Asked if he ever thinks about what might have happened if he'd been named HHS secretary, Bredesen replied, "I feel like I have dodged a bullet." That's funny. We feel the same way.
The governor went on to give his usual gloomy report on the state of state finances.
"It's going to be 2014 before we think we'll be back to the revenues we had in 2008. Then of course you've got lots of unmet needs. You won't have given raises to state employees for five years at that point. Our pension plans are in need of some replenishment. Our reserves are in need of some replenishment. We won't have done a bunch of new things. It's a problem, there's no question about it."
All of which raises a number of questions. Given this dire situation, why did Bredesen tell us all through his time in office that there was no need to raise taxes, much less fix our unfair and inadequate tax system? Did he think the boom economy was going to roll along forever?
As for the state sharing the costs of universal health care with the federal government, whatever happened to skin in the game? Bredesen's always saying it's necessary for the working poor to put a little skin in the game if they want health insurance. He has proposed that everyone should "pay a little something for everything" in order to reduce costs overall.
"It is simple economics that if you want someone to make efficient choices, they have to have a little skin in the game, some personal responsibility."
Well, isn't this the same principle at work? It's simple economics, governor.