Wednesday, August 07, 2002

An Artful Rearrangement

When the Associated Press reports from Tennessee on political issues, the byline is usually Karin Miller. Lately, others have been doing the reporting, but the story's still the same: make the Democrat look good.

In this story carried in the Commercial Appeal, the AP reports on the campaign jockeying of Phil Bredesen and Van Hilleary regarding Tennessee's tax situation. But in the story, they alter the sequence of events to give a different impression.

Republican Van Hilleary proposed first to roll back the one cent sales tax hike. It was a bold move, intended to get Democrat Bredesen to make a counter-move on the record. It worked, as Bredesen said he couldn't support that, claiming 9000 teachers would be laid off! Where he got this number wasn't said, nor was he questioned on how that many teachers got paid before the increase. Bredesen then countered with a "sales tax holiday" proposal, an idea that already fell flat in this year's Legislature.

But as the author reported it, Bredesen proposed his tax holiday idea first and then Hilleary countered with the sales tax roll-back! It makes Bredesen look like the do-er and Hilleary look reactionary, rather than the other way around--the truth.

Couple of good Bredesen comments that can only serve to worry some voters:
"This is not a comprehensive tax reform package or anything like that....

"I don't want to leave office eight years from now with the highest sales
tax in the nation," he said.
Eight years? Does he know something we the voters don't? Comprehensive tax reform? That sounds suspiciously like the code phrase the newspapers and the Naifeh crowd have been using instead of "income tax." Is that on his horizon somewhere?

Makes you think.

Until next time, that is all.
Your Working Boy

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