The transportation sales tax as part of a United Nations plot

If you’ve been shopping for a sizable reason to vote against metro Atlanta’s transportation sales tax next month, but have been unable to find one that’s XXL or larger, try this on:

The tax and the people behind it are part of a United Nations plot called Agenda 21.

Laugh if you like. The topic is now center stage in Cobb County, as part of the debate over the penny sales tax, and the contest for chairman of the county commission as well.

Those who aren’t hardcore GOP will need a bit of background. Agenda 21 is also known as the “Rio Declaration on Environment and Development,” and was adopted in 1992 at a conference in Brazil.

In most languages, the report is a vacuous U.N. document that declares the need for a “sustainable” world environment. But to a certain segment of those who speak Republican, it is a secret declaration of war.

At the state GOP convention in Columbus last month, delegates overwhelmingly condemned Agenda 21 as an attempt to “outlaw private property and redistribute wealth.”

At a debate in Paulding County two weeks ago, state Sen. Bill Heath, R-Bremen, criticized Republican challenger Bill Carruth for labeling Agenda 21 a mere “conspiracy theory.”

“It’s not a conspiracy. This is the real McCoy,” said Heath, in dead earnest. “Their vision is to essentially conquer the world through limiting everything we do, incrementally taking our liberties away from us.”

Revolution through rezoning and land-use restrictions, in other words. In these circles, “sustainability” is no longer a friendly word.

Which brings us back to Cobb County and the contest for county commission chairman. Republican incumbent Tim Lee, one of those who helped create the project list for the transportation sales tax, has three challengers.

The most prominent is former commission chairman Bill Byrne, who has taken aim at Lee and the Atlanta Regional Commission, the planning agency that attempts to coordinate growth in the 10-county metro area. The agency also did much of the behind-the-scenes footwork on the transportation sales tax.

In an interview, Byrne all but declared the ARC to be an agent of the United Nations and its plan to erase suburbia.

“The T-SPLOST is an ARC-driven agenda. It is not a Georgia [Department of Transportation] or General Assembly-driven agenda,” said Byrne, a 2002 GOP candidate for governor.

The ARC has designated the U.S. 41/I-75 corridor as a future path for high density, high-rise growth, Byrne pointed out. “That’s Agenda 21 101.”

Another example: As commission chairman, Byrne was an advocate for constructing four-foot wide sidewalks along county roads for use by pedestrians and joggers.

The county is now constructing an eight-foot wide multi-use trail along Dallas Highway in west Cobb. “That’s Agenda 21,” Byrne said. “Bicycles and pedestrian traffic as an alternative form of transportation to the automobile.”

According to the former commission chairman, the architects of the Agenda 21 blueprint in metro Atlanta are Tad Leithead, the current chairman of the ARC and Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, whose city would benefit from increased centralization.

Byrne also singled out Sam Olens, the former Cobb County commission chairman who is now attorney general, as an Agenda 21 activist – for his alleged advocacy of a regional government.

At this point, we lack enough evidence to summon Leithead, Reed or Olens, and demand to know whether they are now, or ever have been, card-carrying participants in a U.N. cabal.

And some conservatives might wonder whether a United Nations famous for its bloated bureaucracy and incompetence can also be the force behind a cunning, 20-year plot aimed at world domination of this nation’s zoning boards.

But strip away talk of the United Nations and what you have is an argument for preserving the sovereignty of metro Atlanta’s many, many local governments. I was the moderator at a Tuesday forum hosted by the Cobb County Republican Women’s club, which featured Lee, Byrne and two other candidates – financial consultant Michael Boyce and retired businessman Tim Savage.

Is regional cooperation and coordination good for Cobb? I asked.

“Regional cooperation is essential, but is not mandatory,” said Byrne. “When you take an approach of regionalism, or regional government, you lose the concept of local control.”

Lee delved into metaphor. “I have a home, which I take care of. It’s my responsibility. But being part of a neighborhood, it’s important to me that my neighborhood thrives as well. It’s my responsibility as a citizen to not only take care of my place first, Cobb County, but it’s also my responsibility to see that the region is succeeding as well.”

And that’s as clear a line in the debate over metro Atlanta’s transportation sales tax that we’re likely to see.

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

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80 comments Add your comment

Armchair Economist

June 20th, 2012
6:21 pm


June 20th, 2012
6:41 pm

The U.N. metaphor being laughed at by liberals is a good example of why this HUGE added tax should not be approved. The existing sales, gasoline, and income taxes should be used for transportation issues – NOT this boondoggled mess.


June 20th, 2012
6:43 pm

Honey were going to need more tin foil….God Help us.
We have seen where the Republicans want to drive this country, and it is ugly.”

OBAMA 2012


June 20th, 2012
7:01 pm

“Centrist” doesn’t sound very centered to me. OBAMA 2012 and a Democratic Governor for after that GA too!


June 20th, 2012
7:12 pm

I agree with Kris. We definitely need more tin foil. These people are nuts!!


June 20th, 2012
7:14 pm

We do not want to suppress your rights because of a world take over. We want to suppress your rights because we do not believe that folks raised by bigots and racists should be allowed to stall the growth of a metro area that is directly competing with Charlotte, NC for regional dominance. It would not surprise me in the least if Charlotte made an Olympic bid over the next decade or so.

Get over it. Your ideas of keeping out minorities and non-Christians from the suburbs is dying….and will be completely dead once you yourselves are dead and gone.


June 20th, 2012
7:21 pm

Jawja sure has a lot of dummies who will swallow any crap thrown out there, as long as the mudslinger is a republican and the target is the UN. What a backward state.


June 20th, 2012
8:02 pm

typical ga politicians – paranoid pandering self serving sheep

Proud Voter

June 20th, 2012
8:06 pm

The people who promote this fallacy are dangerous. They are a subversive group. Google this movement and see for yourself what false accusations and lies they represent. When I first heard of this, I researched it for myself. I was appalled at what I found. How can seemingly educated people be so totally uninformed?

I am voting for t-splost. If there is only $100 out there to spend on improving my region, I am all for it. If you’re standing still, you’re getting behind. Georgia must start moving forward before it completely succumbs to the Tea Party and its fringe nut-cases like this mess.


June 20th, 2012
8:09 pm

heath created the new county – in god we trust


June 20th, 2012
8:27 pm

Riding your bike or walking= THE TERRORISTS WIN.


Auntie Christ

June 20th, 2012
9:16 pm

byrnes is uninformed, everyone knows it is the Roswell aliens and their minions the lizard people who are dictating the agenda for the ARC. How I long for the days of my youth when things were so simple. Back then there were only the ‘commonists’ who were going to enslave us, the ‘commonists’ who were leading the anti-war and civil rights movements, the ‘commonists’ who were secretly infiltrating the government. Now we have to contend with the trilateral commission, the muslims, the illuminati, the group of eight, the new world order folks, and finally today we learn that some guys from the UN called Agenda 21 are going to force us to ride a bicycle and walk on nature trails. Thank Zues Publix has tin foil on sale this week, as Kris said above, I’m gonna need a lot more of it.

Bill from Atlanta

June 20th, 2012
9:20 pm

How much more ignorant can people be wanting to give more taxes to an organization that will waste it or give it to its cronies. Waste, Waste, WASTE!! But people will still want to give more food to the monster and think things will improve. I can only imagine the destruction to the environment, community and historic preservation that will occur when the state gets hold of this transportation tax.
Yeah, you libs keep criticising the Tea Party and people who are justifiably scared of government power. The day may come when the scale falls of your eyes but by then it will probably be too late!!

Senor Coughee

June 20th, 2012
9:27 pm

I’d love to vote for it, however, I don’t trust the politicians and their lackeys that will be running it. Nope. No way. No how. Vote NO.


June 20th, 2012
9:35 pm

Almost, but not quite, makes me want to vote for the tax. Wow, I’m on the side of the tinfoil hat folks.

Auntie Christ

June 20th, 2012
9:48 pm

Bill says: “Yeah, you libs keep criticising the Tea Party and people who are justifiably scared of government power.” We criticize the t baggers because it’s core are people like byrne, who see socialists, athiests, muslims, and other scary people behind every tree. If you think ‘libs’ are lining up to vote for the TSPLOST, aka real estate developers’ and politico cronies’ boondoggle. you are sorely misinformed.


June 20th, 2012
9:56 pm

Republicans are the party of obesity and car exhaust.

The Source

June 20th, 2012
10:03 pm

Why is it that so few people understand that the T=SPLOST idea was created and approved in the state legislature? That being the case, I guess the conspiracy is that those Republican legislators who passed the transportation bill that called for a T-SPLOST and the regional structure to funding transportation are part of the U.N. plot to take over the world.


June 20th, 2012
10:17 pm

@ the source
The Republican legislators weren’t part of the UN conspiracy, but rather the recepients of many 10s of thousands of your tax dollars, courtesy of their favorite road contractor. You can see who they are and what they received, at, if you can navigate the purposely cryptic site.

Kris (with tin foil hat)

June 20th, 2012
10:32 pm

“@ the source
The Republican legislators weren’t part of the UN conspiracy, but rather the recipients of many 10s of thousands of your tax dollars, courtesy of their favorite road contractor.”
IF I might add this whole thing was probably cooked up in a in a smoke filled room ripe with cigars lit with $100 bills and the pungent smell of asphalt. I wonder if Thrasher Contracting and C.W. Matthews were at this alleged meeting of the (for lack of a better word) minds This whole thing smell of sonny do do doings. I believe sonny works for Matthews.
God we need OBAMA 2012

The Snark

June 20th, 2012
10:54 pm

Somewhere in Hell, John Birch is laughing his head off.

Bill from Atlanta

June 20th, 2012
10:55 pm

Auntie you don’t know what your talking about in regards to the “t baggers”. Conservatives are scared when government does things out of bounds, when it becomes big and powerful. I don’t care if socials muslims etc want to practice their beliefs. I just don’t want them to force me to get involved. This country was originally founded on these principles.
The real estate developers, cronies etc. are part of your camp….not mine. When you vote for more government power programs etc, your the one that is enabling them not me :)

BIg Hat

June 20th, 2012
11:00 pm

Planning ahead is for liberals.

Bill from Atlanta

June 20th, 2012
11:04 pm

It is frustrating for us conservatives witnessing leaders in the GOP misbehaving. But in GA many of these republicans are actually transvestite democrats. EX: former Governor Sonny. Hopefully T-SPLOST will not pass.

[...] more: The transportation sales tax as part of a United Nations plot Comments [...]


June 20th, 2012
11:14 pm

The republicans are worried about our freedoms being eliminated? Every piece of legislation that is passed greatly eliminates and destroys our freedom giving all the power to the state (republicans). Since Democrats cannot get support to pass bills, this dictatorship is from the republicans. They intrude in our private lives and want to control every aspect. And they are just crazy.

Will the last Democrat in Georgia please turn off the lights?.....

June 20th, 2012
11:56 pm


June 20th, 2012
7:01 pm

{{“Centrist” doesn’t sound very centered to me. OBAMA 2012 and a Democratic Governor for after that GA too!}}

We already have a Democrat governor in Georgia, his name is Nathan Deal…You know? The guy who is backing a huge sales tax increase on all Georgians and who used to be a card-carrying member of the Democrat Party before he converted to the Republican Party, just like Sonny Perdue, the previous governor.


June 20th, 2012
11:57 pm

Interesting…..Well people it looks as though, we are going to have new element along with the usual suspects. The Crooks and Thieves are preparing to make their move,
shortly after the vote, Now we truly have, CRAZY! :)

Mind you The Republicans and Tea Party supporters have been leading that parade PROUDLY for the past 3 years, it appears to be a symptom of the psychosis.

Will the last Democrat in Georgia please turn off the lights?.....

June 21st, 2012
12:00 am

The Snark

June 20th, 2012
10:54 pm

{{”Somewhere in Hell, John Birch is laughing his head off}}

And Larry McDonald is laughing his a** right along with him, with that debate emanating from traditionally ultraconservative, but fast diversifying Cobb County.


June 21st, 2012
12:03 am

that’s as clear a line in the debate over metro Atlanta’s transportation sales tax that we’re likely to see. – By Jim Galloway

NO Jim, Unfortunately the clearest line will be seen when the first Crook and/or
Thief ’s Acts will be identified with his or her connection with one or more of the Government entities that will receive funds. That will be clearest line of ALL!
Stay Tuned!

Joey Mele

June 21st, 2012
3:06 am

Why all the politicizing? Most of us are flat broke and can’t possibly take on another tax. Let’s start telling the politicians no to tax increases. State and federal politicians have enough of our tax dollars to spend. I had to get creative with my finances. Get a cheaper phone. Slower internet. I don’t eat out as much. Our politicians should do the same. Make them make personnel cuts. Make them cut unnecessary programs. The money is already there to make these improvements.


June 21st, 2012
6:35 am

I don’t know about conspiracies but we can’t tax our self to prosperity, When we went to four cents sales tax it was supposed to build all our roads and keep property taxes down. Same when it went to five, six and then seven. Now they want eight and my property taxes have tripled. Bull Schitz. If I had wanted this I would have voted to re-elect Roy Barnes and Cynthia McKinney.

Road Scholar

June 21st, 2012
7:07 am

Presently, the state sales tax does NOT go to transportation unless the legislature votes to spend general funds, which they have not. The state gas tax is 4 cents and one cent goes to the general fund…the legis has spent that penny on transportation, with a extremely limited amount on transit. The sales tax on gas does go to transportation. Any local option tax goes to the purpose stated in the legislation that was passed to allow the vote to approve it.

As for the conspiracy and the theft of funds, please, please, please provide specific instances of theft. Otherwise, the talk of conspiracy and theft, graft etc. is just someone’s paranoia. Bless their hearts!

Edward Ruffin

June 21st, 2012
7:23 am

People who, in the face of the fact that government is awash with money, vote themselves a tax increase are the kind of people who would believe the UN is for the betterment of American. Neither more taxes or the UN will help our communities, state or country.

Oh My!

June 21st, 2012
7:28 am

@GeorgiaDawg70. You essentially did re elect Roy Barnes and McKinney. All politicians start out with good intentions but greed creeps in when they see and smell a pay day for either them or their boys. The local thieves are no different than the ones that slither around in D.C. The infrastructure is already in place for regional transportation and they know it. What they are fighting over now is who is going to get a cut from the big pie.


June 21st, 2012
7:50 am

Aside frpm Galloway’s sarcasm, I can’t find where he presents any information to debunk the ‘Agenda 21′ theory.

mehlman rings twice

June 21st, 2012
7:57 am

Wrong again. We all know that John Lewis is behind this (sarcasm)!


June 21st, 2012
8:00 am

As a lifelong GA resident, socialist and atheist, I find it odd to be opposing this give-away to developers and pavement contractors.
Of course it is a bit odd that mr. byrne would suddenly be opposed to funding those who have dutifully funded his campaigns and those of his cronies.
What’s up, are they behind in their contributions?


June 21st, 2012
8:01 am

Sometimes, Peace, theories are too stupid to waste your time on.

Yet another reason for the continued decline of this once prosperous state.

B. Thenet

June 21st, 2012
8:01 am

I am impressed that Tim Lee can hold back his laughter when one of the three stooges he is running against opens their mouths.


June 21st, 2012
8:03 am

I guess it would be similar do debunking the ancient ‘flogisten’ (sp) theory in which pre-hillbillies thought that fire occurred because a substance contained ‘flogisten’ and that the fire went out when all of the flogisten was gone.
In short, ‘Agenda 21′ is an invention of those who seek to find an evil empire under every rock, no debunking is necessary as there is no supporting evidence to start with.
Just so much flogisten.

Speed Racer

June 21st, 2012
8:38 am

Forget about the conspircy theories and stuff. It’s pretty simple: Why should we give the politicians another $8bn of our money over the next 10 years…assuming the tax stops after 10 years? If we need $8bn to improve transportation then get that money by cutting $8bn from other places our tax dollars are already being used.


June 21st, 2012
8:40 am

The right wing of the GOP is downright scary. The really frightening thing is, the right wing is now the mainstream of the Republican Party.


June 21st, 2012
8:46 am

Good lord Cobb County, join the rest of us in the 21st century. The car-centric lifestyle is unsustainable and dying. Maybe a toll plaza should be built on all roads that lead from Cobb County to Fulton County since you all don’t want any reasonable transit in your backwoods county.


June 21st, 2012
9:01 am

And this, ladies and gentlemen, is why the rest of the world thinks the south and its people are just hard-core stupid.


June 21st, 2012
9:05 am

“Centrist” doesn’t sound very centered to me. OBAMA 2012 and a Democratic Governor for after that GA too!”

This is even funnier than the GOP crazies in the article. Please, oh please tell us who the democratic nominee for Gov will be? Roy Barnes? Vernon Jones? Jim Martin? Elephant Ears Reed?

Deal will easily be re-elected.

[...] crazy are this right-wing extremist? Metro Atlanta Agenda 21 is pushing its 1 world order by building a 8ft wide bike trail in Dallas. Its going to [...]


June 21st, 2012
9:06 am

“Good lord Cobb County, join the rest of us in the 21st century. The car-centric lifestyle is unsustainable and dying. Maybe a toll plaza should be built on all roads that lead from Cobb County to Fulton County since you all don’t want any reasonable transit in your backwoods county.”

Cobb County is backwards??? If Fulton did not have North Fulton, Fulton would be a joke.


June 21st, 2012
9:09 am

Jim, you actually need a resaon to vote against the sales tax???

(1) Look into the GA400 toll.
(2) Money will go to support the Clayton County Transit System that was cancelled due to lack of interest/ridership to the tune of $100 Million.
(3) You don’t have a problem turning over money to politicans??

Real Athens

June 21st, 2012
9:22 am


I will not vote for T_SPOST because it is a giveaway to campaign supporters and does very little to address the issue at hnd.

However, I remember when North Fulton was woods and pastures. There would be no modern, N. Fulton without the tax dollars of Fulton County — little infrastructure there was paid for with N. Fulton property or sales taxes.

Your history is revisionist at best, a big whopper of a lie at worst.