Ga. Legislature descends into tax-cut madness

The state of Georgia is furloughing 25,000 employees, and in months to come school districts face the prospect of laying off teachers and crowding more children into each classroom.

Cities and counties face cuts in police, fire and 911 personnel, and legislators can’t seem to find a way to fund a statewide trauma-care network that would save up to 700 lives a year.

Around the state, prosecutors are being forced to take unpaid furloughs. Every day they’re not on the job, another 500 criminal cases back up unprosecuted. Many will end up being dismissed.

Oh, and did I mention that our roads still don’t work, our SAT scores still suck, and that even before the recession hit, our state mental-health system was so poorly funded and badly run that it drew federal attention as a threat to those it serves?

Nor is the problem temporary. Revenue projections suggest that in the next few years, the state could face annual budget deficits of a billion dollars or more.

Confronted by a revenue crisis of that magnitude, how does the Legislature respond? It votes to make it worse, approving hundreds of millions of dollars in business tax cuts and moving to abolish the corporate income tax, which could cut future revenue by $1 billion a year.

The idea —- or more accurately, the ideology —- is that lower taxes will create jobs. Maybe around the margins, they will. We may indeed attract a few bottom-line industries whose main siting criteria is whether the corporate tax load here is a percentage point or two lower than in a competing state.

But roads that are permanently clogged are already costing us even more jobs.

The loss of 700 lives a year because Georgia lacks trauma care available in other states will cost us jobs, and a whole lot more than jobs.

Under-educated children will cost us jobs, and will cost them a better future.

Few people dispute the fact that budget cuts in state and local government are necessary. Everybody’s cutting back, and government has to share that pain. However, choosing to compound the crisis by enacting massive tax cuts —- what we are watching is madness.

Businesses —- good-paying businesses with the potential to create growth and prosperity —- come to places with roads that work and schools that teach and communities that are safe and state parks that are attractive and well-kept —- or at least open. Only government can do those things.

Likewise, the employees needed to run those kinds of businesses are drawn to places where government helps to create a decent quality of life. Jobs are drawn to places where government works and solves problems. That’s not Georgia.

Here, our Department of Transportation is a dysfunctional mess, and the solution apparently agreed upon by state leaders will make it worse. They are taking a system crippled by political meddling and “fixing it” by making it even more vulnerable to such meddling.

As if they don’t have enough to do, some of those same legislators complain that MARTA —- which functions without state money —- doesn’t operate quite as well as they might prefer. Others plot ways to take over Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, suggesting that the state could do better than the city of Atlanta in running an airport already nationally recognized for efficiency.

Yet this fall, Hartsfield will open a rail line capable of moving 10,000 passengers an hour to its new rental car facility. Meanwhile, how’s that state commuter rail line coming?

Perhaps the best reflection of the mindset at the Capitol can be found in a few little-noticed lines of one major tax-cut bill.

Under House Bill 481, the state Department of Revenue will be required to send a letter to each business affected by a particular tax change. Legislators even dictate the letter’s wording:

“… the Georgia State House and State Senate passed and the Governor signed the J.O.B.S. Act … believing that entrepreneurs and business owners, not government, are best equipped to create jobs and sustainable economic growth for Georgia. We appreciate your efforts to create true economic stimulus for our great state.

Thank you!”

The cost of sending that message can’t be measured in just the price of paper, envelope and postage.

155 comments Add your comment

DB, Gwinnettian

March 30th, 2009
7:29 am

Great stuff, Jay.

However, it includes one typo, which I’ve fixed below (see emphasis):

“We may indeed attract a few bottom-feeder industries whose main siting criteria is whether the corporate tax load here is a percentage point or two lower than in a competing state.”

I Report/ You Whine

March 30th, 2009
7:33 am

Spoken like a true socialist, Bookman.

You know things are dangerously off track when even the commies in China are worried that Obama is pushing for too much government, too much spending and too much borrowing.
With China providing the warning, Sen Judd Gregg, who withdrew as Obama’s nominee to head the Commerce Department, stated that Obama’s proposed 10-year spending plan and soaring deficits would bankrupt the nation: “People will not buy our debt, our dollar will become devalued.”-AmSpec

This is a silly argument, just look at places like New York City, Atlanta, Kalifornia and all the other Tax Crazies, every one of them have huge deficits and shrinking populations.

You’re just jealous.

Tonto

March 30th, 2009
7:46 am

Jay, it is not just the letter being sent out, but what is your take on HB 481 – Jobs, Opportunity, and Business Success Act of 2009 in total. I don’t believe the Governor has signed it yet, but I see it as another Republican give away. The way I read this bill, a business can layoff their present workers and replace them off of the state unemployment list and receive $2400 per employee in two years without increasing the number of employees. They also reduce their payment into the unemployment fund by $25-$125 per quarter per employee. Why wouldn’t a business layoff their present janitor and replace him with an unemployed worker and pocket the money? This bill is especially bad for unskilled workers like cashiers and service people who can be easily replaced by the unemployed. Is this a payoff to Kia, too? If Kia delays hiring their auto workers until this summer when the bill is effective, they could receive millions of additional dollars to send back to South Korea that Georgia taxpayers would have to replace. It seems that this will be bad for hiring now because businesses will hold off hiring until the bill is effective and bad for those that have a job now that will be laid off when the bill becomes effective.

Redneck Convert

March 30th, 2009
7:51 am

Well, as a godly Conservative I sure am glad to see some tax cuts. We waste billions of bucks on schooling. All a kid needs is to be able to read a paycheck and maybe do a little adding and subtracting. Who cares if the GA test scores are at the bottom? All they do is get a kid into colledge and the colledges turn them into libruls. Most GA kids just want a pickup truck and a chainsaw and maybe a job that pays enough to rent a trailer and make truck payments. So why do the GA teachers keep teaching this fancy stuff that ain’t good for nothing in real life? If they can read a R after a name on a ballot they already know enough about politics and life.

I’m ready to see guvmint starved till all that’s left is the squeal. Have a good day everybody.

Taxpayer

March 30th, 2009
7:55 am

I just want to know how our Georgia businessmen are able to get around as well as they do with a Republican crammed that far up each one of their buttocks.

G

March 30th, 2009
7:59 am

How sad. More brilliance from the “I want something for nothing” crowd.

ByteMe

March 30th, 2009
8:02 am

The Republican mantra: when you don’t have vision, ideology is the next best thing!

Keep ‘em stupid and they’ll keep voting Republican.

Taxpayer

March 30th, 2009
8:07 am

I just cannot wait to vote for more of the Republican Party madness in future elections. :roll: Such tough choices so far for governor. It’s really going to be hard to pick between the lesser educated Cagle, the Supremely reprimanded Handel, and an unFairlyTaxed Oxendine. This Republican Party is not only committing suicide, it’s digging its own grave. So pathetic.

The Anti-Wooten

March 30th, 2009
8:16 am

Failed policies from failed minds, such a shame. The GOP(Got 0 Ideas Party) will drag their regional base of followers into the 18th century kicking and screaming. Unfortunately, those of us that know better get to go along for the short bus ride.

Tonto

March 30th, 2009
8:18 am

If tax cuts for the rich are so good, why did manufacturing employment increase by 300,000 under Clinton and decrease by 4.4 million under Bush 2 and decrease by 1.3 million under Bush 1?

Taxpayer

March 30th, 2009
8:18 am

Nine Georgia banks have failed in the last seven months

Bank; date failed; assets

Omni National Bank (Atlanta): March 27; $956 million

FirstCityBank (Stockbridge); March 20; $297 million

Freedom Bank of Georgia (Commerce); March 6; $173 million

FirstBank Financial Services (McDonough); Feb. 6; $337 million

Haven Trust Bank (Duluth); Dec. 12; $572 million

First Georgia Community Bank (Jackson); Dec. 5; $237.5 million

The Community Bank (Loganville); Nov. 21; $681 million

Alpha Bank (Alpharetta): Oct. 24; $354.1 million

Integrity Bank (Alpharetta); Aug. 29; $1.1 billion

Source: FDIC

Darned regulations are the problem. We would not be having any troubles if we just did everything like Ayn Rand says. I say get rid of the FDIC. What good are they. Adding all that insurance costs on banks and causing them to fail. That’s the problem. Too much in your face government and regulations. :lol:

I Report/ You Whine

March 30th, 2009
8:19 am

Tax and spend, blah, blah, blah-

Ask his pals in Europe, where cap-and-trade has not reduced emissions or produced a thriving “green” economy. Ask state lawmakers who, when now faced with the prospect of wrecking their own economies, can’t stomach the idea.

Just don’t ask the alarmists. They live in an alternate reality and while pleasurable for the few of them, it scares (VIDEO) the rest of us. That an increasing number of elected officials are more frightened by these actual cap-and-tax ramifications, rather than phony global warming projections, offers hope. -AmSpec

Dhimmi Carter Part Duhex.

Tonto

March 30th, 2009
8:19 am

If tax cuts for the rich are so good, why did non-farm employment increase by almost 23 million jobs under Clinton and only 2 million under Bush?

G

March 30th, 2009
8:21 am

Georgia Legislature = corporate tool.

I love this!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=veNOafvrW3M&feature=related

Bud Wiser

March 30th, 2009
8:22 am

I see the usual moonbat trolls have arrived already..

Did anyone ever stop to think (I know that thinking is such a difficult concept for the intellectually challenged left) that there are other factors at work here as well? For one, even the leftist rag forecasts doom and gloom for those counties that already have overloaded their plates with ‘free money’ from the government, and now that time is coming when one must pay the piper.

And everyone is whining because…………..?

No whining heard previously, just mouths happily sucking on the government teats. (One day I may have to relate the story of the “free corn”.)

No one complains, some even applaud, when the government throws trillions of dollars into a failed entitlement system of lazy, unschooled, drug abusing, just plain no good people, but when AIG decides to act within the law and observe the accountability of legally signed contracts and pay bonuses to a few employees (I admit they are not deserved, but they were legal), Congress and the president try to inflame the situation and induce a national coronary over it.

Now O forces the head of GM to resign, but has no one to appoint in his place. No one in mind. But, I’m sure that whoever that person may eventually be, it will be from a political, and certainly not a business, application.

The socialization of Amerika continues.

gttim

March 30th, 2009
8:23 am

When you elect people who think that government is the problem to run the government, this is what you get. Would you hire somebody who hates dogs to take care of yours?

G

March 30th, 2009
8:33 am

The Georgia Budget and Policy Institute points out that the Legislature’s own fiscal office projects that jobs created under the credit could cost — get this — $265,000 a piece. That’s because the tax credit is expected to incentivize employers to create only 2,200 new jobs, but it could be applied to up to 250,000 positions that would open up even with the incentive program. In other words, for every job that’s created, the government could give a tax credit for more than 100 jobs that would have been created anyway.

The 2,200 jobs is projected by the legislature’s fiscal office to cost the state $594.7 million in tax revenues.

Now who do you think will be expected to somehow make up the difference?

Taxpayer

March 30th, 2009
8:33 am

Georgia unemployment rate at 9.3 percent in February and 87 Ga. counties post double-digit unemployment. Wow. We better hurry up and get some of those Republican ideologies implemented before things take a turn for the worse. Good thing we have a robust housing market to sustain us. One in eight Georgia mortgage holders delinquent, in foreclosure. I mean, that’s a lot of good houses to pick from at upcoming auctions.

On a side note, you all know that we would not be having all these problems if the AJC would just quit reporting on them. This is clearly their fault. At least, that’s what I keep hearing from the Republicans. :lol:

Cherokee

March 30th, 2009
8:37 am

Too bad. But it won’t change anytime soon. As Redneck says, Georgians automatically vote for the Republican, no matter what. How much worse will things have to get in Georgia than the rest of the country before they wake up and vote out idiots like Chip Rogers? Who, unfortunately, is my Senator…

Corporal

March 30th, 2009
8:40 am

Jay:

If you don’t like tax cuts how come the AJC keeps cutting the size of its paper? There was just a little breeze this morning and I had to chase that “onion skin” sucker all over the yard.

Oh, but I forget. Obama has a PLAN to use my taxes to bail out your paper.

Joey

March 30th, 2009
8:40 am

Goodness gracious, Jay. You have clearly shown that our situation is intolerable. (This is where your work excels. When you are attacking Republicans. It is like you have a calling.)

If they believed what your write, any sensible person would move out of this miserable state as fast as their Ryder Truck would take them.

Taxpayer

March 30th, 2009
8:48 am

Dang, to look at the economic situation here in Georgia, one might get the false impression that it was run by Democrats, at least if the Republicans have their way. I wonder how the Georgia Republicans are spinning this mess. I know, it’s all the fault of the Georgia Labor Commissioner. Is that it.

Corporal

March 30th, 2009
9:00 am

A great symbol of patriotism used to combat the tyranny and taxation of the British ………. time to bring this baby out again !

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gadsden_flag

[...] Some opinion: Jay Bookman on tax-cut madness in the state Legislature. [...]

Bosch

March 30th, 2009
9:12 am

Yet, we still keep on electing them because they are God fearing and all that. Ya’ know, loving the Lord is great and all that, but when you are running your state into bankruptcy, it’s time for something more relevant. Lovin’ the Lord, and praying that it gets better just isn’t quite enough.

Bosch

March 30th, 2009
9:16 am

And they are also running business out of the State because of their ideology – bio-med companies will leave because they think a bunch of cells is a baby, tourism is down because we can’t buy booze on the Lord’s day – maybe it is time to get the old horse vaccinated and feed him better hay and shine up the old wagon in the shed.

Corporal

March 30th, 2009
9:17 am

HEADLINE/ABC: “Top Story: Obama Demands Detroit Get Lean and Mean, Emphasis on the Mean … ”

Obama “demands”? “DEMANDS”?

AmVet

March 30th, 2009
9:17 am

The morons in our State Legislature and our laughable “Pray for Rain, Get the Traitors their Flag back” Governor are emblematic of a state full of Reich-wing crackers and flat-earth bible-thumpers.

What the hell else do you expect from a backwater outpost that ranks 46th in reading comprehension and 47th in math scores?

Bosch

March 30th, 2009
9:17 am

And I think the Legislators need to furlough themselves before we start laying off teachers.

Joe Matarotz

March 30th, 2009
9:18 am

Jay! This is your best column in months. Just imagine if you spread it over five days, in lieu of the generally inane drivel you generate. Then you could actually include the supporting facts and documentation. It might actually start to resemble – dare I say it? – reporting.

Let’s carry it a step further. Imagine if you did that 52 weeks a year. THen imagine if the rest of the staff at the AJC did that. Imagine reporting the news factually instead of giving it your own personal slant. Maybe the AJC wouldn’t be staring at the possibility of going belly up.

You’re right – that’s just wishful thinking. But I’m old enough to remember when the media reported the news instead of trying to be the news. Those days are long gone.

Bosch

March 30th, 2009
9:19 am

Corporal,

It’s a headline not a quote – calm down.

Corporal

March 30th, 2009
9:21 am

HEADLINE/CBS: White House: GM, Chrysler Not Viable
“Obama To Announce Industry Restructuring; Wagoner Out At GM, Majority Of Board May Follow …”

I never thought in my lifetime I would see a President on such a “power grab”. This is really starting to get scary …..

Corporal

March 30th, 2009
9:23 am

Bosch:

Yes. A headline from a liberal mainstream news organization …… :o )

Corporal

March 30th, 2009
9:25 am

HEADLINE/CNN: “North Korea rocket shown on launch pad …”

Can we say “cruise missle” here ?

Corporal

March 30th, 2009
9:26 am

Excuse me: missile

ESR

March 30th, 2009
9:26 am

Any state in the nation that has to incorprate the grades of the students of Clayton County into the mix will have the lowest SAT scores in the country. The Bell Curve can’t help the numbers when Clayton County is involved.

Bosch

March 30th, 2009
9:29 am

Corporal,

AND……………..still not a quote.

Taxpayer

March 30th, 2009
9:32 am

Didn’t our Georgia Republicans under the dome give themselves a raise and a pat on the back before they got started this session because they knew, like they usually do, that they were going to be turning out some really good work for we the people. Why, I’m sure it is worth every penny that we the people pay just to keep their smiles all nice and pretty too, with those top-notch healthcare plans, amongst other things, that we buy for them. By the way, how is good old boy, Sonny, making out with that special $21 million dollar loan and that special retroactive tax break that he got. :twisted:

G

March 30th, 2009
9:34 am

Off topic

Obamas Paying For White House Renovations Personally

What a refreshing change!

http://nymag.com/news/intelligencer/55679/

Counselor

March 30th, 2009
9:36 am

Joe Matarotz needs to get over his crush on Jay and move on with his life. He’s starting to embarrass himself. Cyberstalking is so, well, ewwww.

hryder

March 30th, 2009
9:41 am

With so many proposals offered, check this: a)replace current legislature with unicameral system, b)establish term limits of a maximum of three total or ten years as a legislator, c)no retirement or health insurance for state legislators, and d)legislature meets only in odd numbered years for a maximum of 90 days with only one special session possible for a maximum of ten days. Side comment-All news is slanted, if for no other reason that it was reported and other information available was unreported due to the minds eye of the reporter.

Corporal

March 30th, 2009
9:45 am

Bosch:

O.K. ……… here are the quotes and they are scarier that “demands” !!

“It marks a new phase in the Obama administration’s turnaround efforts — a carefully calibrated, starker-than-expected move that the president owns completely.”

“Precisely how the White House wanted this to be viewed: “Wagoner doesn’t get to be the boss anymore because the President of the United States acted like one and fired him,” Mike Lupica writes in the New York Daily News.”

This is an unprecedented grab for power ………

DB, Gwinnettian

March 30th, 2009
9:48 am

Bosch @ 9.12:

Yet, we still keep on electing them because they are God fearing and all that.

It’s not quite as simple as that, but you’re on to something. I know a couple of fairly rational, sane folks who know that the national and state GOP do not serve their interests in several measurable ways (Jay brought up transportation; healthcare’s another area). And yet they have had it drilled into them for years by their religious and political leadership that the alternative is not an alternative based on one issue alone–abortion; specifically, the national parties’ respective stances on whether elective terminations should be criminalized or not.

Such folks have become convinced that voting for the major party alternative is quite literally a sin. And I don’t know what can be done about this, other than (perhaps) what the Obama has attempted to do for the past year, both as a candidate and as POTUS, which is to continue to engage the Christian right whenever possible and perhaps allow individuals to re-consider whether a public policy stance on criminalization v. legalization might not be the determining factor in a vote after all.

Counselor

March 30th, 2009
9:49 am

We’re going to make Yugos here in Georgia. I hope Obama has better plans for the nation.

PoliticalMan

March 30th, 2009
9:49 am

It would be so cool for the knuckle-draggers who blog here to write a column for the AJC since they are so critical. At least more would get to see their pathetic, ultra-simplistic, irrational, stupidity.

I Report/ You Whine

March 30th, 2009
9:52 am

The hits for New Yorkers just keep on coming. After being socked with a whopping subway and bus fare hike, New York families making at least $300,000 are now being walloped with a 7.85 percent tax rate and those over $500,000, an 8.97 percent rate. But it’s not only the rich who are being soaked by the budget unveiled by Governor David Paterson and legislative leaders.

“We made the tough choices necessary to address that challenge through shared sacrifice and responsible budgeting,” Gov. David Paterson said in a written statement issued with legislative leaders. “The agreement we are announcing today closes the largest deficit in state history, stabilizes our finances and institutes critical reforms that will help eliminate waste and inefficiency in our government.”

They Waste/ You Pay

ew

College Professor

March 30th, 2009
9:54 am

Jay: How come in this and other articles you write about taxes and spending you never refer to the article in this newspaper some months ago that an Emory law and theology professor wrote asserting that the taxpayer spends $110 billion dollars a year and has spent that amount every year for the past 10 years on children whose parents cannot afford them? If government required your beloved poor to use birth control to reduce their birthrate, maybe, just maybe, there would be additional money available for roads, police, parks, schools, etc. without imposing a crushing burden of taxes on the middle class.

Georgia Republican Party

March 30th, 2009
9:56 am

Dear Jay and your loyal non-conservative following,

We are tired, tired we say, of your never-ending efforts to make us look as though we do not care about our constituency. Therefore, we are writing you this post in order to set the record straight. We believe in family values and tax cuts. There. We hope that helps you to understand that you are just plain wrong about everything.

DB, Gwinnettian

March 30th, 2009
9:56 am

It would be so cool for the knuckle-draggers who blog here to write a column for the AJC since they are so critical.

PoliticalMan, you seem to have forgotten that the AJC requested just that of our righties, to fill the departing Jim Wooten’s “Thinking Right” column. They asked conservatives to fill out an online application form, did call-backs for the best applicants, and they printed (I think) ten of the best-of-the-best.

I don’t know if other newspapers have made the process quite that open-ended, but it was interesting to read. Alas, I cannot provide a link to this because (typically? seems that way… I’m sure Jay knows where those rightie-columns are posted, but I couldn’t find them.) the ajc.com “Opinion” page cite is pretty murky.

Some of those conservative columns were reasonable, some were just the kind of name-calling and foolishness, gussied up a bit for public consumption, you’d expect.

Wonder when they’re going to announce the winner? Anyone know?

Bosch

March 30th, 2009
9:59 am

DB,

“Such folks have become convinced that voting for the major party alternative is quite literally a sin.”

Of course my examples were on the exageration side, but this is bingo.

I know this may sound harsh, and I don’t mean this against your friends, but that isn’t rational thinking. And you’re right, part of this too, is the Dems fault – and they need to get out there and reach out to the religious right and make them see that they aren’t the evil Darth Vader baby murderers that the Republicans have quite effectively made them all out to be.

Bosch

March 30th, 2009
9:59 am

Corporal,

STILL not a quote from Obama.

Dusty

March 30th, 2009
10:02 am

Jay Bookman should have made this funereal piece of philosophy just one line. He said ONLY GOVERNMENT CAN DO THESE THINGS. Pure socialistic ideology at its finest.

Bookman also indicates who should be pushing us speedily towards that goal of all government control…LIBERAL DEMOCRATS of course…poor delusional little people who cannot manage or make decisions on their own at any time. They even want us to pay more taxes so the government can pay for more control. Even THAT they think is great.

Cam

March 30th, 2009
10:04 am

DB, Gwinnettian

March 30th, 2009
10:07 am

Bosch says: I know this may sound harsh, and I don’t mean this against your friends, but that isn’t rational thinking.

No offense taken; as someone whose own religious belief system is not the kind of thing that can be written on the back of a business card and has been informed by fairly conservative Protestant values in childhood (although, blessedly, backed by parents who didn’t force me to tow any line and allowed me to find my own way) I can see my friends’ beliefs for what they are–a matter of personal conscience, and more fluid than they themselves realize.

And you’re right, part of this too, is the Dems fault – and they need to get out there and reach out to the religious right and make them see that they aren’t the evil Darth Vader baby murderers that the Republicans have quite effectively made them all out to be.

I think they are, but to be fair, there is a significant base of Dem voters–let’s call them “seculars”, since that’s what they call not-real-religious-types in Israel, who make up about a third of the voting population there–who could be turned off if Obama hosts one too many love-ins with guys like Rick Warren.

I like to believe that hammering home rational reasons for our public policy decisions is the way to go. It’s what will make the lie that Obama is “pro-abortion” less appealing to some.

Note I say “some.” There is a large group who’ve invested so much in this issue that, I fear, they’ll probably not be reached in the next decade or so; c’est la crap.

DB, Gwinnettian

March 30th, 2009
10:08 am

argh. that should be “toe any line,” not “tow.”

Rush Limbaugh for President

March 30th, 2009
10:08 am

Jay, nice column.

A good example of how the radical right have become so ideological that common sense solutions are now beyond their grasp.

Now let’s look at our uber right wingers on this blog:

Whiner, ESR and Bud Wiser- perfect examples of the narrow thinkers who need an ideological road map to know what to think and say. Get their news from Rush, Sean, Ann and Laura.

Paul

March 30th, 2009
10:11 am

Georgia government seems to be like that in any other state government, be it Republican or Democrat. When cuts come, what gets cut? Police. Fire. Libraries. Schools. In other words, programs that affect the largest group of voters. I believe the strategy is “show the people that any reduction in taxes leads to direct impact on most of them.” Seems Georgia, though, takes the interesting approach of cutting taxes instead of the usual “find ways to keep rates the same or higher.”

Rarely do we see gov’t proposals that would either eliminate poor-performing programs or programs with a high dollar-to-number of people served ration. Nor do we see state employees cutting programs that benefit themselves. Ever wonder why all those state employees need cell phones?

PoliticalMan

March 30th, 2009
10:11 am

I did read those selections. Yes, most of them fit my criteria: pathetic, ultra-simplistic, irrational, and stupid. Some of posters on this blog seem to go one step further, or lower.

Wyld Byll Hyltnyr

March 30th, 2009
10:14 am

Yet, not withstanding Jay and the bleating of the liberal sheople, one fact stands above all others with respect to the Bush tax cuts – TAX REVENUES WERE AT AN ALL TIME HIGH. Like it or not, and the lberal sheople sure don’t,tax cuts, particularly corporate tax rate cuts equal increase tax revenue.

Now, on to the next liberal black cloudon the horizon:

Taxpayer 8:18 am

Cynically wrote,”Darned regulations are the problem.”

Truth be known, there is too much regulation in the banking industry, most of it incompetent. Georgia’s problems are highly correlated to poor regulation. Case study, Alphabank which failed 31 months (that’s correct, not even three years) after it opened:

1) Alpharetta was extraordinarily overbanked, why did the FDIC approve a new bank;

2) Management and board had no commercial lending expertise, why did the FDIC approve a bank for people whop did not understand how to manage a bank’s main risk;

3) Alphabank’s loans were 90-95% CRE and Construction loans – no risk diversification and all assets put into the highest risk category possible;

4) Alphabank had no core deposits – its deposits were all either broklered money, kwickrate crap that the regulators have negligently exempted from brokered status,and high cost (ie above market) local deposits;\

5) the FDIC and SBD both rated Alphabank as a #1 rated bank despite all the well defined weakenesses above

When you add it all up, the banks don’t need more regulation, they need competent regulators.

Taxpayer if your upset about the failure of nine Georgia banks, hold your hat – 40 to 60 or so more will fail in the next two years. The only reason that more have not failed is because the FDIC can’t get its act together.

Taxpayer

March 30th, 2009
10:17 am

Georgia is cutting taxes for we the people! Really! Where! Any examples of that.

DB, Gwinnettian

March 30th, 2009
10:17 am

Dusty writes:

“They even want us to pay more taxes so the government can pay for more control.”

Dusty, sooner or later, someone has to pay for the stuff we all use. We can either go more horribly into debt or we can be responsible (as Clinton was, when he modestly raised the top income rates–which Rush Limbaugh told me would “ruin the economy!”) and decide that the party’s over. no more re-inflating the bubble with tax cuts for the wealthy, who tend to put that savings into speculative investments which make things worse for us all, not better.

And actually, I disagree somewhat with the President’s own tax proposals, in that I think middle-income earners need to face facts and understand that they too have to share in some of this burden. I know there are smart economists who think that’s nuts, but I think long-term we have to get out of this mindset that says we can get something for nothing.

We need better mass transit, we need a comprehensive health insurance program, we need to rebuild infrastructure, and we need public education that is agile and adequately funded. You can’t do any of that stuff on the cheap. Most of the GOP have spent the last thirty years insisting that we can.

So by all means, go on talking about “higher taxes” as if that’s toxic. I’m sure some people will continue to be receptive to such pitches. Me, I think the Obama election marked a turning point in American voter’s receptivity to such illusions; back to Jay’s point, I suspect that the state GOP leadership can’t count on such receptivity playing out here in GA for much longer, although I think it’ll get worse here before it gets better, unfortunately.

Rush Limbaugh for President

March 30th, 2009
10:18 am

Dusty,

Dusty if larger Gov’t (via Gov’t speding) is the best indication of a Socialist agenda then every President from as far back as you can see must be a Socialist because Gov’t spending has increased under all of them. Pray tell why don’t you get with your friends ESR, Whiner, and Bud Wiser and lay out for all of us what programs you would cut and taxes you would reduce to make the U.S. less Socialist.

Rush Limbaugh for President

March 30th, 2009
10:24 am

Wild Bill,

Let’s look at the Bush economy in total;

Higher revenue- yes… coming from an overleveraged under regulated economy that collasped into the worst recession in 70 years. The only President to cut taxes in a time of war. End result-POOR. How can you (with a straight face) possibly say the Bush economic polices were good for the country? Look at our current situation.

G

March 30th, 2009
10:24 am

So some of you expect to have roads, firemen, policemen, infrastructure in general, a prosperous business environment, a military, education for all, protection and promotion of our way of life – for nothing.

Please, do tell, how does that work?

AmVet

March 30th, 2009
10:25 am

Reading the Republiconned here “discussing” economic policy is like watching a bunch of r words trying to hump a doorknob ~ Patches O’Houlihan

jt

March 30th, 2009
10:28 am

Each of Chuck Norris’ testes is larger than the other.

Bosch

March 30th, 2009
10:32 am

DB @ 10:07 – I agree. I don’t think I could write down my personal religous beliefs in a 20 page essay with 8 point type. And I would have to do annual updates. :-)

And your 10:17 – I’ve even thrown the idea around in my head that if you receive a refund, a certain percentage should go into some kind of national debt relief fund – or something like that – I haven’t given much thought of it except just what I said – so I have no statistics or data or whatever to back up such an idea – just a random thought.

Paul,

How’s Mrs. Paul? And Paul, Jr.?

Taxpayer

March 30th, 2009
10:36 am

Too much regulation

I knew I could reel in a real big one with one and I did! So, Wyld Byll, what do you think about getting rid of that nasty old FDIC and all their regulations, including guaranteed deposits. Why don’t you run for office with that plank holding you up. As for your ‘reasons’ for the problems with the financial industry and failures of the banks, etc., you wouldn’t happen to have any documentation backing that up, would you. At one point, you claim that we have too much regulation and at another point you claim we have incompetent people. Please, do tell us which regulations caused our problems and how and please provide your data analysis that supports your claim (especially if you continue with that CRA line). Also, please identify the people and regulations associated with the FDIC that caused these bank failures.

Finally, regarding the hidden point of my posts, why has our state suffered so much with respect to unemployment, bank failures, foreclosures, peanuts, budget deficit, scandals, tax cheats, crooks, etc., even though it has been controlled by ‘family values’ Republicans for years and years and years now. I thought the Republicans claimed to have a better way of governance. What do they offer up as proof. Do we have lower taxes, better jobs, no abortions, less crime, what?

DB, Gwinnettian

March 30th, 2009
10:37 am

“if you receive a refund, a certain percentage should go into some kind of national debt relief fund – or something like that – I haven’t given much thought of it except just what I said”

So, after you’ve just provided the Feddle Gubmint with an interest free loan for a year, your reward is to have more of that money skimmed off for debt relief?

I may have to sic Krugman on you for that!

Wyld Byll Hyltnyr

March 30th, 2009
10:38 am

Rush Limbaugh for President 10:24 am

The Reagan and Kennedy tax rate cuts also grew revenue. Your arguement is a true non sequeter, that mixes cause and effect at random.

Also, it is preposterous to suugest that the financial industry was under regulated. There was a regulator in place and in position to address those things that went wrong – THE PROBLEM IS THAT THERE WAS NOT A COMPETENT REGULATOR IN PLACE. I would, however, agree that reguilatory agencies should be combined, but they should be run by persons with considerably industry experience rather than the dullards who lost out in the job interview process on campus.

Tonto

March 30th, 2009
10:42 am

If tax cuts for the rich increases revenue, then why did Bush start with surpluses after Clinton and end up with a trillion dollar deficit after 7 and half years of tax cuts?

Bosch

March 30th, 2009
10:43 am

DB,

Well, if we are to fight off all the terrorists in the world, we have to do SOMETHING for cryin’ out loud!!!!

Dusty

March 30th, 2009
10:43 am

DB, you obviously forget what is commonly known by sensible people. If you cannot pay for something you want, then you do not buy it. You do not keep asking the state to provide for YOU. You do not ask the Federal government to provide for YOU. You cut back. You expect the State to cut back. You expect the Feds to cut back. YOU QUIT ASKING THE GOVERNMENT TO DO FOR YOU WHAT YOU CAN DO FOR YOURSELF.

That is such a pure American ethic I am surprised so many liberals have forgotten it and have their hand held out for help.

Our president is pure liberal and we have Himalayan debts which he ignores and adds to them. HE IS GOING TO DO AND DECIDE FOR YOU. He has already started. You wanted it. You got it. I was not with you. Those ideas are indefensible as far as I can see. I prefer to be free.

bugger

March 30th, 2009
10:43 am

Recent article. Top ten states with highest unemployment rates in the country. Nine of the ten have a democratic govenor.

Michigan Govenor raises taxes a few years ago promising this will spark an economic recovery. Wonder how that worked.

Meanwhile Obama’s administration which has not a single person who has ever worked in industry, decides to oust GM CEO. So far, in just a little over two months, he has taken over the role of setting salaries for the financial industry, and the role of the board of directors of GM. This with the advice of a bunch of college professors and professional politicians. Not one single person in the administration has ever worked in industry.

I can’t believe there are so many people who can’t see where this is going.

RW-(the original)

March 30th, 2009
10:45 am

Three days of writers block to come up with gems like “only government can do state roads and state parks” when that’s true by the very definition of the word “state?”

I’ll take a private park over a state park any day of the week and private roads are far better as well.

With that I’m off to the forest, but sadly I have to take government roads to get there so no telling what I’ll run into.

Later y’all, happy hour perhaps, but it is Heroes night and that sushi isn’t going to make itself.

AmVet

March 30th, 2009
10:46 am

BONN, Germany — Once booed at international climate talks, the United States won sustained applause Sunday when President Barack Obama’s envoy pledged to “make up for lost time” in reaching a global agreement on climate change.

What a breath of fresh air!

The neo-conned’s pollution-loving pigs are no longer stinking up the White House! And their intellectually unevolved ostriches no longer have a real voice!

Let the science-hating thugs in the flat-earth society and their enviro-raper buddies begin their gum-gnashing in earnest!

Bosch

March 30th, 2009
10:46 am

DB,

Ya’ know you know how when you get your taxes done and if you get a refund you are asked if you’d like to contribute a dollar towards the presidential campaign (which I always reply, “HELL NO” with actually a couple more expletives mixed in which I can not provide here) – but instead we could contribute $20 – something like that.

I know, it’s a crazy idea.

DB, Gwinnettian

March 30th, 2009
10:47 am

Tonto axed: “If tax cuts for the rich increases revenue,”

They don’t. At best they create a bubble, which is what Wyld Byll Hitler has been babbling about.

I do grant that there is, likely, a ceiling at which higher marginal tax rates on the highest incomes becomes a tad counter productive. So who knows–JFK (actually it was LBJ who signed the legislation, if memory serves) may have been correct to lower those 91% rates that were in effect under the Communist regime of American-hating Dwight Eisenhower, alllll the way down to 70% or so. That might have spurred… well, something.

But the right wing has been peddling this load of crap for years that you can go on cutting taxes ad infinitum and continue to re-inflate the bubble and we’ll all get ponies and unicorns as a result. For that reason alone, nobody should take them seriously.

Bosch

March 30th, 2009
10:47 am

Dusty,

So, all those corporate CEOs are liberals? Go figure that. I had no idea.

Jay

March 30th, 2009
10:48 am

Wyld Byll, you apparently believe that government revenue is an appropriate gauge of presidential economic policy. Very well. Let us now hoist you upon that petard:

Under President Bill Clinton (now there’s a wyld byll, but I digress) federal inflation-adjusted revenue increased by 51.7 percent.

Under President George W. Bush, federal inflation-adjusted revenue increased by 0.09 percent. (Source: Historial Budget Tables, Office of Management and Budget).

Even that minuscule increase is likely to prove imaginary, because it is based on OMB’s ‘09 gov’t revenue estimate. Given the collapse of the economy, actual revenue is likely to fall well short, meaning that in inflation-adjusted terms, government revenue will have fallen during Bush’s time in office, one of very few presidents able to make that “claim”.

Again, I’m not sure federal revenue is the greatest metric for such things, but it is the metric you have chosen to highlight.

DB, Gwinnettian

March 30th, 2009
10:49 am

Bosch sez of the federal campaign finance check-box requests: (which I always reply, “HELL NO”)

See, I always contribute. I think it’s kind of hypocritical for those who b!tch and moan about the influence of money in politics, if they can’t even fork over a few bucks to a general fund to mitigate this influence a teensy-tiny bit.

But your idea about a $20 check box for debt reduction, now that you’d described it for me–hey, why not try it. Fine with me. We might be surprised at how much symbolic (and that’s all it’d be) cash might be raised.

Must run. Later, all.

Rush Limbaugh for President

March 30th, 2009
10:51 am

Wild Bill,

So you are saying an overleveraged banking industry which led to an overleveraged housing industry had nothing to do with revenue increases during the Bush years? That all the increased revenue was a direct result of tax policy. Surely you jest…

Not a competent regulator… S.E.C. , F.D.I.C ? I would’t argue that point. But what regulations were in place to oversee that the proper financial backup was in place to oversee the CDOs and CDOs sold by AIG?

DB, Gwinnettian

March 30th, 2009
10:53 am

eh, one bit of apology before departing. It was something of a freudian slip @ 10.47 — Wyld is irksome on many levels, but my referring to him as “Hitler” is beyond the pale, and not the sort of thing I find tolerable in others posting here.

Please accept my personal apology for this slip, Wyld. Won’t happen again.

Bosch

March 30th, 2009
10:54 am

DB,

“I think it’s kind of hypocritical for those who b!tch and moan about the influence of money in politics, if they can’t even fork over a few bucks to a general fund to mitigate this influence a teensy-tiny bit”

Good point. I’ll reconsider. I just always think of the ads on TV which is why I hate even giving that much. Although I did contribute to Obama last year.

jt

March 30th, 2009
10:55 am

Its better to give than to receive. Especially if its a Chuck Norris roundhouse kick.

Bosch

March 30th, 2009
10:56 am

Paul, Paul, Paul –

OMG, I just remembered. Guess whose gonna be on my second favorite TV show tonight? None other than Tricia Helfer. Yeah, I know. Sigh.

Oh, and that show would be “Chuck.”

Taxpayer

March 30th, 2009
10:56 am

Wyld Byll at 10:14: Truth be known, there is too much regulation in the banking industry, most of it incompetent. Georgia’s problems are highly correlated to poor regulation.

Wyld Byll at 10:38: Also, it is preposterous to suugest that the financial industry was under regulated.

Wyld Byll, you are certainly hard to follow.

Bosch

March 30th, 2009
10:58 am

DB,

OR, maybe we could get Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts when they are selling their cookies and popcorn buckets to ask, “Would you also like to contribute a dollar to the national debt?”

That would be a great learning tool for them, and well, who can resist those cute kids? I swear I’ve bought a box of Girl Scout cookies every time I’ve gone to the grocery store for the past month – they are parked out front by the door.

Rush Limbaugh for President

March 30th, 2009
11:01 am

Dusty, you are free…..

Do you feel like a socialist? I don’t.

Has your life changed any in the last 60 days? Mine has but only because the economy under Bushed collasped.

Are you your brother’s keeper? To some extent we all are like it or not.

Is any Gov’t good Gov’t? Where do you draw the line?

Curious Observer

March 30th, 2009
11:03 am

Hey, I think I’ll follow the Republican model. I’m going to increase my revenue by (1) cutting my income and (2)borrowing to make up the difference and to pay more bills for things I buy. Sounds like a plan to me.

jt

March 30th, 2009
11:03 am

The only sure things in life are death and taxes, and if ever Chuck Norris went to work for the Ga. dept of revenue, they would be one and the same.

Jay Butler

March 30th, 2009
11:04 am

To all whiney non-business owners. Get a grip. Try getting a job from a poor person. Liberals love to bash business owners. Go get a job from the government in a tag office. As a business owner, our tax structure is appalling in this country. Lower taxes INCREASE revenues. Kennedy showed it, Reagan surely showed it. The only time in US history where higher taxes coincided with increased revenues was under Clinton. Oh wait, we had that “internet” thing to help him out. Get real folks. How can the wealth envy crowd be so blinded by hate for wealth that they actually support MORE of their own money being taken by force. I expect nothing less from Bookman, but some of your comments show that the American spirit is lost forever. Remember, when you lose your job from an “evil business owner”, thank Obama and the democrats. All the acheivers can do is laugh at your wealth envy and continue to succeed, in spite of the high taxes.

Copyleft

March 30th, 2009
11:07 am

Jay Butler: So the “achievers” will continue to do just fine, in spite of higher taxes? Great!

So let’s fire up those tax rates, since they’ll do no harm….

Wyld Byll Hyltnyr

March 30th, 2009
11:07 am

Jay 10:48 am

I actually like President Clinton, we spent an afternoon and evening, as they say in Arkansas, chasin’ some hide at a Governor’s conference at the old Shangrala resort on the Grand Lakes of the Cherokees in the mid 80s. He would have been a good running buddy for Ol’ Wyld Byll even though I didn’t agree with all his policies and didn’t like the ol’ ball & chain, or his taste for the dark oak.

That said, you have put a whole bundle of words into my pen with which I disagree.

First, revenue is not the only gauge of presidential economic policy. My views about the increase of tax revenues following a tax rate cut were offered as I felt your original post inferred that such an action would reduce revenue.

Next, your comparision of beginning and ending tax revenue within a president term is specious because the underlying economic issues vary from president to president and time to time. The better question is whether reveunes would have been higher or lower iof tax rates were not cut and, when one removes the noise of a recession, it is clear that a tax rate cut increases revenue.

Paul

March 30th, 2009
11:08 am

Bosch 10:32

Both doing well, thanks. Mrs Paul had a clean bill of health on the annual, but something else popped up so two MRIs are schedule… always something….hopefully will lead to a simple solution.

Son’s third and final operation went well. I didn’t realize, but listening to the doctor before the operation there was a better than even chance he wouldn’t be able to complete it – seems the small intestine might not be long enough for a reconnect. But he said everything ‘fit together beautifully.’ Even his wife said she’d never, ever heard him complain – except the day before he went in and was so hungry! Going through all this and only grumbling was about lack of food. Gotta be a guy thing.

All in all, in the midst of all this economic mess and the wars and all… I have a lot to be thankful for.

Paul

March 30th, 2009
11:09 am

Bosch

Now I gotta go set up the DVR for Chuck! Thanks!

Taxpayer

March 30th, 2009
11:11 am

So, Jay Butler,

Where exactly on the Laffer Curve are we with the current tax rates and revenues and how much lower can we go before your claim that “lower taxes increase revenues” no longer holds.

Jay Butler

March 30th, 2009
11:14 am

Wow Jay, your audience is HUGE. You have 4 losers without jobs commenting multiple times. Great discussion. No wonder the AJC is going down in flames. Looks like the free market will decide your fate Jay. What will you do for a living once your are let go? Maybe you can go to work building bridges or roads, you know, one of those high paying govment cheese jobs. Million dollars a day in losses… Ms. Cox may have to sell her big mansion on W.Paces to cover your job. Don’t bet on that, she is a evil rich person….

Dusty

March 30th, 2009
11:15 am

Someone here suggests that I list all the ways to cut government expenses. Lalala liberal lingo! I EXPECT and INSIST government officials to be looking for every way to cut government expenses. That is what Georgia State government is doing and listen to the howls from liberals.

HERE THEY GO…. The roads were crowded this morning! A bridge fell so the country is falling apart!! My child deserves a kindergarten, a hot lunch, fiften students to a class, and a ride to school on a bus but a father, PTA and guidance are not needed. My child deserves higher education not paid for my his family/mother. I may get sick so I DESERVE health insurance.

Liberals demand nanny care as an American gift. You are FREE to take care of yourself.

We got rid of one monarchy and we do not need another. You see, I do not think like a liberal Democrat but a self supporting Republican.

RW-(the original)

March 30th, 2009
11:15 am

What’s up with the forced refresh of our screens when Jay B posts a comment?

Big brother?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

One last nugget of info before I head out. Never let it be said that I don’t recognize progress from our new Boss in Chief, and beware because he’s decided he can personally fire any one of you at any time (slight hyperbole, calm down). Yes PresBO is reading to us from THREE screens today and he only falls into incoherent babble when he tries to stop on the center screen.

I think he needs glasses, but I have no formal training to make that diagnosis. I just know that I had to get them once my arms couldn’t hold the menu far enough away from eyes to read it anymore.

Later!