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.

***
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:

***
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.”

***
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.

***
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.

***
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.

***
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

ByteMe

May 15th, 2012
12:26 pm

Reading connie mack’s drivel on newsmax is about as relevant as reading any book about the UNfair Tax.

It was Lanny Davis — formerly in the Clinton WH — in an editorial talking about Mack’s plan.

td

May 15th, 2012
12:27 pm

honested

May 15th, 2012
12:22 pm

So using the same methodology as most states have to use to balance their budgets( because they are Constitutionally required to do so) is “wrong-wing pipe dreams”. Now sounds like they are having unrealistic dreams?

honested

May 15th, 2012
12:29 pm

td,

Ok enlighten me.
What states have implemented connie mack’s pipe dream?

td

May 15th, 2012
12:30 pm

ByteMe

May 15th, 2012
12:26 pm

Reading connie mack’s drivel on newsmax is about as relevant as reading any book about the UNfair Tax.

It was Lanny Davis — formerly in the Clinton WH — in an editorial talking about Mack’s plan.

Honested thinks Lanny is a right wing nut.

honested

May 15th, 2012
12:32 pm

ByteMe

In all honesty, I’m not really interested in any opinion piece on any websites I tend to avoid at all cost because of the time limitations and the fact that it generally derails the thread farther into irrelevancy.

Now back to traffic.

honested

May 15th, 2012
12:33 pm

td,

I no longer believe in ‘right wing nuts’.
Politics has at least two sides, Left and wrong.

td

May 15th, 2012
12:34 pm

honested

May 15th, 2012
12:29 pm

What do think Georgia has had to do for the past 5 years? Cut spending and not raise taxes. They went from Revenues of about $23 billion to $17.5 billion within three years and had to cut spending across the board.

20/20

May 15th, 2012
12:36 pm

Becky, 10:24, “Why isn’t Ralph Reed in jail?” Don’t know but my guess it’s the same reason you aren’t. Makes good sense, doesn’t it?

MrLiberty

May 15th, 2012
12:37 pm

Obviously lots of Deal’s friends stand to make a ton of money off the worthless projects. As many have noted, this is the reason why folks are fed up with the two party monopoly that has destroyed our country – there is basically no difference whatsoever between the two of them.

20/20

May 15th, 2012
12:41 pm

Laurie @10:29a – From your remarks it looks as if California, New York or Illinois would be a better fit for your ideals of taxation. At least Georgia HAS TO (by law) balance it books every year. If not so we would be right up there with those “progressive states.”

td

May 15th, 2012
12:42 pm

ByteMe

May 15th, 2012
12:25 pm

“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?”

Revenues will improve as a % of GDP in the country due to more people going back to work and contributing and more corporations selling more products to these new workers and paying taxes on this increased supply of product of services. It has happened in Georgia already. Revenues went from about $23 billion and fell to $17.5 billion during the worst year of the recession. Georgia has not raised any taxes and yet Revenues are now back up to about $20 billion. If this same % rate increase happened all across the nation then you get to the 18% of GDP without raising taxes. When you get a surplus in revenue due to the freeze and actual decrease in spending the government can then start paying off actual debt and not just interest on the debt.

Marlboro Man

May 15th, 2012
12:45 pm

Ralph Reed reminds me of a meely mouth worm. Reckon he is ?

Look before I leap...

May 15th, 2012
12:45 pm

@td

A couple of points for clarification:

It is OpenSecrets.Org (not dot com)
The amount of money raised by “known gays” is about 5% of the total bundled revenues.
That the number of “gay top bundlers” is 16% of the total who raised 500K or more is unclear.
The report lists almost 120 people who bundled $500K or more yet only identifies 5 as gay.

Even if that list ends up totaling 20 people, the dollar amount raised is in line with the estimated gay population of 5%. The only conclusion I could draw from that is that gay people are better at raising money.

Aquagirl

May 15th, 2012
12:50 pm

What do think Georgia has had to do for the past 5 years? Cut spending and not raise taxes.

And we have people driving in the breakdown lane of GA 400.

td, remember when I said “government waste” was not a category? I said that for a reason. Because when you start cutting the budget, one man’s waste is another man’s necessity. You said Mr. Mack’s plan included no COLA’s for Social Security for five years….that doesn’t even fly with the freakin’ Tea Party. Because “taxed enough already” means “I’M taxed enough already, that guy over there isn’t, now GIMME MY COLA AND CUT SOMETHING ELSE. I have no idea what, but as long as it’s not money coming my way, I don’t care. Oh, and let me identify a tiny item that upsets and befuddles me, like shrimp treadmills, and until you cut that don’t touch my multibilliondollar entitlement.”

Once again, “cut 5% from everybody” is not a plan. Until you can identify the cuts and get people to accept them, it’s a tantrum. Tantrums and vague mumbles will not do anything, except make you feel good and stake a fake claim that you know how to solve the problem. You don’t.

Vashtai

May 15th, 2012
12:51 pm

Most intelligent people (who aren’t “religious”) don’t have a problem with same sex marriage. I know many gay couples who have been together for decades, and they should have all the legal protections and rights heterosexual couples already enjoy. I’m always amazed that so-called “religious” groups like Focus on the Family, American Family Association and the National Organization for Marriage spend so much money reviling gay people. God looks down on us in shame at how we have misused His word.

td

May 15th, 2012
12:53 pm

Aquagirl

May 15th, 2012
12:50 pm

“You said Mr. Mack’s plan included no COLA’s for Social Security for five years”

That was not in the article but was my opinion about how they would not even half to look for waste and still make the cuts.

Right-O

May 15th, 2012
12:54 pm

As one who in 31 years+ has driven 90% of the roads in this state, I can categorically say that “Road Scholar” is grossly misinformed and should get out on the rural and less-known roadways of this state. This is not to say they are pristine, totally 100% smooth and newly-paved, rather they are in excellent shape. It goes without saying that “the road less traveled” (to coin a phrase) is not doubt in better condition due less traffic, etc., but it is in excellent shape nonetheless.
Most newcomers and younger people don’t seem to realize that many roads in Georgia were built in areas where the politicians lived – both Democrat and, lately Republican.
I would ask that you drive around in middle and south Georgia, east to west, north to south and see what I’m talking about.
There are, however, some beautiful highways that exist for no other reason than money and political pull; that’s a fact.

honested

May 15th, 2012
12:57 pm

td,

So I guess your answer is that NO states have implemented the mack plan.

Centrist

May 15th, 2012
12:58 pm

findog posted “Why did they put a 10-year sunset on that tax; just like President Bush’s tax cuts they will live forever…”

They are now President Obama’s tax (rate) cuts. They did have an expiration, and Obama and a Democratic Congress extended them (for good reason). They are not revenue cuts – the economy and tax receipts would tank if they were allowed to expire. Listening to campaign rhetoric/promises that are only meant to fire up the base, as opposed to actual actions should be classified as a disease. Same could be said for Governor Deal and his support for the enormous T-SPLOST tax.

honested

May 15th, 2012
1:02 pm

Right-O,

So a conclusion to your accurate synopsis.
Now that we have built roads to nowhere traveled by a tiny fraction of the population, can we re-direct the motor fuel tax to the purpose for which it was intended?

Aquagirl

May 15th, 2012
1:06 pm

That was not in the article but was my opinion about how they would not even half to look for waste and still make the cuts.

Sorry, I only glanced at the article you posted, which was long on “rah-rah” and absolutely devoid of real specifics. I’m still not sure why you posted the link, it seemed more like an attaboy from a Democrat to a Republican and a plea for bipartisan solutions instead of screeching nooooooooo at every turn.

Nevertheless, your idea of cutting by eliminating COLA’s only works in your head. It’s easy to propose solutions that don’t have to be implemented. Kind of like solving our traffic problems with flying cars. Talk is cheap.

The Snark

May 15th, 2012
1:08 pm

@ jconservative: If the “size of government” gets any smaller in this state, we’re gonna look a lot like Somalia.

Centrist

May 15th, 2012
1:09 pm

Tennessee and Florida don’t have state income taxes or SPLOSTS for infrastructure – why?

This has got to frost jgalloway after his blog headline yesterday saying Romney has a gender gap with women (ignoring Obama’s gender gap with men and Romney’s recent lead in polls): the new CBS-New York Times poll shows that the GOP presidential candidate now leads among women, too.

ByteMe

May 15th, 2012
1:11 pm

Revenues will improve as a % of GDP in the country due to more people going back to work and contributing and more corporations selling more products to these new workers and paying taxes on this increased supply of product of services.

Ah, the magic of trickle down… cut government spending, which causes people to get laid off, and somehow magically the economy produces more tax revenues. History is not on your side with that argument.

BTW, we’re in month 36 of the expansion. Expansions lasting 4 years without a contraction are rare. The market is up nearly 100% in that 36 months. Expect a 37-50% retracement of the gain. Want to see revenues fall? That’s coming again and there’s really nothing the government can do to make it better, but there are a lot of things it can do to make it worse.

findog

May 15th, 2012
1:15 pm

Centrist,
Please do try to follow the new rules.
The 2001 Tax Cuts are President Bush’s and were set to end in 10 years (true or false?)
These taxes the state GOP have proposed are for ten years; like the state DNC’s GA-400 toll, will they end – ever? Doubt it!

ByteMe

May 15th, 2012
1:20 pm

Tennessee and Florida don’t have state income taxes or SPLOSTS for infrastructure – why?

Apples to oranges. Atlanta metro population is about the size of all of Tennessee. Florida has tourism galore, a larger population spread over more area, and higher taxes and higher fees on other things to compensate. Florida also has toll roads all over the place.

I recommend we put a toll on all major roads leading into Atlanta. Want to see the infrastructure get paid for? Make all the commuters pay for the privilege of living out in the middle of nowhere while the people who live in the city have to pay for the infrastructure those people use to get to work. No tolls to leave, just a toll to get into the city. Will probably improve traffic as well by creating pacing points (the toll booths).

DannyX

May 15th, 2012
1:23 pm

“the new CBS-New York Times poll shows that the GOP presidential candidate now leads among women, too.”

That poll is so bogus Real Clear politics will not even use it in their averages.

findog

May 15th, 2012
1:24 pm

Centrist,
Florida does not have income taxes; correct, I bet you wait to get south of the border to buy gas on your way to Daytona.
What are the level of their property taxes, sales taxes, and fees?
Their lottery proceeds were to supplement education but instead supplanted the funding.
There is no free lunch and until everyone agrees on that we will never fix our tax and government services problems.
But just remember to vote no on the TSPLOST. If it was really that important then why would the state GOP have taken four years to pass it and wait another year to have it come up for a vote? They were able to get the same sex marriage amendment onto the ballot in only nine months back in 2004.

Centrist

May 15th, 2012
1:28 pm

Bytme posted “Atlanta metro population is about the size of all of Tennessee.”

Really? Big state with 4 major cities: Memphis, Nashville, Chattanooga, and Knoxville. And as you say, Florida has more population and area to cover – meaning even MORE infrastructure.

It is Georgia’s budget priorities which have pushed down infrastructure. Lots of governments do this and when times get tight, instead of reducing government waste/size/less important programs – they layoff police, fire, teachers, skip infrastructure maintenance and blame the taxpayers.

ByteMe

May 15th, 2012
1:36 pm

Really? Big state with 4 major cities: Memphis, Nashville, Chattanooga, and Knoxville

Total population of Tennessee is 6 million, we’re at 5.2 million just in Atlanta region. Only two cities with more than 200,000 people and that’s Memphis and Nashville, with about 600K each, but that doesn’t include the metro areas around them, one of which stretches into another state entirely (Memphis).

Aquagirl

May 15th, 2012
1:37 pm

the new CBS-New York Times poll shows that the GOP presidential candidate now leads among women, too.

You’re late to the party. I already looked that up, Obama went from 49% to 44% among women. Straight from the poll:

“The error due to sampling for results based on the entire sample could be plus or minus four percentage points. The margin of error for the sample of registered voters is four percentage points. The error for subgroups is higher.”

Sorry to destroy your cherished fantasy of Mr. Galloway crying over his keyboard with the reality…. that he can grasp what’s going on better than you can. It’s not some big liberal conspiracy of silence. He’s paid to read the footnotes and do the maths before he starts typing.

ByteMe

May 15th, 2012
1:37 pm

It is Georgia’s budget priorities which have pushed down infrastructure.

Absolutely correct. And that’s why I’m against the current jury-rigged TSPLOST. If it’s important, they should do it right instead of putting a band-aid on it.

td

May 15th, 2012
1:40 pm

ByteMe

May 15th, 2012
1:11 pm

“Ah, the magic of trickle down… cut government spending, which causes people to get laid off, and somehow magically the economy produces more tax revenues. History is not on your side with that argument.”

What I explained is not “trickle down” it is basic economics 101. I did not say anything about taxes at all. I said the natural flow of the economic cycle states that more people work then they need more good and services and both these facts results in higher revenue from taxes being collected. Those are facts and can not really be disputed.

td

May 15th, 2012
1:47 pm

Aquagirl

May 15th, 2012
1:37 pm

Obama is going to win the woman vote just as every other Democrat has done since Kennedy (beside Reagan in his second term). When you have African American woman vote in a 98% block for the Democrat and the rest of the voting blocks voting near 50/50 then there will be always be a gap. I think if you look at recent polling data then you will see that Romney is actually ahead in the polls with White women. This could explain the CBS poll numbers (they may have over represented white women in the poll.

The main point to take out of the poll is it had 4% more Democrats then Republicans polled and Romney had a 3 point lead.

td

May 15th, 2012
1:48 pm

Aquagirl

May 15th, 2012
1:37 pm

BTW: Can you tell us all what the male gender gap is in favor of Romney is?

DannyX

May 15th, 2012
1:49 pm

“Really? Big state with 4 major cities: Memphis, Nashville, Chattanooga, and Knoxville. And as you say, Florida has more population and area to cover – meaning even MORE infrastructure.”

That means absolutely nothing. Georgia siphons off 35% of the gas tax generated in metro-Atlanta and uses the money in different areas of the state. Also, the way Georgia divides its share of federal funds also short changes metro-Atlanta.

Why isn’t the north the north Fulton/Milton crowd crying bloody murder over this the way they do when the county does it to them? Shouldn’t they be screaming for the right to create their own state?

Georgia seems to have a big entitlement to metro-Atlanta gas tax revenue.

Aquagirl

May 15th, 2012
1:54 pm

BTW: Can you tell us all what the male gender gap is in favor of Romney is?

According to that poll, there is currently no male gender gap in favor of Romney.

You really don’t understand “margin of error” do you?

honested

May 15th, 2012
1:59 pm

We’re not even 24 hours into the ‘new rules’ and td has already spouted ‘Those are facts and cannot really be disputed’ already.
‘Drink’

Byte Me
As to toll roads leading into Atlanta, if we are going to continue to avoid building mass transit like the plague, I don’t really see another answer.
If people are so stupid as to move 40, 50, 60 miles away from a place they have to be every day, why on earth do I feel any obligation to share the burden to get them there?
For instance, if the toll on 400 had started at Holcomb Bridge (or even farther north) and been based on mileage, either we would have 16 lanes on 400 now or there would be MARTA to the Forsyth County line.
Instead, we selected a tiny fraction of the daily 400 travelers and imposed a toll them alone. Now they are whining as if it cost them 50 bucks a day.
Get a grip. Move to town, finance real transit or pay sufficient motor fuel tax.
This one isn’t the fault of intown, Liberal Democrats.

td

May 15th, 2012
2:07 pm

honested

May 15th, 2012
1:59 pm

And which rule did I break?

BTW: The solution is more teleworking and getting companies to move away from the high congestion areas to the more rural areas 50, 60 or even 100 miles away from Atlanta.

DannyX

May 15th, 2012
2:10 pm

“The main point to take out of the poll is it had 4% more Democrats then Republicans polled and Romney had a 3 point lead.”

td, so what? You do know there are not an equal amount of Democrats and Republicans don’t you? According to the last poll on political affiliation from Gallup (6-11,) 45% said they were affiliated with the Democrats, 39% Republicans, +6% for the Democrats.

td

May 15th, 2012
2:11 pm

Aquagirl

May 15th, 2012
1:54 pm

So you feel the entire margin of error is in Obama’s favor and that he is really in the lead? Like I said the poll was skewed to favor the Democrats by 4% already so if you recalculate for the skewing then Romney would have a 7 point lead and outside the margin of error.

honested

May 15th, 2012
2:25 pm

td,

Why would anyone in their right mind want to live in this state and be 100 miles from Atlanta?

Aquagirl

May 15th, 2012
2:30 pm

Like I said the poll was skewed to favor the Democrats by 4% already

I would really love to hear where you got that idea, td. Seriously, I need a laugh.

Rabbit

May 15th, 2012
2:32 pm

“Beach tilts to big business and government control EVERY SINGLE TIME.”

This statement seems to imply that it separates the candidate from his oponent who is the treasurer of ALEC, the organization that with stealth and artifice, has infiltrated state legislatures everywhere to tilt laws toward business and corporate interests. Expect an analysis of Beach’s opponent’s supported legislation to make comparisons with ALEC sponsored bills.

DannyX

May 15th, 2012
2:35 pm

“Like I said the poll was skewed to favor the Democrats by 4% already so if you recalculate for the skewing then Romney would have a 7 point lead and outside the margin of error.”

That is not even close to being accurate. That was a call back poll, the reason Real Clear does not acknowledge that poll is because they didn’t get the same response. The second poll had more responses from Republicans than the first poll. It is bogus.

Here are updated party affiliation polls, all within the past 2 months.

CBS- 34% Dem vs30% Rep
Wall St- 30% Dem vs 24% Rep
IPSOS 29% Dem vs 22% Rep
ABC 34% Dem vs 23% Rep
Pew 34% Dem vs 24% Rep

td

May 15th, 2012
2:39 pm

Aquagirl

May 15th, 2012
2:30 pm

You have to read the actual poll and not just the highlights pulled out by the media. Below is link to the actual poll. Go to page 9 to read the demographic breakdown of the poll and see for yourself how it is skewed.

http://www.cbsnews.com/htdocs/pdf/CBSNYTPoll_051412.pdf?tag=contentMain;contentBody

td

May 15th, 2012
2:42 pm

DannyX

May 15th, 2012
2:35 pm

Thank you for making my point. Every poll you listed is skewed. There are higher numbers of Democratic respondents then Republican. To do a fair statistical analysis of the data then you would really need to say that the margin of error should always go in favor of Romney.

Aquagirl

May 15th, 2012
2:47 pm

Go to page 9 to read the demographic breakdown of the poll and see for yourself how it is skewed.

I can read. There is no explanation on that page that would tell me why you think the poll is skewed.

Unless you are under the impression that if a poll has 55 male respondents and 45 female respondents, that would automatically skew the men’s responses upwards by either 5 or 10%.

Is that what you’re trying to say?

td

May 15th, 2012
2:59 pm

Aquagirl

May 15th, 2012
2:47 pm

You may have to delete my comment Jim and I apologize ahead of time.

What in the h3ll do you call the fact that the poll stated that of all the people polled 34% were Democrats and 30% were Republicans? This means the poll is SKEWED 4% in favor of the democratic view point.

Did you take basic statistics 101 in college? My freaking 11 year old daughter could see that this poll favors one side over the other.

DannyX

May 15th, 2012
3:03 pm

“Thank you for making my point.”

You have not come close to proving anything td. Those polling organizations use the same methodology to determine political races, the good ones are always within the margin of error. There are higher numbers of Democrats because there are more Democrats! Duh.