That’s correct – after a record budget surplus last year, and a projected larger budget surplus this fiscal year – Tennessee is now facing a $136 million budget shortfall.

The thing that I find more astounding than the fact that the imbeciles in Nashville (with few exceptions) have overspent what should have been a $328,600,000 surplus for this year, is that The Tennessean actually praised our government leaders for the fact that they’ll be able to handle such a crisis. I’m pretty sure Bredesen wrote the article himself.

The Tennessean article complains about the sales tax increase of 2002, saying that it’s regressive. What the Tennessean doesn’t mention is that a sales tax is more fair as long as you don’t tax necessities (such as groceries, medicines, etc., as our state government does). While a sales tax may be regressive, it’s also a tax you choose to pay or not pay, which is much more fair than the government swiping the income for which you worked.

The Tennessean, however, has been supportive of the income tax since the beginning, so it’s no surprise that they’re firing up their pro-income tax rhetoric when “reporting” a budget shortfall.

The problem here is that our state government just increased taxes by $230 million, and we still have a shortfall! And, dadgummit, they knew it would happen. Do you for one second believe that the upper echelon of our state government really thought that a cigarette tax increase, enacted simultaneously with a multi-million dollar smoking cessation program, was going to cover the piles of money they proposed to spend this year? Baloney.

Get out your ax, because I guarantee we’re going to hear our state government officials crying for an income tax as soon as the legislature is back in session in January…which, I’m sure was the plan all along.