By Steve Hunley

Interesting Factoid…

New York governor Andrew Cuomo is begging for wealthy folks to return to the Empire State, which was ravaged by the coronavirus. Why does the guv want wealthy New Yorkers to come back home? “A single percent of New York’s population pays half of the state’s taxes,” Cuomo said, “and they’re the most mobile people on the globe.” Hmmm…1% of New York’s population —the wealthy—pay HALF of all the taxes in New York?

One wealthy person who has left New York for Florida is billionaire Carl Icahn, who has moved his business to the Sunshine State.

Cuomo may be hard pressed to convince wealthy New Yorkers to come back and it sure would seem they are paying more than their fair share of the tax burden, but not according to crazy congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. AOC has urged Cuomo to impose a special tax on billionaires. The money raised from that tax would go to help those citizens impacted by the coronavirus. According to AOC’s plan. The wealth tax, which is sponsored by State Senator Jessica Ramos in the New York legislature, would supposedly generate about $5.5 billion in revenue. That money would then go to those workers who are not eligible for unemployment or federal relief.

Bill DeBlasio, who has finally gotten some stiff competition for America’s craziest and most incompetent mayor from Jenny Durkan of Seattle, is feuding with governor Andrew Cuomo. Like AOC, DeBlasio is a supporter of the new wealth tax. DeBlasio sniffed he did not make decisions “based on the wealthy few.” Basically, if the federal government won’t bail out New York City’s burgeoning budget gaps and problems, DeBlasio’s go-to move is to increase taxes on the rich. Cuomo argues the tax hikes proposed by AOC and Bill DeBlasio will only cause wealthy New Yorkers to move out of the state. DeBlasio has no such worries, saying he thinks others will come to live in New York and gladly pay whatever taxes are needed. The wealthy New Yorkers “can afford to pay a little bit more so that everyone else can make it through this crisis,” DeBlasio said.

Tell that to ritzy Manhattan. When stores finally reopened in Manhattan, shoppers were conspicuous by their absence. Times Square and Fifth Avenue sidewalks more resemble ghost towns than the once-bustling metropolis. Brooks Brothers and Neiman Marcus have filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. It’s becoming more and more likely a lot of stores will close their doors forever. There is speculation that fully one-third of Manhattan’s 230,000 small businesses will shutter their stores forever with workers staying at home and social distancing taking its toll.

When Andrew Cuomo is the voice of reason, Lord help us all!


Tennessee Legislature Special Session Over

Governor Bill Lee called the Tennessee General Assembly back into special session to consider legislation that didn’t get passed during the regular session. The governor was especially concerned about providing businesses with protection from frivolous law suits over the COVID-19 virus. The three-day session dealt with much of what went out the window when differences between Senate and House Republicans became irreconcilable. The legislation protecting businesses and schools from COVID lawsuits passed easily, as did a telehealth bill during a time of social distancing. Legislators also passed a sweeping bill, which will give authorities greater ability to crack down on protestors who have infested the State Capitol for months.

House Republicans dropped a proposal that would have allowed Tennessee’s Attorney General to prosecute protest-related crimes. The reason the bill was dropped was estimates that each conviction might cost taxpayers $500,000 each.


$800 Million Investment in Tennessee

Governor Bill Lee’s office sent out a press release that social media titan Facebook is going to build an $800 million data center in Gallatin, Tennessee. The project is expected to employ 1,100 construction workers and once fully operational, some 100 people will work at the center. That’s good news for Tennessee and Tennesseans.


Knox School Challenges

The Knox County School system seems to wobble along as it struggles to reopen schools. As a member of the School Reopening Task Force, I asked the question, “Do you have a backup plan for your backup plan?” We were assured we got this, we don’t need one. Well apparently they do need a second backup plan. The superintendent has already put off the reopening date by a week while they continue to prepare for the first day of school. Planning for the reopening now involves a Florida firm and virtual school. This caused a few Knox County teachers to shriek with horror that their jobs were being outsourced. According to a few school board members, the call to flood them with emails fizzled out within hours. The response was underwhelming, to say the least.

“If we’re going to reopen schools, we don’t have that many options currently,” Mike McMillan, East Knox County’s Board member said. “We are trying to do the best we can with all of the challenges posed by the COVID-19 virus. It’s an incredibly complicated and difficult task.”

I agree, Mike.


Cunning Kamala

Sleepy Old Joe Biden has made his vice presidential pick and after boxing himself into a corner, by promising he would pick a woman of color finally selected California senator Kamala Harris. Old Joe will probably need a food taster and Kamala is about as likeable as a rattlesnake. Kamala fits right in with the authoritarian wing of the national Democratic party and she’s proven she doesn’t mind telling a whopper of a lie right out of the gate. Cunning Kamala gave Barack Obama and Joe Biden complete credit for a booming economy which was humming when the virus hit in March. Goodness gracious, the eight years of Obama did everything but put the economy to sleep. Obama and Biden had as much to do with the economic boom as I did inventing the wheel.

The one-time paramour of Willie Brown, speaker of the California House and mayor of San Francisco, Cunning Kamala is nothing if not an opportunist. Over a period of about five years, Harris raked in $400,000 in positions secured for her by her lover, Willie Brown.

Cunning Kamala supported cutting $100 million from the Los Angeles Police Department’s budget in June. She also wanted to reduce the number of police officers yet she said on “Good Morning America” while postulating on reallocating taxpayer dollars, “Are we actually creating healthy and safe communities?” Just how in the world we are creating SAFE communities by getting rid of police officers and cutting police budgets arbitrarily is anyone’s guess. Old Joe Biden has said he’s not for defunding the police, but rather funding for police departments should depend on whether police are “honorable.” It may be Biden is wanting to have it both ways; he says he’s against defunding the police while Cunning Kamala is all in for defunding police departments around the country. Biden said federal funding for police departments should depend on whether they “…are able to demonstrate they can protect the community.” Well, I wonder how they are supposed to do that with less money and fewer officers? A Pew poll taken in July revealed 73% believe funding for police should either remain at its current level or be increased. In an ABC-Ipsos poll, 64% of Americans flatly rejected the notion of defunding the police. 91% of Republicans rejected the idea of defunding the police, while 45% of Democrats held the same opinion. 43% of Black respondents, 58% of Hispanic respondents and 74% of white respondents were against defunding the police. The Pew poll results indicate the number of Americans opposed to defunding the police is growing. An anemic 25% supported the idea of defunding the police in the Pew poll, with only 12% saying funding for police should be reduced significantly and 14% saying it should be cut somewhat.

For law-and-order types, Cunning Kamala did put quite a few folks behind bars for marijuana violations when she was a prosecutor. During the campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination, Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard hit Harris, saying, “She put over 1,500 people in jail for marijuana violation and then laughed about it when she was asked if she ever smoked marijuana. Wow, what a woman of the people.