Publisher’s Positions

By Steve Hunley

Will Bicycles and Electric Cars Pay Their Fair Share of Taxes?

Remember Debbie Helsley’s campaign for mayor of Knox County and her “bold” climate change plan?  Helsley never uttered a word about the effect of inflation or rising fuel prices on working families, but instead talked about climate change.  That same attitude is prevalent with the crowd running the City of Knoxville.  It is part of their political religion, hence the heavy investment of taxpayer dollars in a fleet of pricey electric buses; throughout Knoxville, the City has taken a quarter of most roads for bike lanes.  Mayor Indya Kincannon has already convinced the city council to raise property taxes and there are persistent rumblings about raising the sales tax in the very near future.  Considering the City of Knoxville apparently needs more taxpayer money to spend, let me suggest a new, untapped source of revenue.  The City of Knoxville ought to pass a tax on bicycles.  Perhaps a tax of $2,000 each would be about right.

Yep, bicyclists, praised for their meager contribution to avoiding climate change – – – which is probably less than cows expelling gas – – – pay no gas tax.  Those are generally the taxes collected by federal, state and local governments for the maintenance of roads.  If we are going to dedicate a quarter of the roads inside the City of Knoxville to bicyclists, why aren’t they paying their fair share of taxes to support those roads?

The self-appointed green warriors retort motorists should bear the tax burden for pollution.  Right.  Yet another argument that the people working should pay the biggest share of the load for those who don’t.  Or simply put, tax the dickens out of those who work so that government can hand something “free” to someone else.

The Democrats have certainly mastered at least one political art; that of naming legislation that does precisely the opposite of what it says it will do.  The Inflation Reduction Act recently passed by the Democrat Congress would be Exhibit Number One.  A huge spending bill, it adds to the rising inflation rather than reduces it by a penny.

So, too, is the Democrat orthodoxy about energy policy not only foolish but downright dangerous to the future of our country, something that will become even more readily apparent this winter with high heating bills.  We’ve gone from being energy-independent to dependent upon folks who don’t like us very much.  Putin has proved just how he can turn off the tap whenever he wishes.

The pie-in-the-sky remedies that captivate so many youngsters, which is preached with religious fervor by Democrats, about green energy aren’t even thought out very well, not even between blackouts.  Aside from the infrastructure not being in place, there is the reality the great majority of Americans cannot afford vehicles that cost in excess $80,000 each.  For a couple, that is a minimum of $160,000 so both can get back and forth to work daily.

With electric cars, what happens to the gas tax, which is the tax that has been paid for road building and maintenance since the Good Lord was a boy?  Does any person in his or her right mind think for a split second the Democrats aren’t going to propose a new tax to take its place?

The City’s history of bicycling is varied; Indya Kincannon was often seen biking from hither to yon before she had a driver and bodyguard.  Stephanie Welch, the overly well-compensated and now-departed brain of Indya Kincannon, was known for pedaling all over.  While a city councilwoman, Welch had openly suggested people get used to doing without their cars.  Can you imagine your aged mother trying to carry her groceries back home on a bicycle?  Can you imagine taking your children to baseball or dance practice on the back of your bike?

The notion is to follow the example of China, which is, ironically, the worst polluter in the world and the Chinese have NO intention of becoming eco-friendly anytime soon.  In China, very few people own a car and most get about on either public transportation or bicycles.  None of the big countries on this planet intend to do a thing about climate change including China, Russia and India.  The notion the United States can solve the problem on its own and pay the way for every country on earth is not only delusional but foolish.

I don’t know how much money a $2,000 per bicycle tax would bring in, but it would give Kincannon and the City Council more money to spend.


Are New Yorkers Waking Up?

The recent debate between New York gubernatorial candidates Kathy Hochul and Lee Zeldin pretty much summarizes the difference between Democrats and Republicans on the issue of how to deal with crime.  Crime, violent and otherwise, is rising steadily in New York and a primary concern for New Yorkers, so much so that the deep Blue state is now a dead heat between incumbent Hochul and GOP challenger Zeldin.  During the debate, Zeldin was highly critical of the bail policies sponsored by Hochul and Democrats which put violent criminals right back on the streets.  At one point, Hochul whined, “I don’t know why that’s so important to you.”

Hochul tried to change the conversation and brought up control.  What that has to do with innocent people being shoved to their deaths in front of moving trains only God knows.


Representative Barbara Cooper Passes Away

Tennessee’s oldest incumbent state lawmaker, Representative Barbara Cooper, died last week at age 93.  A retired city schoolteacher, Mrs. Cooper was a Democrat from Memphis and had served in the General Assembly for 26 years.  Barbara Cooper was a tireless advocate for those things she believed in and was well-liked by her colleagues.