We have a choice.
We can single out online retailers for abuse that provide thousands of jobs in our state, and charge them sales tax, despite the fact that they do not have a retail outlet in our state.
We can expect every online seller to do the same.
We can allow all online sellers to undermine brick & morter retail outlets that employ retail employees in our state.
Only the second of these options is fair to all. It is exactly what the Internet sales tax bill is designed to accomplish. If you want to weep, weep for businesses that provide jobs in our state, not for those who use exemption to undermine these businesses.
According to the July 2012 library board minutes, the City has increased the budget for the library over the past few years to $6,239,688 (http://www.lib.chattanooga.gov/bdmins/bdmins7-12.pdf) from a little over $5.8 million in 2010, at the expense of other agencies. This increase came despite cutting services to County residents outside of Chattanooga and loss of one branch. If it is struggling, it is not because it is suddenly starved for cash. Many libraries have suffered cuts, not benefited from increases.
To take away the funding mechanism from the County and then blame the County for not supporting the library is rich. It is even more insulting to claim that the City would be doing its fair share for other county residents by expecting them to pay for inconvenient facilities, far away from their homes. To show how bogus this is, look at how the City disenfranchised newly annexed areas of Ooltewah simply because the City refused to include any facility that wasn't inside City limits. How is this situation likely to change, should the County pay half? The City resented the Ooltewah/Collegedale library from the day it was built in 1992, even though 90% of the budget went to City of Chattanooga buildings and the County was paying 50%.
The editor and his fans claim that he is endorsing a better solution than the Republican party, rejecting the lesser of two evils for a better answer. There is a very good reason Gary Johnson is a fringe candidate, however, and why the Free Press editor is being completely irresponsible, from my perspective (taken from his identified positions on important issues):
• Don't require insurers to provide birth control. (May 2012)
• No federal funding for stem cell research. (Jan 2012)
• No bank bailout; no farm subsidies; no stimulus. (May 2012)
• Opposed TARP, stimulus & Fannie Mae bailout. (Jul 2011)
• Lower the tax burden; eliminate corporate tax. (May 2011)
• Abolish Departments of Education and HUD. (Aug 2011)
• Voluntary partnerships reduce greenhouse gases economically. (Aug 2000)
• ObamaCare is unconstitutional; so is Bush's Medicare Rx plan. (Aug 2011)
• Cut Medicare/Medicaid by 43%, as part of $1.675 trillion cut. (May 2011)
• 43% reduction in military spending; cut foreign aid too. (Sep 2011)
• Get rid of income tax and capital-gains tax. (Feb 2012)
• Cut all support and aid to Israel. (May 2012)
• No military threat from Iraq, Afghanistan, nor Libya. (Aug 2011)
• Iran is not currently a military threat. (Aug 2011)
Fortunately for the Democrats, Obama has no ethics when it comes to electioneering. Unfortunately for Democrats, his attacks in 2008 (criticizing Hilary for endorsing an individual mandate for healthcare, calling Bush unpatrioitc for increasing the national debt by $4 Trillion over 7 years) are still on tape while he runs on generating $5 trillion in additional debt in 3 years and his individual mandate is in front of the Supreme Court. Swift-boating Romney by lemon-picking the small percentage of firms that eventually failed (as opposed to the vast majority that succeeded) is simply par for his course. Obama hismself is at 50% (GM and Solyndra) with taxpayers left holding the bag in both.
I love the cartoon, but would point out that even liberal economists are supply-siders under the skin. The reason Obama doesn't address the deficit himself is that he knows the Republicans are right about dampening the economy if you take money away from investments. He is mortgaging the future for the next generation by allowing the problem to grow so he can win, selling a you-can-have-everything message if we soak the rich. Ultimately, the broad middle class will pay and social services will be reduced. The longer it takes to address the problem, the worse it will get.
Romney was recruited by Bain after graduating with dual degrees from Harvard in Law and Business. They were not the only ones to offer him a job and reaped enough success through his work to propose that he run a separate company called Bain Capital for them, something he initially refused until they gave him an ironclad contract that eliminated his vulnerability. This and his initial funding was all based on his talent, not his money. It was his conservative nature and unwillingness to put his family's welfare at risk that made him hesitant in the first place.
While I'm not fully in the Greenspan camp, I do agree that what Romney did was good for the country and for the companies he helped through his firm. If he hadn't done what he did, they would have either failed or stagnated. Bain Capital made him and all their other investors rich precisely because his average for improving the value of the companies was extraordinarily high.
When the original Bain Company was in trouble, they turned to Romney to rescue them because they knew that he would do whatever it took to help them survive, and they followed his advice to the letter in order to achieve that victory. In my mind, he has more in common with George Bailey in being the reliable person others turned to, than some isolated cold-hearted Potter only concerned about his money (It's a Wonderful Life, if you are not a movie lover).
Just as he completely closed down Bain to hunt for the last daughter of one of his partners, his personal priorities come from a good heart, and it is that heart combined with his good business sense and ownership of any problem he addresses that made the Salt Lake Olympic Committee turn to him instead of to the otherwise excellent Jon Huntsman who was already there and willing to help.
I agree that there are many things that can go wrong between now and November, but think Romney will be a much better candidate now than he was in 2008, and he has done very well with female voters in the past. We will see. I expect both candidates to say and do anything to win, and would be wasting the money of their supporters to do anything less
Fair enough in all respects, nucanuck, except, I hope, in the last one. I intend to do everything I can in this election to put people in office who care more about working together for the good of the country than a party line. Both Romney and President Obama are good strategists in achieving their goals, but Romney has a much better resume in terms of leading broken systems of individuals to a mutually satisfactory solution while expecting them to sacrifice whatever is necessary to accomplish the goal. I trust him more than anyone else in addressing the deficit while maintaining necessary services and defence.
Seven good things to say about Romney: he is a conservative pragmatist who treats his clients' money with respect whether in the state house, rescuing the Olympics, or helping a business succeed; his personal character and love for & loyalty to this country is beyond question; his personal humanity has been proven many times in under-publicized acts of helping others; he will work with anyone to solve problems and offer the leadership to get it done; he finds and encourages diverse experts to look at each problem from different angles and plays the devil's advocate until a good solution is found; the one thing that never shifts for Romney the politician is ownership of whatever problem he decides to tackle; he knows how to listen when it counts.
If any man can be said to have been born for the presidency at this time, it is Mitt Romney with a long history of strong effective leadership during crises. Americans truly have a choice this year.
The bigger question is whether the U.S. Congress will be made up of patriots or traitors. Patriots set aside divisive rhetoric and endorse bills that can win enough support to move the country forward. Traitors block any legislation that might earn sufficient support. Under Bill Clinton, patriots accomplished a great deal. Under Barack Obama, traitors have made our government a gridlocked object of shame, something completely polarized and dysfunctional.
Unless we elect patriotic representatives and senators who care more about a functrional government than their partisan agenda, it will not matter who we elect to be president.