Bredesen Pork Proposals Raise Questions of Political Payoffs
Half billion dollar giveaway of tax dollars favor campaign contributors, cronies
NASHVILLE – Nearly every proposed private, nonprofit and non-governmental recipient of Gov. Phil Bredesen's last minute half-billion dollar budget request have ties to the Bredesen administration, according to an examination by the Tennessee Center for Policy Research.
On Tuesday, with the legislative session in its waning days, the administration announced a flurry of eleventh hour pork projects it hopes to fund. If funded, the earmarks would soak up remaining state surplus dollars and prevent the state government from returning surplus funds back to taxpayers by temporarily eliminating Tennessee's tax on food or offering a gas tax holiday.
In total, the Governor hopes to dole out $505 million in goodies and giveaways through the budget request—enough money to remove the state's sales tax on groceries for an entire year.