The High Price of Low Taxes

By now, most of us are aware of the story out of Obion, Tennessee where the firefighters watched as the family home, 3 dogs and a cat burned.

The family had a choice, pay a “subscription fee” of $75.00 per year or do without fire protection. In this sense, taxes for firefighting were made voluntary. Their taxes were lowered. And they, and their pets, paid a dear price for their choice to forego fire protection. One can only imagine the horror had people been in the house while the firefighters stood by, ready to protect…the neighbor’s property should the fire spread to the lands of someone who paid the $75.00!

But let’s take a closer look at that $75.00 voluntary fee for firefighting services. Apparently, the entire county could be covered for a 0.13% increase in their property taxes. That means, for houses valued less than about $57,000, they would be paying less than $75.00 per year, while those whose houses were valued at more than $57,000, would pay more.

So, what’s the median house prices in Obion, Tennessee, you ask?

I’m glad you asked:

As the chart shows, the current median price of homes in Obion is about $10,000 more than the $57,000 break-even point on the “subscription fee.” But this shows that roughly half the homeowners in the county pay too much for fire protection, while those with pricier homes get a break.

The High Price of Low Taxes.

This worked so well, the powers that be want to expand the program. It’s a good deal for the folks with the more expensive homes. For the poor, not so good a deal. Left out of MainStreamMedia stories is how this “subscription service” is made available to renters, if at all. For all we know, they’re at the mercy of their landlords.

But there is one other thing we know: this time, the price was furnishings and pets. This time. Next time, it could well be someone’s children, wife, husband, father or mother.
Perhaps the firefighters could be equiped with violins, so they could at least fiddle while they watch houses burn.

America’s Worst Unknown Environmental Disaster

Three days before Christmas, a barrier broke and toxic sludge spilled across 300 acres in Roane County, Tennessee.  Now much of this land is under six feet of sludge. This Tennessee coal plant created, for the United States, the largest environmental disaster.

A forty-acre pond containing toxic coal ash has collapsed, spilling out millions of gallons of coal ash. Environmentalists say the spill is more than thirty times larger than the Exxon Valdez, but the story has received little national attention.

2.6 million cubic yards of coal ash spilled out of the retention pond, burying homes and roads.  The sludge has flowed into the Emory River, a tributary of the Tennessee River, which provides drinking water to millions of people downstream in Tennessee, Alabama and Kentucky.

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Gore Tells Off Rep. Blackburn

Al Gore states, ” If you believe that I have been working on this for 30 years is because of greed, you don’t know me.”  His comeback was perfect.  He was objecting to the implications that Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R) was implying, that his work in creating awareness of global climate change is about profit.  He goes further in saying that the profits from the movie, the book, from any investment into renewable energy has gone into a non-profit called “Alliance for Climate Protection.”

Al Gore chuckles because it was clear that the congresswoman was trying to use that article to not only smear him but to raise suspicion of his altruistic motives, while claiming these were legitimate questions asked by her.

Secret Service Reports Over 500 Threats Against Obama

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ABC News is reporting that Neo-Nazi Obama Plot One of “A Handful” of “Serious” Threats Against Obama.  The Secret Service reveils that an estimated dozen or so cases, the threat was considered serious enough that law enforcement agents were assigned to track down suspects.  But they have a record number of assassination threats.

The arrests Monday in an alleged neo-Nazi assassination plot against Sen. Barack Obama involve one of a handful of serious threats against the Democratic presidential candidate, federal law enforcement sources tell ABC News.

Threats of violence, harsh invective, language such as “get rid of” or “kill” or “eliminate” are all considered triggers for possible investigation, officials say.  But in only a handful of cases, did the threat, after being run down by United States Secret Service, have the elements that warranted it to be taken extremely seriously.

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Breaking News: ATF Foiled Plot By Skinheads To Kill Obama

MSNBC just released this news 17 minutes ago.  Two Neo-Nazis held in Tennessee; allegedly also planned to kill dozens.  In court documents unsealed today.

A plot by two Neo-Nazi skinheads to assassinate Barack Obama and kill dozens of other African Americans has been foiled, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms said Monday.

Daniel Cowart, 20, of Bells, Tenn., and Paul Schlesselman, 18, of West Helena, Ark., were charged Friday with making threats against a presidential candidate, illegal possession of a sawed-off shotgun and conspiracy to rob a gun store.

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