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Sometimes, I love East Tennessee

Even our Democrats oppose tax increases and gun control:

“The people do not want an income tax,” said Jim Melton, an Independent candidate. “The state income tax is regressive and penalizes people for working and places an unfair burden on the middle class.”

Republican candidate Raymond Finney said people he talked to in Sevier and Blount counties voiced the most concern over taxes. Finney, a retired physician, indicated he could afford increasing taxes, but that a single mother making $6 an hour and raising two children could not.

“And the government is saying give us more,” Finney said.

Democrat Linda Jo Dees, a nurse and retired U.S. Army officer, said she wouldn’t support a state income tax, either. If elected to the state Senate, she said she’d also seek a 2 percent reduction on the sales tax for grocery items.


None of the three saw a need to increase gun control laws, though Melton was concerned about person-to-person gun sales and sale of firearms at gun shows. He clarified that wasn’t the same as seeking a ban.

Melton is an independent.

7 Responses to “Sometimes, I love East Tennessee”

  1. skb Says:

    Finney is a hypocrite. How can a physician run on an anti-abortion platform?

    Anyway, that single mom making $6 doesn’t pay any income tax. On the other hand, she pays a disproportional amount in sales tax, energy tax, inflation on basic needs (the hidden tax) and other costs shifted to her and the poor and the middle class and state and local governments by Bush’s tax cuts.

  2. SayUncle Says:

    A very small percentage of Doctors perform abortions, so I can see him running on an anti abortion platform. Plus, it’s a safe stance in east tennessee. I don’t see how it makes him a hypocrite.

  3. Thibodeaux Says:

    Goddam Bush making people pay taxes on the stuff they use, instead of forcing The Rich pay for everything. Who does he think he is?

  4. tgirsch Says:

    How the hell is an income tax regressive, especially as compared to the current (sales tax only) system?!?

    I’ll have to dig it up, but a while back Kevin linked a study showing that Tennessee’s tax system was one of the most regressive (if not the most regressive) in the country!

    You could make the argument that a sales tax isn’t regressive if you do thinks like exempting food, clothing and shelter (i.e., the necessities) from the tax. The other two states that I’ve lived in (which both also had state income taxes) at least exempted groceries from the sales tax.

    I would actually prefer to have a state income tax (for deductibility reasons, fairness reasons, and a host of other reasons), but would not accept one in Tennessee without a guaranteed reduction in sales tax of at least 3.5 percent. Make our sales tax lower than Mississippi’s, and tell De Soto County to go f–k themselves.

  5. markm Says:

    Income tax is regressive when the rich can shelter most of their income. I think that as it works out, income tax is definitely regressive if you compare upper middle class (near the top tax bracket but not rich enough for most tax shelters) to the likes of the Heinz-Kerrys or the Bushes. And it always has been – even when the theoretical top tax rate was 91%, and even when it was new, with deductibles set so only a few percent of American families paid income tax at all, but the Rockefeller wealth was sheltered in a trust.

    If you compare minimum-wage workers to middle-class AND LOOK ONLY AT INCOME TAX, it is progressive. However, social security takes a huge bite out of the paycheck of even the lowest-paid (the true bite is twice what is reported on your W2 as “FICA”), it is definitely regressive, and because the middle class lives longer, over a lifetime it works out on the average to an income transfer from the working poor to the middle class, as well as often being a transfer from young people who can barely feed their kids to oldsters with comfortable private pensions. Add social security tax to income tax, and it’s regressive.

  6. Drake Says:

    Does anyone here for one second think that the sales tax would not creep back up again the next time these untrustworthy idiots spend themselves into a hole?

    I didn’t think so.

  7. tgirsch Says:


    You’ll get no argument from me that payroll taxes (FICA) are regressive — they most certainly are. Particularly Social Security, which is capped at a certain amount per year per person.

    But those are not the same thing as an income tax, which was the topic of discussion here. Income taxes, in and of themselves, are most certainly progressive, with (as you suggest) some flattening as you get to the extreme high-end of the spectrum. But you never any income tax bashers complaining about that end of the spectrum, do you? Typically, they argue that the wealthy, despite the advantages you mention, still pay too much.

    I often hear numbers thrown around with things like the top 1% of taxpayers pay a third of all income taxes. But what you never hear is what their share of all the income is, which is needed to determine the value of the previous statistic.

Remember, I do this to entertain me, not you.

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