A Preview of What We’ll Be Fighting About

The very first bills are posted at the Tennessee General Assembly’s website.

There’s some stuff about expanding what kinds of roads could have tolls on them and some stuff about lowering the tax on food and a proposed constitutional amendment to ban an income tax.  I think lowering the tax on food is a good idea.

But here’s what I wonder.  What is the strategy for fixing our budget mess?  I’m no economist, but it seems to me that, if you have more going out than you have coming in, you either have to reduce what’s going out or increase what’s coming in, or both.  Our main source of revenue is the sales tax.  So, how does reducing the sales tax put our finances back in shape?

I don’t know.  I, of course, think it should be done, but I also want to know what the overall financial plan for the State is.

There are a couple of gun things in there–letting military folks get out of paying some fee–which, again, normally I could give two shits about, but now am wondering if we need “coming in” to be equal to or greater than “going out,” why are we proposing lowering any of the “coming in”?–and a constitutional amendment to protect your right to hunt.  I’m not sure why we need a constitutional amendment for that, but fine, whatever.

A couple of things about how we treat children during and after divorce–one that would make presumptive custody joint custody and the other that would set an end date on child support payments.  I didn’t know there wasn’t already an end date on child support payments.  I thought that, once the kid turned 18, you were safe to show back up in its life pretending like you always loved it but its hag mom just wouldn’t cut you a break, unless your ex-wife had a really good lawyer.  But you learn something new every day.

HB0002 states “Child Custody and Support – As introduced, enacts the ‘Equal and Fair Parenting Act’ to create a rebuttable presumption that equally shared parenting time is the custody arrangement in the best interest of a child.” Yep, you read that right.  It makes the baseline “equally shared parenting time.”  Half and half.  Even for school-age kids.

My friends, be prepared to live in the same school district as your ex forever.

I think this kind of legislation is well-meaning, but we all know that people who actually put their kids first will make some arrangement where one parent has more parenting time than the other just so that both parents can find jobs and the kid can have a stable school life and this legislation will be used by parents who just want new and exciting ways to fuck each other over using their kids as weapons to do so.  I do not envy the judge who has to go through the timesheets.

Anyway, I’m expecting more troubling stuff in the pipeline.

8 thoughts on “A Preview of What We’ll Be Fighting About

  1. Pingback: SayUncle » What’s coming

  2. Oh, good grief. My sister was in an equally shared custody arrangement (voluntarily agreed on) for years. And with the best will in the world (on her part and also on her ex’s — they both really thought this was best for the kids) it was tough, and kept the two of them in conflict over a number of issues over the years. It really did work out better for my nephews; there’s no question in my mind about that. But it took so much out of people who wanted the arrangement to work. I can only imagine what making this the default will do for people who want to play with each other’s heads. OTOH, people who want to play with each other’s heads will do so no matter what the default custody arrangement is, so I suppose this (if enacted) will be no worse than any other default.

    I do like the way people are willing to spend state money to pass another constitutional amendment to prevent doing the one thing that would give the state enough money to do it, though.

  3. I know there are probably lots more fathers out there who decide not to have much to do with their kids’ lives after divorce/conception etc, but there are mothers out there who do the same.
    My step children were used as money making pawns by their mother since before I came into the family. My stepson has wanted to live with his dad/us since the day I met him when he was 7 years old. My husband always told him that he had to wait until he was old enough to tell the judge that, around here it’s 13 years old. When that time came, she kept putting him off “just one more year” until she left her boyfriend and his house. Then she cried “where will your sister and I live, because we won’t be able to afford to stay in our apartment”. When my stepdaughter turned 18 and her portion of the payment stopped, he finally got to live with us, at 16 years of age, because now she couldn’t afford to keep him. That and I don’t think her new boyfriend wants the kids around, because in the year and a half he has lived with us, he has seen his mother maybe 5 times, no more than ten, and only 1-2 overnight visits. Do we get child support back from her? Nope, she can’t hold a job longer than 3 months at a time. At this point, I’d just be happy with her making an attempt to see him.
    It really bugged me when I read that men are the only ones who disappear and reappear at will. It might be my bad day talking, but I felt I had to say it.

  4. Oh, goody! Then there will be even more folks waiting around at DMV, and even fewer people working there because of budget cuts, so we can hear even more complaints that gov’t doesn’t work. Cool!

  5. Pingback: Equally Shared Parenting Time : Post Politics: Political News and Views in Tennessee

  6. That’s the idea, nm, which I think is your point. I recall in the days following the debacle in NOLA, how right-wing pundits were crowing about how “you can’t rely on government.” I expected that, but it was a little annoying to hear it parroted by the right-wingers on my job (municipal firefighters saying that U.S. citizens have no right to expect their gov’t to help them during a disaster sounds, well, you decide how that sounds to you).

    I digress. The point of all these proposals is to draw the state closer to the Grover Norquist Tipping Point, where gov’t is reduced in size and effectiveness to the point where it can be drowned in a bathtub.

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