Sucker Born Every Minute - And Response

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

The City Council needs to observe the professional panhandlers to find out the big picture. I will admit that there are some worthy individuals with true hard-luck stories. But the professional panhandlers outside of Walmart, Target, mall entrances and at Highway 153 exits off the highway are a well-oiled machine. They trade locations, signs and shticks. These are not poor, indigent, unlucky travelers or homeless individuals. 

Think about it. They are always the same group of beggars. They receive “donations” at every traffic light cycle collecting at least $2-5 dollars a cycle, 30 cycles per hour, 8-10 hours each day, seven days a week. You do the math. I would wager that some of these professional panhandlers make $30-60,000 a year, depending upon location and time of day. Tax free, all cash, and no peddlers license which Chattanooga enacted a decade ago. They trade signs and locations weekly, wear a different cap or shirt. The signs are easily folded for ease of concealment and transport. 

On one hand this speaks to the generosity of Chattanoogans. On the other hand, if you empty your pockets for them, they may mouth the words “Bless You,” but in their minds they are reveling in the fact that there is a sucker born every minute. 

Round them up on the basis of no peddlers license, legally fine them something significant, and then turn them over to the IRS. 

David Fihn
Hixson 

* * * 

Be careful what you wish for. If this were taxable income and considered earned income then they just might qualify for the refundable earned income credit, child tax credit and additional child tax credit putting taxpayers on the hook for more financial support. Currently gifts are not taxable to the receiver and besides the IRS has already ruled this is not income to the beggars. In addition shutting them down all together is probably unconstitutional.  

A better solution might be to not contribute to them. 

Mike Lynn


Time To Address Teacher Morale

Roy Exum: USA Today Is Wrong

Alex George Needs A Good Lawyer


We know psychologically that there is a connection between feeling of self-worth and actions. When teachers lose hope in their career, eventually they change the direction of their own future ... (click for more)

After spending half of a century in the newspaper business, you will find it universal that one’s “personal ethics” demand you leave children off the news page. You don’t interview an 11-year-old ... (click for more)

So “NewslessChannel9” fired Alex George for having cancer? She needs a good lawyer to insure she owns Sinclair Broadcasting soon. Paul Burch (click for more)


Opinion

Time To Address Teacher Morale

We know psychologically that there is a connection between feeling of self-worth and actions. When teachers lose hope in their career, eventually they change the direction of their own future and in turn it impacts the future of our children. If you are an educator or have friends who are educators, you have undoubtedly discussed teacher morale in public education and thoughts on ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: USA Today Is Wrong

After spending half of a century in the newspaper business, you will find it universal that one’s “personal ethics” demand you leave children off the news page. You don’t interview an 11-year-old who just watched her house burn down and now can’t find her kitty. You don’t take a kid’s picture at his daddy’s trial and, more than anything, never publish a word that would cause a child ... (click for more)

Breaking News

Investors Planning $9 Million In Improvements At Run-Down Patten Towers Needs 25-Year Tax Abatement

An official of an investor group planning $9 million in improvements at run-down Patten Towers said a 25-year PILOT tax abatement is essential for the project to go forward. The City Council is asked to vote on the tax break on Dec. 18. The County Commission will be asked to okay a similar resolution. John Shepard of Nashville-based Elmington said current property taxes at ... (click for more)

Henderson, Mitchell Ask Council To Consider Language On Preserving Steep Slopes And Floodplains

City Council members Chip Henderson and Jerry Mitchell said they want the council to consider language on preserving steep slopes and floodplains. They said they want to go further than Councilman Darrin Ledford, who is proposing new curbs on erosion control and reducing stormwater runoff. Councilman Ledford on Tuesday presented a proposed new ordinance that adds a section ... (click for more)

Sports

Birthday Celebration: Tyner's Hambrick Victory Leader

Melique Hambrick has hit some big buckets in his young high school basketball career, but none were ever any bigger than the one he hit at the end against East Ridge Tuesday night. Sam Garmany sank a jumper in the lane with 21 seconds left to put the Pioneers ahead by a point at 70-69, but Hambrick came through with a big 3 with six seconds remaining to lift the Rams to a stirring ... (click for more)

Hurricanes Rally To Beat Previously Unbeaten Mustangs, 63-58 In Overtime

In a District 5-3A basketball slugfest between what may be the two best teams in the league, East Hamilton got the go-ahead points on a steal-and-drive by Darwin Randolph in overtime and the Hurricanes defeated Walker Valley, 63-58, Tuesday night and handed the Mustangs their first loss of the season. “We had to keep playing a smart basketball because Walker Valley is a very ... (click for more)