Fiscal conservatism pays off in long run

Not much credit has been given to those responsible for the story in the Dec. 29 TFP Business section about Tennessee having the second-lowest tax burden in the country.

Of course, we are required by our state Constitution to balance our budget each year, and this has been a bipartisan effort for decades. Doug Henry in the Senate and David Copeland in the House, current Speaker Randy McNally and current Senate Finance Chairman Bo Watson from Chattanooga have all led the way in keeping spending in line with our tax revenues, an extremely tough job.

One of my colleagues in the Senate said to me, because he knew Sen. Watson and I served on the Senate Finance Committee: "Isn't it interesting that if you serve on finance at the state level, you are called on to make hard decisions and vote 'no' on a bunch of good bills. If you serve on the corresponding committee at the federal level, you are seen as a spender, or appropriator. A man who can deliver the goods.

One day, the federal chickens will come home to roost because of all the "deficit spending." It's more popular to "bring home the bacon" instead of "Just say no."

State Sen. Todd Gardenhire


Runoffs clarify 'who's got you': the Democrats

Half-way through the original Superman movie, our hero catches Lois Lane in flight as she falls from a building. "Don't worry," he says, "I've got you." Lois replies, "Yeah, but who's got you?" Fair question and one the Trump administration ignores in its final days of galactic incompetence.

Credit where credit is due, by any comparison: The vaccine was produced in record time. Competent leadership, however, sees a problem over the long term. Donald Trump, ever ready to shirk responsibility, says it's up to the states now to carry the ball across the goal line.

In other words, addressing the havoc that has caused so much death and economic devastation is not my job. Meanwhile our president spends his time fretting over election results, rage tweeting, and fiddling on the golf course.

The Georgia runoff election determined the composition of the Senate and now the direction and speed of the national response necessary to beat this crisis, and at the end of the day will determine ... who's got you.

Denny Pistoll, Rising Fawn, Georgia


Trump's tenure marked by catastrophic blunders

There are many catastrophic events and blunders that have taken place during and due to Trump's time as president of the United States. No need to list them; they are well known, they are carved into history forever with resulting horror and sadness at many levels.

Now another blunder: Federal authorities expressed increased alarm about an intrusion into U.S. and other computer systems around the globe that is officially felt done by Russian hackers. Details of this attack and its expected duration, due to difficulty eradicating it, are alarming and discussed in all news and other media outlets, but in short — "they got into everything."

Trump can forever be blamed for it because he has always downplayed Russian interference in anything and even went so far as to eliminate two key government positions: White House cybersecurity coordinator and State Department cybersecurity policy chief.

Due to his actions and lack of actions, Trump is responsible for this attack and has added to his legacy of catastrophic blunders during his tenure as president of the United States.

Calvin Calhoun