Georgia, Oregon become economic test case

Ten years from now, it’ll be fascinating to look back and see who turned out to be right.

Across the country, falling tax revenues are forcing deep cuts in state budgets. Under Gov. Sonny Perdue’s proposed budget here in Georgia, for example, “per student state spending on k-12 education and the university system will fall to their lowest levels in a decade” after inflation, the Georgia Budget and Policy Institute reports.

Some states have tried to soften such blows with strategic tax increases that will raise a total of $24 billion in new revenue, according to the National Governors Association. But at a press conference Thursday, Georgia legislative leaders announced plans to slash rather than raise state revenue by cutting business fees and taxes and the state capital gains tax.

Asked about the impact on an already ravaged state treasury, state Rep. Tom Graves turned the question around: “We don’t see this as a cost to the state, we see this as a savings to the taxpayer.”

In Oregon, on the other hand, leaders are taking the exact opposite approach. They’ve already cut spending significantly, but this week, Oregon voters easily approved ballot measures that will increase taxes on business and on households with incomes higher than $250,000. The new revenue will close the remaining budget gap of $727 million and fend off further cuts in education and other public services.

That sets up an interesting test case. While Oregon raises taxes to preserve its public infrastructure and services, Georgia believes that it can stimulate a boom by offering investors a cheaper business environment. “We’re going to be the economic beacon and leader for the rest of the country” in recovering from this recession, Graves confidently predicted.

Today, median household incomes in Georgia ($50,861) and Oregon ($50,169) are quite similar. They start from a similar base on taxes as well, since Oregon voters have a tradition of fiscal conservatism equal to that of Georgia. In 2005, Oregon ranked 41st in per capita state taxes ($1,791) while Georgia ranked 42nd ($1,726), according to the Census Bureau. So it will be interesting to see where they stand in a decade.

Given Georgia’s already low tax structure and the condition of the national economy, I personally have a hard time believing that state taxes have been a significant hurdle to investment here. Dropping from 42nd to 44th or 45th in the tax rankings doesn’t seem like it will accomplish much except force more furloughs of teachers, but I guess we’ll wait and see.

This won’t be the first time that Georgia and Oregon have set themselves up as test cases. Beginning 15 to 20 years ago, the two states also took starkly divergent approaches to growth in their major urban areas.

Under Oregon law, the three-county Portland metro area was given the power to tax itself as a region for transportation. It has used that authority to commit to mass transit, investing in light rail, trolley lines and more recently commuter rail. That’s a stark contrast to the Georgia strategy, which has relied almost exclusively on highways and denied metro Atlanta the right to act as a region.

Wendell Cox, a highway advocate and a favorite transportation consultant for Georgia conservatives, argued in the Atlanta Constitution back in 1999 that the Georgia model would prevail. In fact, he predicted, “traffic congestion in Portland is likely to be worse than it is in Los Angeles by 2015.”

Well, it’s not 2015 yet. But when Cox wrote those words, Portland was 18th worst in the country in rush-hour delays per traveler; by 2007, it improved to 34th. Meanwhile, Los Angeles stayed at number one and Atlanta stayed at number three.

In the latest rankings, Portland has also improved significantly in the time-travel index, considered a standard measure of congestion. Again, Los Angeles and Atlanta didn’t budge.

Those trends have consequences on the quality of life a region can offer, a factor that in the modern world often has more impact on growth than low taxes. Quality of life has an especially strong appeal to the young college-educated people that high-paying employers need to prosper and innovate.

From 1995-2000, according to the Census Bureau, Atlanta was the fourth most attractive destination for that desired demographic. Portland was fifth.

Late last year, the Wall Street Journal took an updated look at what it called “the next hot youth magnets.” Portland was fourth; Atlanta didn’t make the list, and was mentioned only as another formerly ascendant Sun Belt city now in eclipse.

466 comments Add your comment

Outhouse GoKart

January 29th, 2010
8:02 am

Perhaps if tax money werent wasted and unaccounted for, some would accept tax increases with a little less apprehension. Instead of govt finding the thiefs and stopping them they just increase taxes.

stands for decibels

January 29th, 2010
8:02 am

If you’re running low on revenues and you really need them to function, you raise taxes?

If your urban areas are being choked by auto congestion, you build mass transit infrastructure to give commuters some alternatives?

Crazy stuff!

Jenifer

January 29th, 2010
8:02 am

Oregon seems to have some intelligent leadership.

I Report (-: You Whine )-: mmm, mmmm, mmmmm!

January 29th, 2010
8:02 am

When the successful productive people flee from Oregon’s high tax rates the traffic conditions will get better, duh, just sayin….

Southern Comfort

January 29th, 2010
8:02 am

G’morning all.

This is one column that needs to be saved/archived or whatever so we can look back and see the differences. The only problem is that the side that doesn’t show positive gain will spin the results in a manner to try to say that their method could have worked. We’ve already seen the difference in traffic congestion as Jay pointed out. Maybe the elected officials of Georgia asked for the best two out of three to try to prevail at something?

USinUK

January 29th, 2010
8:07 am

dB – 8:02 – in the right-wing “up is the new down” world, yes … it is crazy talk.

Paul

January 29th, 2010
8:09 am

How long will it take to find out who’s right? One year? Two? And will the state whose record fails change course?

We’ve got a guy running for reelection as governor here who likes to brag how much he’s cut taxes. Problem is, those ‘cuts’ never materialized into amounts nearly what he promised. Property tax savings averaging $2k a year come readily to mind. Savings? Not even close. Meanwhile, some school districts are out of money for substitute teachers. What happens when a teacher’s sick in an elementary school? The kids get farmed out to the other classes.

Brilliant, just brilliant.

TnGelding

January 29th, 2010
8:09 am

Oregon almost got it right. They should have reaised taxes modestly on everyone, and cut some spending. But they march to their own drummer, i.e. doctor assisted suicide. They almost got that right, too.

Consumers pay the taxes any way. Why not just take all state and federal taxes off of businesses that act as tax collectors?

joe matarotz

January 29th, 2010
8:18 am

Ten years from now, I think the Georgia economy will be shown to have been a perfect test case for Ty-D-Bol.

In the meantime, have any Libs heard anything on the Gitmo closing? I was just wondering how that campaign promise was working out.

TaxPayer

January 29th, 2010
8:20 am

In a nut’s shell, Jay, it all boils down to how one measures success and Georgia’s legislative body most certainly has a different idea than that of Oregon’s. I’d say that a more direct, Claxton-to-Claxton, comparison might be made between Georgia and South Carolina when it comes to politics and such.

Georgia’s goals regarding growth are actually quite simple. First, regarding transportation, Georgia has already implemented its four-wheel-drive strategy — build lots of off-road KIAs so’s you can just take off in whatever direction that suits you best. We don’t need no steenking roads. Job stability is thus guaranteed for most Georgians with this one simple strategy. After all, there will be markets for all sorts of off-road related goods and services ranging from wenches for the mud bogging events to chainsaw blade sharpening stands for the true trailblazers. Further, given the known reliability of the KIA, even before bringing it to Georgia’s over-educated workforce for assembly, there’s bound to be a huge production demand. Georgia will no doubt once again dominate the southeast in junkyards, er um, I mean, metal reclamation and re-cycling centers. Life is gooder and getting bestest by the minute in Georgia. Throw in a mess of fried catfish and hushpuppies and what else could a true southerner be in want of.

stands for decibels

January 29th, 2010
8:20 am

Show of hands–who’s actually set foot in Portland and ridden their mass transit system? Maybe all the way out to the ‘burbs? At least once, in the past few years, at least?

(ok, I’ll go first. I have.)

Bob

January 29th, 2010
8:21 am

Raise taxes on the rich ? Why didn’t someone think of that before, no more poverty, no more people in need. We should just decide what people need to live off of and those that have extra can just give it to those that are not as lucky. You would never get such an easy solution from Repubs.

Scooter

January 29th, 2010
8:21 am

Why not just take all state and federal taxes off of businesses that act as tax collectors?

TnG, I don’t quite understand what you are getting at here. Would you mind explaining a little further?

USinUK

January 29th, 2010
8:23 am

btw … just because the gubberner says he’s not raising taxes doesn’t mean he’s not going to raise revenue elsewhere … watch out for fee increases – all license costs will increase, tags, costs for any documents you need from the State …

also, all he’s doing is turning to localities to inflict the pain to pay for schools … and they will because they’ll have no other choice …

oh, yeah … that’s “leadership”

:roll:

stands for decibels

January 29th, 2010
8:26 am

Joe @ 8.18, there are any number of places you can go to find lefties complaining about the Obama administration’s policies on enemy combatants. I’d suggest download either of the most recent podcasts here if you want a literal earful.

Meanwhile, we’re talking about GA and OR, here. Setting up an off-topic distraction a mere dozen posts into a new thread is not cool.

AmVet

January 29th, 2010
8:26 am

Oregon is progressive.

Georgia is regressive.

Nuff said…

david wayne osedach

January 29th, 2010
8:31 am

You can’t cut education and come out winning. The students and their education is our future.

USinUK

January 29th, 2010
8:32 am

joe – 8:18 – since you asked (but seem to be incapable of looking things up for yourself)

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/01/28/AR2010012803905.html

Bubba

January 29th, 2010
8:33 am

Let’s see, the entire state of Oregon has fewer people than the Atlanta metropolitan area, and you’re impressed that their traffic isn’t as bad as ours. Hmmmm.

Mick

January 29th, 2010
8:34 am

Tax cuts always sound good but that actually translates to service cuts. Education always seems to be the first on the chopping block. We need to go back to a pre 1980 mentality about taxes.

USinUK

January 29th, 2010
8:34 am

oh, and whiner … SUCK ON THIS:

The economy in the U.S. expanded in the fourth quarter at the fastest pace in six years as factories cranked up assembly lines to prevent inventories from plunging.

The 5.7 percent increase in gross domestic product, which exceeded the median forecast of economists surveyed by Bloomberg News, marked the best performance since the third quarter of 2003, figures from the Commerce Department showed today in Washington. A smaller decrease in stockpiles contributed 3.4 percentage points to GDP, the most in two decades.

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601068&sid=aAWWD1MDQQ8g

md

January 29th, 2010
8:35 am

“Why not just take all state and federal taxes off of businesses that act as tax collectors?

TnG, I don’t quite understand what you are getting at here. Would you mind explaining a little further?”

He’s talking about the “fairtax” system that is already in place (has been for a long time) but is hidden to the point people refuse to see it.

Brad Steel

January 29th, 2010
8:36 am

The subtext of the marketing message for the tax cut is brilliant:

Bring your business to Georgia and hire our low-cost half-wits!!!

Davo

January 29th, 2010
8:38 am

If Clark Howard thinks it’s a bad idea; then it’s a bad idea.
http://clarkhoward.com/liveweb/shownotes/2010/01/28/17639/

USinUK

January 29th, 2010
8:39 am

Davo – I love me some Clark … has he recovered from his cancer?

Jay

January 29th, 2010
8:39 am

Brad, I had a disturbing conversation a few years ago with a high-tech exec here in town. I asked him how many of his top people were actually Georgians, as in people who went to high school and college here.

He stopped and thought a minute.

“None.”

Outhouse GoKart

January 29th, 2010
8:40 am

“Oregon is progressive.”

In other words progressives leap before they look.

Bubba

January 29th, 2010
8:42 am

USinUK, suck on this:

“Still, the growth at the end of last year was primarily fueled by companies refilling depleted stockpiles, a trend that will soon fade.”

jt

January 29th, 2010
8:44 am

Life is gooder and getting bestest by the minute in Georgia. Throw in a mess of fried catfish and hushpuppies and what else could a true southerner be in want of.?

Less yanks.

Jenifer

January 29th, 2010
8:46 am

The brilliant Georgia legislature…

They always get the job done. Is sweet tea still the official state beverage?

USinUK

January 29th, 2010
8:46 am

Bubba –

sorry to burst your weeeeeeeeeeee little bubble, but consumer spending was up even without government incentives, business investment was up, production was up, net exports were also up – with non-government spending being the primary drivers of growth. THAT’s something to build on.

Mick

January 29th, 2010
8:46 am

Seems like georgia is going the way of florida. You all have probably noticed a sizable exodus of people from florida into your state. Repubs have controlled the executive and legislative branches since jeb was elected in 98 and it has been downhill since. Tax cutting and starve the beast philosophy has put us in a hole and no politician has the courage to reverse course. Damn right charlie crist accepted the stimulus with open arms because without it we have a 2 billion hole which only really delays the day of reckoning.

Jenifer

January 29th, 2010
8:48 am

“Tax cuts always sound good but that actually translates to service cuts. Education always seems to be the first on the chopping block. We need to go back to a pre 1980 mentality about taxes.”

Are we 49th or 50th now? It seems to go back and forth.

md

January 29th, 2010
8:49 am

“The economy in the U.S. expanded in the fourth quarter at the fastest pace in six years as factories cranked up assembly lines to prevent inventories from plunging.”

Yea, its the “slinky” or “atl traffic” effect. It starts and stops for the same reason. When production is shut down to a trickle, the numbers will always look gaudy when its cranked back up – its the nature of the beast. Lets look at the numbers for the next few quarters and then take the average, we’ll get a better picture.

Curious Observer

January 29th, 2010
8:51 am

So a headline in yesterday’s AJC announces that Georgia has spent almost half a billion dollars of stimulus money in the past three months on 20,000 jobs (you know, that wasteful stimulus that has never created any jobs.) Legislators as well as teachers and state employees are taking unpaid leave days. The halfwits in the legislature are announcing plans to cut revenue further through more tax cuts.

And people really think there’s going to be competition with Oregon as to which state is going to come out ahead?

El Jefe

January 29th, 2010
8:52 am

Hmm, heap more taxes of people who are successful. Do good, get taxed more than your fair share.

I would suggest that instead of upping the amount per student, how about outsourcing education to the private sector, not at the state level, but the local level..

Business does this all the time with great results.

md

January 29th, 2010
8:52 am

Mick,

I recently did a comparison of Ga/Fl, and believe it or not, very comparable, they just take the money in different ways. What floridians save in income tax is paid in property/gas tax and reverse for Ga.

Outhouse GoKart

January 29th, 2010
8:52 am

Instead of waiting for Sonny to offer a tax increase why dont you progressives pick your favorite charity, the govt, and make voluntary donations? You, who all seem so hell-bent on giving away your hard earned / charity dollars, should step up to the plate. Lead by example.

Prompting from Sonny or Obama would then be a moot point.

Bubba

January 29th, 2010
8:53 am

Oh, really?

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) – Coming out of the worst recession in generations, the U.S. economy grew at the fastest pace in six years during the fourth quarter of 2009, even as consumer spending and business investment remained tepid, according to data released Friday by the Commerce Department.

USinUK

January 29th, 2010
8:53 am

md – I agree with your 8:49 – but the primary thing to look at is the consumer element (right around 70% of GDP) vs. the government element – as long as consumers are driving the train, you’re building sustainable growth. government spending primes the pump and gets the engine going, but consumer spending and business investment are key (and a nice, weak dollar helps stimulate those exports)

TaxPayer

January 29th, 2010
8:56 am

He’s talking about the “fairtax” system that is already in place (has been for a long time) but is hidden to the point people refuse to see it.

Well, someone owes me a whole lot of back prebate checks then.

Balance Our Budget

January 29th, 2010
8:56 am

USinUK
US is in UK and must not know that the economy isn’t doing very well here in the states.Come home and tell the 10+percent of unemployed how great things are.

Outhouse GoKart

January 29th, 2010
8:56 am

Outhouse GoKart

January 29th, 2010
8:52 am

WELL?!! Anyone? Im sure the govt will accept your check, money order or cash!

You Pro-Tax progesssives should be clamoring over one another to be the first in line!

USinUK

January 29th, 2010
8:57 am

Bubba – consumer growth was 2% WITHOUT any kind of stimulus – that’s actually very impressive. business investment was actually negative contributor to GDP from Q307-Q309 … so, they may call it “tepid” – I call it rising from the effing DEAD.

Jenifer

January 29th, 2010
8:57 am

“And people really think there’s going to be competition with Oregon as to which state is going to come out ahead?”

No competition whatsoever. Easy win for Oregon.

USinUK

January 29th, 2010
8:57 am

BoB – that’s right … keep singing those dirges … some fool out there might believe you – but the facts don’t support you.

Jenifer

January 29th, 2010
8:59 am

USinUK, 8:57

Please do not mention the word “facts”. Thank you.

USinUK

January 29th, 2010
9:00 am

Jenifer – 8:59 – hope springs eternal

TaxPayer

January 29th, 2010
9:00 am

Georgia’s solutions to its 10.3% unemployment rate — state income tax cuts, capital gains tax cuts, a re-vamping of the child labor laws… what else could one possibly need.

Balance Our Budget

January 29th, 2010
9:02 am

USinUK
You can run but you can’t hide 10+percent unemployment is a fact whether you like it or not.

Doggone/GA

January 29th, 2010
9:02 am

“You can’t cut education and come out winning. The students and their education is our future”

They certainly is

md

January 29th, 2010
9:03 am

“as long as consumers are driving the train, you’re building sustainable growth”

Yes, but 4th quarter is usually a better consumer quarter because of the holidays, winter – not so much. Consumers tend to hibernate in the 1st quarter as they overspent for the holidays.

El Jefe

January 29th, 2010
9:03 am

Bubba,
Get I wonder why business investment remained tepid. Maybe there is great uncertainty about the future tax situation? Maybe it is the extra tax on banking that drives people to a bunker mentality.

And where are the jobs? GDP is up, without hiring. Wow!

Seems to this amateur that excess inventory is being reduced, maybe, to give the administration some credit, some cut hours are being restored.

We are still in a heap of dog s*** due to a very scattered messages from DC. DC, the great vacuum inside the beltway.

Healthcare – yes or no
Cap and Tax – yes or no
Bush tax cut retiring – definitely yes
double exports over the next 5 years? Pray tell us how the Government can do this?
Create Jobs? make work or real careers?

Just no real answers from the fools on the hill.

USinUK

January 29th, 2010
9:03 am

BoB -

and, now, I’m going to sing a song called “Unemployment is a Lagging Indicator and usually takes 2 years to fall back to average after the recovery is underway”

feel free to sing along if you know the words …

stands for decibels

January 29th, 2010
9:03 am

to offer a tax increase why dont you progressives pick your favorite charity, the govt, and make voluntary donations?

I’ve always been more than happy to pay higher taxes to pay for those things I want. In my experience, most progressives are.

And if it’s up for referendum again, I’ll gladly vote “yes” for a sales tax to finance commuter rail into Gwinnett, even though it’s a lame way to do it.

TaxPayer

January 29th, 2010
9:04 am

Consumers tend to hibernate in the 1st quarter as they overspent for the holidays.

Call it a hunch but I don’t think the consumer overspent this past holiday season.

stands for decibels

January 29th, 2010
9:04 am

Maybe there is great uncertainty about the future tax situation?

well yeah, if a bunch of conservative dickheads (from both parties) hadn’t obstructed health care reform and allowed it to pass, a lot of that uncertainty would have gone away.

USinUK

January 29th, 2010
9:05 am

md – 9:03 – the facts remain: growth exceeded all but one of the forecast outliers – and even they are now saying they think 1H10 growth is going to be greater than expected and 3% for all of 2010 (in other words, back to average growth)

TaxPayer

January 29th, 2010
9:06 am

Just no real answers from the fools on the hill.

You really need to quit relying on government for so much.

Outhouse GoKart

January 29th, 2010
9:06 am

Hmmm…still no takers from our resident Pro-Tax Progressives?

Typical…all flash no substance.

Tax target

January 29th, 2010
9:07 am

“…Oregon voters easily approved ballot measures that will increase taxes on business and on households with incomes higher than $250,000…”.

Perhaps someone (Jay?) can enlighten me why our household which makes $250,000 or more continues to be penalized (and tax targeted) for our success and not eligible for most/every “stimulus/recovery” program at the Federal or State level??? Conversely, why does failure continued to be rewarded????

Jenifer

January 29th, 2010
9:07 am

“You can’t cut education and come out winning. The students and their education is our future”

They certainly is”

Is our children learning?

USinUK

January 29th, 2010
9:07 am

“Maybe it is the extra tax on banking that drives people to a bunker mentality.”

wow. talk about lacking even a fundamental understanding of the space-time continuum.

GDP announced today was for 1 October 2009 – 31 December 2009. Obama announced his bank fees last week. in January. AFTER the quarter ended.

nice try, but MAN, that was lame.

Whacks Eloquent

January 29th, 2010
9:10 am

USinUK,

“and, now, I’m going to sing a song called “Unemployment is a Lagging Indicator and usually takes 2 years to fall back to average after the recovery is underway’”

Yeah but try to teach that to the masses with our educational system…

Outhouse GoKart

January 29th, 2010
9:10 am

Well thanks for you contribution sfd.

However, with our economy in a shambles it seems our Pro-Tax Progressives/Democrats would be the first to step up and offer to the govt a voluntary donation.

We hear so much about the Dems passion, compassion and how the Reps are selfish a-holes it just seems the tax cofers should be overflowing with “dollars of concern and assistance” from the left.

TaxPayer

January 29th, 2010
9:11 am

Typical…all flash no substance.

We know better than to strike a match around a methane source.

Redneck Convert (R--and proud of it)

January 29th, 2010
9:11 am

Well, seems to me all GA needs is for more of these twits making $30,000 a year to build and buy $1 million McMansions so us rednecks can go back to work. They ought to be able to do it, what with the capital gains tax cuts they’re talking about down at the statehouse.

Have a good day everybody.

Mick

January 29th, 2010
9:11 am

md

All I know is that for the past decade the migration out of florida has been mostly to georgia. I really hate to get into this ideological warfare but when our state was in democratic hands, things were fine. Then the tax cutters came to power and everything went to hell. I dislike taxes as much as anyone else but I like the services they support. There’s waste in every facet of our lives including our own personal spending. I’ll gladly pitch in another $100 a year to maintain or increase services for the common good.

USinUK

January 29th, 2010
9:12 am

Whacks -

first of all, I keep reading your name as Whacks Elephant … and it makes me laugh.

secondly, I wish – OH, how I wish – that we could post graphs on this thing … even people who don’t understand basic theory can SEE patterns.

El Jefe

January 29th, 2010
9:12 am

TaxPayer,

Not answers, just some direction. Will business be saddled with high costs for healthcare, energy or raw product?

The tax code is so bizarre that any changes will have a ripple effect on everything.

Increased costs and reduced amount of expense deductions just seem counter productive.
Hire more people, but it will cost you an arm and leg if health care is passed.

Just a direction, that is all – business will adapt or close.

fred smith

January 29th, 2010
9:12 am

I’ve been noticing a lot of conspiracy theories lately (some rather well supported by data). Maybe that’s what’s going on here. We the people are stupid enough to elect con artists and ne’erdowells who are tools or dupes of the special interests of other states. Their sole objective is to ruin the economic engine of Georgia so that the other states reap the spoils. The data are absolutely clear that feeding the fat cats (cutting taxes for the rich) does NOT create jobs; it only makes the fat cats richer; they keep it for themselves. It didn’t work under Reagan, it didn’t work under dimwit W, it hasn’t worked here. As Walt Kelly once had Pogo say: “We have met the enemy, and they are us.”

md

January 29th, 2010
9:13 am

“Call it a hunch but I don’t think the consumer overspent this past holiday season.”

Maybe not to the degree as prior years, but there are always those that spend a little more than they wanted, and then adjust for it after the fact (1st quarter). As long as folks have credit cards, many will use them unwisely (even I fall into this category, and then readjust my budget, I doubt highly that I am the only one).

Outhouse GoKart

January 29th, 2010
9:16 am

Amvet, USK, Jen, others??? No comment?

Just one more inquiry…when might the govt, State – Fed – Local, expect your “contribution”?

USinUK

January 29th, 2010
9:16 am

md – actually, the interesting thing is that:

1) the savings rate rose to nearly 7% and has now fallen back to around 4.5% and seems to be remaining steady,

2) consumers now see that unemployment isn’t growing, but is now stabilizing and, in fact, they’re starting to see hiring taking place (survey released this week showed that more firms plan to hire in the next 6 months than plan to layoff); compounded with

3) “frugality fatigue”. consumers have had a bunker mentality (to hijack El Jefe’s phrase) for a year and a half, now. they’ve saved. they’ve cut back on all non-essential items. they’ve “staycationed”. and, now, they’re feeling a little more confident, they’re ready to loosen the purse strings.

unlike growth in the past, this won’t be fueled by leverage, which is why overall growth will be more subdued over the next few years. people WON’T be using the plastic and their houses like ATMs. however, the growth will be built on a more solid foundation.

Whacks Eloquent

January 29th, 2010
9:18 am

“first of all, I keep reading your name as Whacks Elephant … and it makes me laugh.”

I’d have to be fair and make it Whacks Elephant and Donkey…I am an equal opportunity offender!

Outhouse GoKart

January 29th, 2010
9:18 am

“The tax code is so bizarre that any changes will have a ripple effect on everything.”

Forget the tax code. We dont need no “stinkin tax code”. Our Pro-tax Progressives will be mailing in their contributions any day now…correct??

Uh…correct?

Doggone/GA

January 29th, 2010
9:19 am

“Is our children learning?”

I think they are, but it’s what they are being taught (and by whom) that seems to be the problem

md

January 29th, 2010
9:19 am

“obstructed health care reform and allowed it to pass, a lot of that uncertainty would have gone away.”

Doubt that would have changed anything. Businesses would still have the uncertainty toward a program that will not take effect for several years, and many quite possibly would stand pat.

USinUK

January 29th, 2010
9:20 am

outhouse – let us know when you have something of substance to contribute to the conversation …

Outhouse GoKart

January 29th, 2010
9:20 am

Tax target

January 29th, 2010
9:07 am

Like USK stated earlier. Up is down and down is uP!

Besides you worked too hard and have to many niceties. Cant you share and quit being so selfish. Obama just wants to spread it around.

Jay

January 29th, 2010
9:20 am

It was actually 1.2 trillion, Ramble. He underestimated if anything, On the day he took office, the CBO was projecting that the fiscal 2009 deficit — a fiscal year already underway, with the budget passed in ‘08 — would be $1.2 trillion.

Those are the facts.

Haywood Jablome

January 29th, 2010
9:20 am

You really need to quit relying on government for so much.

Good idea. I’m gonna start defending the country and building roads myself. After that, I’m gonna set up a charity-funded court system that will be staffed by people with a rock solid Georgia edjumacation – preferably with extensive studies in Creationism from Cobb County schools.

We need more solutions like mine solved by the private section. And more good ideas from the self-labeled “TaxPayer” (he’s unlike the rest of us – we don’t pay taxes)

Balance Our Budget

January 29th, 2010
9:21 am

Those evil rich people how dare they get rich.Tax them and give me healthcare.

Outhouse GoKart

January 29th, 2010
9:21 am

USinUK

January 29th, 2010
9:20 am

Your reply is typical…from a Pro-Tax Progressive, that is. So we might assume you will not be making a contribution to your favorite charity, the govt?

Bubba

January 29th, 2010
9:23 am

Jay, where are you getting your traffic rankings? This study would seem to contradict what you are saying. Traffic rankings are like … well, you know the rest.

http://www.sustainablebusinessoregon.com/articles/2010/01/portlands_traffic_is_16th_worst.html?q=portland%20traffic%20congestion

Hef

January 29th, 2010
9:23 am

Rewarding productivity & success with higher taxation,wow I think I’ll move my business to Oregon!!!!

Doggone/GA

January 29th, 2010
9:24 am

“even people who don’t understand basic theory can SEE patterns”

Well, some can…but you’ll have to excuse those people who are shown a graph of global temperature trend going UP over the last few decades, but who see them are going DOWN.

md

January 29th, 2010
9:25 am

Mick,

Look around the country, all states are hurting. The biggest blue state is in the most trouble (CA). From this article, it is also clear that GA (red state) and OR (blue state) share the same problem.

FL’s biggest problem is insurance, that is the engine driving folks out. Insurance is a minimum of 4x greater in FL than GA. Its pretty stupid too, but one can live on opposite banks of the St Marys river and the insurance is quadrupled.

USinUK

January 29th, 2010
9:25 am

Outhouse – and your reply is typical … for a 7th grader.

Outhouse GoKart

January 29th, 2010
9:26 am

If our Pro-tax Progressives/Dimocrats and intellectuals would just lead by example, ya know voluntarilycontribute to the govt tax fund, we backwoods stupid Republicans might be convinced to follow suit.

No need waiting around in typical fashion for the govt to take the lead or give a hand-out. Oh no…where is the hand up? Where are the voluntary tax dollars for the teachers, mass transit, save the planet fund, THE CHILDREN for Gods sake what about the children, the climate, the homeless…and…and…and…

Whacks Eloquent

January 29th, 2010
9:27 am

I for one would love to see Georgia do more to embrace public transit. I’d favor special sales tax for it too. But they have to do it right. MARTA costs too much per mile. Light rail is the way to go…

But the Lovejoy line? come on. Put the line somewhere people will use it. Marietta to downtown, Lawrenceville to downtown. I am a personal fan of the Brain Train idea, which links UGA to Tech and all the schools in between…

But the best we have gotten so far? Start charging tolls for single drivers in the I-85 HOV lanes! Puh-lease!

USinUK

January 29th, 2010
9:28 am

Doggone – 9:24 – butbutbut … last month was COLD, doncha know …

Doggone/GA

January 29th, 2010
9:29 am

My Engrish is breaking out!

Outhouse GoKart

January 29th, 2010
9:30 am

You mean, USK, you would rather see a starving child remain hungry than contribute an extra measely $5.00, on a weekly basis? That amounts only to $260 annually.

Isnt that $260 worth filling that childs belly, saving the planet, stopping second-hand smoke, preventing too much salt in foods etc?

Balance Our Budget

January 29th, 2010
9:30 am

Outhouse Gocart
Like your 9:21 post You got him good . LOL

Bob

January 29th, 2010
9:33 am

Bradsteel, it worked for NCR. They moved good paying jobs here from a withering state, Ohio.

USinUK

January 29th, 2010
9:33 am

BoB and Outhouse … sitting in a tree …

Mick

January 29th, 2010
9:35 am

**FL’s biggest problem is insurance**

You are somewhat correct. You can buy state insurance, (citizens) take a higher deductable and get a mitagation inspection to off set cost. Right know like everywhere else there is not much construction going on. Some more wicked winters and more boomers retiring should take care of excess inventory and maybe we’ll be back on track. In the mean time, I think the migration to georgia is waning. Our deficits can easily be solved by reversing some of the tax cuts enacted earlier in the decade.

USinUK

January 29th, 2010
9:35 am

(oh, and by the way, BoB, since you seem to be a bit new here, I’m a giiiirrrrrrrrl)

Whacks Eloquent

January 29th, 2010
9:36 am

Doggone,

“Well, some can…but you’ll have to excuse those people who are shown a graph of global temperature trend going UP over the last few decades, but who see them are going DOWN.”

Get back to me when you have expanded that from a few decades to a few millenia, and then tell me your conclusions…