Your morning jolt: Austin Scott and a fight over foreign labor

Given this year’s debate over H.B. 87, we know that south Georgia is conflicted when it comes to the use of foreign labor.

This may include U.S. Rep. Austin Scott, R-Tifton, who this morning is the subject of a Washington Post piece by Dana Milbank. The topic is the freshman congressman’s first piece of legislation:

His draftsmanship should please the people who chant “read the bill” at political rallies, because H.R. 2774 is only one sentence long. In its entirety: “Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the Legal Services Corporation Act is repealed.”

This one sentence says a great deal about Scott, because it is a transparent attempt by the young lawmaker to defend a company in his district that discriminates against U.S. citizens in favor of Mexican migrant workers.

Scott introduced the bill abolishing Legal Services exactly three days after it became public that Legal Services had won a U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission determination that Georgia’s Hamilton Growers “engages in a pattern or practice of regularly denying work hours and assigning less favorable assignments to U.S. workers, in favor of H2-A guestworkers.”

We’re picking up word that Scott Rials, the Georgia political strategist and one of those who abruptly left the Newt Gingrich campaign this spring, will head up a 527 organization in support of the presidential aspirations of Texas Gov. Rick Perry.

“Make Us Great Again” is the name of the group.

GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain has sent word that he’ll spend some of his time during the Republican straw poll in Ames, Iowa, on Saturday jamming with former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee. Both Baptist ministers are musically inclined – Cain sings, and Huckabee plays bass guitar.

Some additional points from Tuesday’s annual gathering of the Georgia Chamber of Commerce in Perry:

– U.S. Rep. Tom Price, R-Roswell, declared himself open to closing tax loopholes – a strategy espoused by U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss to help erase the federal budget deficit. “We were closing loopholes before closing loopholes was cool,” Price said.

– Asked about the upcoming negotiations of a congressional “super-committee,” Chris Clark, the chamber president and CEO, said he would be happy to see more cuts in federal spending. But Clark indicated he would be less thrilled if Washington lawmakers attempted a wholesale rewrite of the federal tax code. After a season of wild swings, businesses need some stability out of D.C., Clark said.

Over at Fox5 News, Dale Russell reports that Patrick Millsaps, who chairs the panel once known as the State Ethics Commission, doesn’t rule out issuing those subpoenas to Gov. Nathan Deal and his campaign – to continue an investigation sidetracked by an overhaul of the commission’s staff.

A cottage used frequently by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who built it when he came to Georgia to start a polio treatment center, has been destroyed by fire, the state labor department reports.

Remains of the McCarthy Cottage at Warm Springs. Photo by state Department of Labor

Remains of the McCarthy Cottage at Warm Springs. Photo by state Department of Labor

McCarthy Cottage burned to the ground, and all that remained early Tuesday was the foundation, a chimney and some stone steps, said Martin Harmon, a spokesman at the Roosevelt Warm Springs Institute. The fire was discovered early Tuesday morning.

The home dates to 1927, and Roosevelt stayed there often while governor of New York from 1928-1932, Harmon said. He lived in the home about 65 weeks during that period, according to historical accounts of the cottage from the Georgia Department of Labor.

One labor department authority says there is “a strong belief” that FDR made his decision to run for president in 1932 while staying at the McCarthy Cottage.

Today’s AJC Politifact Georgia examines the state Department of Transportation’s claim that new construction along I-75 and I-575 will create 9,700 jobs.

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

For instant updates, follow me on Twitter, or connect with me on Facebook.

29 comments Add your comment

Junior Samples

August 10th, 2011
9:56 am

Tom Price: Closing loopholes since July. Before it was ‘cool’.

Just Wait

August 10th, 2011
10:06 am

Ole Tom must get tired jumping from one band wagon to the next.


August 10th, 2011
10:07 am

Austin Scott guy can’t even control his “because it’s free” urges.

What makes you think this “we the people,” crazy Tea Party congressman could turn down a bucket load of campaign cash that turns his “we the people” rhetoric into a big marketing gimmick? And so soon after being elected. His very first bill!!

There is no Tea Party, and there is no such thing as a “we the people ” politician as long as there is no campaign finance reform. There is no “Hope and Change” without it either.


August 10th, 2011
10:17 am

I sincerely doubt many loopholes for the truly wealthy and corporations will be closed. I think these are just populist class warfare tactics, just like the call to repeal the Bush tax cuts. They know such things will not increase revenue and will kill jobs, and they won’t really implement them. Just constant campaign rhetoric like ending wars they continue to prosecute, not actually close Guantanamo, and actually give terrorists civil trials.

GE and Apple are huge Obama campaign contributors and pay little or no U.S. taxes. They will be protected just like other big campaign contributors to BOTH political parties. That is why the tax base won’t be expanded with a “Fair Tax” – campaign contributors would not be rewarded. The truly wealthy are going to keep their loopholes, trusts, credits, lower capital gains rates, etc. The U.S. Senate is full of very wealthy people. The real tax dollars come from the top income bracket from wage earners making less than $1 million/year, and they will be constantly targeted by Democrats. Too bad that they are the most productive and their small businesses create the most jobs. Constant class warfare campaigning takes precedence.

Excerpts – read it all here:,_stupidity_or_connivance/print
Ignorance, Stupidity or Connivance?
By Walter E. Williams

President Barack Obama has called for a luxury tax on corporate jets as a means to generate revenue to fight federal deficits. The president’s economic advisers ought to be fired for not telling him that doing so is unwise and counterproductive. They might have already told him so, only to have the president say, “Look, I know you’re right, but I’m exploiting the public’s envy of the rich!” Let’s look at what happened when Obama’s predecessor George H.W. Bush signed the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1990 and broke his “read my lips” vow not to agree to new taxes.

When Congress imposed a 10 percent luxury tax on yachts, private airplanes and expensive automobiles, Sen. Ted Kennedy and then-Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell crowed publicly about how the rich would finally be paying their fair share of taxes. What actually happened -

25,000 workers had lost their jobs building yachts, and 75,000 more jobs were lost in companies that supplied yacht parts and material. The U.S., which had been a net exporter of yachts, became a net importer as U.S. companies closed. Jobs shifted to companies in Europe and the Bahamas. The U.S. Treasury collected zero revenue from the sales driven overseas.

Back then, Congress told us that the luxury tax on boats, aircraft and jewelry would raise $31 million in revenue a year. Those job losses cost the government a total of $24.2 million in unemployment benefits and lost income tax revenues. The net effect of the luxury tax was a loss of $7.6 million in fiscal 1991, which means Congress’ projection was off by $38.6 million. The Joint Economic Committee concluded that the value of jobs lost in just the first six months of the luxury tax was $159.6 million.

Congress repealed the luxury tax in 1993 after realizing it was a job killer and raised little net revenue. Why did congressional dreams of greater revenues turn into a nightmare? Kennedy, Mitchell and their congressional colleagues simply assumed that the rich would act the same after the imposition of the luxury tax as they did before and that the only difference would be more money in the government’s coffers. Like most politicians then and now, they had what economists call a zero-elasticity vision of the world, a fancy way of saying they believed that people do not respond to price changes. People always respond to price changes.

I don’t believe that Obama is dumb enough to believe that a tax on corporate jets would be a revenue generator. His agenda is to inspire envy and resentment against wealthy Americans as a tool in pursuit of his higher-tax agenda.
Walter E. Williams
Dr. Williams serves on the faculty of George Mason University as John M. Olin Distinguished Professor of Economics (by the way, he is an African American)


August 10th, 2011
10:22 am

“Excerpts – read it all here:”

There’s more???? You just posted a book!!!


August 10th, 2011
10:25 am

I listened to parts of Clark Howard’s rant on the economy the other day on 750. He’s got the right idea…..eliminate corporate taxes and go to flat tax rates for individuals, eliminating all deductions/exemptions.

Ga Values

August 10th, 2011
10:33 am

Looks like Scott tore himself away from porn just long enough to take care of Illegals. Scott & Saxby are 2 of a kind.


August 10th, 2011
10:34 am

We have heard all rhetoric about cuts to be made but we have heard nothing of our lawmakers taking a cut.When I hear about them taking a cut in pay, staff and benefits, then I will take the seriously.


August 10th, 2011
10:57 am

@ DannyX – yes there is more with specifics of several yacht companies that were decimated, job losses, and bankruptcy. I left that and some other stuff from the column out for brevity. 9 short paragraphs is only a “book” for those under age 3.


August 10th, 2011
11:05 am

roughrider: Congress bought Thomas Jefferson’s library which became the starting point of the Library of Congress for $27,000 so that he could pay off his debts from serving as President. Until “citizen legislators” again rule this country, do not expect anything more than jackasses who have sold their soul to the devil (whether that devil is red or blue).


August 10th, 2011
11:06 am

Centrist, you have been through countless names, identities and sock puppets around here, surely you know the rules when linking to an article.


August 10th, 2011
11:12 am

@ DannyX – you accusations are totally inaccurate, and if there were “rules” about links, this blog would post them and/or block links from being posted.

It is past time for you to debate on the merits instead of personal attacks.


August 10th, 2011
11:45 am

Let’s hope that Congressman Austin Scott’s first piece of legislation is his last. Boot that useless waste of time out of office.


August 10th, 2011
11:50 am

@ deegee – agreed, but fear he will be protected with the Republican redistricting even though he currently has a north – south axis boomerang shaped district the Democrats dreamed up.


August 10th, 2011
11:51 am

As to Austin Scott, the key fact is he is from S. Georgia and agribusn. is 1 of his big support groups. He speaks out of both sides of his mouth just like agribusn. Talk is cheap and demagogic pandering to the anti-immigrant hysteria is 1 form of talk; but when it comes to making a buck, then that is different. Look for the new Ga. Agric. Comm., an agribusn. man, to quietly introduce legis. that will remove the e-verify provisions from Ga.’s immigration law. There will be no bonafide attempt to determine objectively whether or not American workers will do farm labor for fair wages and decent working conditions. Why not? Because they might get a result agribusn. does not like and the bottom line would mean increased costs for agribusn.


August 10th, 2011
11:52 am

The only thing Tom Price needs to close is is lying mouth. What a waste.


August 10th, 2011
11:58 am

Centrist, you have made yourself a target. Your attempt at playing the above the fray “centrist” was a terrible failure.

Today is just another example of you trying to divert negative attention from a Tea Party politician. You do it every day. You whine about the subject matter, then try to change the subject of a blog that doesn’t belong to you. Usually complaining about the “liberal media” in the process.

You are just another empty bag. Unable to defend your Tea Party heroes.


August 10th, 2011
12:01 pm

Thank you Centrist. It is past time for the truth to be shared. I have marveled at the lack of historical perspective associated with the Corporate Jet Owners argument the the President trundles out whenever he needs to redirect anger toward the successful or productive (replace with Rich). Most of the trolls on here have little or no concept of economic reality. Perhaps DannyX might try revisiting the principles of trickle down to better understand how economic impact really works. It will bring negative effects just as it will bring positive effects. You have to look below the surface to see the barracudas lurking as well as the sea bass and lobsters.


August 10th, 2011
12:17 pm

@ DannyX – more personal attacks. It just shows you have no debating skills, and hurts the liberal side on this blog.

I have often stated to you that I voted mostly for Libertarians including the last presidential election. I voted for the Democrat running for Attorney General. I posted my opposition to Rick Perry’s evangelical mixing of politics and religion, and I am pro choice. Yet you try attempt to paint me as right wing because I am not a devout leftist like you have admitted on this blog.

I didn’t change the subject of this blog item, but responded to this part printed above: “U.S. Rep. Tom Price, R-Roswell, declared himself open to closing tax loopholes – a strategy espoused by U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss to help erase the federal budget deficit. ‘We were closing loopholes before closing loopholes was cool,’ Price said.” – I doubt Price (or Obama) means loopholes for most corporations or the truly wealthy living off of investments who make campaign contributors, but the productive top WAGE earners making under $1 million/year. Their numbers are few enough that Democrats can concede them to the Republican party – better for them to pander to the 50% who pay no income taxes.


August 10th, 2011
12:32 pm

“…and hurts the liberal side on this blog.”

I could care less. I don’t represent anyone or anything other than my own views. You seem to want to speak for centrists, although you aren’t close to being one. The corporate jet nonsense is not even worth debating. Its all made up political drama that a so-called ‘centrist” could easily see through.

What is not made up political drama is the utter Tea Party hypocrisy being displayed by “we the people” Tea Party Austin Scott A well rounded “centrist” should have pointed that hypocrisy out.

Instead our “centrist” plays tit-for-tat- partisan diversion politics. “He did it too!!!” What does “he did it too!!” say about your own debating skills?

A dad

August 10th, 2011
12:46 pm

Children – stop arguing and behave or I’ll have to come down there. DX, I think you’ll have to agree that there is a lot of “us v. them” grandstanding going on right now. As for Scott and the S. GA agricuture business, I guess they never did learn to get along without their “darkies” one way or another (and yes, I’m being both facetious and vicious on purpose). Sure is a sad statement of Georgia’s business leaders (at least in agriculture). Funny thing is Centrist isn’t really commenting on the topic of this column, the use of migrants (the PC word for illegals) over U.S. citizens. He’s talking about taxing corporate jets and from Dr. Miller’s article, seems to back it up with facts. Feel free to rebut with actual facts. I for one would like to see them.
Class warfare folks, pur and simple. “Us” v. “them”. Fair Tax/flat tax/nat’l sales tax. No more loopholes, no more anything. Just a flat rate everyone, regardless of income, pays for what they buy. And after imposing a cut off level, rebate to those below the cut off to give them some economic secutiry. But nah, too simplistic, right.


August 10th, 2011
12:56 pm

Tom Price has consistently gone before the TV cameras and proclaimed his resistance to any revenue increases of any form or fashion. He is a water spout of republican platitudes and talking points. There is nothing else in that skillet head of his.

Bobby Anthony

August 10th, 2011
2:18 pm

I do not often agree with Centerist because I believe he is a schill for Deal. What he said about luxury tax is true. All taxes by the Federal government should be repealed. It should be replaced with an income tax on earning set at 10% for everyone earning Between $25,000 and $125,000. If you earn more than $125,000 all earnings above that amount should be taxed at 40%.

Elephant Hunter

August 10th, 2011
2:24 pm

Wow, go figure a conservative from the South would be the congressperson trying to deny justice to the poor and to minorities.

Serves them right though…doesn’t it. If you can not afford justice you should not be given a hand-out. After all, the Preamble to the Constitution of the United State of America states that we are to establish Justice…it does not say anything about making sure our legal system is set up to provide equal access to all.

I hope you all know that I, not Scott, am being sarcastic. This is just one more step in the direction of plutocracy.

Big Hat

August 10th, 2011
6:45 pm

Austin Scott is going to give professional sex workers a bad name.

Big Hat

August 10th, 2011
6:47 pm

Why vote for Texas Gov. Rick Perry? I’m going to write in “God” on the ballot instead and bypass the middle man.


August 10th, 2011
7:19 pm

How many would be for a zero corporation tax if they knew their tax would rise by thirty percent?
Clark Howard has a simplistic plan that won’t work. Deductions favor the wealthy so he is right about a flat tax. A flat tax with one deduction of 30,000 is more progressive than what we have. The real estate industry and the wealthy would try to block it instantly .


August 10th, 2011
7:55 pm

Re: Rep. Austin Scott/Hamilton Growers/Legal Services Corp>

This isn’t the only place where this type of activity (employers hiring H-2A workers over Americans) is taking place, by a very long shot. I know for a personal fact that many employers in the construction trades prefer to hire illegal’s over American workers. It is an open secret.. They are cheaper, more plentiful, and can be replaced easily; in other words, disposable parts. Not to mention they were more easily coerced.

Anyone with eyes and ears could readily see what was going on, if they’d only opened their eyes and listened. On Friday and Sarurday evenings, the Western Union counter at the local Krogers was several deep with people speaking Spanish sending money south of the border. (That money could have done much more good circulating in the local economy.) The parking lots of many convenience stores served as a hiring center. All you had to do was look.

But the thing that really irks me is that this was condoned by the powers-that-be for the benefit of a few well-connected campaign donors. The real losers were those Americans who might have been hired, and who might have learned a new set of skills. One doesn’t have to have a college degree to become a great carpenter–the next Norm Abram, maybe; one doesn’t have to have a Mensa-level IQ to be a excellent mason, or tilesetter. These types of jobs have traditionally been done by Americans who, for one reason or the other, didn’t make it through college. It was possible–back in the day–to make a very good living and raise a family on the wages that were paid in the construction industry.

I want to tip my hat to Republican Governor Nathan Deal for signing HB 87. He and the legislature did the right thing on this issue.


August 12th, 2011
3:47 am

And I would like to tip my hat to Congressman Scott for supporting companies that hire Mexican immigrants. It’s high time that the government got off the backs of businesses. If you are one of those who lost your job to a Mexican immigrant, you have my sympathy but you’re not my problem.

Companies should be allowed to hire anyone they want to hire and pay whatever they want to pay. I support Congressman’s Scott’s to bring more Mexican workers into the United States. God bless Congressman Scott