As one of only two Senators voting against a "Pre-K" preschool public teaching initiative, "I said, 'is this going to be a statewide initiative?'" Burchett recalled. "And they said, 'absolutely not, we're just doing it in these trial areas.' Of course, what did we do this year? It's a statewide initiative."
Referring to his constituents, "Those people can raise their own dad-gum kids, government doesn't need to be in the business of raising kids," Burchett said. "One of my Senators from Blount County is always fond of saying, 'Pre-K programs, outside of teaching them advanced potty training and crayon coloration, with Pre-K that's pretty much what it is, just a babysitting service.'"
On the other hand, Burchett said concerning church-based care, "We've demonized them and drove them out of business. And now who's in the business of raising our kids? The government is, and that's a scary thought."
Burchett discussed government preservation of "several thousand acres up on the Cumberland Plateau, which, on the surface sounds like a great idea … everybody says we need to preserve that for our grandkids and all this. I made a statement, I said, 'What's wrong with people coming in and buying this property … five acres and putting a nice house on it and paying taxes?'
"I got the ugliest e-mails … saying, 'what are you talking about?" Burchett added. "'This is American, we need to preserve this.' Congressman Duncan is always good to point out that over half of our property is now owned by the city, county or state government.
"We don't end up paying taxes on it. … I think it's a very slippery slope. It doesn't work in Cuba, it doesn't work in China, and it sure as heck doesn't work in Tennessee."