Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Here's what pisses people off about the South

Tennessee's large newspapers reported today that the number of residents on food stamps rose by a record number due to the downturn in the economy.

Average household income levels here already are low along with the level of higher education among residents. And ultimately, Tennessee -- like most Southern states --gets more back in federal aid that its citizens pay in federal taxes each April.

Yet the South is the most anxious anti-tax, anti-federal government region in the nation. Tennesseans, Floridians and Texans brag about not having a state income tax. But a dependence on sales taxes really bites you in the ass when the economy goes bad. People don't buy. Goods don't get produced. Employees lose jobs. And a record number of Tennesseans end up on food stamps.

Then, big government is just fine along with the higher federal taxes people up north have to pay.

The South -- most particularly Tennessee -- needs to join the rest of the nation in paying to properly educate its children and do so by enacting a state income tax. Then the state won't have to give away the house to get Volkswagen to locate a manufacturing plant here. Nor will the state be overdependent on the auto industry when national sales figures released today showed 30 to 40 percent drops in sales for the Big 3 automakers.

Then our image in the eyes of the rest of the nation will rise, along with our standard of living and protection from record numbers of people signing up for food stamps. That's not liberal or conservative. It's just progressive.

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