Newsletter from the Beacon Center of Tennessee; July 31, 2012:
Elvis, liquor, and your tax dollars
What do these three things have in common? For one, Tennessee’s welfare program. Our intrepid investigative reporter, Chris Butler, recently dug through nearly 140,000 transactions by Memphis welfare recipients using their cash benefits in the form of Electronic Benefit Transfer, or EBT cards. Among the purchases with no government oversight included transactions at liquor stores (one totaling $790), Greyhound bus tickets, Orpheum Theater concert tickets, and a tour of Graceland. Where else did they spend your money? Read the entire article at TennesseeWatchdog.org to find out.
Beacon calls for state-led welfare reform
As a result of Butler’s hard-hitting report, WMC-TV Channel 5 in Memphis ran an exclusive on his findings. As the station noted, Beacon is calling on state lawmakers to pass a law prohibiting the use of EBT cards to purchase alcohol and other non-essential items, and is also pushing for more state oversight of the welfare program. Beacon is further urging lawmakers to rebuff President Obama’s recent attempt to nix the work requirement in the existing welfare law. Watch the Channel 5 story, which details Beacon’s findings and our solution to the problem, at this link.
Taxi regs harm consumers, cost jobs
After it was discovered that bureaucrats with the Metro Nashville Transportation Licensing Commission were posing as police officers and targeting smaller limo and sedan companies, the commission has come under much scrutiny. In a recent article appearing in the Tennessean, Beacon research associate Steven Strausbaugh explains how the commission’s regulations are bad for consumers and for job creation in the Music City. Strausbuaugh calls for the elimination of the commission and a return to free market principles in the transportation business. Read more here.
Government gets into the airport business
Tennessee Watchdog has been hot on the trail of the situation at the Chattanooga Airport, where the government is funding a competitor to TacAir, a fixed base of operations that provides fuel and other services at the airport. Now, as Tennessee Watchdog’s Chris Butler explains, the issue has caught the attention of a national aviation group. The National Air Transportation Association has asked Gov. Bill Haslam to investigate why taxpayers are footing such a massive bill to unnecessarily compete against a private FBO. Read Butler’s entire story at TennesseeWatchdog.org.