Sunday, August 21, 2011
Due to a recent encounter with the County Clerk's Office in the state I live in (Tn), a couple of questions have come to mind. Where does State's Rights vs Interstate Commerce begin and end? And, does a State have the right to punish their residents for buying a product from out of state by forcing them to pay, in this case Tennessee, sales tax even if the person has already paid the sales tax in the state where the transaction occurred? Finally in the case of buying a vehicle outside of Tennessee, how can Tn refuse to license the vehicle simply because the individual did not pay cash for the vehicle and obtain the title to that vehicle? Generally if a person buys a vehicle from a nationwide dealer and finances the vehicle through a national financial institution the vehicle will have a lien placed on the vehicle and the title is held until the lien is satisfied. The dealer will fill out all the appropriate documents to allow the person to license and register the vehicle in the state they live in. At least this is the way most states in America handle the sales of vehicles, but not in Tn.
To be clear in today's economy most people cannot afford to pay $20 or $30 thousand for a used or new vehicle so financing is and always has been a common practice. Also this does not pertain to a private sale from one individual to another.
The above scenario happened to me and being naive and unaware of Tn. laws I had no idea I could not license or register the vehicle with the documentation given to me from the dealer. Unfortunately the dealer who also has dealerships in Tn was unaware of Tn laws governing title and registration of vehicles in Tn. After being told by the ladies at the local Cumberland County Clerk's Office under Mr. Jule Bryson that I could not license or register the vehicle without the title, I contacted the dealer and the lien holder for guidance. They were both as confused as I.
The financial institution explained what I tried to explain to the County Clerk's office. That is, for practical reasons the lien holder will not release the title of a vehicle to the customer until the lien is satisfied. In normal situations like this every other state accepts the electronic transfer of the title showing the new owner and lien holder, while the lien holder retains possession of the original title. According to the County Clerk's office this is not acceptable under Tn. law.
When a confrontation over this law developed between me and the ladies in the Clerk's office I was told they didn't really care. The only thing they were interested in was collecting the taxes and seeing the title. When I informed them this was a stupid a law their response was: "If you don't like the law maybe you should move."
As I sit here today I have a vehicle that I must continue to make payments on and carry insurance on even though I cannot drive the vehicle in Tn or any other state. To me this throws the theory of interstate commerce right out the door. It sounds like Tn is punishing their residents for buying a product out of state instead of buying within Tn.
I have contacted the Tn Speaker of the House Beth Harwell and she seemed surprised. She has promised to check into the situation and contact me later. Whether this is just overzealous folks at the County Clerk's office or really the law in Tennessee makes a person wonder how many other State and Local officials are penalizing their residents for participating in Interstate Commerce.
Tuesday, August 9, 2011
Revised from The Emperor's New Clothes
Once upon a time there lived a vain Presidential Candidate that thought once he became President of the United States he would become Emperor of the World. He believed all he would have to do is make a speech and the world would change for the better. Every time there was a real crisis or one manufactured by his staff he gave a speech that put the blame on anyone that opposed him and his media friends ran it off to his people.
Word of the Emperor's refined and articulate speeches spread over his kingdom and beyond. Two scoundrels who knew the Emperor was inexperienced and naive decided to take advantage of it. They introduced themselves at the gates of the White House with a scheme in mind. Their names were Larry Summers and Tim Geithner and they wanted to change the economic system from a Capitalist system to a Socialist system.
"We are two very good economist and after many years of research we have invented an extraordinary method to change America and redistribute the wealth. With your great ability to fool the public our plan will be invisible to anyone who is too stupid and incompetent to fully understand it."
Emperor Obama listened to the scoundrel's strange story and decided it would fit in perfectly with his plan to fundamentally change America.
"Besides being invisible, your Highness, this plan will be so simple yet complexed that people will not even know what has happened until it is too late. There will always be someone else to blame. We will send the country into economic distress, raise unemployment, and lose our credit rating. All the while we can blame it on the American people in the Tea Party, the Republican Party, George W Bush and the messenger Standard and Poors. When it is all over you can rebuild America and the World into the vision you and George Soros have always dreamed of." The emperor gave the two men a bag of gold coins in exchange for their promise to begin implementing the plan immediately.
A gleeful Obama cried, "Just tell me what you need to get started and I'll give it to you."
Shortly after the scoundrel's plans were implemented they returned to Emperor Obama and announced their plans were paying off. The people had become frantic and completely dependent upon the government and soon would be too afraid to challenge the Emperor's plan for One World Order.
The scoundrels said. "We have worked night and day but, at last, the world is ready for you to save it." The Emperor saw the opinion polls and watched as his approval ratings started to fall as fast as the DOW. He panicked and felt like fainting. But luckily Queen Michele was right behind him and propped him up. When he realized that no one would know that he was behind the plan, he felt better. Nobody would find out how stupid and incompetent he really was.
The farce continued as the two scoundrels had foreseen it. Once the economy had all but totally collapsed the scoundrels informed the Emperor it was time for him to make one of his great speeches and watch as the sheep run to their shepherd for guidance and safety.
"Your Highness, this will have to be one of the most articulate and masterful speeches of your short career. " The two scoundrels miscalculated just how naive the Emperor really was. The Emperor was embarrassed to be the only President in American history to oversee a downgrade in the United State's credit rating but he believed he could once again pull off the perfect con.
"All right," Obama said. "I will grant the people the privilege of hearing my wisdom once again." He summoned his media and gave his great speech. All the people had gathered around the televisions, pushing and shoving to get a better look. Hope and great expectations filled the air. The Liberals wanted no one to know how stupid or incompetent the Emperor was but as he spoke, a strange murmur rose from the crowd.
The Left said, loud enough for the others to hear: "Look at our Emperor's new plan. Isn't it wonderful!"
"What a marvelous man!"
A child, however, who had no important job and could only see things as his eyes showed them to him, listened and watched as the Emperor spoke.
"The Emperor has no plan," he said.
"Fool!" his father reprimanded, running after him. "Don't talk nonsense!" He grabbed his child and took him away. But the boy's remark, which had been heard by the bystanders, was repeated over and over again until everyone cried:
"The boy is right! The Emperor has no plan! It's true!"
The Emperor realized that the people were right but could not admit to that. He thought it better to continue the con under the illusion that the American people, not the scoundrels, were either stupid or incompetent. And he stood stiffly at his podium, reading from his teleprompters as the world continued to crumble at his feet.