Apparently Ron Ramsey's Path to Prosperity Runs Right Over Your Parents

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I swear, I will never understand Republicans. It's all "bootstraps, bootstraps, bootstraps" — until it comes to people getting money from their rich, dead parents. Then Ron Ramsey has to take to Twitter: "Forbes points to Tennessee as a place 'not to die.' We simply have to remove this tax as soon as possible."

Oh, Heaven forfend! Forbes doesn't think Tennessee's a good place to die! Well, obviously Forbes' research sucks, because Tennessee is a wonderful place to die. In fact, we make it very easy for folks to die here all the time — especially if they're poor, black, women or children. According to the Department of Health, "In 2009, 655 babies born in Tennessee died before their first birthdays." The infant death rate in the black community was 2.7 times higher than for white infants. The main factor seems to be access to proper health care.

Hell, if you're a black woman in Memphis, your mortality rate from breast cancer is 2.09 times higher than white women. Again, a lack of access to proper health care seems to be behind this.

According to the state, "For fiscal year 2008-09, health care and social services made up approximately 28% of the Tennessee state budget. With these kinds of resources in the federal and state systems, no person in Tennessee should be without adequate health care. Yet 683,000 Tennesseans remain uninsured."

When you learn that almost 17% of us are living below the poverty level, it's easy to understand why people lack adequate health insurance.

So, you know, I weep for rich people that they have such a hard time coming to terms with dying here, because they can't give as much of their fortunes to their children as they'd like, tax-free, but a lot of us are dying here in an alarmingly easy fashion. Maybe those folks don't count to Lt. Governor Ramsey or to Forbes, but they do count.

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