Crom Carmichael Compares Mayor John Cooper and Former Governor Don Sundquist on Tax Reform Discussions
Live from Music Row Friday 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 compare the propaganda of former Governor Don Sundquist to that of Mayor Cooper’s effort to falsely claim disaster if the Nashville tax referendum succeeds.
Leahy: We are joined now as we almost always are, at this time of the program, every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday by the original All-Star panelist, Crom Carmichael. Crom, good morning.
Carmichael: Good morning, Michael.
Leahy: Well, just for our listeners and just to remind them of why we call you the original All-Star panelist, you’ve been on the radio here in Nashville since the 1980s.
Leahy: 1984, you were part of the original panel on Teddy Bart’s Round Table.
Carmichael: Well, Teddy had a show for years before he formed a panel. So I was one of the originals on his panel once he decided to have it.
Leahy: Obviously the original All-Star panelist. And I never met you until I moved to Nashville in 1991. I didn’t know anything about what was going on politically. And I listened every morning to the Teddy Bart’s Round Table.
And there was one voice of reason and logic in what was largely a bunch of Liberals. I mean, nice people, but Liberals there. And I kept listening. And there was that voice of reason and logic was Crom Carmichael. That’s why you are the original All-Star panelist.
Carmichael: Thank you.
Leahy: And we continue that tradition, by the way, with this program, because just as when I moved here and by the way, I moved from guess where?
Leahy & Carmichael: California.
Leahy: 1991. And just as I moved here and learned about Nashville and Tennessee politics by listening to Teddy Bart’s Round Table with the original All-Star panelist, Crom Carmichael.
Now today we have a wave of California refugees coming to Nashville, and they are learning about Tennessee and Nashville politics by listening to The Tennessee Star Report with the original All-Star panelist.
Carmichael: And hopefully they’re getting some insights that will help them think about Tennessee in Nashville by having a historical perspective on some of the things, which is what I want to get into when you are ready this morning.
Leahy: Well, I am ready after we talk about some fun stuff, some fun stuff Crom. Now I was out last week.
Carmichael: Having a big time.
Leahy: Going down to the beach, enjoying the beach. I love the beach. By the way, I love the waves coming in.
Carmichael: Very good.
Leahy: It comes from growing up in upstate New York, wherein the summer you would go to the lake. We didn’t go to the ocean. Too far away.
Beautiful Lakes, many of them made by glaciers. Very pristine. Not like lakes in Tennessee, which are kind of like damned muddy rivers sometimes. But nonetheless, I’ve always loved the waves, be it of a lake or of a gulf or of an ocean.
So it was a lot of fun. Now Crom, while I was away, and I’m gonna do this myself. Of course, we are big fans of the Glock Store here in Nashville. Lenny Magill, another California refugee, got sick of California who wouldn’t, by the way, moved hid headquarters here to Nashville.
And we were there at the Grand opening. Nashville Glock Store. They have graciously given us a Tennessee Star Glock 17. I think it’s about ready for you to pick it up.
Carmichael: Just about ready.
Leahy: Just about ready.
Leahy: You’re getting one. I’m buying one. And you and I are going to do some training there.
Carmichael: I’ve already started.
Leahy: So you started. We did a little shooting episode. It turned into a contest. You were better than I was.
Carmichael: I didn’t even know it was a contest.
Leahy: It wasn’t until after I discovered how much better you were than me. So that made me competitive to try to get better than you. That’s how it became a contest.
Carmichael: I got it.
Leahy: It didn’t start out that way. But, you know, I’m a little competitive. And it just riles me when somebody’s that much better than me at anything. And there you were better than me as a shooter. So they’ve invited us to come and do some training. So you did some training independent of me.
Carmichael: I’ve had a one-hour session.
Leahy: So you’re even more ahead of me.
Carmichael: With a different trainer. Not Mario. This was John. And John is a former military former police officer. A great guy and really understands firearms. And I learned some additional techniques.
We practiced on the three targets again. That’s what’s really neat about if they do out there, it’s not just a tunnel type of target.
Leahy: You watch all the cop shows and the police procedural shows. And when they go to shoot, it’s a range. It’s a very narrow range. It’s only one target. This is a shoot 270 situation. 270 degrees.
Carmichael: It’s 180. You’re having to move left Center, right, left, center, right or right, he tells you, go right, go left-center. So you got to move quickly.
Leahy: Got to be paying attention. You got to be paying attention.
Carmichael: But you also have to learn how to focus, how to focus and aim quickly.
Leahy: I thought you were quite good when I observed you. Very focused.
Carmichael: Anyway, I had a wonderful time, great instructor, and look forward to additional training sessions.
Leahy: I’m even further behind.
Carmichael: My office, by the way, it’s about a mile down the road, so that makes it very convenient.
Leahy: Well, if you wanted to be, what do they call these run and shoot competitions you could run from your office and then go and shoot.
Carmichael: At my age, I would do a brisk walk.
Leahy: We’ll have to call that a new sport. Brisk walk and shoot. We will expand our competition. It will be Mike and Crom’s brisk walk and shoot.
Carmichael: Let’s talk about what the world is going on and for our friends from out of state. I want to give a little bit of perspective as to why the idea of Mayor Cooper’s gigantic tax increase is such a terrible idea. They don’t need the money. They need discipline.
Leahy: There’s a lot of revenue coming in, but a lot of bad expenses going out.
Carmichael: Let me just give it a real simple example. Let’s say you have a ranch house. The way the tax law works here in Tennessee, and Metro has to adhere to it on property taxes, and you’ve got 150 feet frontage on the street.
Somebody will come along and buy that ranch house if it’s in a nice area and they will now pay seven or $800,000 for the house, and it’ll be a teardown. But that person who is living in that house was probably paying about $4 to 5,000 in taxes.
And then because you can’t, Metro can’t raise taxes on somebody’s house if it’s unimproved. If they improve it, I think if they were to make an addition or something like this, where they have to get a city permit, a building permit to make an addition, then the city can increase the taxes that they charge for the house.
But you get a house and somebody buys it for $800,000. They tear it down, and then they build two houses and they sell those two houses for a million five each. Well, now you have $3 million on which to tax which generates at a one percent rate to keep math pretty simple.
And then Nashville, that is close enough for this discussion. The taxes on that parcel would go from $4,000 which is what it was before the $30,000.
Leahy: That’s a big increase.
Carmichael: It’s a big increase. And we’re seeing that all across the city. So Metro’s tax revenue is increasing dramatically without a tax rate increase. And what you have is a bunch of people who are very irresponsible. And I want to go back to when Governor McWherter was Governor.
Leahy: Ned McWherter. A Democrat and a good old boy from West Tennessee.
Carmichael: And he wanted to raise taxes. And this is when the Democrats were in charge, and he wanted an income tax.
Leahy: This would be in the ’80s.
Carmichael: And he claimed that things were so bad, so bad in Tennessee that if we didn’t raise the income tax, And I think there was irony in this by April first because I remember it was April Fool’s Day.
Leahy: April Fools Day. I remember saying April Fools Day? wouldn’t he pick a different day than that? But he said April first the buses would have to stop. The school buses would have to stop.
And so this reminds me of what Mayor Cooper and his buddies are running these ads claiming about all these terrible things that will have to happen if they don’t get this massive tax increase.
So you had Governor McWherter who then said the school buses will have to stop. And low and behold, the income tax didn’t pass, and the school buses, the school buses did stop. And then a person was run over and killed in a school parking lot.
The next day, the school buses started again, which showed that what McWhorter was saying at the time was just a big, fat lie. Now, Let’s fast forward. Don Sundquist. Don Sundquist was a Republican, and he joined with the Democrats because, at that time, the Democrats still controlled the House and the Senate.
And just like Cooper, Sundquist ran for reelection, saying that an income tax would pass in this date over his dead body. When he came to Teddy Bart show, and I asked him if he was going to accommodate. (Leahy laughs)
And he did exactly what you just did. He laughed out loud. And I said, governor, I’ve supported you twice, and you fooled me. Good for you, good for you. You’re nothing but a dishonest political hack. And I said this two feet away.
Leahy: You said that to the then Governor.
Carmichael: I’d say that to the mayor because Grant Henry read the quote of what Mayor Cooper said when he was running. And by the way, when Cooper was running, he was a Councilman at large, so he had access to the whole budget.
And so when he said, we can live very nicely if we just manage our fiscal affairs, he was right. And now he’s just like Don Sundquist.
Leahy: And we’ll continue this after the rest of the break. But here I do want to give you this quote of what he said when he was at his church. John Cooper said. “You are creating a path for anarchy in Nashville, Tennessee that will not end well, all because there’s this path of a super small weaponized, kind of Trump-oriented divisiveness that enters into Nashville.” That’s what he said.
Carmichael: What a disgusting thing to say when you’re that irresponsible but not surprising. Not surprising.
Leahy: It gets worse. We’ll talk about that when we get back.
Listen to the second hour here:
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