I found it more than ironic that Mr. Ashford is now criticizing the Republicans for the same Keynesian ideas he has espoused for the last couple of years (“Perverting Keynes,” March 29). If you are going to study a dead economist, Mr. Ashford, I suggest John Locke.
Joey B. King, Libertarian Party of Davidson County
The ducks have bills
If it looks like a duck, sounds like a duck, and acts like a duck, it is called a duck. If it looks like a bribe, sounds like a bribe, and acts like a bribe, it is called a campaign contribution. The people with the authority to change the latter definition are the ones using it. Let’s stop encouraging them by restricting contributions of any kind except from those qualified to vote for the candidate. We can do that only when we throw the current bunch of “scoundrels” out.
611 Georgetown Drive (Nashville)
Marathon still running
The Country Music Marathon’s future is not in doubt. Matt Pulle’s article about the marathon “hitting the wall” (March 22) is factually incorrect. Some people in the city not involved with the marathon have made estimates on the cost of the parking at the stadium based on figures that are not accurate. The stadium lots hold 7,500 cars, so we cannot park 8,000 cars there. Also, the event does not use Lots H, K, R, and S at all, as they are used to stage the Finish Pavilion and [to store] supplies. Finally, the Sports Authority has not informed the marathon that our agreement will change in 2002. The CMM will be back in 2002, and we look forward to continuing to work closely with the city of Nashville, including the Mayor’s Office, Sports Authority, Nashville Sports Council, and the Titans. The CMM staff would prefer stories based on confirmed facts. The marathon is not here to stir controversy. It is here to give Nashville a first-class sporting and music event that will help attract visitors and provide a positive image of the city.
Adam Zocks, general manager,Country Music Marathon
Incest ain’t best
In the March 22 issue of the Scene, Liz Murray Garrigan complains of the “incestuous” relationships between the attorney general, the Supreme Court, and the Legislature (Political Notes). While I would not use that adjective, I am surprised that the answer to this problem was not highlighted: changing the state constitution to require popular election of the attorney general or passing legislation to make the court-appointed attorney general a court reporter, which is part of his title anyway. Meanwhile, the Legislature could provide for a popularly elected solicitor general who would have all the duties currently given by law to the court-appointed attorney general. Let’s focus our attention on how to get an elected attorney general for Tennessee.
Mayor Victor Ashe
400 Main Street (Knoxville)
Understating the facts
Regarding your editorial “Defending TennCare” (March 22), the reason that TennCare “on the whole has done a good job of holding down costs and expanding coverage” is exactly the problem. TennCare expanded the pool of covered lives by including a group of people who use healthcare resources at a disproportionate rate. Simultaneously trying to reduce costs while guaranteeing increased usage is economically unsustainable. All things being equal, the survival of such a system requires another part of the system to provide more resources at the previous rate or provide the same resources at a reduced rate. TennCare has survived so far because hospitals and physicians have done either or both. Your blasé acknowledgment of a few “administrative problems” merely proves that you have been busy working in another industry for the past five years. With the notable exception of BlueCross/BlueShield, it is fair to say that the administration of reimbursements pursuant to TennCare has been incompetent.
The reason that so few people will defend TennCare is that the program, while noble in design, is inherently destined to fail. TennCare requires providers to process more paperwork and devote more resources in exchange for reduced reimbursements that are less than the cost of the services provided. To complicate matters, TennCare and the managed care organizations are seemingly incapable of consistently reimbursing for services in a timely manner. It is interesting to note that the MCOs do not seem to have the same trouble paying for advertising at the Gaylord Entertainment Center.
If you and your “hard-drinking” reporter friend have some bias against Sen. Blackburn, find another platform. In the alternative, lay off the booze and do your homework.
A common refrain
In light of the recent news regarding a diminished economy and generally lean times all over, I’d like to take this opportunity to point out that had Gov. Sundquist and the Scene gotten their way, Tennesseans would be hit with a new income tax at just the time that income is getting harder to come by. The true danger of a state income tax is not that the state gets a bite, but that the state reserves for itself first dibs on income, and has no legitimate check on its voraciousness. Just when families need the money most, the state would declare that due to “hard times” it needs to take a bigger slice of a reduced pie.
Mark T. Gibson
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