No new taxes
What is it with politicians, especially Democrats, always wanting to add some form of new taxes? Tennessee just added more to the gas sales tax in 2017 — pushed through by a Republican governor — and Karl Dean wants to create another path for additional gas tax via the local level?
I would guarantee you that most of the additional revenue would wind up in Nashville, Knoxville and Memphis and not in Northeast Tennessee. What city was Karl Dean the mayor of? Look it up if you do not know.
You give any level of government a way to increase taxes and they will raise them. This idea would just put the blame on your local government and not the state, and yet the state would reap most of the revenue to do with as they see fit.
If this ever comes up, it needs to go to a referendum vote by the citizens of the county and a great big “no” should be your vote!
The state should publish just what and where the millions of gas tax dollars that have been collected have gone and where future millions are going.
The number one excuse for raising taxes has always been “it is for education.” That one has about run its course. Now the catch phrase is “it’s for aging roads and infrastructure.”
Of course this newspaper had to throw in a dig about the state not having an income tax and how raising the gas tax would hurt fixed income folks. Hey, do not raise taxes! Tennessee ranks as one of the most fiscally sound states in the union. We must be doing something right without a state income tax!
Thank God for John McCain
The world was blessed by John McCain.
His faithfulness to his God manifested itself in his service, strength, love, forgiveness, creativity, hard work and humility. He was a role model, including in his humility when he admittedly erred. He followed Jesus who taught that the greatest commandment is to love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, and soul, and the second is like it to love your neighbor as yourself.
Senator McCain loved the United States and its motto "In God We Trust,” chosen by our leaders because they knew the success of the American Experiment depended on citizens' and leaders' godly character, and they warned that ungodly character would eventually destroy our unique democracy. May we heed what Senator McCain told us once more in the memorial services he planned: That we first love our God and our neighbors of all types; that we love our country and fellow citizens and that we listen and work together rather than frighten and bully; that we demand godly character in all our leaders and expect them to follow God's command to act justly, love mercy and walk humbly with him.
Stop brain drain with opportunity
Our newly elected officials need to concentrate on only one thing: economic development. I am not talking about another retail or other low wage, no benefits organization that employs workers part-time. We need new types of businesses: technology companies, graphic design companies, consulting firms, robotics companies, et al. Companies that pay a living wage, hire people full-time, a place where individuals can start a career, rather than have a meaningless job.
We continue to experience brain drain. I teach at ETSU and I know from experience that many of our high achieving students leave this area due to a lack of opportunities. I've watched students go to Nashville, Kansas City, Saint Louis, Atlanta, Charleston, Savannah, New York, Dallas, Boston, DC, Salt Lake City, Knoxville, Chicago and others. Some have even decided to leave the country to pursue their careers.
Why is this so? Quite simply, there are more opportunities for organizational communication consultants, nurses, social media gurus, public relations professionals, accountants, copyrighters, computer programmers, etc. elsewhere than there are here. It doesn't do us any good as a local community or region to educate these students, just to watch them be productive somewhere else.
Everyone knows we are a gem; nestled in this beautiful region. What we need to do is give our newly educated people economic and career reasons to stay here. That’s why economic development is the only thing on my list.
DR. ANDREW F. HERRMANN