NASHVILLE -- Outside of the Knoxville federal courthouse, Tennessee Democratic Party Chair Mary Mancini was recorded with a handful of Knox County Democratic candidates. Her speech about rebuilding Tennessee was only the latest example of how completely disconnected Mancini and her Party are from reality.
"The Tennessee Republican Party would like to invite Mary Mancini and the Tennessee Democratic Party back to planet Earth after their apparent absence for the past 8 years," said Tennessee Republican Party Chairman Scott Golden. "While we understand Tennessee Democrats are trying to paint a doom and gloom story of Tennessee, that is just not the reality we live in. Tennessee is thriving under Republican leadership and voters can see the results, even if Tennessee Democrats refuse to."
Mancini claimed that, "things are broken in Tennessee" referring to the economy, infrastructure, housing, education and broadband. But the facts paint a different picture:
Since Republicans took control, between 2011 and 2016 the median income for Tennessee households has increased by $9,000. Tennessee is seeing record low unemployment, with the statewide unemployment rate below 3.5%. Wages have increased, and the number of hourly workers being paid the federal minimum wage is half what it was when Phil Bredesen was Governor.
Tennessee has the lowest debt per capita of any state in the country, and responsible budgeting has allowed Republicans to grow the rainy day fund to historic levels. This is vastly different to the final year's of the Bredesen administration where they dipped into the rainy day fund for 3 consecutive years as they tried to make ends meet.
Under Republican leadership, Tennessee passed the IMPROVE Act that allows for nearly 1,000 fully funded road and infrastructure projects all with a net tax cut.
Tennessee has a homeownership rate of over 70%,the 11th highest in the nation.
With the Tennessee Promise and Tennessee Reconnect programs, Tennessee is leading the nation with expanded access to post-secondary education for all Tennesseans. Tennessee's students are also the fastest improving in the nation.
Under Republican leadership, the Tennessee legislature passed the Tennessee Broadband Accessibility Act to expand access to unserved citizens. President Trump also visited Nashville to sign executive orders that expand broadband internet to rural communities across the country.
While there is still more work that can be done to improve the situation of Tennessee families, the facts show that the state has bounced back and thrived under Republican leadership and solutions. Mary Mancini and Tennessee Democrats can't run from that inconvenient truth.