Talking points for hard times, by Casey Cagle

This two-week recess of the Legislature to tackle the 2011 budget and a shortfall that’s likely to exceed $1.2 billion is an unprecedented situation certain to attract attention throughout the state.

How do we know?


Because Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle has given every Republican member of the Senate, over which he presides, an 18-page full-color collection of charts and talking points, with the title: “Budget Planning Session Messages and Themes.”

We’ve got four of the pages for you here, here, here and here. We have them all, but scanning can be a pain.

Writes the lieutenant governor to senators:

“…By prioritizing spending, cutting waste, and remaining true to our conservative principles, we will balance the budget in a fiscally responsible manner that makes our state the most attractive destination for new business and growth….

“I strongly encourage you to reach out to local elected officials, constituents, and media outlets over the next two weeks to communicate our share message on this issue.”

What’s missing is a barbarian-at-the-gates stand against taxes, fee hikes or revenue enhancements.

Here’s the closest Cagle comes to it:

“No single issue is more important in the 2010 legislative session than passing a balanced, fiscally responsible state budget. During the 2009 session, Senate Republicans filled a nearly $3 billion budget shortfall by cutting spending – not raising taxes.”

The federal stimulus cash might have also played a role in that balancing act, but let’s not quibble.

“Fiscally responsible” may be the key repeated phrase in Cagle’s talking points. That could be code for not selling off state assets at a Saturday flea market.

By the way, Cagle’s office tells us that no public funds were used to generate his talking-points pamphlet.

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22 comments Add your comment

gA Mountain Repub

February 23rd, 2010
4:06 pm

Perhaps a little less color and more B & W would have been fine, on double sided paper…we are in a crisis, right?


February 23rd, 2010
4:13 pm

If fiscal responsibility was so important to the majority leadership, Sonny’s Go Fish program would’ve been axed long before they started shredding the state’s education budget. Ya think?

Sean M

February 23rd, 2010
4:20 pm

It’s nice to see someone is taking charge. Lt. Governor is right, we need to balance this budget without raising taxes. Hopefully this will put everyone on the same page so we can get this budget under control and move on to bringing jobs back to georgia

Freddy B

February 23rd, 2010
4:21 pm

I think it’s great to see that someone is leading this Republican controlled Senate in the right direction.


February 23rd, 2010
4:24 pm

How is this news? So the leader of the Senate is leading the Senate… isn’t he just doing his job?


February 23rd, 2010
4:29 pm

I would rather see “fiscally responsible” repeated than “fiscally irresponsible” – which is all we see these days in Washington.


February 23rd, 2010
4:35 pm

I have a new program for Sonny’s list. It’s similar to “Go Fish”; the second word begins with “F” and it’s a four letter word but it definitely isn’t “Fish”.

As for the talking points, see my new proposed program.


February 23rd, 2010
4:45 pm

If Georgia Republicans had been true to the “conservative principles” Cagle talks about, Georgia wouldn’t be in the mess it’s in today. But Republicans are, by definition, liars and hypocrites. They talk about “conservative principles” like fiscal responsibility, but all they ever do when they get into power is spend taxpayers’ money like drunken idiots until the money’s all gone and we’re all screwed and then they stand there and tell us all that they plan to “stay true to their conservative principles” which they didn’t do in the first place.

Well enough is enough. We never had incompetence like this when the Democrats were in charge. It’s long past time for a change in Georgia.

Guess What

February 23rd, 2010
4:48 pm

Excuse me, Casey, typo on page three….but I guess it shouldn’t be surprising that a Georgia politician would have trouble spelling “accomplishment” given that there are so few around the gold dome.


February 23rd, 2010
4:54 pm

@GoAwayOx – yea your right, I’m sure it has nothing to do with the national economic decline.


February 23rd, 2010
5:00 pm

If a simple typo is all you have to scrutinize this document for, must be a good idea then. I sure do hope my elected officials are less concerned with typos than getting Georgians back to work.

kindergarden math

February 23rd, 2010
5:08 pm

…halls of game, or halls of fame ? Maybe he is addressing the pressing problem of fiscally irresponsible bingo parlors.


February 23rd, 2010
5:10 pm

Look how great the Bush tax cuts have worked on the federal level. And the tax cuts for the oil industry has worked out great for Americans. We should be receiving the check from all of their oil sales any day now. Ooops, I forgot I’m only suppose to blame the Democrats. After all, Obama walked into the best situation a president has walked into in decades. Shame on me!


February 23rd, 2010
5:14 pm

Is Casey Cagle the Lt. Governor of the State of Georgia or the Lt. Governor of the republicans in the General Assembly?

Why would he inject partisan politics (by sending out “talking points” only to republicans) into the biggest economic crisis in Georgia since the Great Depression?

What’s that you say, the democrats do the same thing? Is that your standard of adherence, to rise only to the level of democrats?


February 23rd, 2010
5:29 pm

Why is it that everyone feels that either the Republicans or the Democrats should sholder the blame for the current budget situation. I know who is responsible- the republicans and the democrats. Our problem is fundamental, the two party system is flawed. By allowing ourselves to be forced to pick between the lesser of two evils we are always giving in to evil at the end of the day. They should ALL be held accountable for this mess.

Keep doing this GOP

February 23rd, 2010
5:33 pm

Why is it while other states are having financial problems, Georgia is the only one asking their teachers to take furlough days ? And also, out of all the revenue the state of Georgia has coming in, the corporations are the ones with the least amout of taxes ( 8 billion, income tax-7 billion, state sales tax-500 million, corporate tax). Sounds like the republicans are wanting to balance the budget on the backs of Georgians.


February 23rd, 2010
5:59 pm

What we learned on the national stage was that the republicans were amaturs at spennding money and growing government when the progressive professionals showed up in strength and exploded our deficits.Now they are marshalling their forces to jack up our taxes. If we ever let the democrats back in the majority in Georgia we will learn the same bitter lesson.
Now Jim, of course, only sees repulicans boogey men behind our problems.
But who listens to him?

Bill ORiley is Wrong

February 23rd, 2010
7:06 pm

Is Cagle the Lt. Governor or the Majority Whip?? What the hell is he doing handing out talking points to REPUBLICANS only?

Oh right – he’s just another partisan hypocrite who deserves to loose his job.


Bill ORiley is Wrong

February 23rd, 2010
7:09 pm

Hey MICHELLE – it’s a partisan issue if the LT Governor – a statewide position for ALL Georgians – takes a partisan tone – such as marshaling only his own party. For this alone he deserves to loose his job. Cagle made it a partisan issue so he deserves a partisan backlash.


February 23rd, 2010
8:46 pm

If they want Georgia to be “the most attractive destination for new business and growth” they need to stop cutting education. I have family members who could get great jobs with good salaries and benefits here now, but they won’t move until their children are out of school.

wild one

February 24th, 2010
12:34 am

I wish someone would tell me where these great jobs in Ga are with all of those great benefits. I’ve worked for this state for almost 20 years and I’m ready to start over. I was warned about moving here, guess Dad does know best!!!!!!

Mr. Grumpy

February 24th, 2010
8:25 am

Let’s go to all those companies to whom the Republicans gave tax breaks to come here (and to give jobs to Georgians) and just have them show us how manyjobs they offered and kept filled. If they can’ty show that they had jobs for Georgians, they need to pay us back for the taxes they were exempted from paying. Don’t you fiscally conservative Republicans agree? Surely, our Republican Lt. Governor, our Republican Governor and Republican House Speaker would agree. Just go ask them. They would agree wouldn’t they?