Barnes 7th TV ad: Retrofitting state buildings could create 10k jobs

The Democratic campaign of former Gov. Roy Barnes matched Thurbert Baker, his primary rival and attorney general, ad-for-ad on Wednesday.

Baker focused on bingo-for-education. Barnes focused on jobs:

The Barnes script:

Narrator: “Roy Barnes has a plan to put people to work. Immediately.”

Barnes: I know it won’t solve all of our problems, but I can put 10,000 people to work – electricians, plumbers, sheet-metal workers – by retrofitting all of the state’s buildings for energy independence or efficiency.

“The best part is, the energy savings will pay for the improvements.”

Worker: “I think a paycheck would be great.”

We’re going to have to look at the numbers on this one – 10,000 jobs is a lot of people, and a lot of money. Here’s the documentation provided by the Barnes campaign.

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29 comments Add your comment


June 23rd, 2010
6:38 pm

Does the spending never stop? Where does Barnes plan to get the money to pay for this? Is he planting money trees on the state capitol grounds? Or will he use all the money we save by not furloughing teachers to pay for this.

Seriously. Are people fooled into believing that spending our children’s futures is the solution to a budget crisis? Really, charging more and more things to a credit card that our children will have to pay off? The first rule of hole digging is if you’re going to get out of the hole you need to stop digging. Barnes will dig us deeper and deeper into the hole.

Simon Jester

June 23rd, 2010
9:43 pm

Or maybe the State could stop spending and making up pretend government jobs? Roy just expects to fleece the working folk with more taxes to create more government jobs. We need FEWER government jobs and slashed spending.

Bobby Anthony

June 24th, 2010
12:59 am

Barnes cannot be entrusted with the future of Georgia.


June 24th, 2010
7:42 am

Ugh…The republican/tea party answer to everything is to cut taxes and government spending. Here’s an idea. Let those individuals who don’t like paying taxes volunteer to go without police and fire protection. In addition, they should agree not to drive a car on any public roads, highways or bridges and to never flush their toilet or use any water that would end up in the public sewer system. If they are injured in an accident or have a heart attack, they should agree not to call the paramedics. If their health problems cause them to be unable to work, they will not try to qualify for disability benefits. Their children should not go to public schools or colleges, and their parents should never get any social security, Medicare, or public pensions. If a natural disaster strikes their home town, they shouldn’t expect any help from the National Guard or any other government assistance. And, if they should be unfortunate enough to lose their job, they won’t expect unemployment benefits. I could go on and on… The government and public programs don’t seem essential until you need to use them. And since we all use them, we need to be careful not to undermine them in a fit of anti-tax fervor.

No Teabagging

June 24th, 2010
8:45 am

reply to Andy: Thank you!


June 24th, 2010
8:58 am

Thumbs up Andy.


June 24th, 2010
9:28 am

Andy – I have no problem paying taxes. I understand that government does some very important functions. I understand we each need to pay our fair share of that, and that those who have been more successful, like myself, should pay a higher share of that.


There needs to be some responsibility. We don’t provide leaders with a blank check. Barnes is suggesting rampant, reckless spending at a time when we cannot afford it. The biggest crisis facing state government right now – and local governments, too – are the unfunded, promised pension liabilities to retired or soon-to-be-retired workers. This is huge. It will bankrupt our State if it’s not addressed. Rather than work towards cutting the budget by getting rid of spending that is not necessary, Rat Roy treats the kitty as thought it’s an endless supply of money. He acts like a teen with a credit card who doesn’t seem to understand the bill needs to be paid.

Taxes are necessary, but Roy needs to be up front about what he is proposing and deal with the actual problems we have in a realistic way that will not rob our children of their futures. Roy is not talking about fire, police, roads, ambulances, schools, water, sewer, agricultural regulation or transportation. Roy is talking about creating jobs that aren’t necessary to fix buildings that obviously aren’t needed, or else they’d be fixed and up to date now. All I’m pointing out is that Roy keeps saying he wants to spend but never seems to tell us where he’s going to get the money. It doesn’t take a CPA to realize where the money has to come from, now, does it?


June 24th, 2010
10:12 am

The statement that this will be good for the economy or somehow productive, and will even pay for itself (!) is a classic example of the broken window fallacy. That the candidate would employ such reasoning betrays vast economic incompetence. It shows that he will spend the public’s money with no understanding whatsoever of the costs or consequences of his proposed actions. In fact, his make-work proposal would have the overall effect of economically harming unemployed Georgians seeking work.

If you do not understand the broken window fallacy and the fundamental economic flaw of Barnes’ proposal above, there is a short primer on Wikipedia:


June 24th, 2010
11:10 am

Thanks for your comments Angry Voter and Larry. I’m just asking to hear alternate proposals from the Republicans that don’t include tax cuts, cutting programs and services, ending regulation of businesses, and rounding up undocumented workers (i.e., “illegal aliens”). If you have ideas or have heard of ideas from the Republicans running for statewide office that involve something beyond these talking points, I’d be open to considering them.


June 24th, 2010
11:48 am

You said all of it very well, Andy. Everyone hates government until it’s their time to ask for help or to receive a service. Then it’s okay. Many of these penny-pinchers are the children and grandchildren of Depression-era unemployed workers who were provided with valuable employment and a decent day’s wage during FDR’s administration. Many Roads, bridges, river bank, dam and other government sponsored projects are still benefitting all of us today since they were cosntructed in the 1930s. They put unemployed Americans back to work and gave most of them a sense of pride about what they contributed to their country. That’s all Barnes is talking about. Investing in such a project today pays off for itself and is an investment in the future for our grandchildren.

Pork Chop

June 24th, 2010
2:41 pm

Andy, I live in a county that has only a volunteer fire department. The volunteers do a very good job but the chances are that they will only be able to prevent the spread of fire to other buildings – and there are no other structures near my home. Ambulances are available from a private provider and if you use an ambulance, you do get a bill – and I mean a BIG bill! The government FORCED me to pay into the Social Security/Medicare funds my entire working life so I would file if it were needed. The problem with these funds are that the Democrats (beginning with Kennedy) looted these funds many years ago. My property would have a lower value if it were located in Gwinnett County and I pay more in property taxes than I would in most other GA counties. I will NEVER be exempt from paying school taxes whereas other counties do exempt taxpayers when they reach a certain age. Yes, I’m very tired of taxes. I’m tired of seeing them increase because those holding elective offices use tax revenues to buy more voted for their re-election. I’m tired of my taxes paying to subsidize those who could work and will not and those who function as breeding stock to insure their income. I’m weary of worrying about the future of my children and grandchildren who will know grinding poverty unless we, as a nation, reduce and finally eliminate this hideous national debt.


June 24th, 2010
2:56 pm

AngryVoter, I haven’t seen Roy propose anything that I would define as “reckless spending.”

Keeping our teachers in the classroom where they can educate our children sounds like a good idea to me. Paying those teachers for the vital service they perform also seems like a good idea. The future jobs are going to come to Georgia because we have a strong pool of well-educated, highly skilled workers.

Making our state government buildings energy independent or efficient is another great idea. Not only does it create short term jobs, but it provides long term savings in energy bills. Given our never-ending water crisis, making sure that our state buildings are retrofitted to use less water has a positive impact on our environment going forward.

There is a lot of unescessary spending going on in this state, but its an issue for both sides. You say that we need to cut the budget. We just went through a huge round of budget cutting and trimming and its left this state in a worse place. Teachers have been let go, classroom sizes are growing, schools can’t spend money on new materials, and the education of our children is going to suffer.

You see, when we cut the budget, we cut a lot of the necessary spending just to make up for the years and years of unescessary spending by Republican leadership in this state. Taxes are nescessary and they should be used to fund needed services. But the mantra in Georgia for the past 8 years has been to cut taxes, cut taxes, and cut taxes without giving any regard to cutting spending.

Now, we’ve found ourselves in a situation where we’re not bringing in as much money as we’re spending, but instead of going back and saying “maybe some of these taxes are actually a good thing,” the people that run this state have been so blinded by the idea of “taxes are bad” that we’ve got no way to get our budget back in balance without cutting the already dismal pay of teachers, cutting benefits to the increasingly unemployed, and expecting us to believe that they’ve got the right idea.

You can’t lower taxes any more in this state. If you do, I suggest you start boarding up all the schools and state patrol offices. Lower taxes aren’t always the answer… especially when you’ve already lowered them too much.


June 24th, 2010
3:04 pm

@Pork Chop: We’ve had the National Debt since the Revolutionary War. I won’t launch into a dissertation about public defecit spending, but I’d like it if you could explain how the national debt went down under Bill Clinton but rose dramatically during the term of George W. Bush.


June 24th, 2010
4:38 pm

Rathercalmvoter – I would love to add energy efficient features to my home, but I understand that now is not the time for me to do that economically. I’ve made choices based on what I could afford.

As a State, we cannot afford to hire 10k people to redo buildings on a mass scale. Why not a more temperate plan that doesn’t require the huge spending? Start with the worst buildings where the biggest gains can be made? Roy’s silly campaign promise – he can’t even believe it’s a real plan – is a prime example or reckless spending.

I’d love to drive a Farrari, live in a mansion and eat Filet Mignon every night, but I understand that a Chevy, 1400 square foot bungalow and hot dogs make the most sense for me right now.

The scary thing is the majority of the electorate sees right through King Roy and his expensive promises, but, for some reason, the Dems seem to think he can win, despite every poll showing that he loses no matter who the Reps put up against him.

Pork Chop

June 24th, 2010
4:59 pm

Rathercalmvoter: I don’t have the figures here, but I know that the national debt was not in excess of 13 trillion dollars after the revolutionary war. One of my major gripes with Bush was his spending: he never vetoed the first spending bill. The one thing I hear the most from Dems and Libs is, “Blame Bush”. That dog won’t hunt anymore! When you are at bat, you are responsible for what happens. I knew that Clinton balanced the budget in one year of his eight years as president but was frankly unaware that he had reduced the national debt. At any rate, if you wish to launch into a dissertation, project the numbers on the interest due on the national debt 25 years out (if it is not reduced) and tell us what percentage of our income must be seized by the federal government JUST TO PAY THE INTEREST. I think even you will be shocked.


June 24th, 2010
9:59 pm

Pork, no the National Debt was not $13 trillion after the Revolutionary War. However, our GDP after the Revolutionary War certainly wasn’t anywhere near what it is now: over $14 trillion dollars in 2008.

I’m not blaming Bush, I’m pointing out that he reversed a downward trend in the national debt. In order to pull its way out of the Great Depression, FDR ratcheted up the national debt to 121% of GDP. We haven’t even approached that point yet, but I really think we need to. In times of economic recession, people don’t take risks. If consumers don’t take risks, businesses can’t sell their products and make money. If they don’t make money, they cut back or close their doors which cost people jobs in the service sector. If businesses are not moving product, producers produce less, which means fewer jobs in the production sector. It’s all a big, moving machine…. if people hoard their dollars, the machine stops.

If the government spends money to create jobs, it puts money in people’s pockets and makes them more willing to spend. People who are more willing to spend will ultimately jump-start this economy. Instead of giving people stimulus checks, we need to spend more money to create jobs improving our national infrastructure.

As far as Georgia is concerned, we can’t deficit spend. Constitutionally, we have to balance the budget. What we can do is take out bonds in order to fund these projects, re-route the money from other areas that are wasteful or unnecessary. Or, heaven forbid, we can raise taxes. Whichever way you choose to pay for it, its a wise decision to pursue these projects. Over time the energy savings will negate the initial cost of the retro-fitting.

Fixing this economy begins and ends with job creation. This seems like a pretty good job creation idea to me.

Pork Chop

June 25th, 2010
6:43 am

Rathercalmvoter: FDR did increase the national debt to over 100% – during WW II. That was of necessity as Americans didn’t want to speak either German or Japanese. Governmemt can’t create jobs: that has to be done by the private sector. If taxes were reduced and incentives granted to start-up businesses, the unemployment rate would drop dramatically. It would almost be revenue neutral to the federal government because the stimulated economy would produce more in tax revenues. Unfortunately, the “change you can believe in” is a change from a capitalist economy to a socialist form of government with an economy that will make us all equally poor.


June 25th, 2010
11:32 am

Ah…I see Pork Chop has finally given us the GOP talking point: “If we would just cut taxes and give incentives to businesses, everything would be okay.” Have we tried this already? Yes, we did this for 8 years under Bush II (not to mention the Reagan, Bush I, and Clinton presidencies).
And were are we? Let’s see….Economic meltdown precipitated by unrestrained greed on Wall Street + decaying infrastructure + reduced spending on research and development + massive unemployment + additional services pushed on to states and cities who lack the resources to meet the needs of their citizens.
Finally, you might be interested to know that our tax burden is actually at a historically low rate (see link:


June 25th, 2010
12:01 pm

PorkChop, More tax cuts and incentives to encourage people to start up businesses? Statewide, we don’t have the money in the budget to offer more “tax cuts and incentives” without shutting down entire schools and firing police forces. Nationally, we’d just be further driving up the debt by reducing the money brought in without decreasing the money spent.

The government actually can create jobs. Just ask the people that were put to work by the TVA, the CCC, and any other of FDR’s alphabet agencies. In this case, Roy Barnes is saying that his idea could create 10,000 jobs. I think thats a lofty figure, but it’s an admirable goal.

What businesses would be started if we offered more tax breaks and incentives? Certainly not any that could employ 10,000 people. The tax breaks you’re offering encourage people to start small businesses. Now this isn’t a knock on small businesses, I’m a small business owner myself, but just how many laudromats does one town need?

Tax breaks like those are great when the economy is rolling along and people have the money necessary to push them to take a risk.

If you haven’t noticed, the economy is in the tank. It stinks. It’s not getting any better. This is the worst time to run a small business, let alone start a new one. People aren’t spending money. Businesses aren’t making money because people aren’t spending it. Small businesses are affected the most by this and their failing right and left as a result.

The government can create jobs because it has the ability to take risk and the money to do so. This notion that the government can’t create jobs is a myth. Small businesses are nice, but small businesses don’t have a dynamic and driving effect on a state or national economy. If you want to make this economy better, the government has got to step in and rescue us from the free market.

This isn’t socialism, it has been done before. By the way, the United States has never been a purely capitalistic economy… not even under the watch of Washington and Jefferson… so quit with the word “capitalism” as if its some holy ideal.


June 25th, 2010
1:18 pm

Please, someone tell me why everyone has to make every mole hill into a mountain. We will come out of this recession when every left wing loony in government is gone. Now understand, we have left wing loony’s in both parties. They scream about how the children will pay the price, how unborn babies will be slaughtered in mass numbers, the wealthy aren’t paying enough taxes, they can’t pay their mortgage (because they were so qualified to purchase a home in first place), how the economy is the the fault of the other party. Everyone stands around with their damned hand out, but they offer NOTHING in return. They owe their very existance to someone elses efforts. They of course never had anything to do with entitlements, vote buying, power grabbing, or stirring up the ire of their constituents in their social groups, churches, or workplace.

Many smart, intelligent, good people are out of work. Their knowledge is going unutilized, while every single loony lefty is screaming about how much more the poor need. This country is now being run by the dumb-masses, spelled incorrectly for your childs benefit. So if a re-tread like Roy Barnes is the best this state has to offer, then God help us.

Pork Chop

June 25th, 2010
1:49 pm

Well said, 4T9! After this experience with a Democratic President (I use that term very loosely) and a Democratic controlled Congress, I will never, ever vote for another Democrat as long as I live – and IF I get the chance to vote again!


June 25th, 2010
3:27 pm

Pork Chop – I pray for the day when nobody will vote for Dems or Reps. I pray for a day when we are free of the evil influence the force of each and both parties have on us. I pray for the day that I can vote for intelligent statespeople who will openly debate and evaluate issues rather than mental lightweights who will become Pelosi/Reed/McConnell/Boehner robots.

In today’s age, where we have instant communication and a plethora of information available, the political parties have become nothing but financial instutitions that funnel money to people who are too weak minded to challenge the system. Seriously. Pelosi, Palin, Frank, Schumer, Bachmann – we’re not talking the brightest stars in the gallaxy here. The parties punish politicians who don’t tow the line and we get stuck with this corrupt system.

When will people stand up, demand change and wrestle their government back from these fools?


June 25th, 2010
8:12 pm

I pray for the day when intelligent people are once again in charge. I feel I am moving toward bigotry due to the lack of responsibility I see in the black community, and the willingness of the government to bow down at the feet of nimrods like Charlie Rangel, the clown in South Carolina, and John Dingle. These men are clearly followers of the socialism that took hold in the black theology churches. They have stomped and whined for more power. Then let’s not forget we have Reid, Pelosi, Kerry, Kennedy, McCain, Arnold, and other loony’s who gave in.

Where are the people of backbone? Real people of character will never run for office because they don’t want to put their families through the wringer. God help us all.

Pork Chop

June 26th, 2010
11:45 am

Government doesn’t solve problems: it IS the problem! When the government “creates” jobs, those salaries are paid from the public treasury. The money that fills those coffers come from US. Since a government employee isn’t going to give back much of the money he has earned, the folks employed in the private sector must make up the difference through taxes. Nobody has yet shown me that a person or a nation can spend themselves rich or borrow their way out of debt. The notion that the national debt is necessary or not a matter for concern, is wrong-headed. Nearly every war that has been fought had its roots in economic matters. It’s time to wake up, folks! The scoundrels in DC appear to care nothing for us and little for our country.


June 27th, 2010
8:47 pm

Amen and amen to the last few posts.


June 27th, 2010
10:12 pm

The funny thing about people that say the left is socialist and folks like Obama/Biden etc are running the country into the ground with all this spending is they are doing the same thing Reagan (the biggest culprit) and Bush II did. Except they (Reag/BII) cut taxes while increasing spending. Yes the republicans in the past 30 years have done more govt spending (%) than any democrat. The only president since Eisenhower to run a balanced budget was Clinton. The reason we have such huge deficits is because both parties do not know how to tax and spend. In basic economic theory you cut taxes in a recession and increases spending, when you are out of a recovery, you raise taxes and decrease spending. The problem the US has done the exact opposite since Reagan (minus Clinton). The bush tax cuts are killing us right now.
Anyways, I hope Barnes gets elected and I hope he retrofits the state buildings. It is the same mission the USACE (see republicans the Army is doing it right now) and the GSA are involved in. Buildings make up about 70% of the world’s energy and over 60% of the world’s waste. On top of all that the AEC industry is in a deep recession due to the decline in residential, retail, and commercial buildings. Some estimates put about 40-60% of architects in Atlanta are w/o a job. Something like this could put a much needed boost into the state’s AEC industry.

Russell Stookey

July 1st, 2010
10:29 am

Roy is right. JOBS is what are needed to improve GA economy.

ENERGY savings bring with it FED MONEY for improvements. Homeowners are now taking advantage of this so why not GA?

ANYTHING which gets men and women back to work brings with it paydays which mean a rising tide which will float all our boats.


July 1st, 2010
7:48 pm

Everytime Roy Barnes comes on T.V. I mute it and ditto for Obama!

[...] Dem-Gov: Former Governor Roy Barnes (D), the favorite in the July 20th Democratic Gubernatorial Primary, has released his 7th campaign spot of the season. Barnes latest ad, “State Buildings”, focuses on creating 10,000 jobs by retrofitting State buildings for energy efficiency. [...]