Live from Music Row Monday 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 for another edition of Crom’s Commentary.
Leahy: I wanted to say we had a terrific National Constitution Bee one Saturday.
Leahy: We had 22 kids show up. We had four different teams. Team Tennessee won. We had Team USA, Team Tennessee, Team Nashville, and Team Stewart County. Hats off to Stewart County. On this event on the individual competition, the winner got a $10,000. educational scholarship.
Braden Farley homeschooler from Spring Hill, a Tennessee senior. He won. Second place, $5,000. Charles Fultz from Martin. Then Gina Ross from Independence High School, $2,500.
We gave them those checks yesterday. And so it was really good. But I have to say, there was only one K12 public school teacher who even showed up for the event.
Carmichael: That’s a shame.
Leahy: And that was from Stewart County. They brought a team of three people and Stewart County competed separately. But Stewart County is the only school system in the state where they had any interest in it. Oh, by the way, Metro National Public schools, did not have a single student competing.
Carmichael: That’s sad. Let me say it’s not surprising.
Carmichael: But it’s sad.
Leahy: Yeah, I agree.
Carmichael: And it is also why education reform in Davidson County in Tennessee is so important.
Leahy: I agree completely. By the way, our lead story today is Metro Nashville Education Association is complaining about working conditions for teachers in COVID-19. And they’re probably a problem but I didn’t see much about helping kids get scholarships. Because they’re not interested.
Carmichael: No. If the teacher’s administrators were treated the same way we treat our police officers, they’d all be fired.
Leahy: Here’s the thing about it.
Carmichael: Think about what a terrible job.
Leahy: They’ve done a terrible job.
Carmichael: Michael, I think you have done a yeoman’s task and The Tennessee Star Report. And I’d like for you to pull some of the stories out about how Black and Hispanic children do in our school systems, especially in our four major cities in Tennessee.
I think you’ve got that data. Sometime if you would bring it in, I think it’d be very much worthy of discussion because part of what you do on this show and in your publications are local and state issues.
Leahy: Well, it’s a big issue, Crom. The teacher’s unions are making it worse. Here’s the reality in Tennessee. And I’d like our listeners to think about this and think about how they can help. The reality is our Constitution Bee Project, K12 public schools, for the most part in Tennessee are either indifferent to it or actively hostile to it. That’s the reality.
Carmichael: Well, I’d say it’s the second. If they were indifferent, then you would see some people show up. There’d be some evidence of the indifference. So you’re being kind.
Leahy: I’m a kind person. (Laughs)
Carmichael: If you can remember them, give me the last two or three Constitution Bee questions that determined who the winner was.
Leahy: A very good question about a particular quote in one of the arguments before the ratification. And the quote was, in essence, explain why somebody opposed the ratification without the Bill of Rights because of the lack of individual rights. And the question was was it from Federal Farmer or was it from Alexander Hamilton or was it from Publius? That was the choice.
Carmichael: I would have been able to answer that question correctly one out of three times. (Laughter)
Leahy: No. Because remember, Publius was the pseudonym for the Federalist Papers. And, of course, Hamilton was one of those authors. So you can see that the Federalist argument would have been either Hamilton or Publius.
The anti-Federalist argument, by logic, would have been the first, federal farmer. And our champion, Braden Farley. I saw him thinking this through, and he thought it through. He thought the logic through when he answered it correctly.
Carmichael: Well, how about that? Very cool.
Leahy: Boom! And he won $10,000.
Leahy: Now, Crom, it’s that time of the program. Wait for it ladies and gentlemen, Crom’s Commentary.
Carmichael: Michael as I watched things over the weekend. By the way, I went up to visit my mother and then went to the Notre Dame Southern Cal game. And that turned out as a happy occasion for those of us who are not fans having been born in South Bend.
But I’m listening to the news over the weekend. And it really kind of started on Friday. And we talked about this that Krysten Sinema has said that she will not support an increase in marginal tax rates on individuals on capital gains or on corporations in order to raise revenue.
And so now the question of taxing billionaires on their unrealized gains has come up. Now during the campaign Biden, not one single time ever called for taxing the unrealized gains of multi-billionaires.
And so now it’s coming up. And Ron Wyden, a Democrat from Oregon, has been calling for this for years. And he’s been a voice in the wilderness. And the Democrat Party is supported by these very billionaires.
And so all I can say is to those multi-billionaires, hey, guess what? It looks like you’re going to get to pay for what you think we need. And they’re talking about a capital gains tax rate. So here’s the question.
If you’re going to pay capital gains taxes of 20 percent plus the three-point eight percent Obamacare on your unrealized gains and if you’ve only had those unrealized gains for, say, three years, should you pay a rate of one rate?
And if you’ve had them for, say, 15 years like Jeff Bezos and Mark Zuckerberg, should you pay a much higher rate and Bill Gates, my goodness, his unrealized gains go back 30 years. Warren Buffett goes back 50 years.
Should these people who’ve had unrealized gains, building and building, and building, should they pay in the name of equity and fairness, should they pay a much, much higher rate? And let me say this now.
The Democrats are facing a foe that is every bit as powerful as they are. And the multi multi-billionaires are every bit as powerful as the teachers’ unions and the government employee unions who give billions of dollars a year to the Democrat Party.
So now it’s going to get really interesting. And it looks to me like that if Sinema continues to stick to her guns on this no increase in marginal tax rates on individuals, corporations, or capital gains, then the unrealized gains are the only pot of money that’s out there.
And if the Democrats go after that, they’re going after 1,000 people who are the most connected people on the planet. (Leahy chuckles) And the irony of Democrats going after billionaires is fascinating.
And I also think it could be incredibly destructive for their party because now the cat on taxing billionaires unrealized gains is out of the bag. And if I’m a Republican running for office, I’m going to say, you know, this is a good idea.
And in fact, these three people, Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, Mark Zuckerberg, and Jeff Bezos should be the ones that are looked at and examined the most to determine how much of it they should fairly get to keep.
Put it that way. Now, how much should they be taxed? How much is fair? And ask the average person how much is fair for Jeff Bezos to be able to have and then force them to argue that there’s some reason they should have more than the average voter thinks.
Leahy: That is an interesting concept.
Carmichael: It’s very interesting. It’s kind of a dangerous slippery slope. I’ll grant you that. But sometimes people have to be smacked around to realize that if you want a great big government like the Democrats want, then you can’t keep very much of what you have.
And that’s what they’re doing right now with people making a million dollars. The Democrats are saying we want you to live an okay middle-income life, but we’re going to take the majority of your million dollars in earnings.
Leahy: I got one little twist on that before the break here, Crom. Remember that National Association of School Boards group that sent the letter to the Attorney General and said, let’s investigate these parents as domestic terror terrorists? Here’s the twist. Just the News last night broke the story. That organization owes the IRS $20 million.
Carmichael: Oh, my gosh.
Leahy: Do you think they’re trying to get a break on that $20 million? (Laughs)
Carmichael: That is a story.
Listen to the second hour here:
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