Democrats just put out a press release
castigating GOP state lawmakers for taking campaign contributions from former Gov Don Sundquist, “the father of Tennessee’s income tax plan.”
“This is yet another example of candidates like Dolores Gresham, Ken Yager and Vance Dennis saying one thing on the campaign trail and then doing another in real life,” said Democratic Party Chairman Gray Sasser. “They run around their districts claiming they’re against the income tax. Then they turn around and pad their pockets with Don Sundquist’s leftover campaign cash.”
Sasser added: “We can draw either one of two conclusions: Either they support the income tax, or they’re hypocrites. Either way, Tennessee voters deserve to know the truth.”
By raising the income tax issue, Democrats are giving Republicans a taste of their own medicine, and I’m sure that makes them feel really good.
But just for the record, let’s note that the income tax—preferably a progressive one—is the smart, fair way to fund state government. Everyone ought to favor it, that is unless they don’t care whether Tennessee remains 48th or 49th in education and health care and just about everything else.
What’s more, Democrats at the party headquarters know this to be true. Yet cynically, they put out press releases like today’s and make it even harder, if that’s possible, for lawmakers to pass an income tax in the future.
I'm sure Sasser thinks there's zero chance of enacting an income tax anyway, so who cares? But that begs the question, how is the state supposed to fund the government? Does anyone favor raising the sales tax again? Those are the issues the party ought to be discussing. But, a week before the election, I guess that's too much to ask.