The 133rd letter: Haircuts and health care

Dear Governor Haslam:

This is my 133rd letter to you.

In the last 48 hours I have found out something that really bothers me. It is about haircuts (and a whole list of other things) and it bears very directly on health care.

I have heard you and other people complain about Tenn Care expansion as something so difficult and daunting that financially we may not survive it. I listened to the Tenn Care director describe what will turn out to be about $400 million in Tenn Care cuts. And then I got the news on hair cuts.

According to the Revenue department there are about $4 billion (with a b) in revenue not collected because of the things we are not required to pay sales tax on. Like haircuts. (The other things on the list are just as vital.) And on top of that your Republican leadership is talking about decreasing the sales tax so that for every $10 I spend I pay 4 cents less in sale taxes. And you are asking for a 7% budget decrease which is going to hurt the most vulnerable more than anything else. Does any of this sound absurd to you?? Perhaps financial responsibility might work better if you tried not giving away legitimate sources of funding and cutting needed services instead.

Come on Governor. We can do better.

Until next time.

Yours truly,

Larry Drain

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