I purchase on the Internet to save on sales taxes, and to obtain better product selections of the latest technology at lower prices than are generally available at local retailers. However, I do not shop at local merchants and then order online. I can do that much more effectively online while saving gas. Even with the online taxes the local retailers must become more competitive with online retailers to entice customers, otherwise online sales will still continue at the expense of local retailers. An online tax will not be a cure-all for local retailers.
My primary issue with proposed online sales taxes is this: What will the Tennessee General Assembly do with these windfall tax revenues? These tax revenues may be as much as $300 million to $400 million annually.
This new tax revenue should be treated under a zero-sum gain in the annual state budget processes. That is, this additional revenue should offset existing state taxes resulting in no additional tax revenues on the citizens of this great state. One excellent candidate would be the reduction or elimination of sales taxes on groceries. This would be a welcome benefit to all the people, not a select few as a tax holiday provides.
DAVID LACY, Winchester, Tenn.
While reading Lincoln I ran across a quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson regarding the lure of politics.
"Who can wonder for ambitious young men, when the higest bribes of society are at the feet of the successful orator? He has his audience at his devotion. All other frames must hush before his."
GLENN G. BUTLER, Ooltewah
On May 5 you published a letter by a writer implying that in 2008 in Tennessee District 36, Democrat Roger Byrge lost an election to Republican Chad Faulkner because of comments about Byrge's supposed drug arrests posted in Republican Rep. Stacey Campfield's personal blog.
The letter writer was further outraged that Judge John McAfee dismissed Byrge's libel suit against Campfield on First Amendment grounds and judge McAfee's summing up by saying (my words) that politics are rough, and that's the way it is.
Curiously, what did not outrage the letter writer was the fact that Democrats put out an untrue attack ad stating Faulkner, a Knox County sheriff's deputy, had cost the taxpayers $1.2 million as a result of a lawsuit against Faulkner when in fact the lawsuit had been dismissed with no cost to the taxpayers. The Democrats were forced to pull the untrue and when threatened with libel by Republicans.
In trying to help set the record straight about the aforementioned events, I also want to point out what I thought was obvious: Politics are rough, and selective outrage (i.e. indignation when your ox is gored, me included) is the way America always has been and always will be.
JOHN CORBETT, Sewanee, Tenn.