Your morning jolt: Thank God for California

Taxes collected by the 50 states dropped by nearly 12 percent overall in the first three months of 2009 over the year before – the largest such decline in nearly half a century, according to the Rockefeller Institute of Government.

According to a report issued late last week, the only good news is that Georgia is somewhere in the middle:

All regions of the country saw declines in total state tax collections, with the Far West seeing the largest decline at 16 percent. Only the Rocky Mountain and Plains regions saw single-digit declines at 5 and 6 percent, respectively.

In other words, forget Mississippi. Thank goodness for California. Read the entire report here.

With that kind of data in mind, my AJC colleague Aaron Gould Sheinin spoke with Sonny Perdue about the 2010 budget and what the governor estimates as an immediate, $800 million shortfall. Click here for details.

The Republican base will want to read Perdue’s comments on his veto of a capital gains tax cut bill sponsored by state Rep. Tom Graves of Ranger, now a candidate in the 9th District congressional race.

Said Perdue:

I take no joy in validation of those kinds of things. The fact is, I wish our economy was growing so we could afford supply-side cuts.

The time to make supply-side cuts, we did as we were building up, we made supply-side cuts with permanent tax changes that decreased the revenues of Georgia.

But the time — in a balanced-budget state, you have a constitutional requirement to balance the budget. And plummeting revenue, plummeting reserves, with no real determination of when it would bottom out, was not the time to make supply-side revenue cuts.

A Washington Post/ABC poll released this morning shows public approval of President Obama’s stewardship on the issue of health care has dropped below 50 percent for the first time.

Which means Obama is having to twist arms for support in Congress, especially among blue-dog Democrats.

The Democratic National Committee late last week launched the following 30-second spot in selected markets across the country. Savannah is one of those markets, which means U.S. Rep. John Barrow is a target:

U.S. Rep. Jim Marshall (D-Macon) has likewise declared himself to be hostile to many points of the Democratic health care plan, in all its many forms.

He and Barrow both put their signatures to a letter that lists their requirements for support of health care reform.

While you ponder that, consider these items found while perusuing this morning’s ajc.com:

  • Recession not hurting political action committees.
  • Little Georgia banks shared risk, take big hit.
  • Georgia’s entire congressional delegation meets Tuesday to discuss the next phase of the water war.
  • Stimulus money could end years-long deadlock on downtown Atlanta beautification plans.
  • Stimulus cash saves jobs in art.
  • Principals bear the weight of school test score results.
  • Gwinnett to limit how long retirees can “double dip” with paycheck and pension.
  • Gwinnett roadwork first in line for sales tax money.
  • Roswell mayor backs improving Ga. 400 interchange.
  • Behind Georgia’s double-digit unemployment.
  • Some opinion:

  • Your Luckovich fix.
  • Cynthia Tucker says Sotomayor’s skeptics are wrong.
  • Kyle Wingfield thinks pensions are the core of Atlanta’s financial problems.
  • Bob Barr takes you to health care Never-never land.
  • From elsewhere in Georgia:

  • Florida Times-Union: Cleared by DNA, one Georgia man gets $1M, two get zip.
  • MDJ: Rob Teilhet on ethics, honesty in race for attorney general.
  • Athens Banner-Herald: UGA expecting more deep cuts.
  • And beyond:

  • The Daily Beast: How Obama is losing Britain.
  • NYT: Governors fear Medicaid costs in health plan.
  • WP: Accounts of the North Korean gulag become sharper, more harrowing and more accessible each year.
  • For instant updates, follow me on Twitter.

    2 comments Add your comment

    opit

    July 20th, 2009
    1:25 pm

    Billions for chasing people using a form of tobacco plant – Whacky ‘Baccy – and firing them into corporate profit centers called prisons. Is this nonsense going to stop when it can’t be afforded too ?

    DJB

    July 20th, 2009
    8:24 pm

    I cannot recall a more defining moment politically than today as we watch representatives take positions on healthcare. For this Warner Robins voter, Jim Marshall is on the right side of the issue. And I think a high percentage of his supporters feel the same way. Hang in there, Jim. A lot of American’s have the sense that these enormous spending bills are being rammed through quickly to avoid debate on terribly flawed legislation. Don’t let it happen.