TN Democrats Have Plan for More Spending
Even before the money is in the bank, TN state Democrats have a plan to spend potential tax revenue should optimistic projections prove accurate.
State House Democrats proposed legislation that would direct any extra revenue to new spending programs; ostentatiously ignoring the need to drastically cut spending in the state’s budget only a few short months ago.
AFP-Tennessee is non-partisan; we would chastise either Party for proposing new spending from Nashville while the nation is focused on how to rein in the unsustainable size of government. That the leadership of the Democrat Party in the TN General Assembly thinks now is a good time to commit to new spending is out-of-touch and exactly the type of politicking that got us into this financial mess in the first place.
One plank of this legislative proposal is to spend more on higher education scholarships and student loans. While a laudable goal to get more Tennesseans to college; we have to first correct a costly error. Not every student needs to go to UT or Vanderbilt.
A recent article in Daily Finance correctly points out that we try to funnel students to four-year degree institutions which are becoming prohibitively expensive while ignoring the community college track that transfers to a four-year degree. Tennessees community colleges provide an outstanding education with tuition rates a fraction of UTs or Tennessee States. Instead of pushing students into expensive degrees, we should take advantage of our states quality community college system.
Admittedly, there is one good idea in the proposal; instant reductions in the sales tax for food should revenue outpace projections. We believe Tennesseans are burdened by taxes and government regulation and reducing spending, regulation and taxes will make our economy thrive.
However, we disagree with the specifics of this proposal for a couple of reasons. First, permanent tax reductions will do more to help Tennesseans especially the poor and middle class than contingent reductions that are merely hoped for. Want to help families and small-businesses? Lower spending and make tax reductions stable.
Secondly, AFP-Tennessee believes that with unemployment and underemployment remaining stubbornly high in the Volunteer state, government needs to be focused on job creation. Again, the poor and the middle-class will be better served by having good-paying jobs than limited, short-term tax reductions.
Tennessee needs permanent, significant tax reductions to spur growth. Lets stop governments urge to create new spending programs and tweak the tax code and demand real solutions to our states problems.