State lawmakers on both sides take credit for economic gains

Tuesday, June 14, 2011 at 3:52pm

Tennessee’s economy grew at the sixth-best rate in the country last year, according to a new government report, and Republicans and Democrats argued Tuesday over which political party can take responsibility.

House Republicans issued a news release to trumpet their claims, even though the economic growth occurred in 2010 — before their party took absolute power over state government this year.

“This ranking highlights what many of us already know: Tennessee is open for business,” House Speaker Beth Harwell said. “We have a dynamic, pro-business environment that is attracting the attention of more and more top companies with each passing day. That said, there is more work to be done. I look forward to another successful session next year that will lessen the role of government and enhance the job environment for Tennesseans.”

House Democratic Caucus chairman Mike Turner scoffed at the GOP boasting, pointing out that Democrat Phil Bredesen was the governor in 2010 and Democrats shared power in the state House.

“The Republicans haven’t been there long enough to damage the economy or help the economy,” Turner said. “This was a result of the pro-business jobs creation under the Democrats and the Bredesen administration. We were very aggressive in going out and recruiting employment as opposed to sitting back and letting them come to us, which appears to be what the Republicans are doing now. I’m glad Republicans are trying to take credit for something they didn’t do. I really don’t know what they did to create jobs.” 

According to the new figures from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, Tennessee showed the nation’s sixth-biggest increase in gross state product (GSP), an annual measure of the total output of goods and services. Tennessee’s GSP went up 3.52 percent last year, the largest increase in the Southeast and better than all but North Dakota, New York, Indiana, Massachusetts and West Virginia. 

Forty-eight of the 50 states enjoyed economic growth. Fourteen states experienced economic growth of 3 percent or more. The typical state registered a GSP increase of 2.6 percent.

“These numbers reveal the fact our state is making a move to the top in economic growth and the success of the 2011 legislative session will go a long way towards ensuring we get there,” House GOP leader Gerald McCormick said. “With proactive measures such as tort reform and education reform, we are serious about making Tennessee the premiere destination in the country for economic development.”

19 Comments on this post:

By: pswindle on 6/14/11 at 2:07

Ok. This governor had nothing to do with anything. He just walked in. In no time he will screw it up like Bush did to the US economy.

By: jock on 6/14/11 at 5:39

The Republicans sound like a bunch of roosters crowing that they have made the sun rise again.

By: morpheus120 on 6/15/11 at 5:14

Ya gotta love how today's Republicans tell bald-faces lies with a straight face. No wonder they've suckered the mainstream media so well.

And hey, someone needs to point out to Harwell, Ketron, and Casada that beating up on the unions and the middle class does absolutely nothing to promote jobs and economic development.

New York, Massachusetts and West Virginia - that's 3 out of the top 5 - are all pro-union states. To hear the GOP hacks tell it, unions are a deathblow for business and expansion. They wouldn't lie about that, would they.

The numbers don't lie - conservatives do.

By: gdiafante on 6/15/11 at 6:11

House Republicans issued a news release to trumpet their claims, even though the economic growth occurred in 2010 — before their party took absolute power over state government this year.

This says it all.

By: imdyinhere on 6/15/11 at 6:39

Hasn't Gov. Haslam spent the last few weeks talking about how he wants to make his administration known for reducing the number of out-of-state businesses moving here and instead, make the state's atmosphere more hospitable to helping small businesses already in-state grow larger? (ie, keeping it with the Old Boys Club)

Harwell's & McCormick's statements contradict that. I guess someone didn't get the memo.

By: gdiafante on 6/15/11 at 6:41

Personally, I don't see where either party did much at all...the fact is that the recession didn't hit Middle Tennessee as hard as it could have, though the housing market is completly awful, unless you live in Williamson County.

By: Kosh III on 6/15/11 at 6:42

What did the Grand Old Posterior do this year?

Beat up on gays---again.

Demoralized teachers by attacking their organization and incomes.

Passed tort "reform" which let's companies and individuals get away with no responsibility for their bad acts which damage and destroy people.

Failed to go after the outlaw employers who hire illegal aliens.

Remind me again how all this helps grow the economy as opposed to growing the profits of their corporate owners?

By: Kosh III on 6/15/11 at 6:50

O! I forgot

Ramsey gave 9% raises to the state employees in his office.
Haslam gave the Commissioners raises ranging from 11-40%---after only 3 months on the job.

But all the civil SERVANTS who do the real work, the rank and file, they got a huge increase in insurance costs, in some instances as much as a 40% rise, and a whopping 1.6% raise. And Haslam said last week that it might be 2014 before any other raise is forthcoming if at all.

Government of the corporation, for the corporation and by the corporation and the rest of us can go get f____d

By: bruingeek on 6/15/11 at 7:04

So much for the old adage: "It is amazing how much you can accomplish when it doesn't matter who gets the credit."

By: localboy on 6/15/11 at 7:57

Good posts all.

By: JDG on 6/15/11 at 8:10

Wonder how much growth there would have been had we had a state income tax?

By: girliegirl on 6/15/11 at 9:12

JDG...none, and actually we'd have MASS EXODUS here because the "wealthy" folks CHOOSE to live her for THAT reason. Obviously you don't read their interviews when they announce they're moving to TN. LOL

By: pswindle on 6/15/11 at 11:03

It is just another good ole boy story. If the democrats produce the GOP is waiting to take the credit, but if they fail, the GOP had nothing to do with anything. I just wish that we had the same amount of suport that the democrats have in WI. If the behavior of the GOP does not bring back the democrats, TN is doomed. We are in the process of having a class warfare.

By: Captain Nemo on 6/15/11 at 2:06

This is how things works in the mind of a Republicans, when the economy fell under Bush, the GOP say it was Obama and the Democrats fault. Now that Tennessee grew at sixth-best rate in the country Last Year under Bredesen and the Democrats the Republicans declare it is because of them.

All I can say if Tennesseans falls for this, then they get what they deserve.

By: shef2 on 6/15/11 at 11:03

The Republicans had as much to do with our economy as my Cat did.
Oh, wait-! My Cat did-!
I spent my $$$ @ his Vet's office-!
And that helped our economy-!
Good goin', Buddy-!

By: treehugger7 on 6/16/11 at 6:07

Love it, shef2! My dog helped too!

By: govskeptic on 6/16/11 at 7:05

Chip Forrester and Rep. Turner should get all the credit since they provided
the brain power for the policies that provided said growth, Bredesen was only
following their lead. Additional growth in GDP and wages are sorely needed
in our state which hopefully will come about soon, since we are still far
behind the national averages!

By: yucchhii on 6/16/11 at 8:33

yucchhii I like the headline to this article Both sides "TAKE" credit! They don't wait for those of us that these things affect to "GIVE" credit. But then that IS the way politicians are! They "TAKE" it all and DON'T "GIVE" anything!!

By: bigbadude on 6/17/11 at 11:13

Psalm 24
1The earth is the LORD's, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.

2For he hath founded it upon the seas, and established it upon the floods.

3Who shall ascend into the hill of the LORD? or who shall stand in his holy place?

4He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully.

5He shall receive the blessing from the LORD, and righteousness from the God of his salvation.

6This is the generation of them that seek him, that seek thy face, O Jacob. Selah.

7Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in.

8Who is this King of glory? The LORD strong and mighty, the LORD mighty in battle.

9Lift up your heads, O ye gates; even lift them up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in.

10Who is this King of glory? The LORD of hosts, he is the King of glory. Selah