by Joe Kirkpatrick
"Change" was a popular campaign promise used by our current president. He is one of the few politicians in recent history to keep his campaign promise, because since he was elected, we have certainly had "change." Now, this is not a "beat down President Obama" rant and rave. I don't feel like Obama has the experience to run a country of this size and complexity, but that is beside the point. The country was in a downward spiral before Obama took office, and Republicans have stonewalled virtually every effort to work with him. Obama may have added to the problem, but he certainly cannot be blamed for creating all of it.
Just like Obama said, we need change. Unfortunately, the change we need is to not have him in office another four years. The change we need is a man who has the experience to run the government like a business. Did you know our federal government is the largest employer in United States? We currently have a president with no business experience what so ever. General Electric is the world's largest corporation. Do you think they would appoint a new CEO with no prior business experience? A presidential election is not a middle school popularity contest. We need a president who has the business background to run our country as a company. I don't see many of the previous presidential candidates from either side who would make that much of a difference. Mitt Romney probably comes the closest out of the last field of potential candidates, having run both businesses and being governor of a state.
The problem with electing someone from the senate or congress is all they have done is spend money. They all talk a good game about cutting programs and less spending, but in reality, all they do is spend money, regardless of whether it is there or not.
There is a man here in Tennessee who has proven he can run a government like a business, and can work with both Democrats and Republicans alike. That man is Governor Phil Bredesen. As governor, Bredesen has proven time after time he can work across party lines. Many times, he has made tough decisions for what he thought "was in the best interest of Tennessee," regardless of the fact he was going against the grain of his own party. On September 16, 2009, Governor Bredesen, a Democrat, made a statement openly criticizing the Obama health care plan: "We can't print money - A lot of staffers in congress don't understand this idea of a balanced budget." His predecessor, Governor Don Sunquist, constantly had problems balancing the budget. Under the Sunquist administration, a state income tax was proposed, and even temporary state employee furloughs were used to try to balance the budget. Sunquist's budget woes were the subject of many headline stories around the state during his tenure.
Governor Bredesen then entered the picture. The self-made millionaire and former CEO of a major health company that he started from scratch in his apartment, took over the state government and ran it like a business. The state budget has been balanced every year he has been in office with so little controversy it is barely even been mentioned in the media. Even during the past year with state revenues being down because of the recession, Governor Bredesen still balanced the state budget again. During his tenure as governor, he has hardly benefited financially - the past seven years he has been governor, he has chosen not to accept a salary. Tennessee, by the way, has the 7th lowest total state tax rate per person out of all fifty states.
Unfortunately, Governor Bredesen leaves office this year because of term limits. His legacy as governor would certainly be an argument for term limitations.
What lies in Phil Bredesen's future? I, for one, hope in the next presidential election, he will be the "change" our current president keeps talking about!