Kelly King got the Knoxville Economics Forum off to a rousing start on Friday, even if some of his assertions were a bit of a stretch. The loquacious chairman of BB&T Corp. brought the right mix of commentary, controversy and insight to the first of what I hope will be a long series of talks by distinguished speakers.
Struggling East Tennessee businesses should send Ohio Republican Sen. George Voinovich a thank-you note for providing the crucial 60th vote for a bill that will deliver $30 billion in credit and $12 billion in tax breaks to small businesses.
And while they’re at it, business owners should send lumps of coal to Tennessee senators Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker. The Tennessee Republicans have toed the party line and helped hold the much-need bill hostage to filibuster.
Small businesses expecting Congress to do something helpful — like improving the flow of capital to creditworthy entrepreneurs — have been disappointed once again.
Legislation that would improve access to capital is snarled in the usual Democrats vs. Republicans politics. We shouldn’t be surprised. Partisan politics rarely brings out the best in our elected leaders.
Bickering over small business legislation will heat up when the fall campaigns crank up after Labor Day.
Fitch Ratings has upgraded Tennessee’s bond credit rating to AAA from AA, Sen. Randy McNally (R- Oak Ridge), chairman of the Senate finance committee, said today.
“This is not an upgrade for Tennessee relative to its peers in state government,” McNally told the Senate. “However, it is a more favorable rating as compared with non-governmental debt issuers, including those in the private sector.”
The rating is an assessment of the credit worthiness of the government’s debt issues.