Live from Music Row Thursday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Leahy welcomed all-star panelist Clint Brewer in studio to weigh in on the growth spurt that continues in Tennessee due to a re-locating caravan of blue state refugees.
Leahy: We are joined in studio by our very good friend all-star panelist, Clint Brewer, recovering journalist, who gives me advice on pitfalls to avoid. And I follow that advice very very often. Thank you for that. But I wanted to talk about for a minute, Clint, what’s happening here in Nashville, despite all of the bad policies of Mayor John Cooper Nashville, for a number of reasons outside of Nashville and some inside of Nashville, it’s growing like crazy. California is going nuts. Illinois is going nuts. New York’s gone nuts. These bad blue states are basically creating refugees who want to run a business where they’re not going to be interfered with.
Brewer: And it’s been that way for a while. I spent five years in Governor Haslam’s administration doing economics.
Leahy: That’s right. You did. You’ve seen this.
Brewer: I’ve witnessed this up close and personal. I mean, New York, Illinois, California have fed more businesses to the state of Tennessee in last 10 years, probably than any other state ever has.
Leahy: We should send a thank you note to Governor Newsom in California.
Brewer: It’s the low tax rate. It’s the low corporate tax rates, the general affordability of land. It’s a willingness of governments to be partners with businesses rather than be in opposition to them. And it’s a lifestyle choice for a lot of people’s families and a lot of employers’ families. You can find really great schools here. And it’s just a more laid-back way to live.
Leahy: You can find houses here in Middle Tennessee that are less expensive than the houses being sold in California. But what a hot market this is?
Brewer: Yeah, it is a hot market. All the people moving here have certainly heated up the real estate market. I mean, it’s hot for this area. The appreciation rate is high, but it’s still cheaper to live in than the vast majority of other places in the country.
Leahy: And by the way, that no state income tax, you can’t beat it.
Brewer: I mean, it’s the best recruiting tool we’ve got.
Leahy: It absolutely is a great recruiting tool. Apparently, Oracle likes it. Now they have a few hurdles to overcome. But I guess on Tuesday night, the Metro Nashville Council unanimously approved the things they had to do to get Oracle in here for the first step.
Brewer: Oracle has been in the economic development pipeline for a while, and it’s a big win for the state. Kudos to Nashville for showing so well and winning the deal. It’s good to see the Cooper administration sort of getting back into the ring on economic development. That’s encouraging. And when a company can do business anywhere and they decide to do business in Tennessee, it says a lot about our business environment.
It says a lot about our workforce, and it says a lot about the potential for the state. We’re becoming a hub for tech, which are high-paying jobs, which is what you need now. There are some challenges policy-wise with it. And I think some of the residents of the East Bank are right to be worried that they’re going to be crowded out.
Leahy: I think it’s inevitable.
Brewer: Well, it may be, but, I mean, we can’t just drive people willy nilly out of the county. We’ve got to figure out a way to do both. To allow people to stay in the county and to recruit economically.
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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.
Live from Music Row Wednesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Leahy welcomed the original all-star panelist Crom Carmichael to the studio to weigh in on economic foreign development cronyism and lobbyists while speculating who the Republican presidential candidate for 2022 will be.
Leahy: We are joined in studio by the original All-Star panelist, Crom Carmichael. Crom, former Secretary State Mike Pompeo was a featured speaker, a surprise speaker, actually at Liberty University’s Equity for Africa Conference. And The Star News Network had a reporter there who provided an exclusive report from Lynchburg, Virginia. He was introduced by former Congressman Dave Brat, a friend of ours.
And he was very very warmly welcomed. And here’s what he had to say about Africa. Pompeo said, greater business development improves security for all of us. It’s a collective set of security issues that are threatening not only Africa but the Northern part of Africa through the Middle East. We always knew that if we got the business development right and did so in an atmosphere that allows all the people of Africa to reap the benefits of that development through greater freedom that America would be a better place too. This is sort of his pushback against the Chinese incursions into Africa.
Carmichael: Well, the Chinese are clearly aggressive in many areas of the world. Especially Africa. And most of it is for mining its raw materials and natural resources and especially targeted to what are called rare earth minerals. And rare earth metals are needed for electric cars. They’re needed for chips, they’re needed for high technology.
And the Chinese want to corner that market. And so they’re going after that very very aggressively. The Trump administration tried to build bridges with other countries through economic deals that, as Pompeo says, our business relationships create wealth and are spread because of the value of the work that’s being done.
Democrats tend to give money away rather than focus on building business interests. They’re more interested in giving money away. You see where Kamala Harris is now apparently trying to give money to Guatemala so that Guatemala can then offer money to people to not come to the United States.
Leahy: Here’s how that works. When the United States “gives money” to foreign governments, it does not go to any economic development.
Carmichael: No it doesn’t.
Leahy: It goes to the dictators and the cronies. And so they become richer. It’s a transfer of wealth from American taxpayers to dictators in foreign countries.
Carmichael: Well, not just that. It emboldens and empowers the dictators that allow them to continue to be tyrants. And so it’s a sad thing to watch. And much of it is kickbacks to cronies within the United States.
Leahy: Cronies that are doing business with the dictators.
Carmichael: Make no mistake that these dictators have lobbyists. Those lobbyists get lots of money. And so if the lobbyists can get $50 million to be given to a dictator in some small country, that lobbyist charges perhaps three to $5 million for the work they do over a period of two or three years. So it’s not designed to create wealth for the society in question. It is designed to circulate money to the cronies. And that has been going on, especially with the Democrat Party for generations.
Leahy: Let me pose this question to you, Crom. I look at it and we’ve got a very dangerous year and a half ahead with Democrats in control of the executive branch.
Carmichael: We hope only a year and a half.
Leahy: Yeah, we hope only a year and a half. But the answer is going to have to be that the Republicans take back either the United States House of Representatives or the U.S. Senate and or both. Now my question to you is a lot of people and politicos look at the horse race, who’s going to be the Republican nominee.
That’s, like three and a half years from now. It’s too far even to imagine, right? Let me pose this. Of these three people, which one is going to likely be more effective at helping Republicans win back the House of Representatives in November ’22? Would it be Donald Trump, B, Governor Ron DeSantis of Florida, or C, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo?
Carmichael: I think depending on the race. First of all, I can’t imagine any Republican running for a House seat or a Senate seat, even as an incumbent who wouldn’t want any of those three to come campaign for them. Because as time passes, a lot of the public is looking saying, maybe I screwed up when I voted for Biden over Trump.
Carmichael: I don’t think so. Let me say this. I don’t think there are any people. I’d say there are virtually no people who voted for Trump who said, boy, I made a mistake. Biden is doing a great job. And so when you get into the midterms, as more time passes, and we see more of this just having money in wheel barrels towards special interests out of Washington. And then we see the tax bill when it comes through. And we see all of the stuff that the Democrats are doing. I think that Trump will be able to speak very clearly and DeSantis and Pompeo will be very strong.
Leahy: Part of that team.
Listen to the full third hour here:
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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to the Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.
Photo “Xi Jinping” by Narendra Modi. CC BY 2.0.