Friday, April 12, 2013

Salon: Tennessee lawmakers have elevated hatred for government and disgust for poor people to an art form

The national media have a very low opinion of Tennessee. 

Sad, but true:

Tennessee: Ayn Rand’s vision of paradise 

 The following article is part of AlterNet's ongoing series on poverty, Hard Times, USA. 

 April 10, 2013  
The southern state ranks dead last in per capita tax revenue, and its low-income families are paying the price 

If you're worried about where America is heading, look no further than Tennessee. Its lush mountains and verdant rolling countryside belie a mean-spirited public policy that only makes sense if you believe deeply in the anti-collectivist, anti-altruist philosophy of Ayn Rand. It's what you get when you combine hatred for government with disgust for poor people. 

Tennessee starves what little government it has, ranking dead last in per capita tax revenue. To fund its minimalist public sector, it makes sure that low-income residents pay as much as possible through heavily regressive sales taxes, which rank 10th highest among all states as a percent of total tax revenues. (For more detailed data see  here.)