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We're so sorry about calling Bill Haslam clueless in today's Scene.
Little did we know he was about to issue his "Ten Guiding Principles for Conservative Fiscal Leadership." Not since he opened that red umbrella have we been so impressed. Gail Kerr is probably already on the phone with Tom Ingram taking dictation for her next column. Haslam's weighty principles would make Winston Churchill proud.
Mayor Haslam's 10 principles are:
1. First ask the question, should state government actually be doing this?
2. Always ask the question, is this the most efficient and effective way to do it?
3. Manage conservatively and spend less than you take in
4. Hold the reins when times are good
5. Prioritize when times are bad
6. Avoid debt
7. Keep taxes low
8. Ensure Tennessee remains a state WITHOUT an income tax
9. Ensure every initiative of state government is producing a measurable, positive outcome
10. Be a faithful steward of taxpayer dollars
OK, it took a little too long to get to No. 8. (We hope these principles aren't in order of importance.) And Nos. 9 and 10 sound pretty much the same as Nos. 1 and 2, plus there's no need for No. 4. And there's nothing about how, in following his guiding principles, he will manage not to close schools or release murderers from prison. But all in all, this tells you all you need to know about how Haslam would govern Tennessee. And don't you just love those red umbrellas?