Your morning jolt: Nathan Deal steps up on transportation sales tax

On Monday, Gov. Nathan Deal chose Savannah as a venue for one of his strongest endorsements yet of a penny sales tax to boost transportation spending. From Larry Peterson and the Savannah Morning News:

Deal acknowledged that people don’t like higher taxes.

“The question,” he added, “is what is the alternative to keep your area growing and progressive?”

…He said funds from the measure would help move goods more efficiently in and out of the port of Savannah.

Deal said the increase, which would boost sales taxes in Chatham County to 8 percent, is needed because other revenues haven’t kept pace with growth.

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On a similar note, Lori Geary of Channel 2 Action News draws a line between July 31 transportation vote and the burgeoning race between Senate Majority Leader Chip Rogers of Woodstock and Republican challenger Brandon Beach:

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Then we have the case of Cobb County Commission Chairman Tim Lee, who took time from his re-election campaign last week to refer to critics of light rail as “spoiled brats.” From Geoff Folsom and the Marietta Daily Journal:

In a Monday email to the Journal, Lee attempted to retract his remarks.

“Let me apologize for calling anyone a spoiled brat,” he wrote. “Sometimes my passion for an issue gets ahead of me and I certainly wish I had chosen a better description.”

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The AJC’s Politifact Georgia today takes a look at an anti-transportation tax group’s contention that light rail in Cobb County would double the commute time for automobiles on I-75.

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The campaigns of Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama have moved on to a discussion of Bain Capital, but last week’s gay marriage discussion continues. From New York Times, on a new poll:

Sixty-seven percent of those surveyed by The New York Times and CBS News since the announcement said they thought that Mr. Obama had made it “mostly for political reasons,” while 24 percent said it was “mostly because he thinks it is right.” Independents were more likely to attribute it to politics, with nearly half of Democrats agreeing.

The results reinforce the concerns of White House aides and Democratic strategists who worried that the sequence of events leading up to the announcement last week made it look calculated rather than principled.

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In a Monday report, Paul Crowley of 11Alive allows GOP strategist Ralph Reed to theorize on the problem that President Barack Obama’s endorsement of gay marriage has posed for Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed.

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For the last two years, Jessica Colotl, the former Kennesaw State University student, has been the Georgia face of young people caught in the illegal immigration trap – brought here by their undocumented parents.

We may about to get a new contender for public sympathy: A Thursday rally will be held at Pebblebrook High School for Jesus Cruz, a recent graduate of that Cobb County high school who has been in deportation proceedings since last August. Cruz has been in the country since he was 11, brought here by his mother.

***
Jimmy Carter will be off to Egypt next week to watch the voting. From the Associated Press:

The Atlanta-based Carter Center has been accredited by Egyptian authorities to send international election witnesses for that country’s presidential election.

The Carter Center says it received approval from Egypt’s Supreme Presidential Election Commission to deploy 22 witnesses from 14 countries. The presidential election is set for May 23 and 24.

They will be joined by a larger delegation of 80 witnesses from over 35 nations who will travel to Egypt several days before the election, led by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter.

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

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121 comments Add your comment

the original and still the best John Galt

May 15th, 2012
9:40 am

Nathan Deal, as a typical Demopublican, is always against raising taxes except when he is for raising taxes.

CobbGOPer

May 15th, 2012
9:48 am

Well, that seals it. If Deal is for T-SPLOST, then I’m against it. It doesn’t hurt that I’ll be turning out to vote against Helen Gorham and Tim Lee as well (though I don’t think Gorham has drawn a challenger – primary or otherwise – despite the fact she voted with Lee to raise taxes in Cobb). Oh, and vote in favor of Sunday sales. Again.

Centrist

May 15th, 2012
9:55 am

Deal is hurting his credibility with a large part of his Republican base by supporting this massive new sales tax increase of between 15% – 20% depending on the County. It is in addition to the existing MARTA, education SPLOST, and parks SPLOST. The AJC must have mixed emotions – always favors new taxes, but enjoys seeing Deal defending it.

It is also true that this T-SPLOST is a major issue for the District 21 Senate race mostly in Cherokee County (also charter schools), and Cobb County Commission Lee is under fire for supporting it and rail. My guess is Rogers is safe and Lee is in trouble.

jimbob

May 15th, 2012
9:55 am

I wonder if Deal wold have the same idea about education. “The question,” he added, “is what is the alternative to keep your area growing and progressive?”

td

May 15th, 2012
9:56 am

A poll skewed to Democrats say that Obama coming out is not good and now give Romney a 3 point lead. Not a prediction because it is still way to early but everyday that goes by it is not looking good for an Obama re election.

td

May 15th, 2012
9:57 am

Centrist

May 15th, 2012
9:55 am

I think your guess is a good one.

ByteMe

May 15th, 2012
10:00 am

“The question,” he added, “is what is the alternative to keep your area growing and progressive?”

The alternative, Governor, is for the legislature to do their job and manage the state’s infrastructure the way that will help keep this area “growing and progressive”. But I guess it’s easier for the legislature to give us a choice between half a loaf and the threat of no loaf.

td

May 15th, 2012
10:00 am

jimbob

May 15th, 2012
9:55 am

Our education system is working fine in any and all households where the parents are involved in the education process with their children. This is true across all political, racial and gender lines. The problem with education is not the school systems but the parents.

Allie F.

May 15th, 2012
10:01 am

This entire proposition is a joke; another scam wrapped in lies and fraud. Georgians are being taxed to death by all of these progressive measures that never seem to come to fruition. How about taking the money for the bogus trolly to no-where? How about fixing the millions of pot holes in Atlanta streets? How about streamlining the state’s over-employment and egregious benefits package. This program is just another example of waste and abuse on the part of our government.

ByteMe

May 15th, 2012
10:02 am

Sixty-seven percent of those surveyed by The New York Times and CBS News since the announcement said they thought that Mr. Obama had made it “mostly for political reasons,” while 24 percent said it was “mostly because he thinks it is right.” Independents were more likely to attribute it to politics, with nearly half of Democrats agreeing.

Because barely sticking up for 5% of the population that is being demonized by 30% of the population is “good politics” :roll:

Bob Loblaw

May 15th, 2012
10:03 am

Ralph Reed isn’t qualified to discuss the political issues that the gay marriage issue will pose to the Mayor. Wrong guy, wrong electorate to evalualte, wrong on most every other political evaluation. Why does this guy get press, here? For his politics? For his experience? For his personal expertise at campaigning? Leave this joker alone so he can continue his Lazarus project among the sheep of the right wing.

Just Nasty & Mean

May 15th, 2012
10:03 am

Brandon Beach is the quintessential DOT and Chamber of Commerce insider. The absolute LAST thing we need is another “one of the boys” directing the state. Beach tilts to big business and government control EVERY SINGLE TIME.

Beach says he is a conservative: He is a henchman for Big Business and massive government.
PLEASE…Give me a FREAKING Break!

td

May 15th, 2012
10:06 am

ByteMe

May 15th, 2012
10:02 am

“Because barely sticking up for 5% of the population that is being demonized by 30% of the population is “good politics””

Yes it is when that “5%” represents 1 out of every 6 of your big money bundlers. Follow the money..

Bob Loblaw

May 15th, 2012
10:06 am

Sen. Rogers sure does look scared.

Mr. KnowitAll

May 15th, 2012
10:07 am

I have YET to hear Brandon Beach and the pro-TSPLOST folks explain why Fulton & DeKalb should pay for the backbone of the whole initiative (MARTA) and the rest of the region skates by?

Well Beach…answer the question: Why should Fulton/DeKalb pay and the rest not? Hello??
…chirp….chirp…..

Aquagirl

May 15th, 2012
10:12 am

Hey Chip….since God gave children to parents, not school boards, then why doesn’t God pay for their education? If God foots the bill He can send those kids wherever He wants and nobody will object.

Becky

May 15th, 2012
10:24 am

Why isn’t Ralph Reed in jail?

Look before I leap...

May 15th, 2012
10:26 am

I wonder if Nathan Deal is getting daily nasty-grams from Grover and the ATR?

Don’t we already take in about $900M in gas taxes?
Where is THAT money going?

Kandie

May 15th, 2012
10:26 am

Deal is showing leadership, whether you agree with him or not, unlike our last governor who was a bad joke and a buffoon.
Rogers is very anti-public education and a crook to boot. Maybe the good people of Cherokee County who have traditionally had good public schools will step up to the plate and send Rogers packing. That would be one of the best things that could happen to improve the GA legislature and public education in this state.

Look before I leap...

May 15th, 2012
10:28 am

“Yes it is when that “5%” represents 1 out of every 6 of your big money bundlers. Follow the money.”

Citation please?
I think you overestimate the financial condition of gay people.

Laurie

May 15th, 2012
10:29 am

8% sales tax, plus income tax, plus fees that are tacked on here and there to do things like register your car, buy new tires, etc… These guys don’t need any more money to waste, they are doing an excellent job with what they get already. The one added benefit to this summer’s election is that not only do I get to vote NO for the TSPLOST, I get to vote NO for Chip. July and August are going to be awesome!

ByteMe

May 15th, 2012
10:32 am

Yes it is when that “5%” represents 1 out of every 6 of your big money bundlers. Follow the money..

td, like Look, I call BS. Put up the citation.

DannyX

May 15th, 2012
10:37 am

“A poll skewed to Democrats say that Obama coming out is not good and now give Romney a 3 point lead.”

A poll skewed to Republicans (Rasmussen) says that since Obama announced his support for gay marriage Romney’s lead has shrunk from 8% to 2%. Gallup had Romney leading when Obama announced his support, Romney now trails in that poll.

Also the CBS poll that td cited is not even figured into the Real Clear Politics (right leaning) average because it is bogus.

jconservative

May 15th, 2012
10:56 am

I will be happy to vote for a tax increase the year after the size of government has been cut so that no tax increase is necessary.

Road Scholar

May 15th, 2012
10:59 am

“…events leading up to the announcement last week made it look calculated rather than principled.”

Looks like repubs can’t calculate or have principles!

Look:”Don’t we already take in about $900M in gas taxes?
Where is THAT money going?”

I suggest you look at GDOT’s budget. They get about $2B ($1B Fed and $1B state) and $400-500,000 goes to debt service on transportation bonds sold under “Go Fish” Perdue for the next 15 years. Georgia is the largest state east of the Mississippi and not only has capacity issues on the roads, but also maintenance issues.The Interstates and main state routes were built in the 1950’s- 1970’s; Roads are built for a 20 year design life and bridges are built for a 50 year design life.GDOT used to spend 10% of their budget on maintenance; now they spend just 2 %/yr. They are loosing ground as the roads and bridges need major maintenance.

That being said, our new infrastructure needs are not able to get funded. People like Centrist and td can stay at home all day and not use the roads..as evidenced by their constant blogging and whining. Others must make a living and purchase goods that get to the stores or your doorstep via truck. The state needs to invest more on infrastructure…and thus create jobs since over 90% of what GDOT does is by private contractor.

td

May 15th, 2012
11:10 am

Look before I leap…

May 15th, 2012
10:28 am

http://www.forbes.com/sites/clareoconnor/2012/05/14/inside-obamas-lgbt-donor-machine-how-the-president-will-make-millions-from-gay-marriage-push/

“The Washington Post recently combed through the list of top Obama bundlers — that is, those bringing in more than $500,000 — and identified as many as 1 in 6 as openly gay.”

Besides Bean, Obama’s gay bundlers include, per the Center’s excellent OpenSecrets.com site:

Charles Myers, of Evercore Partners, who has bundled at least $500,000
Eugene Sepulveda, of Austin, Texas, who bundled at least $500,000
Andrew Tobias, a writer and treasurer of the DNC, who bundled at least $500,000
Dana Perlman and Barry Karas, of Los Angeles, who bundled at least $500,000
Wally Brewster and Bob Satawake, of Chicago, who bundled at least $100,000
Kathy Levinson, former president and CEO of E-trade, who bundled at least $200,000
Laura Ricketts, of Ecotravel LLC in Chicago, who bundled at least $100,000
Jeff Soref, of New York, who bundled at least $100,000
Fred Eychaner, of Chicago, who bundled at least $50,000
Paul Horning, of Atlanta, who bundled at least $50,000
Kevin Jennings, the former Department of Education official, who bundled at least 50,000
Tim Gill and Scott Miller, of Denver, Colo., who bundled at least $500,000

Marlboro Man

May 15th, 2012
11:15 am

I guess you folks thinks roads are free and will fix themselves.

Aquagirl

May 15th, 2012
11:15 am

I will be happy to vote for a tax increase the year after the size of government has been cut so that no tax increase is necessary.

OK jconservative, time to tell us exactly what you’d cut. “Government waste” is not a category either.

I keep hearing all these people saying they want to cut government. Meanwhile they want roads (which the aptly-named Road Scholar has pointed out are already underfunded) police, sewers, and all the other goodies of government. People constantly underestimate how much it costs for these services. They think if they cut the Department of Left-Handed Voters Assistance their taxes will magically drop. Newsflash: all those little annoying things you fixate upon are probably less than 5% of the total budget. Despite the talk radio and breitbart.com screams, that’s not where your money goes.

If you think you’re being overcharged for those services you want, speak to your elected officials. Since they are overwhelmingly elected if they can use the word “conservative” more often their opponent, jconservative may not like looking in his mirror.

td

May 15th, 2012
11:15 am

Look and Byte,

“Some liberal gay donors had threatened to withhold contributions over Obama’s stance on gay marriage as well as his administration’s decision to shelve an executive order banning sexual-identity discrimination by federal contractors.”

td

May 15th, 2012
11:16 am

Look and Byte,

“Some liberal gay donors had threatened to withhold contributions over Obama’s stance on gay marriage as well as his administration’s decision to shelve an executive order banning sexual-identity discrimination by federal contractors.”

Forgot to credit sorry.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/same-sex-marriage-debate-many-of-obamas-top-fundraisers-are-gay/2012/05/09/gIQASJYSDU_story.html

td

May 15th, 2012
11:18 am

ByteMe

May 15th, 2012
10:32 am

Yes it is when that “5%” represents 1 out of every 6 of your big money bundlers. Follow the money..

td, like Look, I call BS. Put up the citation.

Are you going to come back and say my statement was correct now?

KID

May 15th, 2012
11:29 am

Obama all the way back in 2012!

Aquagirl

May 15th, 2012
11:34 am

Are you going to come back and say my statement was correct now?

I think we should all acknowledge your link, and also that Jim’s rules have produced an apparent miracle…td posts a real link to a real website verifying his claim about the ratio of gay bundlers! Hooray!

Whether or not that supports your main conclusion, td, is a matter of conjecture. It’s not like all those gay folks were about to jump ship and go fundraising for Romney. They’ve been raising a lot of money up to this point. If this ups the ante, so to speak, it will also provide a fundraising boost on Romney’s side.

I think it’s political but given the waffling Obama did, it didn’t seem like a masterfully timed move. And given how the anti-gay crowd can be manipulated quite easily by Republicans for practically nothing, I don’t think it was a smart move.

td

May 15th, 2012
11:36 am

Aquagirl

May 15th, 2012
11:15 am

I will be happy to vote for a tax increase the year after the size of government has been cut so that no tax increase is necessary.

OK jconservative, time to tell us exactly what you’d cut. “Government waste” is not a category either.

Sorry jconsevative for jumping in but I would like to answer the question.

Freeze all spending at its current level in every department for 5 years and then cut 1% per year for each of the next five years. The budget will be balanced and no one can tell me that there is not 5% of waste, fraud and abuse that could be cut out of every ones budget during a 5 year period This is called the “Penny plan” and has already be introduced by Connie Mack but Harry Reid will not even let it come to a vote.

http://www.newsmax.com/LannyDavis/Mack-Penny-Plan-budget/2011/08/03/id/406026

Rev Jones

May 15th, 2012
11:38 am

We dropped the ball giving women a vote.

Capitol Hack

May 15th, 2012
11:49 am

You whiners always complaining about taxes need to move to another state. Living in Georgia, you have one of the lowest tax burdens in America. And it shows. Our roads are trashy and overgrown, our traffic is terrible, education could be better, and our government services are among the leanest anywhere. And still….you complain? Please move to another state, so you can really have something to complain about!

ByteMe

May 15th, 2012
11:57 am

Are you going to come back and say my statement was correct now?

I’ll grant you that the statement you made is correct, but the sentiment you (and the article) expressed — that somehow 5% of the electorate and 15% of a subset of his bundlers — which do not even comprise close to a majority of his overall total money raised — is more important than the 30% who are strongly opposed… or that he even needed to do it to keep the money rolling in (the majority of his money is coming from small contributions). In fact, when compared to the 30% who dispise it, the bigger money might have been found going in the other direction.

So you fell for WaPo’s logic. I don’t accept it until we see the other side of the argument of how many high-$$ bunders will drop out because of this newly defined position.

To say “it was just politically calculated”, you have to provide evidence that the money he would receive from this position is going to be higher than the money he would have received from taking the other position or just doing nothing different. I don’t see the dots connecting.

findog

May 15th, 2012
11:57 am

Mr. Lee, did you mean something like, “Incipit twits”?

ByteMe

May 15th, 2012
12:00 pm

Freeze all spending at its current level in every department for 5 years and then cut 1% per year for each of the next five years. The budget will be balanced and no one can tell me that there is not 5% of waste, fraud and abuse that could be cut out of every ones budget during a 5 year period

Won’t even come close at current revenue levels, especially since Social Security and Medicare benefits are not part of any “department” statutorially controlled by the budget.

Aaron Burr V Mexico

May 15th, 2012
12:02 pm

(Still munching popcorn)

td

May 15th, 2012
12:04 pm

ByteMe

May 15th, 2012
11:57 am

It is impossible to prove your assumptions for what might have happened or what will happen on the other side of the argument based on what did or did not happen. This is why the WP is correct in stating it was a political calculation that Obama thought was in the best interest of his campaign or in other words a calculation made to rake in the maximum amount of dollars to his campaign.

td

May 15th, 2012
12:08 pm

ByteMe

May 15th, 2012
12:00 pm

Did even read the article I posted? It was written by a liberal writer and he says it will work and Medicare and SS are included in the freezing and the reductions. SS could just not give any COLA’s for the next 5 years and meet the goals of the plan.

findog

May 15th, 2012
12:12 pm

Deal is showing leadership?
Said he’d lead the destruction of the 400 toll booths
Why would anyone agree to give the GOP a penny for transportation on every purchase except for fuel?
Why does the GOP give profitable companies a tax break on fuel?
Why did they put a 10-year sunset on that tax; just like President Bush’s tax cuts they will live forever…

honested

May 15th, 2012
12:16 pm

Raising taxes to modify the transportation system is inevitable as whatever improvements will not get built for free.
If road building will be the preferred choice for the auslanders, so be it. Use (raise) motor fuel taxes, as that user fee is in place to provide for motor vehicle transportation infrastructure.

If you want to move people back and forth from the same point A to the same point B at the same time, 5 days a week, then MASS TRANSIT is the most sensible method and requires financing other than motor fuel taxes, but that isn’t part of the ‘Grand Plan as Pronounced from On High by our Illustrious Small Town Mayors’.
You say the OTP bunch doesn’t want mass transit? Then increase the motor fuel tax by about 300% to grow the roads necessary for those who do not want the most sensible or most efficient but instead wish for the most EXPENSIVE.

Me, I don’t care. I live ITP, my business is ITP, my customers are ITP. My ‘commute’ is a mile.
Why should I be burdened for YOUR short-sightedness?

clyde

May 15th, 2012
12:18 pm

Deportation hearings should not take months but only minutes.Canada can do it in less than 3 minutes.

We are not really in a position any longer to be the watchdog for other country’s elections.We need watching ourselves.

ByteMe

May 15th, 2012
12:19 pm

It is impossible to prove your assumptions for what might have happened or what will happen on the other side of the argument based on what did or did not happen. This is why the WP is correct in stating it was a political calculation that Obama thought was in the best interest of his campaign or in other words a calculation made to rake in the maximum amount of dollars to his campaign.

Of course it can’t be proven. But the people running the campaign have a HUGE detailed database of all their top donors and know which way they’d fall on this. The question is: if this were a political calculation that was well-considered, why was it so badly handled? Doesn’t make sense to have a political calculation bungled by a team very adept at getting the details right.

But you go ahead and accept the liberal media biased WaPo’s conclusion. LOL! :lol: Oh, sweet irony.

Can't blame the Democrats for this one

May 15th, 2012
12:20 pm

All Republicans all the time has brought our current disaster. Democrats have not mattered for 10 years.

honested

May 15th, 2012
12:22 pm

td,

Reading connie mack’s drivel on newsmax is about as relevant as reading any book about the UNfair Tax. Luckily, cleverly designed shell games are not massive tax law/budgeting changes are made.

If you want to reference relevant thinking on budgetary considerations, I’m sure it would be properly discussed. Bringing up wrong-wing pipe dreams will be summarily discounted, as it should be.

td

May 15th, 2012
12:24 pm

ByteMe

May 15th, 2012
12:19 pm

Even the Wp and NY Times gets 1 in 50 articles correct. I

ByteMe

May 15th, 2012
12:25 pm

Did even read the article I posted?

Actually I didn’t until just now… worried about newsmax putting a virus on my computer. :)

He glosses over something in the article, though: how does revenue go up from 14.9% to 18% of GDP in 7 years at current tax rates? It won’t happen “naturally” unless some tax cuts expire as they are designed to. Which also comes back to the exact statement I said: at current revenue levels… you can’t close the hole with this plan. Just won’t happen, the hole is nearly 40% of the budget.