Saturday, November 8, 2008

Could Bredesen bolt for Washington? He'd sure like to leave a sinking ship he steered into the rocks

WKRN political analyst Steve Gill contends that Gov. Phil Bredesen could bolt Tennessee for the Obama administration to avoid a politically difficult budget deficit of $600 million.

Bredesen really does not care to be governor anymore. He has hired a specialist to float his name around Washington for greener pastures. Obama might take the governor in a lesser role in the U.S. Department of the Treasury. But Bredesen was no friend to Obama during the presidential race.

The U.S. Senate is no alternative since Bredesen buddy Bob Corker has one seat and Lamar Alexander just won another six-year term.

Alas, what is a mega-millionaire to do?

It might be better for the most vulnerable in this state if Bredesen does leave. He is simply going to further gut TennCare and other programs geared to helping people in need. State employee numbers will fall dramatically.

"There is going to be blood all over the place," said retiring state Rep. Frank Buck, who served three decades in the General Assembly. "There will be serious, serious trouble."

Buck is right. And the trouble is even going to reach into affluent counties like Williamson. The local share of state aid will have to be cut significantly. That means taxpayers there and across Tennessee will have to pay more for services and their schools. Get ready to pay higher property taxes in the midst of a recession.

As for Bredesen leaving, Buck says he would not be surprised. He calls the governor "selfish" and "self-centered". Rep. Buck is being too kind.

Senate President Ron Ramsey would ascend to the governor's job. But he may not want it. Dr. Bill Frist sure wants it in 2010 so he can run against Obama in 2012. So Tennessee's politics could be in for a wild year. Hold on, everyone.

And Tennessee Republicans may rue the day they got all the power they wanted. The next two years are not going to be good ones for people in elective office forced to cut services and raise taxes during a hard recession.

1 comment:

LeftWingCracker said...

Tim,

Since A) Bredesen told Obama not to come down here, making him partially responsible for the debacle and B) a Bredesen appointment means Governor Ron Ramsey, it's not happening, not in this lifetime.