My opponent is trying to say I voted wrong...you be the judge.
He attacks on Big Oil, education and the minimum wage.
Each year the House Democrats pass a resolution for the US Congress asking them to investigate the oil companies for price gouging. This is done for partisan reasons and passes with a scant few votes.
Is the resolution effective? No. Not once has it ever even been acknowledged by the US Congress.
The Republicans try to amend the bill to ask the US Congress to drill domestically. The Democrats kill this amendment!
So this year I tried to explain a little economics to the Democrats and that is that oil is a commodity. If the price of oil goes up on the Commodities Exchange the price of oil, and the price of gasoline, will follow. The oil companies buy the oil for refining and must pay the commodity price. This price is passed on to us as consumers.
I further explained that while the oil companies make profits in the billions of dollars, as a percent of revenue they earn about 8% profit. Sure they earn a lot dollar-wise because they sell a whole lot of gasoline.I also pointed out that while oil company profits are 8% of revenue, left leaning companies like Google earn profits at 30% of revenue. Should we investigate Google for price gouging too?
And I asked, what about the drug companies, most make 20%, 22%, even 30% profit - and most drugs are paid for with tax payer dollars - Now frankly that sounds like something to investigate.
And what about the taxes they pay? Businesses like oil companies actually pay billions of dollars more in taxes than they make in profit, taxes passed on to you and me when we make a purchase. Why don't they think the government is tax gouging?
There are only 7 American oil companies. They have direct access to only about 7% of the world's oil. Foreign nations and foreign oil companies control 93% of the world's oil. Why would the Democrats want to weaken our American oil companies by attacking them and refusing to enable domestic drilling?
Many Americans are invested in American oil companies through their pension fund, retirement plans and money markets. Why would Democrats want to weaken these companies and destroy American savings?
If anything funny was going on with the recent spike in oil it was on the Commodities Exchange and this IS being investigated by the federal government without a request from the Tennessee General Assembly being at all necessary.
Improving our schools
My opponent implies that I voted against our schools - NOT TRUE!
The bill he is referring to, HB2354 is the cigarette tax. The bill barely passed, receiving only 59 votes out of 99.
In actuality, I voted against using the cigarette tax, a declining source of revenue, to fund education.
If we are serious about funding education we will fund education out of the General Fund and not with a source of revenue that is in decline - leaving our school children short.
Last year the Governor cut $69 million dollars out of the education budget because the cigarette tax had come up short in collections.
I believe it is immoral for school children to have to depend on smokers for their education, and it makes me angry that things such as a bunker would be funded and education would be cut. The Republicans have a plan to fund education first - a plan the Democrats killed in a tabling motion - see amendment 3, Democrat motion to lay on the table.
Raising the Minimum Wage
My opponent obviously wants Tennessee to have our own minimum wage, separate from the federal minimum wage because that is what the Democrats tried to pass - it failed.
He also seems to approve of that wage being linked to the Consumer Price Index - an idea that uses circular reasoning.
This bill is considered to be a JOB KILLER BILL by small business owners (NFIB, Tennessee Chamber of Commerce).
It is clear that the best way to help a low wage person make more money is by improving their skills so that their labor is worth more to an employer. It is not by causing inflation in the economy which only makes the low wage person's life more difficult.
Please see my article: Circular Reasoning and the Minimum Wage. This article about this bill was published by a national magazine and received much praise.
By the way, the bill my opponent mentions in the mailer is not the Minimum Wage Bill - it is HB3402 a bill that exempts from the County Powers Relief Act any county in which at least 51 percent of the real property is owned by the federal government and dedicated as a national forest...it didn't pass either.