Skip to main content

In all of the hue and cry about chained CPI in the president's proposed budget, one item has escaped scrutiny.  The budget considers selling part or all of TVA, the country's largest publicly owned utility.  The Tennessee Valley Authority was part of FDR's "100 Days."  It was quickly enacted after candidate Roosevelt had charged:

that private utilities had "selfish purposes" and said, "Never shall the federal government part with its sovereignty or with its control of its power resources while I'm president of the United States."

In 1964, TVA became a political lightning rod as GOP nominee Barry Goldwater famously called for its sale.  In the linked interview where he called for that sale, he also advocated the abolition of farm subsidies and the enactment of a flat tax, and he opposed the enactment of Medicare.  In other words, this position was one of a right-wing GOP crank who was throughly demolished by the last New Deal Dem to be elected president.

To see a Dem president coming off a resounding re-election steal a page from Goldwater's playbook (at the same time that he's proposing to cut SS) causes the mind to reel.  I'm really not old enough to recall any details of the 1964 campaign, but Goldwater's pledge to sell TVA, along w/ his suggestion to lob one into the men's room of the Kremlin demonstrated his clear lack of seriousness as a prospective president.   TVA thereafter became as dangerous of a third rail in American politics as SS.

It's fascinating to note that both of TN's GOP senators opposing this idea.  Even Goopers suddenly become "socialists" when it's their own ox that's being gored:

The power authority’s bonds fell on news of a potential sale, which was criticized as “one more bad idea in a budget full of bad ideas,” by Senator Lamar Alexander, a Tennessee Republican...A sale of TVA would cost taxpayers money and may boost electricity rates, Alexander said in an e-mailed statement yesterday. Both of Tennessee’s Republican senators oppose a sale.

“There is by law no federal taxpayer liability for TVA debt,” the senator said. “And after deducting its debt, selling TVA would probably cost taxpayers money.”

It was my understanding that, as exemplified by his dinner last night w/ Johnny Isakson and 11 of his friends, the president is trying to build bridges to GOP senators.  Why alienate 2 of them so that you can potentially repudiate FDR's legacy and carry out the agenda of the GOP right?  Why is such an insane idea even being considered?  Are there any other equally insane proposals in this budget?

TVA, like any program of its scale, has its obvious flaws. Selling it off to Wall Street, probably at a loss, however, is the worst idea imaginable.  The fact that it is even on the table now raises even more questions about exactly what it was that we voted for last November.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

jbou, schemp, claude, Thumb, Superskepticalman, Alfred E Newman, DeminNewJ, Paleo, Mogolori, Chi, hester, grollen, slinkerwink, deben, roonie, left of center, importer, Dump Terry McAuliffe, badger, theboz, emal, genethefiend, hyperstation, Aspe4, scorinaldi, hubcap, Theodoric of York Medieval Liberal, opinionated, TheMomCat, Boston Boomer, bronte17, TracieLynn, fugwb, susakinovember, chuckvw, roses, Dallasdoc, Farugia, CitizenOfEarth, 2laneIA, cosette, wordwraith, riverlover, dkmich, Oaktown Girl, valadon, Armand451, environmentalist, nailbender, joanneleon, humphrey, 3goldens, NoMoreLies, ichibon, democracy inaction, run around, Simplify, Brooke In Seattle, YucatanMan, Laurence Lewis, FutureNow, Dem Beans, RichterScale, Carnivorous Plantling, Tool, Tunk, WisePiper, turdraker, mightymouse, Alan Arizona, zozie, Paper Cup, bently, CJnyc, Jim P, tarheelblue, Keone Michaels, The Wizard, blueoasis, triv33, praenomen, gooderservice, Caoimhin Laochdha, joe shikspack, Timothy J, shaharazade, Aaa T Tudeattack, BentLiberal, ammasdarling, One Pissed Off Liberal, pgm 01, RWood, camlbacker, CenterLeft, yoduuuh do or do not, aliasalias, HCKAD, Aunt Martha, bobswern, CT Hank, madgranny, Don midwest, on the cusp, poligirl, Alexandre, Involuntary Exile, elwior, Cat Servant, tofumagoo, jobu, Cassandra Waites, temptxan, petulans, LaEscapee, lenzy1000, priceman, Robobagpiper, David Futurama, CIndyCasella, squarewheel, LaFeminista, Louisiana 1976, cybrestrike, Dirtandiron, Rick Aucoin, greengemini, The Dead Man, CamillesDad1, zaka1, asym, Words In Action, ruscle, Just Bob, WhitRobinson, The Jester, eXtina, Susan Grigsby, mookins, wvmom, gulfgal98, Lady Libertine, ItsSimpleSimon, DiegoUK, Johnny Q, Wisdumb, renbear, allenjo, wsbuffalo, deeproots, CoExistNow, smiley7, PedalingPete, Grandma Susie, MinistryOfTruth, toby esterhase, Sunspots, imlpdx, DRo, SouthernLiberalinMD, quill, Williston Barrett, greenbastard, Mindful Nature, MsLillian, Ginger1, radical simplicity, lunachickie, wasatch, BobTheHappyDinosaur, Ray Pensador, Lily O Lady, Chaddiwicker, Alhambra, Bubblehead580, RUNDOWN

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site