Your morning jolt: Georgia car tags and ‘In God We Trust’

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This post has been updated below.

Original: Georgia car tags may be about to get a dose of religion. The state Department of Revenue on Friday posted images of the eight semi-finalist entries in its competition to design a new look for your back bumper.

Three of those eight incorporate “In God We Trust” – the same motto found on U.S. currency:

Online voting concludes July 8. The three license plates garnering the most votes will be presented to Gov. Nathan Deal. There the selection process gets foggy – the press release merely says the winner will be announced July 15.

But if a car tag bearing the word “God” makes it to the finals, it’s hard to imagine a Republican politician who would want to be seen rejecting it.

Still, if a declaration of faith is inevitable, we would at least suggest adding an asterisk, followed in small print with this:

“*All others must provide proof of legal U.S. residency.”

Updated at 5:05 p.m.: The rules for Georgia’s license tag contest mandated that entries must include “the county name or ‘In God We Trust’ label in black at the bottom.’

But my AJC colleague Aaron Gould Sheinin passes along the following note from Karen Lashley-Lucas, the Department of Revenue’s marketing coordinator:

The “In God We Trust” phrase is there simply to demonstrate what the optional sticker that is already available would look like on that entry.

Confusing, to say the least.

***
My monthly letter from state Sen. Buddy Carter, R-Pooler, arrived over the weekend, giving me his take on doings in the state Capitol. It included this line on the cost of HB 87 to Georgia farmers:

”The agricultural community is estimating millions of dollars in losses to various crops such as blueberries, cucumbers and watermelons due to the shortage of workers.”

But the current issue of Time magazine puts the cost far higher:

The labor shortage could result in as much as $9 billion in lost farm production annually. “This is the magnitude of the risk to the sector, if we can’t get the labor we need,” says Paul Schlegel, director of public policy at the American Farm Bureau Federation, in Washington. “It’s an extremely important issue.”

In other words, when it comes to the cost of Georgia’s illegal immigration law, there’s a vast gulf of opinion. And we’ve been told that it’s far too early to really know. You can’t assess damage during the train wreck, one agricultural economist told us. You must wait for the dust to settle.

Then again, just think how quickly we’re offered financial estimates of damage after a tornado or flood.

But here’s the point: So far, we have heard very little talk within the state Capitol about actually assessing the financial losses to Georgia agriculture. And one has to wonder whether lawmakers and other state officials really want that hard, government-backed cipher out there.

***
Today’s AJC Politifact Georgia takes a look at Gov. Nathan Deal’s claim that a “substantial” number of probationers have performed well as substitutes for Hispanic labor in Georgia’s fruit and vegetable fields.

***
It appears that U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss wants an amnesty on the taxation of offshore profits to be part of the formula for a compromise on the U.S. deficit. From a Q&A with the Georgia Republican in today’s Wall Street Journal:

SEN. CHAMBLISS: If any taxes are truly raised in the pure sense, then the answer to your question is no, that’s not going to sell. It won’t sell on the Senate side, nor the House side.

You’ve got to approach it from three standpoints. Sure, we’ve got to cut spending. Second, you’ve got to look at entitlement reform. Third, you’ve got to look at revenues.

As Mark [Warner] said, we’ve got this 10½-point gap that we’ve got to start closing. There’s only one way to do that, and that’s figure out a way to get our revenues up.

We get our revenues up by enticing [CFOs] to get some of that $2.5 trillion off your balance sheet and reinvest it in your company and create jobs, and spread out that tax base by putting people back to work. We do it by energizing the economy, whether it’s through taxes or whether it’s through allowing you to bring some of your money back from offshore.

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

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268 comments Add your comment

professional skeptic

June 27th, 2011
9:18 am

What guarantee is there that any repatriated offshore corporate profits will be invested in job creation?

SpaceyG on Twitter

June 27th, 2011
9:19 am

My submission, with Trust In The Goddesses verbiage, was rejected. http://bit.ly/jT69xp My lawyer’s gonna get a call now. Sexist, anti-pagan, bigoted, biased jerks at the DofRev.

heartofdarkness

June 27th, 2011
9:21 am

I thought Republicans were opposed to amnesty.

Meh

June 27th, 2011
9:24 am

Just Nasty & Mean

June 27th, 2011
9:30 am

Farmers are going to b-itch all the way to the bank, but they WILL find the labor needed to collect their crops. There is no reason the H2A visa won’t work, they’re just too lazy and cheap to use it.

Farmers need to get over it, and adjust to the business of farming LEGALLY!

yellowdog

June 27th, 2011
9:31 am

blah blah blah! its tiring this US and THEM back and forth. HB 87 will be deal’s Waterloo.

Aquagirl

June 27th, 2011
9:37 am

Spacy G, relax, take two vials of frogtail potion and call your priestess in the morning. Blessed be.

amazing

June 27th, 2011
9:37 am

Sen. Chambliss is right that all 3 issues must be looked at. However, some of the tax credits issued to favored industries should not be thought of as tax increases. they should be view as entitlements as very few of the industries receiving the benefits are actually reinvesteing the savings back into the US.

Ga Values

June 27th, 2011
9:39 am

As usual Saxby is working for the LOBBYIST, nothing new here.. He claims he is going to run for reelection, let’s hope the GOP can find someone to run aginst this RINO.

Phil W

June 27th, 2011
9:40 am

Georgia farmers need to face reality and stop whining about the fact that the rule of law will no longer allow them a free ride.

Edward

June 27th, 2011
9:42 am

So when the farmers have to pay higher wages to harvest the crops, thus demand a higher price for those crops, which makes their crops more expensive than the crops from farmers in other states… yeah, it is all gonna work out great, isn’t it? Keep buying that cheap imported produce from Walmart while complaining about the lack of jobs and bad economy here.

Cobb Woman of Color

June 27th, 2011
9:43 am

Many people don’t realize yet, but will when they receive their tag renawal form, special interest such as Breast Cancer Awareness, etc. will require an additional “annual” special tag fee. We paid the special tag fee upon receiving the tag. So now, we have to pay an additional $35.00 a year to keep it? Everyone should just turn their special interest tags in and get a regular tag. This is just another way to get more money and their hoping most people won’t notice the now “annual” fee.

Cobb Woman of Color

June 27th, 2011
9:45 am

Meant “they are hoping most people won’t notice the now “annual” fee” . Typing too fast this morn…

findog

June 27th, 2011
9:45 am

Jim,
It would be hard for any Georgian Governor to pass on any state property that proclaimed GAWD is GOOD; not just for republicans
Mr. Schlegel sounds like an ENRON accountant asking his manager what he wants the number to be

catlady

June 27th, 2011
9:45 am

If chuckled for quite a while on the “savior” brought in to be Richardson’s replacement. Folks up here KNOW about Ralston’s troubles with taxes for many years (it is always someone else’s fault) and other things.

findog

June 27th, 2011
9:48 am

Cobb lady, that annual fee goes to your save the ta-ta’s charity

Brenda

June 27th, 2011
9:56 am

Findog-a very small PORTION of the annual fee goes to the charity. You don’t really think Ga. would let the entire fee get away from them do you?

Ric

June 27th, 2011
10:04 am

Anyone who says “there is no reason the H2A visa won’t work” admits that he or she has no knowledge of the H2A visa program or what it’s like to be a small farmer.
Please tell us, Just Mean & Nasty, how much time you’ve spent on a real farm.

Michael

June 27th, 2011
10:04 am

I’m sure they will just give them a tax break, or a subsidy, or its all really just a ruse to allow giant farms like ConAgra and Monsanto to swoop in and buy bankrupt farms cheap. It’s all about the money. Everything!

Aquagirl

June 27th, 2011
10:05 am

Cobb woman, I’ve never been confused about the $35 annual fee being charged every year. And for god’s sake, it’s an OPTIONAL fee. If your reading comprehension and math skills aren’t up for the challenge, don’t overextend yourself. Problem solved.

jimmy

June 27th, 2011
10:05 am

No Jobs For Illegals should be displayed on the new Georgia tag.We will pick our own peaches.See what a problem was caused by not picking your own cotton.

Michael

June 27th, 2011
10:10 am

The special interest fees as we discovered last year all go into the General Fund for the legislative thieves and thugs to spend any way they wish. Remember the “tire disposal fee” that has nothing to do with disposing of tires. AND, along with the $35, now annual tag fee, the thieves and thugs aforementioned raised “fees” on everything this past session from fishing licenses to feed stores. Listen up Restupids, they always raise taxes, they just call them User Fees! Your Repuklican hero Zell Miller started that. D in name only.

Doug

June 27th, 2011
10:13 am

@Cobb Woman of Color: A lot of folks have already noticed and have turned in their special tags. Many of the non-profits that the tags are supposed to help have been noting a distinct drop in income from those tags.

I was hoping we could just go back to the 1960’s version — a dark yellow tag that just says “GEORGIA” at the top and the year. That’s it.

At least we’re loosing the county designation. That’s a good thing.

blue_moon

June 27th, 2011
10:16 am

“In God we trust” should NOT be on car tags because a lot of people are non-believers who have rights that must be respected. It’s bad enough that phrase is on our currency. I don’t want it on my tag and I’m a believer. But my religious views are personal and I don’t want the government making money off the promotion of people’s religious beliefs. By the way, all the tag designed sucked–especially the one that looks like a horse’s azz…though it may be appropriate. What happened to “Georgia on my mind…..”

As I see em

June 27th, 2011
10:25 am

Seems like a lot of resistance to change for the better on the farmers’ part. Perhaps they should have prepared for this in the first place. The excuses and whining need to stop now. Basically, what you need to know is that the law is good and you just need to deal with it! My uncle is a big time farmer and he’s loaded- comes from paying Mexicans to do the work cheap. He’ll figure it out and so will you!

What we need to do is import that Sheriff out in Arizona to set up a system where the inmates are used to work the fields. The money for thier wages could be paid to the state to counter the wasted taxpayers’ money that is used to feed them while they are incarcerated. Perhaps when they are forced to get out there and work their behinds off like the rest of us and earn thier keep, they will think twice about committing the stupid offense that put them there in the first place. It’s a whole lot better idea than coddling them in air conditioned jails while they scheme with each other how to get over when they get out. Think about it.

jd

June 27th, 2011
10:25 am

What happened to Georgia on my mind? Where are the marketing people? Why are we spending money on new tags when we can’t afford HOPE?

Oh Intown Writer...

June 27th, 2011
10:26 am

People forget that this country was founded as much on the need for freedom FROM religion as freedom OF religion…
I just learned that an early settlement group in Natchez, Miss. in the 1700s were fleeing from the state imposed religion of New Jersey.
I knew that c.1776 the celebration of Christmas in any fashion would land you in jail for three days in NY, CT and other Puritan colonies, but not about NJ’s intolerance of non-sanctioned religions.
I too vote for the State motto~

jd

June 27th, 2011
10:26 am

If legislators want zero based budgeting analysis — they should perform such on HB 87!

Road Scholar

June 27th, 2011
10:26 am

Putting “In God WE Trust” on the tags is as stupid as listing the Mayor, County Commission Chair, County Commissioners and City Council members on signs on buildings and at the airport. Each time there is an election, they must be changed. With IGWT some are not Christians; Will we have ones that say In Allah we trust, or In Druids We Trust? Keep it Generic, but make the tag a compliment to Georgia.

Road Scholar

June 27th, 2011
10:29 am

As I and jd @ 10:25: Right on!

As I see em

June 27th, 2011
10:32 am

Oh Michael, you make yourself look ignorant by trying to make this a party issue. Haven’t you figured it out yet? All politicians are crooks, my friend. It doesn’t matter what party they pledge, they all want to stick it to you!

Gov. Nathan (don't call me Shady) Deal

June 27th, 2011
10:32 am

Sonny had “Go Fish” so I will have “Go Jesus”. All the fine Chistians in Gooberstan will be so proud!

Big Hat

June 27th, 2011
10:34 am

Non-Christians can go pound sand and move out of GA if they don’t like it.

As I see em

June 27th, 2011
10:39 am

I pay the extra fees to proudly display Auburn Club tags on my vehicles. So what? $35 is about like a five dollar bill these days. The government is going to get your money anyway… I also purchased several of the “In God We Trust” stickers and trimmed them in order to alter them to say “In Gene We Trust.” Anyone, Christian or atheist, that doesn’t like it can pound sand as well!

War Eagle!

Road Scholar

June 27th, 2011
10:40 am

I’ve tried to vote 4 different times, and when I click on those who do not have IGWT, it reponds by not being able to find that page! Stacking the deck?

Did anyone see the special report Ch 2 did on Go Fish? No crowds…let alone visitors… and the management of Go Fish responded to questions by saying they are just now getting their children tour organization underway. What? Didn’t you anticipate the need to market? I guess they are the same legislators who now realize the illegal alien law needs to have work permits added?!!!!

Refugee from Dikkksie (Thank God We Escaped)

June 27th, 2011
10:41 am

Wow… Looks like a theocracy tightens its grip on the White Trash Wasteland. Maybe it will be a call for all the illiterate Bible-thumpers to head on down to the sweat-bucket South to get some of that fine Dikkksie weather and culture and enjoy some of that old-time religion, while celebating the love of ignorance and violence that makes Dikksie so special.

In Dikkksie We Trust!

Tommy Jones

June 27th, 2011
10:47 am

If there was a god, there would be no religion. Enough with the attempts to force ancient superstitions onto thinking people!

Aquagirl

June 27th, 2011
10:48 am

Did anyone see the special report Ch 2 did on Go Fish?

I did. Anyone voting Republican because they think they’ll get smaller government should be dunked repeatedly in one of those expensive fish tanks.

Clinton "Skink" Tyree

June 27th, 2011
10:51 am

As far as I’m concerned, this tag business is just tit for tat.

Tom

June 27th, 2011
10:59 am

I think the “In God We Trust” options are simply being shown as examples of how the optional “IGWT” sticker (which is already available) on that plate. None of the plates would automatically come with that sticker.

Jim, can you confirm this with the DOR?

Clinton "Skink" Tyree

June 27th, 2011
11:01 am

I think Saxby may have had a small stroke — he’s making a little sense on this proposal.

Will Jones - Atlanta Jeffersonian Exegesis

June 27th, 2011
11:03 am

Nothing exclusionary about “In God We Trust.” That the license selection webpage is poorly coded shows someone on the state’s “dime” isn’t close enough to the “human perfection” for which we all are called to strive, which comes with grace and “election.” As “Annuit Coeptis” Americans we must work to be asymptotic with G-d. How else can we show our gratitude for the infinite blessings bestowed upon us as sovereign citizens in this Promised Land; and we of Georgia in its best State? How else can Truth and Justice reign supreme in Our Land? btw: America’s King, G-d, has nothing to do with Christmas – a fabrication of that which Our Founder and Prophet of G-d, Th. Jefferson, identified as the Roman “Anti-Christ.” There is only one Creator, G-d of the universe. Thomas Jefferson is It’s prophet…the rest is sectarian factionalism, the bane of liberty…an abomination before G-d.

No tax amnesty for the traitor corporations who off-shore their profits to subvert “E Pluribus Unum.” Chambliss’ discussing the issue shows the fascist plutocrats know they’re becoming identified as the tories they are, vulnerable to complete and total expropriation by the People, outraged at the crimes and treasons against the Constitution countenanced by those from whom G-d expects the most. The reward for the soulless is only Mammon.

yuzeyurbrane

June 27th, 2011
11:05 am

I have read that past capital repatriation programs did very poorly in creating new jobs but quite well in increasing bonuses to execs and dividends to shareholders. So Saxby’s argument is alluring but incorrect. We will get jobs when the middle class starts buying again. Why throw money into production increases when there is no demand? And continuing to throw money at the top 5% will not trickle down to any meaningful degree. Been there, done that and it failed. The country, like any household, can balance its budget in 2 ways: tighten its belt or make more money. There is only so much you can cut back on before you begin to hurt your ability to earn money (e.g. it would be foolish to eliminate transportation costs to and from work). And people in a family earn different amounts. It seems reasonable that the family member who makes the most (top 5%) contributes the most to balance that household budget. And if he has to go to the bank for that education loan that will help his kid earn twice as much then some long term debt is OK, too. It’s an investment and is usually just too much for the average Joe to manage without long-term financing. If we do this with our families, why is it so hard for Saxby and his chums to figure it out?

John K

June 27th, 2011
11:05 am

Great, another way for some Christians to showboat and get their reward here on earth!

Road Scholar

June 27th, 2011
11:09 am

Tom: Then where does the county of residence sticker go? I believe the law states that each tag owners county must be shown!

Dr. Feelgood,

June 27th, 2011
11:11 am

Enter your comments here

As I see em

June 27th, 2011
11:12 am

The government should set up a little table out in the field and let the inmates that are tired of picking vegetables take a break and pound out and paint some car tags for a while. If the country would get retro on a lot of things such as this we wouldn’t have some of the problems we have now. Perhaps if people would pull that smart phone from in front of their faces and look around for a bit, start using their brains to THINK again, and quit acting like zombies, a lot of this wouldn’t be an issue at all.

Honestly, all the tag really needs is a number, a state, and a sticker. I think all the designs are ugly anyway- including the current- but who really cares? Think about that.

Dr. Will Feelgood,

June 27th, 2011
11:13 am

@Will Jones — Atlanta Jeffersonian Exegesis: You’re not taking the medicine I gave you.

As I see em

June 27th, 2011
11:17 am

Will, you shouldn’t hit the bong so early in the day, bro…

Cobb Woman of Color

June 27th, 2011
11:21 am

Aquagirl, let’s just agree to disagree…for the most part, we don’t agree on “anything”! Thank you!