Tenn. Lawmakers Hurt Poor Kids, Mum on Greedy Corporations

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  • I guess when it comes to cracking down on takers, apparently Tennessee lawmakers like Stacy Campfield and Vance Dennis can’t see the greedy corporations for all the needy kids.

    But chances are their warped lenses on reality are obstructing their view.

    Not long ago Campfield, R-Knoxville, and Dennis, R-Savannah, introduced legislation that would tie families’ welfare benefits to whether their children are performing satisfactorily in school.

    According to the Knoxville News and Sentinel, the legislation states that any child who isn’t making sufficient progress in school would cost his or her parents a 30 percent cut in Temporary Assistance to Needy Families benefits.

    As if poverty alone isn’t a heavy enough burden for the children to bear.

    Campfield, an ideologue who once spearheaded a “Don’t Say Gay,” bill that would have banned discussions in schools about sexual orientation other than heterosexuality, claims the law would not apply to children with handicaps or learning disabilities, or if parents take steps to improve their children’s performance.

    He says too many parents are getting away with not doing anything to help their children in school – and he’s apparently going to punish them by pulling the government rug from underneath them and, by extension, their offspring.

    Yet I’m waiting to see if Campfield and Vance are willing to turn the wrath they have for poor families on the taxpayers’ dole whose children don’t live up to school expectations toward rich corporations also on the taxpayers’ dole who don’t live up to their promises.

    Such companies promise jobs – jobs that could possibly help get some poor families off TANF and give them the time they need to focus on helping their children excel in school – but they don’t deliver.

    One such corporation, in fact, was Hemlock Semiconductor. Based in Clarksville, Tenn., construction began on the plant, which was supposed to build components for solar panels, in 2008.

    But earlier this year, according to TN Report, Hemlock announced that it was laying off nearly 300 workers, and it is believed that the plant may never open.

    This is happening after Hemlock received $90 million free and clear in state taxpayer money, as well as millions in federal dollars. On top of that, it still has a chance to write off almost $280 million in taxes, and it has another $150 million in state funds that Tennessee took out bonds to pay for.

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