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State earns yet another dubious national honor

By Staff
Bob Ingram, Alabama Scene
MONTGOMERY–Alabamians have another reason to chant "We're No. 1" but it has nothing to do with football nor is it a claim that anyone should be proud.
A report released by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities shows that Alabama is No. 1 in the nation in the taxing of the poor.
The threshold in Alabama where income becomes taxable is $4,600 for a two-parent, four-person family. To say it another way, a family of that size must pay income taxes on all above that amount. And this is so even though the federal poverty level for a family of that size is $19,300.
For a number of years Alabama had shared this dubious No. 1 ranking with Kentucky, but that state recently amended its tax laws to raise the threshold above the poverty level.
To compound this shameful record, Alabama also has one of the highest sales tax rates in the nation…and the sales tax poses a far greater burden on the poor than the wealthy.
But in an interview last week Siegelman says if he seeks another term as governor in 2006 that his chief campaign issue will be getting a new Constitution.
Probably no issue in the state has had more editorial support than constitutional reform, but only last week legislators who had sponsored a bill which called for a constitutional convention threw in the towel.
That the state desperately needs a new Constitution is not debatable, but many legislators say that there is little or no interest in this issue among their constitutuents.
To put it another way, there is no evidence that many Alabamians are lying awake at night worrying about the Constitution, as archaic and unworkable as it is.
The 69-year-old Hubbert, whose clout in the legislative halls is near-legendary, was diagnosed with two blocked arteries during a routine exam and it was decided to perform the surgery.
Dr. Hubbert is no stranger to major surgery. In 1989 he walked through the valley of the shadow of death when he underwent liver transplant surgery.
Political foes of the AEA boss…and he has a few…thought that perhaps during his absence there might be a diminishing of the clout of the teacher union. It didn't happen. In fact while he was hospitalized legislation to give teachers a 6 percent pay raise cleared a major hurdle in the House.
A tag paying tribute to the Saturn V rocket…built in Alabama…which carried men to the moon…will soon be distributed. The tag will have the words "First To The Moon" stamped on them.
A total of 1,491 of these tags have been pre-sold, which comfortably exceeds the required threshold of 1,000 required by the state..
As good as that one is, my favorite bumper sticker goes way back, and I saw it for myself.
I was cruising up I-65 north of Montgomery when I saw a Mercedes convertible coming up behind me. As it passed me in a flash I couldn't help but notice the driver…a stunning blonde, her hair flying in the breeze.
Then I saw the bumper sticker: "Was His."
No explanation was needed. She had obviously gained ownership of that gem of a car in a divorce.