an option. It has been glamorized and people who have switched genders have been portrayed as heroic. 

This phenomena of children claiming to be transsexual and seeking a sex change is growing.  If you normalize and accept any behavior or perversity, you will have more of it.  Data shows that a child is more likely to come out as "trans," if they have a classmate or other acquaintance who has done so. 

Some advocates of sex change therapy will argue that a sex change is the appropriate response to gender dysphoria because people experiencing this condition are subject to a miserable existence and even suicide.   A sex change is not a cure for what ails them.  Even among people who have undergone gender reassignment procedures, suicide rates, psychiatric morbidities, and mortality rates remain markedly elevated above that of the general population.

While adults can weigh the risk and decide for themselves the risk and benefits, society has an obligation to protect children. I am not one who thinks the state should be quick to tell parents how to raise their children.  I would not have the state take the child away from a family because they belonged to a strange religious cult or adhered to a minority political belief system. If they want to raise little Johnny as a Nazi or a Communist or a nudist or a Muslim or a global-warming-denying, evolution-denying Christian fundamentalist and who use corporal punishment to discipline the child, the state should not interfere.  If they want to dress little Johnny as Jennie, and put her in lace and dresses, the state should not consider that any of the state's business.

If, however, a parent denies food and medical care to a child or physically or sexually abuses a child then that is the state's business.  Some of this is a judgment call and the dividing line between where the state does have an interest and where it does not is sometimes a blurred shade of gray.  However, allowing a parent to stop the process of puberty or allow sexual organs to be mutilated is not a judgement call. It is wrong.  Society has an obligation to protect these children.  

Opponents of legislation prohibiting puberty blockers and sexual reassignment surgery for children have portrayed proponents as intolerant, ignorant, transphobic and uncaring.  Popular culture and the mainstream media align with the opponents of these laws.  We should not let the disapproval of the ultrawoke and the glamorous Hollywood elites dissuade us from protecting children. 

The legislature needs to pass HB578 and Gov. Lee needs to sign it. 



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Sunday, April 4, 2021

An Article V Convention is an untried and dangerous proposal. It needs to be stopped.

Reposted from Tennessee Eagle Forum, April 3, 2021 - Well, this is very clever. Normally, unlike a BILL that travels through the legislative process with a companion in each chamber, a JOINT RESOLUTION is normally a single effort traveling in one direction (an HJR starting in the House, then going to the Senate; an SJR starting in the Senate going to the House.) 


Regardless of the origin or direction of movement, Eagle Forum strongly opposes an Article V Convention as well as opposing ARTIFICIAL term limits. Today’s problems in Washington do not stem from defects in the Constitution, but rather Washington’s departure from the Constitution’s original meaning and interpretation. 

Just as an informed electorate would be necessary for upholding any new amendments, so too is an informed electorate necessary for the preservation of the current U.S. Constitution. Therefore, the solution is not a lack of new amendments, but a lack of education about and fidelity to the current Constitution. 

Many national supporters have been misleading the public and state legislators for years, telling them that the state legislatures will control the convention process; that Congress has only a ministerial role to call the time and date of the convention; that the state legislatures will control their delegates to the convention; that the delegates must stick to the subject of the application, and on it goes. 

In addition, under the present administration, opening up a Constitutional Convention is a risky situation on its face. But can we for a minute think about the CIRCUS this would become? The deliberations would NOT take place in a small room with the windows nailed closed as the original convention took place. This event would have the crush of media, the social media, the Soros-types generously funding the issues and delegates that they preferred. 

Remember NONE of this has been tried. PLEASE DON'T TAKE THIS LIGHTLY AND PLEASE MAKE YOUR VOICE HEARD. 

Looking around at the world in which we are living today, this sounds like a great idea. But.....an Article V convention is completely uncharted territory and there really are important things to know about:

ARTICLE V CONVENTION FOR TERM LIMITS: 
SJR 0199 by *Rose 
Constitutional Conventions - Makes application to Congress for the purpose of calling an Article V convention to propose an amendment to the United States Constitution to set a limit on the number of terms to which a person may be elected as a member of the Congress of the United States. 
STATUS: SJR199 is in Senate Finance, Ways, and Means Committee Tuesday morning. 
ACTION: Please review the links below and contact members of this committee and urge them to OPPOSE SJR199: Sen. Bo Watson sen.bo.watson@capitol.tn.gov, Sen. John Stevens sen.john.stevens@capitol.tn.gov, Sen. Joey Hensley sen.joey.hensley@capitol.tn.gov, Sen. Todd Gardenhire sen.todd.gardenhire@capitol.tn.gov, Sen. Ferrell Haile sen.ferrell.haile@capitol.tn.gov, Sen. Jack Johnson sen.jack.johnson@capitol.tn.gov, Sen. Jon Lundberg sen.jon.lundberg@capitol.tn.gov, Sen. Ken Yager sen.ken.yager@capitol.tn.gov, Sen. Jeff Yarbro sen.jeff.yarbro@capitol.tn.gov, Sen. Dawn White sen.dawn.white@capitol.tn.gov

ARTICLE V CONVENTION FOR TERM LIMITS: 
HJR 0008 by *Todd , Eldridge, Mannis, Garrett, Zachary, Doggett, Calfee, Williams, Ogles, Bricken, Hurt.  
Constitutional Conventions - Makes application to Congress for the purpose of calling an Article V convention to propose an amendment to the United States Constitution to set a limit on the number of terms to which a person may be elected as a member of the Congress of the United States. 
STATUS: On the House floor Thursday, April 8.

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Saturday, April 3, 2021

Metro's HOPE program which pays past due rent and utilities will include illegal aliens. No SS # required.


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — ...The Housing Opportunity Partnership and Employment (HOPE) was made possible after Mayor John Cooper applied for and received $20.8 million for MAC to cover past due rent and utilities. 

Lisa McCrady of MAC says this new funding expands their previous rent assistance to make it far more inclusive than ever before. ....

...One notable requirement that no longer exists is the need for a social security number. McCrady says this ensures we can help even the undocumented tenants who often find themselves without options. She says many have been too worried about their status to claim benefits, making this a potential game-changer.

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9 Crazy Examples of Unrelated Waste and Partisan Spending in Biden’s $2 Trillion ‘Infrastructure’ Proposal

Just roughly one-third of the money goes to the kinds of spending people would usually associate with infrastructure. 


by Brad Polumbo, Foundation of Economic Education,  Wednesday, March 31, 2021 - 
 The Biden administration on Wednesday released a comprehensive $2+ trillion spending proposal ostensibly focused on infrastructure. But there’s much more to this plan than meets the eye. A glance at the proposal reveals many items that appear only tenuously related to infrastructure. In fact, several don’t appear to be related to infrastructure at all. Here are 9 of the most suspect items in Biden’s “infrastructure” proposal, taken directly from a fact-sheet on the plan the White House released. 

1. $10 Billion to Create a ‘Civilian Climate Corp’ 
The Biden administration proposes spending $10 billion to create a “Civilian Climate Corp.” The White House claims that “This $10 billion investment will put a new, diverse generation of Americans to work conserving our public lands and waters, bolstering community resilience, and advancing environmental justice through a new Civilian Climate Corps.” 

2. $20 Billion to ‘Advance Racial Equity and Environmental Justice’ 
The proposal sets aside a whopping $20 billion—more than the latest COVID package spent on vaccines—for “a new program that will reconnect neighborhoods cut off by historic investments and ensure new projects increase opportunity, advance racial equity and environmental justice, and promote affordable access.” 

3. $175 Billion in Subsidies for Electric Vehicles 
Electric vehicles: A technological novelty so good it won’t catch on without hundreds of billions in subsidies. At least, that’s apparently what the Biden administration thinks, as its infrastructure proposal earmarks a “$174 billion investment to win the electric vehicle market.” The spending will take the form of manufacturing subsidies and consumer tax credits, which historically have benefitted wealthy families most. For comparison, the proposal carves out more for green energy goodies than it does on the total $115 billion to “modernize the bridges, highways, roads, and main streets that are in most critical need of repair.” 

4. $213 Billion to Build/Retrofit 2 Million Houses & Buildings 
When most people hear “infrastructure,” they think of roads, bridges, tunnels, and so on. But the Biden administration’s definition of the term is Olympian-gymnastics-level flexible. Apparently, the president considers it “infrastructure spending” to allocate $213 billion to build or retrofit 2 million “sustainable” houses and buildings. They also slip in $40 billion for public housing, stating this will “disproportionately benefit women, people of color, and people with disabilities.” 

5. $100 Billion for New Public Schools and Making School Lunches ‘Greener’ 
You might remember that the last “COVID” legislation had $128.5 billion in taxpayer dole-outs for public schools; much of the money will be spent years after the pandemic and there was no requirement that schools actually open. Yet this was, evidently, just the beginning. The Biden “infrastructure” plan includes another “$100 billion to upgrade and build new public schools.” “Funds also will be provided to improve our school kitchens, so they can be used to better prepare nutritious meals for our students and go green by reducing or eliminating the use of paper plates and other disposable materials,” the proposal reads. (Emphasis mine). 

6. $12 Billion for Community Colleges 
One generally thinks of infrastructure and higher education as separate, distinct sectors. Yet the Biden “infrastructure” plan slips in $12 billion for states to spend on community colleges. 

7. Billions to Eliminate ‘Racial and Gender Inequities’ in STEM 
The proposal includes several billion dollars allocated to reduce supposed “racial and gender inequities” in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) research and development. What this has to do with interstate infrastructure is not adequately explained. 

8. $100 Billion to Expand Broadband Internet (And Government Control of It) 
Loosely lumped under the broad term “digital infrastructure,” the plan allocates $100 billion to “bring affordable, reliable, high-speed broadband to every American.” Interestingly, the proposal openly states that it wishes to promote government and NGO control of broadband and push out private sector providers: It “prioritizes support for broadband networks owned, operated by, or affiliated with local governments, non-profits, and co-operatives—providers with less pressure to turn profits.” 

9. $25 Billion for Government Childcare Programs 
The plan includes $25 billion “to help upgrade child care facilities and increase the supply of child care in areas that need it most.” According to the White House, “funding would be provided through a Child Care Growth and Innovation Fund for states to build a supply of infant and toddler care in high-need areas.” 

Just Scratching the Surface The above list totals hundreds of billions in waste and unrelated partisan spending slipped into the Biden administration’s expensive “infrastructure” plan. But it should be stressed that this list is far from exhaustive; it’s what one reporter was able to find in a few hours of research. 

By the time this proposal is translated into hundreds of pages of legislation (if not thousands) and subjected to Congress’s (and lobbyists’) influence, there will no doubt be even more waste and partisan policies slipped into it. Yes, there is serious debate about the state of American infrastructure and the proper role of the federal government in addressing its deficiencies. However, of this plan’s more than $2 trillion in proposed spending, just $621 billion goes to “transportation infrastructure and resilience.” That’s right, just roughly one-third of the money goes to the kinds of spending people would usually associate with infrastructure, like repairing roads and bridges and modernizing public transit. 

Can Biden get away with this? Well, remember that only 10 percent of the Biden administration’s $1.9 trillion in "COVID relief" spending was actually directly related to COVID-19, with much of it going to waste, politician pet projects, and partisan priorities. The president appears to have taken a similar approach to infrastructure spending. Unfortunately, it’s not much of a surprise. 

As the American journalist and satirist PJ O’Rourke once said, “Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys.”

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How Mayor Cooper plans to spend the $10 million of Covid relief money.

Metro press release, 3/16/2021- Mayor John Cooper today shared a plan to invest $10 million in Nashville's neighborhoods and businesses. The mayor's proposal for a one-time Local Support Grant includes money to bolster community strategies for reducing gun and other violence.  It directs $1 million to small and microbusiness recovery and $5 million - half the total grant – to the city's Barnes Fund for affordable housing. 

"We have restored financial stability to Nashville and are confident about more federal relief funding coming to Nashville," Mayor Cooper said. "Now is a smart moment to use these one-time dollars, to address pressing needs and invest local businesses as they approach the rebound." 

The mayor's plan goes before Metro Council for approval in coming weeks. 

Partnerships and Innovation in Community Safety - $3 Million 
Two million dollars would support neighborhood-driven safety strategies as Mayor Cooper fulfills recommendations from his Policing Policy Commission (PPC)

A round of grants would bolster community groups using evidence-based, community-informed approaches. 

"Partnering with – and investing in – the groups working to make our neighborhoods safer was one of the Policing Policy Commission's most important recommendations," said Sharon Roberson, a PPC member and president and CEO of YWCA Nashville and Middle Tennessee. 

"I want to thank Mayor Cooper for making a major down payment on that recommendation." 

A mayor-established council would provide partners with technical assistance and highlight efforts the mayor could expand in future budget proposals. 

"There are moments that define the heart and commitment of a city. This is one of them," said Bishop Joseph W. Walker III, Senior Pastor of Mt. Zion Baptist Church of Nashville.  "Sustaining and expanding partnerships assures that Nashville becomes a safer and more just city." 

"By partnering with Nashville nonprofits and investing in their ability to help improve public safety and meet our neighborhood needs in a fair and equitable way, we are putting the recommendations of the Policing Policy Commission into action," said Jennifer Gamble, a Metro Councilmember and chair of the Council's public safety committee. "As Chair of the Public Safety Committee, I look forward to working with Mayor Cooper and his team as we work to make Nashville a safer community for everyone," Gamble added. 

Meanwhile, a community safety coordinator, working in the Mayor's Office, would support partners across Nashville. 

"Gideon's Army is working every day to make our neighborhoods safer. Now is the time for the public to invest to make this work sustainable," said Rasheedat Fetuga, founder and CEO of Gideon's Army.

"While more funds are needed to repair the harm caused by generations of systemic racism and neglect, I am glad Mayor Cooper is taking this first step." Finally, another $1 million would help support residents in crisis as the pandemic has intensified behavioral health challenges across the U.S. 

Forty percent of Tennesseans – many of them ages 18 to 29 – have recently reported symptoms of anxiety or depressive disorder, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. Suspected overdoses have increased by 31 percent between 2019 and 2020, the Nashville Fire Department reports. 

A Behavioral Health Crisis Response Initiative (BHCRI), housed at Metro Public Health, will assess the city's behavioral health capacity, improve Nashville's response to opioid overdoses, and provide residents with better access to behavioral health services during crises. 

"Mayor Cooper values the role that behavioral health fulfills in overall health and wellness. He understands that it is essential to the recovery process from this pandemic. By prioritizing behavioral health, the BHCRI will distinguish Nashville from other cities," said Dr. Bob Vero, Regional CEO of Centerstone Tennessee and Georgia and co-chair of the Mayor's Behavioral Health and Wellness Advisory Council. 

The funding will augment the services of the mobile crisis unit and provide support for co-responder models that establish a primary role for behavioral health specialists to respond to crises. The result: better care for residents during crisis and a reduction in pressure on police and other emergency personnel, often the first to respond to these calls. 

Readying for the Rebound: Small Businesses, Microbusinesses and Local Tourism - $1.5 Million
One hundred and six local businesses – many of them in Nashville's music, hospitality, and entertainment sectors – are on a waiting list at Pathway Lending for recovery assistance grants.

Pathway, a U.S. Treasury-certified Community Development Financial Institution, has so far distributed $4.2 million in local pandemic-time help on the city's behalf. So far, two grant rounds have supported 582 local businesses; 40 percent of them were minority-owned, and 62 percent were micro-businesses – meaning they have between $35,000 and $250,000 in revenue. A third round - expanded to include businesses with revenue minimums and maximums of $15,000 and $1.25 million (instead of $35,000 and $1 million) – would reach sole proprietors and smaller outfits that did not qualify before.

"Nashville's businesses are preparing for a rebound," said Clint Gwin, Pathway president and CEO. "They need support to stay afloat and prepare for the busy summer ahead. An additional wave of grants would help our city's small and microbusinesses turn the corner and put this pandemic behind them."

That third wave would also bring the city's total COVID-time small business assistance investment to $6.7 million. Plus, the allocation would bring Metro's total pandemic-time investment in local businesses and organizations – including live music venues, the Nashville Famers Market and local arts organizations – to $9.5 million since September 2020. 

"The survival of our small business community is critical to Nashville's economy and to our rebound," Mayor Cooper said. "Nashville's small businesses are the lifeblood of our local economy. I'm committed to supporting them, now and on the other side of this crisis." 

Finally, $500,000 would support a fund for Nashville Convention and Visitors Corp. to recruit diverse and inclusive COVID-safe events that highlight Nashville's cultural history and diverse population.

Economic Recovery: Historic Second Avenue - $500,000 
On December 25, a blast devastated historic Second Avenue in downtown Nashville. Days later, Mayor Cooper brought together a panel of experts to lead a rebuilding that honors the area's history, better connect downtown to the rest of Nashville and is informed by all residents who want a voice in the process. 

The mayor's chosen project manager, Ron Gobbell, and Metro Planning are working on that rebuild with partners like the Nashville Downtown Partnership, Metro Historical Commission, Metro Housing and Development Agency, the Civic Design Center and Urban Land Institute. 

So far, they've hosted three community engagement sessions to reach an estimated 175 people, with more to come. Metro Planning would put $250,000 toward that effort – for example, making capital planning recommendations, as well as conceptual designs and other visualizations to help residents imagine a future historic Second Avenue. Metro Public Works would use another $250,000 to help restore the publicly-owned infrastructure – like roadways, lighting and other streetscaping – that is essential to a full recovery. Learn more about Nashville's work to rebuild historic Second Avenue

A Promise Kept: The Barnes Fund - $5 Million 
Half of the grant would go to the Barnes Fund for Affordable Housing.

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Mayor John Cooper Brings Violence Prevention Expert to Metro. Newly-Created Position And $3 Million Aims to Enhance Community Safety

Newly-Created Position And $3 Million in Funding Will Enhance Community Safety says Mayor Cooper
Ron Johnson

Metro Nashville press release, 3/25/2021 -  Mayor John Cooper has tapped a community safety expert to coordinate a $3 million community safety pilot initiative that will span the city and bring experts from neighborhoods, local business, philanthropy and government together. 

The mayor today announced that longtime youth mentor and coalition builder Ron Johnson will serve as Metro’s Community Safety Coordinator – a first for Nashville. Johnson will support nonprofits, faith leaders and neighborhood groups as they participate in the mayor’s new Community Safety Partnership and Innovation Fund. The mayor proposed the fund last week, calling for at least $1.5 million in grants to bolster local partners as they bring community-driven violence reduction programs to neighborhoods.
A mayor-created advisory committee would oversee the grant round, further engaging experts from across the city who are committed to safety and wellness in Nashville’s neighborhoods. 

“To achieve community safety, we must harness the power of a community working as one,” Mayor Cooper said. “This is an opportunity to invest in partners who are doing innovative work, to support them, and take their successful models even further in Nashville.” 

Johnson has decades of experience in violence prevention strategies that cities across the U.S. have used to reduce gun and other violent crime as they work with and alongside local law enforcement.

“I am honored by Mayor Cooper’s trust,” Johnson said. “This is my life’s work. We need to do everything we can to prevent gun violence and keep our kids out of the criminal justice system.”

Meanwhile, Mayor Cooper has marked another $1 million to augment Nashville’s behavioral health crisis response through the Metro Public Health Department. His proposal - $3 million in all – goes before Metro Council for approval in coming weeks. 

About Ron Johnson 
Johnson specializes in group, hospital-based and behavioral therapy interventions that can strengthen a city’s community-oriented approach to public safety. 

“As we have implemented evolving strategies to reduce violence through precision policing, graduated police officers from the academy while continuing to hire new ones, and worked to build and strengthen community partnerships throughout Nashville, one thing remains abundantly clear: public safety is a shared responsibility,” said Metro Police Chief John Drake. 

“We look forward to working with Ron Johnson to engage nonprofits, schools, churches, and other community groups at even higher levels to enhance Nashville’s safety,” Chief Drake added. 

Johnson began his work as a youth mentor at the Martha O’Bryan Center and then at Metro Nashville Parks. He later worked to introduce an Aggressors, Victims and Bystanders curriculum to Metro Schools and to create the StreetSolid nonprofit for young people and people leaving prison. 

“Ron Johnson is the perfect candidate to lead Nashville’s community safety efforts,” said Juvenile Court Judge Sheila Calloway. “The young people – and we are mainly talking about young people – need alternatives. They need people who care, who can connect, and who have their best interests at heart. That is Ron Johnson, as everyone working in this space knows.” 

From 2009 to 2018, Johnson ran the Reaching Excellence as Leaders program at Nashville’s Oasis Center, which serves nearly 4,000 young people and families a year. 

“There is no better person in Nashville for this position,” said Tom Ward, former Oasis president and CEO. 

“Ron is a coalition builder — someone who can walk into a room and make that connection. His life experiences have shaped his understanding and informed his perspective. He brings credibility and wisdom to this essential work.” 

Johnson is a Tennessee State University graduate. 


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Friday, April 2, 2021

Here Is How Much People Pay in Taxes in Tennessee

by Grant Suneson, 24/7 Wall St. via The Center Square - Each year, Americans dread April 15 -- Tax
Day. However, the IRS announced in March that American taxpayers would have an extra month to file their federal income taxes, pushing Tax Day to May 17 in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.  However, state filings will still proceed as planned in most places. 

In 2019, the average state and local tax burden was 10.3% of income, but this figure varied widely from state to state -- ranging from less than 6% to over 14%, meaning differences of thousands of dollars in a given year. 

To determine the states where Americans are paying the most taxes, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed data on state tax burdens from tax policy nonprofit the Tax Foundation.

States were ranked based on state and local taxes paid by each state's residents as a percentage of that state's net national product in 2019. State income figures are based on net national product, which measures the value of goods and services produced by U.S. residents, minus the value of the fixed capital used in production. 

To calculate tax burdens the Tax Foundation included different kinds of taxes, -- on purchases like property, public utilities, alcohol, fuel, and general sales, as well as taxes on incomes, inheritance, and many other financial transactions. Property taxes can sometimes make up a large share of total tax burdens, depending on the state in which the property is located. While some states have property taxes of under $1,000 per capita, residents of other states pay over $3,000 per person in property taxes. These are the states with the highest property taxes. 

The state and local tax burden in Tennessee in 2019, represented 7.0% of incomes in the state. This tax burden was tied for the second lowest among states and well below the overall national tax burden of 10.3%. 

On a per capita basis, Tennessee residents paid $3,368 in state and local taxes, the lowest among states and lower than the national per capita taxes paid of $5,755. 

The tax burden in Tennessee has decreased in recent years. In 2010, the state and local tax burden represented 7.9% of incomes in the state, tied for second lowest of all states.

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Thursday, April 1, 2021

Tennessee bill would eliminate privilege tax for more professions

Tennessee Sens. John Stevens, R-Huntingdon
(right), and Mike Bell, R-Riceville Mark Humphrey / AP 
By Vivian Jones, (The Center Square),  March 31, 2021 – The Tennessee Legislature is considering the removal of a $400 annual “privilege tax” on certain professions in Tennessee. 

The state levies an annual $400 professional privilege tax on individuals licensed or registered to practice in any of seven professions: attorneys, securities agents, broker-dealers, investment advisers, lobbyists, doctors and osteopathic physicians. 

Senate Bill 884 would eliminate the tax for attorneys, physicians, investment advisers and lobbyists.  Sen. John Stevens, R-Huntingdon, who sponsors the bill, said the legislation is likely to change as the Legislature continues budget negotiations in the coming weeks. 

“This bill is designed to be a vehicle for the elimination of the professional privilege tax,” Stevens said Tuesday during a Senate Finance, Ways and Means Revenue Subcommittee. 

The bill received a positive recommendation from the subcommittee with bipartisan support during the committee’s last meeting of the legislative session. Tennessee’s professional privilege tax previously was levied on 22 professions, including accountants, architects, dentists, pharmacists and veterinarians. The General Assembly approved legislation in 2019 to eliminate the tax for 15 of the 22 professions.

Nearly 200,000 professionals pay Tennessee’s professional privilege tax. Total elimination of the tax would cost the state about $67 million in revenue, Stevens said. During Tuesday's committee meeting, Sen. Todd Gardenhire, R-Chattanooga, said 77% of the people who pay the tax live outside the state, accounting for about $57 million in tax revenue. 

“This is a recurring revenue stream,” Gardenhire said. “Tell me what recurring expenses you’re going to cut to offset $57 million from out of state people paying this.” Stevens agreed that with any decrease to state revenue there should be a corresponding programing cut, but cuts would be negotiated as budget discussions continue. 

“It would likely not be constitutional to treat those out-of-state folks differently than the in-state folks,” Stevens said. 

A companion bill in the House has been placed behind the budget.

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10 new radical ideas that are destroying America

Victor Hanson
By Victor Davis Hanson, reposted from American Greatness,  March 31, 2021 - There are 10 new ideas that are changing America, maybe permanently. 

1) Money is a construct. It can be created from thin air. Annual deficits and aggregate national debt no longer matter much. Prior presidents ran up huge annual deficits. But at least there were some concessions that the money was real and had to be paid back. Not now. As we near $30 trillion in national debt and 110 percent of annual GDP, our elites either believe permanent zero interest rates make the cascading obligation irrelevant, or the larger the debt, the more likely we will be forced to address needed income redistribution. 

2) Laws are not necessarily binding anymore. Joe Biden took an oath to “take care that the laws be faithfully executed.” But he has willfully rendered federal immigration laws null and void. Some rioters are prosecuted for violating federal laws, others not so much. Arrests, prosecutions, and trials are all fluid. Ideology governs when a law is still considered a law. Crime rates do not necessarily matter. If someone is carjacked, assaulted, or shot, it can be understood to be as much his fault as the perpetrator’s. Either the victim was too lax, uncaring, and insensitive, or he provoked his attacker. How useful the crime is to the larger agendas of the Left determines whether a victim is really a victim, and the victimizer really a victimizer. 

3) Racialism is now acceptable. We are defined first by our particular ethnic or religious tribe, only secondarily—if at all—by an American commonality. Unapologetic and explicit exclusion of whites from dorms, graduations, safe spaces, welfare, and federal aid programs is now noncontroversial. It is unspoken payback for perceived past sins, or a type of “good” racism. Falsely being called a racist makes one more guilty than falsely calling someone else a racist. 

4) The immigrant is mostly preferable to the citizen. The newcomer, unlike the host, is not stained by the sins of America’s founding and history. Most citizens currently must follow quarantine rules, social distancing, stay out of school, and obey all the laws. Yet those entering the United States en masse and illegally need not follow such apparently superfluous COVID-19 rules. Their children should be immediately schooled without worry of quarantine. Immigrants need not worry about their illegal entry or residence in America. Our elites believe illegal entrants more resemble the “founders” than do legal citizens, about half of whom they consider irredeemable. 

5) Most Americans should be treated as we would treat little children. They cannot be asked to provide an ID to vote. “Noble lies” by our elites about COVID-19 rules are necessary to protect “Neanderthals” from themselves. Americans deserve relief from the stress of grades, standardized testing, and normative rules of school behavior. They still are clueless about why it is good for them to pay far more for their gasoline, heating, and air conditioning. 

6) Hypocrisy is passé. Virtue-signaling is alive. Climate change activists fly on private jets. Social justice warriors live in gated communities. Multibillionaire elitists pose as victims of sexism, racism, and homophobia. The elite need these exemptions to help the helpless. It is what you say to lesser others about how to live, not how you yourself live, that matters. 

7) Ignoring or perpetuating homelessness is preferable to ending it. It is more humane for both the homeless and the public that thousands live, eat, defecate, and use drugs on public streets and sidewalks than it is to green-light affordable housing, mandate hospitalization for the mentally ill, and create sufficient public shelter areas. 

8) McCarthyism is good. Destroying lives and careers for incorrect thoughts saves more lives and careers. Cancel culture and the Twitter Reign of Terror provide needed deterrence. Now that Americans know they are one wrong word, act, or look away from losing their jobs or livelihoods, they are more careful and will behave in a more enlightened fashion. The social media guillotine is the humane, scientific tool of the woke. 

9) Ignorance is preferable to knowledge. Neither statue-toppling, name-changing, nor the “1619 Project” require any evidence or historical knowledge. Heroes of the past were simple constructs. Undergraduate, graduate, and professional degrees reflect credentials, not knowledge. The brand, not what created it, is all that matters. 

10) Wokeness is the new religion, growing faster and larger than Christianity itself. Its priesthood outnumbers the clergy, and exercises far more power. Silicon Valley is the new Vatican, and Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, and Twitter the new Gospels. 

Americans privately fear these rules, while publicly appearing to accept them. They still could be transitory and invite a reaction. Or they are already near-permanent and institutionalized. The answer determines whether a constitutional republic continues as once envisioned, or warps into something never imagined by those who created it.

Victor Davis Hanson is a distinguished fellow of the Center for American Greatness and the Martin and Illie Anderson Senior Fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution. He is an American military historian, columnist, a former classics professor, and scholar of ancient warfare. He has been a visiting professor at Hillsdale College since 2004. Hanson was awarded the National Humanities Medal in 2007 by President George W. Bush. Hanson is also a farmer (growing raisin grapes on a family farm in Selma, California) and a critic of social trends related to farming and agrarianism. He is the author most recently of The Second World Wars: How the First Global Conflict Was Fought and Won and The Case for Trump.

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Many Trump loyalist are like other cult members. They have a my-mind-is-made-up-don't-confuse-me-with-facts mindset.

Well, well, well. What do you know? 

When Sidney Powell said the election was stolen by means of a conspiracy that involved voting machines switching votes from Trump to Biden, she didn't really mean it. Now that she has to defend her claim in court against a $1.3 billion defamation lawsuit her lawyers argue, “no reasonable person would conclude that [Powell’s] statements were truly statements of fact.” 

I am a reasonable person. I didn't believe it. So she is saying if you did believe it you are not a reasonable person. She is now saying her allegations about Dominion were political in nature, and therefore, citing an earlier case, “prone to exaggeration and hyperbole.” So, all of you people who were telling me the truth would come out and you were certain the election was stolen by machines that flipped votes and this involved a conspiracy that included communists in Venezuela, Cuba, and “likely” China and the use of Hugo Chavez-directed software to rig the election against Donald Trump, what do you say now?

I posted similar comments as this to Facebook a few days ago and I now know what the Trumpinistas are saying. Now, there were only a dozen or so responses, so the responses I got are certainly not representative of all Trump supporters.  Not all Trump supporters are cultist.  But from those responses and other comments made on other post and from other examples from other sources this is, I think, typical of the opinion of die-hard Trump loyalist. Below are the favorite responses of the Trump cultist to any Trump criticism or evidence that contradicts what they believe. 

"Fake news," is the most common response to any thing that contradicts the Trump narrative.  To the person using the term, I don't think "fake news" means that the the accuracy of what is reported is necessarily in doubt. I don't think they are saying the information is false or misleading.  I think 'fake news," means this information supports the agenda or point of view of liberals or Republicans who are not true Trump loyalist, so it is possibly inaccurate but even if accurate, it is an insignificant tidbit of information that does not carry sufficient weight to change ones opinion.   It may be true, but it is "spin." I think they are saying this does not fit my preconceived opinion of what is true so I am simply dismissing it.  

They have what is sometimes called, "confirmation bias." They are so certain of the rightness of their cause that they only bring in information that fits what they know to be true and dismiss anything else.  They have a my-mind-is-made-up-don't-confuse-me-with-facts mindset.  Any information, no matter how verifiable, how tested, how scientific, or logically valid, will be disregarded. That is what they mean by "fake news."

The other common response is, "I would suggest better news sources," or calling the source of the information a "liberal rag."  The source I quoted was The Morning Dispatch, which is a column in The Dispatch written my Jonah Goldburg. The Dispatch is hardly a "liberal rag."  And, Jonah Goldbrug is hardly a liberal. Who is Jonah Goldburg?
Jonah Jacob Goldberg (born March 21, 1969) is an American conservative syndicated

columnist, author, political analyst, and commentator. The founding editor of National Review Online, from 1998 until 2019 he was an editor at National Review. Goldberg writes a weekly column about politics and culture for the Los Angeles Times. In October 2019, Goldberg became founding editor of the online opinion and news publication The Dispatch. Goldberg is the author of Liberal Fascism, which became a No. 1 New York Times bestseller shortly after its release in January 2008; The Tyranny of Cliches: How Liberals Cheat in the War of Ideas, released in 2012; and Suicide of the West, which was published in April 2018 and also became a New York Times bestseller, reaching No. 5 on the list the following month. (link)
To the Trump true believer, it does not matter how strong is one's conservatives credentials, if you are a critic of Trump, you are a "liberal."  It that doesn't stick then "RINO," or "neo-con," or "never Trumper," will do.  Those labels simply dismiss anything the so labelled person says or writes.

Another response to anyone who is not a Trump worshiper is to claim the information critical of Trump or one of his disciples is cherry picked or taken out of context.  They claim that Powell's defense  that no reasonable person would have taken her claim seriously is cherry picked or a misrepresentation.  If you doubt that her lawyers really did argue no reasonable person would have taken her seriously, read for yourself her motion to dismiss. Here it is at this link

I am giving up on trying to reason with a Trumpnista.  They are not rational.  It is like they are part of a cult. This, of course, is not true of all people who voted for Trump.  I voted for Trump.  I doubt it is true for most Trump supporters, but it is for many.  To try to reason with a Trump true believer is like trying to argue with a religious zealot. Their belief is not based on reason but on something akin to faith. That just know Trump was sent to be America's savior and critics of Trump are like infidels. 

A comparable belief system is like the true believer members of the John Birch Society who believe that since about the Enlightenment a cabal of "insiders," have been directing everything that happens in the world. The Illiminati and their subsidiaries such as the Bilderburgs, the Trilateral Commission, and the Council on Foreign Relations are really in charge. We are all puppets and these few insiders are pulling the strings. Many people at one time joined the JBS because they were conservative and anti-Communist and never bought into the whole big conspiracy thing.  Many never even understood it.  Those who did "see the light," however became absolutely convinced the big conspiracy was true.  It was pointless to try to reason with them. 

Trumpinistas are also comparable to  members of the Nation of Islam who believe that Allah created Black people but White people were created by a mad scientist and that white people overthrew Black people but that Allah will soon return aboard a spaceship, the "Mother Ship," to wipe out the white race and inaugurate a black utopia. Weird I know, but a lot of people really believe it. And, believers of this weird story are treated as if they were respectable and rational.  Farrakhan even gets invited to share the stage with prominent Democrats and you can still find well dressed Black men selling the organization's newspaper. 

The Trumpinistas may be like members of the Church of Scientology.  The believe is too weird for a rational person to accept and is very bizarre but once a person has become a true believer they are not easily dissuaded of the notion that they are the only ones who have it all figured out.  

The Trump cultist have some overlap with Q-Anon.  It appears all Q-Anon members are Trump cultist but I don't think all Trump cultist are Q-Anon.  Many Trump cultist, I fear, have lost touch with reality. Some of them are a danger to society and to the person who is a critic of Trump.  Maybe I should take the threat more seriously but I have been told when it comes time to take care of traitors, I am on the list.  I figure they have bigger fish to fry and if they do start taking revenge on people who were disloyal to the leader, that it will take a while to get to me. Also, I think a lot of that is just macho bluster.

 It is no use trying to reason with a Trumpinista or show them evidence. Any criticism of Trump will be dismissed without even considering the evidence presented.  Hopefully, over time, some of the Trump cultist will lose their faith in Trump and return to something resembling normalcy.  If not, we can still work with each other to advance policy position we share and to help elect conservatives.  However, it is just pointless to talk Trump with them.  When they get off into la-la land, I will smile, nod my head an try to change the subject. Unfortunately we will always have people ready to join a cult. If we can't talk them out of it, then it is just best to ignore that part of who they are. 

I am not going to waste my time even replying to Trump cultist anymore.  It is pointless to try and reason to a person so convinced of the righteousness of his cause that he has lost touch with reality. I  know this post will generate some "fake news," some "liberal," some "RINO," some "never Trumper" invectives or maybe more.  Don't bother.  

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