In legislative hands, tax-reform proposal poses a lot of dangers

Handing a major rewrite of the state’s tax code to a novice governor and a rudderless state Senate isn’t exactly great timing, especially since state leaders already have their hands full trying to deal with a budget shortfall of as much as $2 billion.

But, hey, things could be worse. If the volatile Glenn Richardson were still serving as speaker of the House, conditions for fiscal disaster would be pretty much perfect. His replacement as speaker, the more mature and stable David Ralston, has already made it clear that he intends to move slowly and deliberately on tax reform, and that’s a relief.

There’s no reason for haste.

Three years ago, you might recall, Richardson announced his own proposed rewrite of the tax code, which he dubbed the GREAT Plan. That proposal was an awful mishmash of supposedly conservative proposals, with no internal logic of its own, and eventually it collapsed under its own muddled contradictions.

In contrast, the tax reform plan announced last week at least holds together. The plan was drafted by an 11-member council created by the state Legislature, and given the political parameters in which it was forced to operate, the panel delivered a pretty sound set of recommendations.

However, those political parameters proved a serious handicap. The panel was created by state leaders operating under the popular but factually flawed thesis that Georgia’s current tax structure is an obstacle to economic recovery. (That same thesis, by the way, also drove Richardson’s badly flawed “reform” effort.)
Council chairman A.D. Frazier made it clear that he didn’t buy that argument, noting repeatedly that Georgia already has one of the lowest tax burdens in the country and one of its friendliest business climates. As he also noted, there’s very little evidence that altering a state’s tax structure stirs economic growth.

Nonetheless, the panel dutifully recommended a series of steps that will reduce the state tax burden on business and income and place it instead on spending by lower- and middle-income consumers. The most controversial provision calls for restoring the state’s 4 percent sales tax on food, a change that would disproportionately affect Georgians already struggling to make ends meet.

On the positive side, the panel proposes to eliminate almost all sales tax and income tax exemptions, which would allow the state to lower its tax rates while still generating sufficient income. (In further testament to the political power of utilities in this state, the tax exemption on energy used in manufacturing was retained.)

If enacted as proposed, the panel’s plan also would provide a boost in state revenues for a couple of years, which would help ease the otherwise Draconian impact on education and other important state programs. Over time, as the plan takes full effect, it would return to being revenue neutral.

Under the law creating the council, its recommendations now go to a joint House-Senate committee, which is supposed to put the plan into a legislative package. That package would then be submitted to each chamber for a vote, with no amendments permitted.

It’s hard to envision that happening, however. In fact, there’s a good chance the panel’s recommendations will share the fate of recommendations by countless previous blue-ribbon panels, which is to be ignored altogether.

And that may be the best outcome we can expect. Once legislative leaders start trying to pick and choose those things they like from the council’s recommendations, while ditching those things they don’t like or that don’t match their preconceptions, the results aren’t likely to be pretty.

115 comments Add your comment

carlosgvv

January 11th, 2011
7:30 am

So the panel wants to reduce the tax burden on business and place it on lower and middle income people. Why do voters keep electing politicans who clearly love big business and care nothing for the people?

Mick

January 11th, 2011
7:34 am

Good luck georgia legislature, your florida country cousins are looking at a 3 billion deficit with a veto proof repub legislature. The governor has floated and idea of casino gambling in limited areas on the beach. Faster than a hummingbirds wings, the religious zealots threw a hissy fit. I guess the gov’s promise of creating 700k new jobs will have to find another avenue.
On another note, the weather down here has been hot and humid while the rest of the south is freeze dried. I had to put the a/c on last night because of the high humidity…its crazy.

Keep up the good fight!

January 11th, 2011
7:46 am

Wonder how many tax cuts will be given to those that restructured Deals taxes?

The false mantra of the day: Corporate tax cuts create jobs and/or wealth.

TaxPayer

January 11th, 2011
8:01 am

A four percent state sales tax on groceries is a good thing, right. After all everyone has to eat so everyone will get to carry their own weight with a food tax. By the way, has anyone seen a list of services that are proposed for taxation as well as which ones are exempt?

Finn McCool

January 11th, 2011
8:05 am

hmmm, people stuck inside for 2+ days. We should see a slew of new babies born this October/November.

Keep up the good fight!

January 11th, 2011
8:26 am

Finn….shouldn’t you name for the next day or two be McCold?

Charmed&Blessed

January 11th, 2011
8:28 am

Finn McCool

January 11th, 2011
8:05 am

I hope not, because the current education system can’t afford to educate the babies born 5 years ago. The last thing Georgia taxpayers need are more kids.

josef nix

January 11th, 2011
8:31 am

Carlos

“Why do voters keep electing politicans who clearly love big business and care nothing for the people?”

Because that’s all that’s standing for office?

Charmed&Blessed

January 11th, 2011
8:35 am

TaxPayer

January 11th, 2011
8:01 am

The poor will definitely have to buy less. I for sure, plan to buy less. The new golden rules for purchasing in my home is that if I don’t absolutely need it, don’t buy it. That will defintely go for trying new items on the shelf and if they add tax to new services; I will drop them and not use them.

Karl Marx

January 11th, 2011
8:37 am

I’m not surprised you like this plan. It places the burden of taxes on the poor, seniors, and middle class while leaving big business and all other special interest groups with most of their tax breaks. This is just more big government which you like.

josef nix

January 11th, 2011
8:42 am

Charmed

Yes, Georgia CAN afford to educate its kids…its leadership (and I use the term loosely) just chooses not to, It’s a matter of priorities.

As to the thread…
“… Georgia already has one of the lowest tax burdens in the country and one of its friendliest business climates…”

We’ve already given away Tara to the outsiders, maybe if they’d just go ahead and hang out the red light at Belle Watling’s Under the Gold Dome we could really get on with Gone with the Wind…

Real Scooter

January 11th, 2011
8:43 am

I propose a tax cut on luxury items. That should create a lot of jobs. :shock:

Southern Comfort

January 11th, 2011
8:45 am

hmmm, people stuck inside for 2+ days. We should see a slew of new babies born this October/November.

:shock:

:( Not when you’re stuck at work!!

Redneck Convert (R--and proud of it)

January 11th, 2011
8:46 am

Well, where’s my Tax Cut? This outfit that come up with the plan was suppose to figure out how to give me a Tax Cut. It ain’t a Tax Cut if I need to pay taxes on stuff I don’t pay taxes on now. This is disgusting. I mean, I already pay too much taxes because they raised the tax on my Skoal and Red Man. Besides, what good does it do for them to cut business taxes if nobody can afford to buy anything from those businesses because we got to pay so much in taxes?

I think I been flim-flammed. Here all of us flocked to the polls to make sure no high-tax librul Democrat was elected and now old Nathan ain’t saying a thing about cutting our taxes. Maybe they could make up for it by cutting teacher pay again. The teachers can afford it. They just set around like this josef nix, sipping cheap wine and blogging. Just give them another 3 or 4 weeks of furlough. Kids got enough learning without getting bundled up and shipped off to school for 9 months. 48th or 50th in education, what’s the difference?

All I got to say is, we’re watching you, Nathan. If we don’t get our Tax Cut we’ll find somebody else with a R after his name to be guvner.

Have a good day everybody.

Finn McCool

January 11th, 2011
8:48 am

What if we taxed credit card charges?? Either a per-use or a %.

Daltry

January 11th, 2011
8:51 am

Bookman can make even the topic of taxes a good read.

(not)

zzzzz

bwa

carlosgvv

January 11th, 2011
8:52 am

josef nix

I wish I cound argue with you about that. Unfortunately, that’s all too true.

Shawny

January 11th, 2011
8:53 am

In legislative hands, all proposals pose a lot of danger. Just sayin’. Inept bunch, all of them.

josef nix

January 11th, 2011
8:56 am

In his own inimitable fashion Redneck has made the point that nobody, and I do mean NObody claiming to have the public interest in mind in developing a plan to get us out of this fix has bothered to look at. Back assered’s til the last breath, they go cutting the education budget (and Jay, why aren’t y’all raising hell about that…not some palative platitudes, raising HELL!) when plain, old everyday common sense should dictate more money go to education and job training.

Note, I didn’t say “teacher pay raises” or for yet another assinine study conducted by peabrains in ivory towers. I mean money for job training, the industrial trades, stuff like that. Forget the d*maned test scores on materials, objectives that have little or no relation to what are you going to do when you finish the 12 years of free public education. If you are graduating students without the skills necessary to make their way in the real world at a living wage, then you’re a failure. That simple.

We want to attract business and industry? Well, then provide them with a workforce educated in the skills they need.

Until then, it’s all so much hot air.

Jack

January 11th, 2011
9:00 am

Thanks for talking about something that’s significant to Georgia citizens.

TaxPayer

January 11th, 2011
9:03 am

Where are all the Republicans this fine morning. Shouldn’t they be on here explaining how this is not actually a net tax increase after the first few years and that it will make taxation more fair. I wonder what Norquist thinks about it. And Boortz. Does he think this is a Fairer Tax.

larry

January 11th, 2011
9:04 am

Now , not everyone get their bloomers in a wad. This is war to the Repubs. Just like the War of Poverty, War on Drugs, and War on Terriorism.

Except this war, the War on the Middle Class, they seem he!! bent on winning at all costs.

Dudley

January 11th, 2011
9:06 am

Josef

Good idea, to bad politicians would never do anything that would actually make sense. Mitsubishi built a plant not two miles from my local, and they used construction workers from china, instead of local workers. That would be in savannah

Southern Comfort

January 11th, 2011
9:16 am

I’ve been following the tax conversation, and from what I’ve gleaned without actually reading the book, it sounds like the committee’s plan is a back door to implementation of the Fair Tax plan later on down the road. That’s all fine and good if you just advertise it as such. Don’t spray paint a turd and tell me it’s a gold nugget. Just give me facts and truth in advertising.

The plan sounds somewhat sensible to me if you’re going to try to shift from income based taxes to a consumption based tax. One problem I have is that those who reside near the state lines will not carry the burden with equal effort vs those who reside in the center of the state. I don’t think the GOP will try to implement a “double tax” where, for example, if they purchase something in FL and pay FL sales taxes, then they’d have to pay GA’s consumption tax upon bringing that item back to GA.

When I get the time I really want to go over the entire plan before I solidify my opinion on whether I think it’s a good idea or not. Pretty good post today Jay, as it’s gotten me to really thinking about this more now.

jconservative

January 11th, 2011
9:17 am

A tax increase by any other name is still a tax increase. And this plan is a tax increase.

But I am not surprised. The Republican Party of Georgia has been raising taxes since they took control of the State Legislature a few years ago. If they insist on increasing taxes again there might be some of us longing for the good old days of low tax Democratic rule.

Just saying.

josef nix

January 11th, 2011
9:19 am

Dudley
Glad to see you chiming in here. I’m going out on a limb here, but can’t we produce a framer, a welder, an auto mechanic, a plumber, a welder…etc. through the apprentice stage in four years? I’m not talking a master…if we can’t, then we need to reevaluate our priorities.

Sure, I want our kids to be able to discuss the socio-economic stratification of Zimbabwe or be familiar with the folk dances of the Montagnards and whether or not Shylock is an anti-Semitic presentation…but d*mn, if he can’t make a living all of that is so much bullsh*t.

Why so many countries leaving us in their dirt? They didn’t have the crackpot idea that all their kids were going to university and made sure that those who weren’t got the skills and, most importantly, the respect and dignity due the trades. And until we address this issue and quit oooh-ing and ahh-ing over the Hah-vahd “educated” as somehow superior and more productive beings, we’ll continue on this downward spiral…

Gordon

January 11th, 2011
9:29 am

“What if we taxed credit card charges?? Either a per-use or a %.”

Liberals thinking up new ways to get their hands on other people’s money. What a great idea for our economy and unemployment: let’s discourage people from spending money.

Lil' Barry Bailout

January 11th, 2011
9:32 am

Is the reduction in income tax rates locked into the legislation? If not, there’s no way in heck I’d support this. Should the legislature fall into Democrat hands, they would surely keep sticking it to the working men and women and keep the income tax rates high.

Common Sense isn't very Common

January 11th, 2011
9:34 am

The basic skills (reading, writing and math) need to be taught as a basis for either vocational or other education levels.

The technical schools are in a bind because they do not know at this time what the businesses attracted to Ga will be. That is part of the problem now. By the time that the student finishes the required classes to graduate the jobs have been drying up or are being offshored (IT, HelpDesk etc.)

The teaching to the test and no child left behind seem to not be working as envisioned, maybe it is time for a back to basics movement

Lil' Barry Bailout

January 11th, 2011
9:34 am

josef nix: Why so many countries leaving us in their dirt?
———————

In most cases it’s because they expect their citizens to work for a living. Not much in the way of welfare programs in the east Asian countries.

Lil' Barry Bailout

January 11th, 2011
9:36 am

“Teaching to the test” is fine as long as the test is measuring the right things. Which tests aren’t measuring the right things?

That’s what I thought.

dcb

January 11th, 2011
9:37 am

As a senior, even without the proposal for Georgia state tax changes as described here, my standard of living has decreased with the flip of the calendar to 2011. While our federal legislators enjoy an increase in salary and exclusion from ObamaCare requirements (for the great work they are doing I guess), my social security income remained flat, health-care ala Medicare plan costs increased, and prices of goods and services (Georgia Power and gasoline prices to name but two), continue to steadily climb. Come on guys – give us a break. Increase taxes if you must. But let’s do it proportionately and without hurting the little guy more than the big.

josef nix

January 11th, 2011
9:38 am

L’il Barry

“…they would surely keep sticking it to the working men and women and keep the income tax rates high..”

So, now you’ve taken up the cause of the “working class?” How, pray tell, is high income tax a concern to those who, I understand, aren’t paying any income tax to begin with…? I thought you were a capitalist running dog of Yankee imperialism, why the sudden concern for the working class? :-)

Left wing management

January 11th, 2011
9:40 am

josef nix: “Note, I didn’t say “teacher pay raises” or for yet another assinine study conducted by peabrains in ivory towers. I mean money for job training, the industrial trades, stuff like that”

You mean the kind of hands-on, worker-friendly things they have in places like Socialist, pinko Germany?

josef nix

January 11th, 2011
9:47 am

L’il Barry
Which tests aren’t measuring the right thing? GCRT, SAT, ACT for starters…

Common Sense
No Child Left Behind was destined to failure from inception,,,

Now, let’s get real for a minute here…we call them “elementary” and “primary schools” for a reason…that’s where you are supposed to be getting the primary elements necessary for daily life…that is the ability to add, subtract, multiply and divide in fractions and decimals, the ability to read and understand the daily newspaper, the ability to write a complete and grammatically correct answer to a who, what, when, where, how and why question, a working knowledge of the structure of a function of the Consitutional framework of the social compact. That is BASIC…if we can’t do that in nine years, then we’re not competing in a world marketplace of ideas and production of goods and services…

It may take one student longer than another…so be it…forget the “scores” on the test in the aggregate and look at the individual mastery. Oh, but that’s right…that can’t be scored on the computer, can it? It requires a real, live human being who knows that child’s strengths and weaknesses, interests and learning style…

Common Sense isn't very Common

January 11th, 2011
9:48 am

Dudley@9:06 am

Since the construction workers for the exterior of the plant I hope the chinese workers were not used.

The interior (workings) may have been more specialized, but since Mit. is a Japanese company I wonder what their rationalization was. Also the workers would have had to have a workers visa.

All in all it sounds like someone cut Mit. a deal and screwed a good number of US workers in the process.

Dudley

January 11th, 2011
9:49 am

A vocational track in high school with apprenticeship programs would train industrial and construction tradesmen second to none

Dudley

January 11th, 2011
9:50 am

Common

That is correct, tax breaks and so forth

TaxPayer

January 11th, 2011
9:51 am

How could Republicans not rejoice at the mere thought of a state food tax. Even the bums that live off of other folk’s hard-earned money would have to give up four percent of their food stamp money on their purchases of cokes and twinkies, right. This is good, right. Besides, the counties already get to charge a three percent food tax so why can’t the state charge four. And what about the fed. It would be the perfect right triangle if the fed charged five percent.

Real Athens

January 11th, 2011
9:51 am

LBB –

“In most cases it’s because they expect their citizens to work for a living. Not much in the way of welfare programs in the east Asian countries.”

You’re right, if we do away with public education and put all the kids to work in factories instead, we can then compete with Asian countries for manufacturing jobs that used to be in America.

We CAN continue our march backward into the Victorian age and have a ruling class and the ensuing subjective workers.

GOP mantra: “Work harder, not smarter.”

TnGelding

January 11th, 2011
9:52 am

Lucky us to have this combination at this critical juncture.

Common Sense isn't very Common

January 11th, 2011
9:52 am

josef nix@9:47 am

I agree, but I find it very sad that 10th graders can’t read very well and the large number of college freshmen who are taking remedial classes.

TaxPayer

January 11th, 2011
9:53 am

Which tests aren’t measuring the right thing? GCRT, SAT, ACT for starters…

Oh NO! My youngen is smart in all the wrong places! How will I ever break the news to her.

TnGelding

January 11th, 2011
9:54 am

Too bad all of our teachers aren’t of the caliber of Mr. Nix.

josef nix

January 11th, 2011
9:55 am

Dudley
@ 9:49
I am glad to hear you say that. Now, Union man, start raising hell there to get the union to raising hell to get them in place…let that pack of village idiots we call school boards and Departments of Education know what it is you need and have your people ready, willing and able to get in there and teach it…

ace empress

January 11th, 2011
9:55 am

I think this tax idea is dreadful. I lived in Tennessee for about ten years. They have no income tax but they tax everything (including food and clothing) at the same rate. So you go to the grocery store and pay 100 dollars and pay ten in taxes. Nice. So it truly does hit the poor more, which seems to be the not exactly Christian way to do things but never mind. Now if we copied the Massachusetts tax plan, I would be more comfortable. They have no tax on food or clothing less than 100 bucks. So people can eat and buy cheap clothes but if you buy a coach bag you pay a sort or luxury tax. Seems a bit more humane an moral.

TnGelding

January 11th, 2011
9:55 am

The main thing it takes for a successful public education is parental involvement and support.

Dudley

January 11th, 2011
9:56 am

Just being curious, but shouldn’t some of the blame for Johnny can’t read be placed on the parents

Dudley

January 11th, 2011
10:00 am

Josef at 9:55

Already trying to do that thru my local, I am always on em to take the training of apprentices more seriously and anybody that shows the slightest bit of interest in what I do I try to recruit

josef nix

January 11th, 2011
10:00 am

Real Athens

Excuses. Where’s your plan?

Common sense

What are they doing in the 10th “grade” not able to do that? Forget this “grade” cr*p. That’s part of the problem…

TnGelding
It’s not as though I don’t appreciate the compliment. I do. But there are many, many more out there of higher calibre than I could ever hope to claim…I just mouth off. They don’t. They work and quietly eat sh*t…

Common Sense isn't very Common

January 11th, 2011
10:01 am

TnGelding@9:55 am

The main thing it takes for a successful public education is parental involvement and support.
—————————————-

I agree

except you are leaving out how a single parent working 2 minimum wage jobs is supposed to do that.

Or if both parents are in the home after 3 or 4 minimum wage jobs are worked.

You are making the assumption that the parents have the energy after their jobs to be more involved.

stands for decibels

January 11th, 2011
10:03 am

Now if we copied the Massachusetts tax plan, I would be more comfortable. They have no tax on food or clothing less than 100 bucks. So people can eat and buy cheap clothes but if you buy a coach bag you pay a sort or luxury tax. Seems a bit more humane an moral.

well, you see, some states aren’t run by sociopaths. And some are.

EJ Moosa

January 11th, 2011
10:03 am

Taxes on businesses are hidden taxes on consumers. Why is that so difficult for some to understand?

Dudley

January 11th, 2011
10:07 am

Common

If the parents want to be involved they will find the energy. I worked 8 to 10 hours a day 6 days a week and raised 5 kids by myself for 5 & 1/2 years and still found time to take an interest in my kids education. Then I messed up and let the ex wife get them back after I thought she had straightened her life up and it all went to h#ll

Soothsayer

January 11th, 2011
10:11 am

“Why do voters keep electing politicans who clearly love big business and care nothing for the people?”

It’s like I keep telling you over and over and over again. America is the only country in the world where the fockees consistently vote for the fockors.

svewfrmtop

January 11th, 2011
10:13 am

One thing about right wing conservativesm you can always kiss them in the mouth while stabbing them in the back with new taxes. Taxes on lower income and middle class while no taxes on business the wealthy and the energy industry. If they calim to create so many jobs with their tax cuts, why is the unemployment rate so high with their present tax cuts. You raise the tax rate for lower and middle class means less money to spend. Ask any business shich would they rather have, more customers spending more or a lower tax rate.
I wonder how do reasonably intelligent people so often fall for the foolisheness of conservative politicians.

Soothsayer

January 11th, 2011
10:13 am

“Taxes on businesses are hidden taxes on consumers. Why is that so difficult for some to understand?”

Only if I buy their products. Why is that so difficult for you to understand?

josef nix

January 11th, 2011
10:16 am

Dudley

Keep me posted on how it turns out and thank you! You’re putting your money where your mouth is, so to speak…We need more like you…

TnGelding/Dudley
it most certainly begins at home. The parents really DO care, they just don’t know what to do since so little effort is put into their inclusion. I don’t mean the PTA and such which are wonderful people who give freely and generously of their time and resources and get no where near the credit they’re due. We need more outreach programs which one, emphasize that this is THEIR school and they are encouraged and cultivated as the primary resource and two, know what it is they can do and should be doing at home.

Our site is a the success it is for that reason. We have a first rate, hard nosed and no nonesense parent liaison who makes sure she knows the individual families and their needs and offerings…limited English? Well, that shouldn’t keep you from reading to your child in whatever language and talking about what you’ve read. Can’t read yourself? We have classes in adult literacy and in the meantime, listen to your child read to you. Ask them who, what, when, where, how and why questions about their daily goings on…etc, etc.

Instead, in this elitist culture of “education” we have bought into alienates our working class parents who feel out of place and “don’t know what to do…” Again, it’s a matter of dignity…

Left wing management

January 11th, 2011
10:19 am

Moosa: “Taxes on businesses are hidden taxes on consumers. Why is that so difficult for some to understand?”

Logical fallacy.

Taxes on businesses may be hidden taxes on consumers, but no taxes on businesses are even bigger taxes on consumers (i.e. taxpayers).

AmVet

January 11th, 2011
10:20 am

Good morning all. Snowed in Day #2. Bundled up and went outside for awhile last night during half-time and enjoyed the Winter Wonderland. Now I’m ready for it to cease and desist.

Speaking of which, that game was weird. Both teams at times looked great and both teams at times looked awful. If Newton had any touch and could actually hit wide open receivers down the field, Auburn would have won big. Hard to tell from just one game, but given the results, is he over-rated?

So congrats to Auburn for winning it all this year. But alas, no one will ever confuse them with previous champions who have run classy, scandal-free organizations.

As for this morning’s topic…

Nonetheless, the panel dutifully recommended a series of steps that will reduce the state tax burden on business and income and place it instead on spending by lower- and middle-income consumers.

The Georgia plutocrats are just mini-me versions of the Washington plutocrats. They peddle the same War on the Middle Class tripe for their misinformed and counterproductive faithful. But hey, at least they aren’t getting hundreds of kids killed needlessly in their “war of choice” in the sand anymore. Until they can contrive a new one.

(In further testament to the political power of utilities in this state, the tax exemption on energy used in manufacturing was retained.)

While the BIG pigs at the trough still get their handouts, give-aways and subsidies from Uncle Sam via the corporate-owned water boys in the GOP…

Dudley

January 11th, 2011
10:26 am

Josef

In my experience when it comes to schools, you gotta make yourself be heard, and let the schools know that you are involved the your Childs education. The teachers and principals always knew that fi they needed to talk to me about my kids I was available and able to get to the school within 2 hours if they needed me to be there.

Dudley

January 11th, 2011
10:27 am

Btw I drove a log truck at the time and drove it to the school on many occasions. The kids loved looking at my truck when I came

josef nix

January 11th, 2011
10:29 am

The standardized tests…my own Little Princess was always in the top 5% of every test she ever took in three languages. Her response to the “ooooh, aaah?” “All that tells you is I can bubble-in in three languages.”

Remember the old days when the final instruction was “show your work?” Well, it ain’t there no more. If the test results come back and Johnny missed 4.368 x 14.2, did he miss it because he had no idea of how to multiply decimals or did he miss it because he forgot to carry the 3 or figued that 4 x 8 was 36? So, do you remediate (and insult and bore the hell out of the little b*gger) by starting all over, or do you say, “look, Pombo, see that silly and careless mistake. I keep telling you little Mr. Know-it-all, DOUBLE CHECK your work!”

Those tests are nothing but a smoke and mirrors show and tell us nothing we need to know as teachers, students and parents…but, hey, the contracts for their production keep Cuddin Bubba in bidness…

Southern Comfort

January 11th, 2011
10:29 am

They don’t. They work and quietly eat sh*t…

And, I’d say they’re contributing more to the problem instead of the solution by doing so. That’s why I appreciate you and your “mouthing off”. People need to know the true feelings of those in the trenches. To hear from those who sit behind the ivory desk and have meetings once a month does no justice for the students or the teachers who are primary beneficiaries and providers of education.

Paul

January 11th, 2011
10:35 am

“But, hey, things could be worse.”

Yeah, it could be. Right before our state election the Republican governor was running ads touting his balanced budget. Now, a few weeks later (after his re-election), official estimates of the deficit are as high as $27 billion.

But on the bright side, a straw poll of legislators gave a certain Republican who wanted to retain his Speaker of the House position 70% of the vote. And that was after the Tea Party activists and reps targeted him for being “too moderate.”

Not ‘too liberal.”

“Too moderate.”

And they were rejected. Good.

TaxPayer

January 11th, 2011
10:35 am

SO pays out a 4.8% dividend yield at its current stock price and VZ is up around 5.2%. Meanwhile, your local bank or credit union wants you to think that they’re doing you a favor by giving you some fractional annual yield on your money. Put that money in stocks and take the risk.

josef nix

January 11th, 2011
10:35 am

Dudley
Two things here. One, you said you were a single dad. Let me tell you, I can tell a child being raised by a single dad from across the room! More polite, more courteous, more respectful, more attentive and harder working. And, yes, Dad is there in a minute. Two, the log truck…we’ve got a great counselor and at his “job fair” he makes sure that the parents are there in their taxis, landscaping trucks, with their awls, levels, stethescopes, menus, law books, x-rays and tools of their trades, whether that trade is brain surgeon and dishwasher…

Dusty

January 11th, 2011
10:38 am

Well, I would suggest that all of you first remember that Georgia has a budget shortfall of two billion. No matter what you think is most important for the state, everything has to be cut across the board. We all know wonderful things we can do but most of them take money which we do not have.

Business brings money to the state so we don’t raise their taxes. Citizens of the state are having hard financial times also . We don’t want to raise their taxes in any way. Conservation seems the best way..

As to technical schools, our children are taught to use their computers for many things. They also know that plumbers, welders, and carpenters often involve hard manual labor. How many children do you think would WANT to go to technical school? How many parents would say teach my son hwo to be a plumber? No matter how much they are needed or how good the pay, there is no charisma in being a plumber. There should be as they are much needed, but the joy of such jobs is not recognizable. On the job training or apprenticeships sounds logical. Perhaps techinical schools could use more of that.

Anyway, give our lawmakers a chance to make good choices. No use to condemn them before they even start. The fallacy that all politicians are crooked and useless should be corrected. Like children, if you tell them they are bad all the time, that is what happens. Let us act like adults for a change.

Dudley

January 11th, 2011
10:40 am

Josef

That’s cause a single dad knows what discipline is. I could take all 5 of mine any where and they knew to behave cause I was outnumbered to bad to let them get away with bull crap. Lol

AmVet

January 11th, 2011
10:41 am

For the advocates of Georgia’s plutocracy…

Working Atlantans took it on the chin. Since 2006, workers across the region have seen only a 2.1 percent uptick in salaries. Only Detroit, with a 1.8 percent increase, fared worse among the nation’s top 20 metropolitan areas.

Yeah, that’s the ticket! Thank you massuh! Now I can go and buy $3 a gallon gasoline!

You did a heckuva job Sonny…

Dudley

January 11th, 2011
10:42 am

I didn’t abuse them but I would spank them if the occasion warranted it. A belt is for more than holding your pants up! More parents need to learn that!

josef nix

January 11th, 2011
10:42 am

SoCo

I agree with you on they SHOULD mouth off, but one thing you learn real early in public education, “don’t rock the boat.” Vindicative payback is par for the course. I can do it because as I tell them when they start to get too uppity with me and to know my place, “oh, you seem to be missing something here, Miss Priss, do your worst. I’m not dependent on this “job” for my mortgage or car note. You need me more than I need you and while that may be a novelty to you, just keep it in mind…”

Road Scholar

January 11th, 2011
10:44 am

Common Sense:”The technical schools are in a bind because they do not know at this time what the businesses attracted to Ga will be.”

Sounds like the whining that businesses used to state, because they didn’t know what the tax laws were going to be, limited their ability to hire! Besides teaching them english, math, and history, teach them how to DEFINE and SOLVE problems. This skill can be used by all regardlss of their career path! Teach the kids how to THINK! (not what to think!)versus watching videos and playing video games!

Oh and stop whining!

The overreaction of the Arizona slaying is happening. Congress is discussing a bulletproof screen around the Capitol or, at least between the gallery in Congress and the elected officials! Do ya think this will improve their availability, the quality of their legislation and the mood which exists in this country (us and them)? Or will it force them to stay, debate positions, and pass more comprehensive and needed legislationn?

TaxPayer

January 11th, 2011
10:45 am

No use to condemn them before they even start.

Obama, I’m sure, appreciates those kind words. As for the Republicans who have been running this state into the ground ever since 1994, when they changed parties, give or take a year or two, how long of a chance do they need to get it right. They can’t even cut taxes right and that is supposed to be their specialty — their trademark… right after “Right to Life™”

poison pen

January 11th, 2011
10:49 am

I think the Govt. should take all of our money and just give us what we need to live on. I need about 200k a year. LOL

Mick

January 11th, 2011
10:50 am

dudley

I applaud your attitude and wonder; How does a union man survive in georgia? the most venomous views towards unions that I’ve ever encountered.

josef nix

January 11th, 2011
10:51 am

Dudley
A swat on the behind can get the message across! Granddaddy used to say that that was why G-d put padding there! Seriously though, Little Princess got fewer than ten such her whole early childhood, Younger Boy never got any and Older Boy? Every time he walked by!
So many parents are afraid to do that. Abuse? No. In a society with the death penalty, it’s early warning. Now, I did worry about it and it did have to be a major offense with inquiry before hand. The rule was, one “lick” per year of the penalty under the law for the transgression and, yes, the law book was briught into it. When Princess was about ten, I told her, “okay, you’re getting bigger and maybe paddling is not appropriate. Maybe we should talk it out. Which do you want, a paddling or to talk.” With no hesitation she said, “a paddling!”

Should we do it in school? I don’t think the teacher should, but I do think the principal should have that option and that the parents be present therefor…

Road Scholar

January 11th, 2011
10:52 am

Dusty, you hit the nail on the head. Kids today want a job, no they want to spend time being Oprah, a rap star, a movie star, a reality TV star, etc. The masses have no discipline or drive.They don’t recognize that the world is full of oppertunities no matter how drab they may be!

In talking to well behaved, educated young people, they asked me how much money I made. I replied that Civil Engineers start at $50K. They swooned and said that, when they come out of college, they plan to start- yes start at $100K. Realistic?

TnGelding

January 11th, 2011
10:52 am

Spankings, ok. Beatings, no! My dad was so patient by the time I really ticked him off it was a beating. It wan’t his fault, though, it was mine. He should have killed me and my smart mouth.

John Birch

January 11th, 2011
10:57 am

There isn’t a single state in the country that collects more and provides less! Twenty states have lower rates (nine have no income tax) and yet Georgia is near or at the bottom in educationa and can’t even get the snow off the roads after two days! Thrwoing more and more money at this grossly ineffient government is not the answer.

josef nix

January 11th, 2011
10:57 am

Common sense…
At the risk of sounding flippant here, but the technical schools don’t know what businesses will be courted and what their needs will be? Well, duh, ever heard of demanding an answer from those courting those businesses…? This, L-wdy, Scarlet, I just can’t cope” attitude is part of the problem. Fetch them some smelling salts. Better still, send them to Dalton or the Mississippi Band of Choctaw and see how it’s done…

Common Sense isn't very Common

January 11th, 2011
10:58 am

Road Scholar@10:44 am

Besides teaching them english, math, and history, teach them how to DEFINE and SOLVE problems. This skill can be used by all regardlss of their career path! Teach the kids how to THINK! (not what to think!)versus watching videos and playing video games!

—–

That’s has been and always will be the key to any education. How many here can say they have multiple skills because at one time we did things for ourselves.

Now the teenagers find it difficult to get any job because they are limited to what they can do legally and what they have learned to do for themselves.

Paul

January 11th, 2011
10:59 am

Good Morning, Dusty

My problem with ‘across the board’ cuts (if by that you mean all programs take an N% reduction) is that implies all programs are equally important. I don’t think they are. It’s like with a household budget. If one has to reduce expenses by 20 percent, does one cut entertainment by the same amount as utilities? Or school supplies by the same amount as meals out?

A more effective way is to eliminate programs AND the manpower positions that administer those programs.

Dusty

January 11th, 2011
11:03 am

Taxpayer,

You are one blind sided liberal. Every state is having a hard time with finances whether they are led by Democrats or Republicans. Republicans are not the evil genies you wish to declare and your accusations get tiresome. Why don’t you try a new line once in a while? The amazement from all of us would be worth seeing.

josef nix

January 11th, 2011
11:03 am

Road Scholar

The point you make is a good one. That’s why when I’m working with my fifth graders, they have to prepare a budget for a household at a modest level to see what it is they NEED, then they have to do one for what they WANT…now, develop a plan to get to what you want…

TnGelding
Spankings and beatings…yes. I was taught growing up by example and applied it in my own colt breaking…always wait at least 10 minutes between capture and serious spanking…gives you time to cool down and them time to contemplate what’s coming… :-)

Common Sense isn't very Common

January 11th, 2011
11:07 am

josef nix@10:57 am

I was speaking of projected businesses. Did Mississippi attract those new businesses overnight?

Ga. is horrible when it comes to their attractiveness to companies.

They give away the store to attract a company that will put a few low paid call center jobs in the state. But will at the same time offer no incentives to retain a business or incentives to retrain its workers if need be.

josef nix

January 11th, 2011
11:10 am

I repeat, anybody out to cut education is one backasserds thinker…

And, Dusty, what’s wrong with getting your hands dirty? It’s just that elitist way of thinking (not accusing you of it here, mind you) that has led to this pretty pass. I thank G-d on bended knee that my adults had the good sense to make us get out there and do the dirty work…pick that row of cotten so your little uppity priviledged white b*tt will know where it is your goodies are coming from…learn to lay rock, you might just find out you LIKE seeing your creation take form and shape…

Dusty

January 11th, 2011
11:13 am

Paul,

You are correct. I should have said that all MAJOR programs will have to be cut across board. By saying “major”, I mean most of them that are equal. Is education more important than health? Is the economy more important than safe roads and bridges? Is security for all more important than clean water? They all seem important and I am afraid they will all have to cut in these times. Cuts would mean a loss of programs and man power. That is what needs to happen if it has not.

Americans would have a lot of readjustments but I think they can do it. The alternatives are much worse.

TnGelding

January 11th, 2011
11:14 am

I started mowing yards in TN about the same time my wife started picking fruit along side the migrant workers in OR. I’m afraid some of us have spoiled our children and granchildren.

EJ Moosa

January 11th, 2011
11:15 am

@Soothsayer,

It’s still a hidden tax on consumers despite your attempt at witticism.

You are NOT the only consumer. So, every penny of taxes paid by businesses eventually come from consumers.

And yes, you to are a consumer, no matter how self sufficient you think you are.

Paul

January 11th, 2011
11:20 am

Dusty

Then what should happen is, within those major programs, look at the subprograms. There are many. THAT’S where to begin by asking “does this program duplicate another program? Can this program be combined with that program and instead of having 200 employees administering them, can one combined be administered with 150 employees? Is this a program that was begun for a specific purpose, but that purpose has been fulfilled, so the program morphed into something else so the political power could continue?”

Dusty

January 11th, 2011
11:21 am

Don ‘t get all bent out of shape, JOSEF. The hard workers of our world are the hands and feet that support us. I recognize the fact that many people want other kinds of work because they think they will make more money that way. Not always true, but still the goal and still the premise.

Keep beating the drums for education. I am all for it but I realize that less money available mean less money to spend on all things, no matter how important they are. All human beings have potential. I wish all could be developed. You are doing your part. Keep at it!!

Dusty

January 11th, 2011
11:25 am

Absolutely, PAUL. Down with subprograms. I will send you a ticket to Washington as soon as I learn to walk on ice.

Not joking really, Paul. Your kind of thinking is what we need in D.C. I don’t see it happening right now.

josef nix

January 11th, 2011
11:27 am

Common sense…
I said the Mississippi Band of Choctaw…the state itself was a little slow on the uptake, but caught on…
Here’s how it went down…
It was back in the late sixties when conditions on the Rez were desperate, the motivated were leaving for jobs up north, alienated from their roots, the culture was dying…Richard Nixon, something still of a hero in Indian country, put a quietus to the federal government policies aimed at destroying Indian autonomy and put things back in their hands. Here came a fellow to Choctaw country from his career in the military and experience abroad, ran for chief and got it. Problem number one was housing. He came up with using the money to buy trailers. The wag was that, a realist, he is supposed to have defended the decision by saying “it’s best we keep it disposable until we get used to indoor plumbing and electricity.” At any rate, he looked at it and said, why do we have to buy them up north from the white man? Why can’t we make them here, It would be cheaper and more expedient. So, using the tax breaks available due to the tribal status, he put the idea to the trailer house manufacturers. They saw the benefits, but needed a facility and a work force. Fine, said the chief. He used the gubment handout, put up a factory, trained the workforce of Choctaw to the specified needs of the manufacturer. Bingo…everybody profitted…the idea was expanded and today Choctaw industries is the state’s largest employer with some 9,000 employees…and there are only 6000 enrolled Mississippi Choctaw…and no, the majority are NOT employed by the casinos! A check of the Choctaw industries will show a high emphasis on the high tech end…want our tax breaks? Okay, we’ll give you the facilities and the work force educated to your specifications…

Oh, and the trailers? Well, as things progressed more permanent housing was put in…again the wags say that when you went to apply, your trailer was checked out first. If you had adapted to indoor plumbing and electricity, you got first choice on the new housing! And the used trailers? Found a ready market among the poor unfortunate white and black folks who needed the foreign aid… :-)

josef nix

January 11th, 2011
11:30 am

DUSTY
The problem is not so much the “availability” of money as it is its allocation…it’s all a matter of priorities and, point blank, no ifs, ands, ors or buts about it, unless we make education a priority our kids and grandkids will be third world….

Common Sense isn't very Common

January 11th, 2011
11:35 am

josef nix@11:27 am

and what happened to the Ga. progressives? or are there any

Southern Comfort

January 11th, 2011
11:37 am

josef

There has to be a way to do that and mitigate the payback. Get some allies on the board, or get a good group of parental backers. I know all too well on how that revenge is done though, and it is a hard thing to have to deal with.

TaxPayer

January 11th, 2011
11:38 am

I think Dusty needs a tax cut. Perhaps that will give her a sunnier disposition.

AmVet

January 11th, 2011
11:40 am

E.J. I believe your position on corporate taxes is a canard and have addressed it before.

By your logic, the corporation’s cost of goods is a cost not borne by the corporation but passed on to customers, correct?

As is the payment of employee salaries.

As are the payments to any and all vendors, distributors, contractors, etc.

As is every other single expense.

Yet, the expanding taxes paid by consumers – you and me – to offset the dwindling payments by corporations is NOT counter-productive?

And you do realize what has happened over the past 60 years regarding that equation, do you not?

Corporate personhood. Corporate welfare. Corporate sovereignty replacing we the people’s.

Disgusting and HIGHLY dangerous to the future of our republic.

Are you really happy with this burgeoning corporatocracy?

TaxPayer

January 11th, 2011
11:54 am

If we lined our icy roads with Georgia legislators while they’re in session, we could get double duty out of them.