What Saxby Chambliss didn’t say about TSPLOST

If you want to know how nervous Republicans are about this transportation sales tax, look no further than a headline posted today by Georgia Public Broadcasting.

Which you can’t see anymore.

Here’s the thing. On Friday, reporters caught U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss outside the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta to talk to him about a number of things, including the July 31 vote on the sales tax. Here’s precisely what Chambliss said, via WABE (90.1FM):

”TSPLOST has obviously gotten to be a very controversial issue, but here’s the bigger issue than this TSPLOST vote: We just passed a highway bill two weeks ago. The president signed it last week. In that highway bill, we did not change the funding mechanism on how roads and bridges and infrastructure in this country are built and maintained.

“We don’t have the money in the highway trust fund now to build new roads. We don’t have the money in the highway trust fund to build rail lines that will take some of the pressure off the transportation issues that we have in this country. We’ve got to develop a different way of funding those projects. And until we do that, the mechanism that we have in place is it. It’s the only mechanism.

“So when folks go to the polls to decide whether or not they want to vote for TSPLOST, if they don’t have a better idea of how we’re going to fund the infrastructure and the transportation needs for Georgia, then this is the best route to go right now. Now that’s the general picture. I am looking at it from a Georgian standpoint. This is not a federal issue, this is a Georgia issue.

”I’m a Georgian. I’m going to vote for the TSPLOST in my section of the state, because the projects that are going to be funded by the TSPLOST in southwest Georgia are going to improve the economy of southwest Georgia and going to improve the ability of people in southwest Georgia to attract companies to locate there, to improve the overall ability of individual manufacturers to get their jobs to market.

“That’s what this is all about in my mind, but there is a bigger picture of how, long term, we’re going to fund highway projects.”

Now, perhaps it was the mention of commuter rail, which appears nowhere in the southwest Georgia project list. But the interview by Denis O’Hayer of WABE (90.1FM) was passed to radio colleague Charles Edwards, who wrote the piece picked up by GPB. There, a headline was added declaring that Chambliss had endorsed the TSPLOST. In toto was implied. This morning, Chambliss’ press operation put out the following:

“The Georgia Public Broadcasting story regarding my stance on TSPLOST contained an erroneous headline that has since been corrected.

“I have consistently stated that I support the T-SPLOST approach, which lets the people of Georgia decide if the proposal is in the best interest of their community and region based on the estimated cost and project list.

“I personally plan to vote in favor of the TSPLOST in my hometown of Moultrie because I believe it will create jobs for southwest Georgia and make a very rural part of the state more attractive for economic development.

“I think Georgians should make up their own minds and vote their conscience on the T-SPLOST referendum on July 31, based on the facts for their region. That is why I have not and will not endorse T-SPLOST.”

Metro Atlanta, you’re on your own.

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

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109 comments Add your comment

Centrist

July 14th, 2012
10:03 pm

Chambliss – There is a better way to fund transportation. It is the existing income, property, sales, ad valorum (being replaced by a registration) and motor fuel taxes. Government cannot keep adding taxes forever. Priorities is a word unknown to politicians only who wish to buy votes. Maybe turning down this added tax and other Taxed Enough Already (TEA) revolts will get to enough Senators as it has for House members.

His daughter?

July 14th, 2012
10:11 pm

If Sax runs again, he will be knocked off in the primary. Weak, weak, weak.

Just Nasty & Mean

July 14th, 2012
10:14 pm

Flip Flop Saxby. Just like John Kerry…..”I voted for it before you voted against it”

All you D.C. politicians are the same. You make me sick.

MrLiberty

July 14th, 2012
10:20 pm

Saxby is a liberal, big government criminal. Of course he supports more government spending on failure. He has built his entire career selling out the citizens he represents to line the pockets of his friends and his campaign donors.

Mr. KnowitAll

July 14th, 2012
10:21 pm

Saxby is a back-bencher in the Senate, and he carries little weight, anyway. In the Senate–he’s an empty suit.

Old Goober

July 14th, 2012
10:30 pm

I’m sure old Saxby was at the CDC to do a little bullying, just as he did when he forced the agency to stop work on a document that pointed out the dangerous interaction of atrazine, a popular herbicide used by big farmers, with other chemicals in the ground. You can bet he wasn’t there to demonstrate his love for the agency. The real story lies in his reason for being at CDC, not his stance on Tsplost. Consumers have no idea of how thoroughly Saxby is shafting them.

taco

July 14th, 2012
10:37 pm

The biggest cost you can attribute to Saxby is the upkeep of millions of illegal aliens as a result of his blocking immigration enforcement in his cronies’ onion patches. That was the catalyst for the entire invasion and he should always be given that credit.

Cliff

July 14th, 2012
10:38 pm

The senator does have a point about the life span of the current system of funding. The Highway Trust fund receives its money from motor fuel taxes. The assumption back in the 1950’s was that the link between miles driven and fuel consumed was basically linear. More miles driven implied more roads to be built and implied more receipts from taxes to build them. As vehicles became more fuel efficient, and now some not even requiring gasoline at all, the receipts from the taxes have diminished even though the miles driven has increased. The trend in the past decade or so to move back into cities from the suburbs have reduced the number of people relying on highways (except here in the South of course).

Perhaps we should do away with “highway” funding and treat items as “transportation” funding that can be used to build what would work best in each region and locale. Sure, some places need highways. Other places need public transit. The funding should have the flexibility to go where it is needed. Funding flexibility would also seem to imply that the taxes that supply that funding need come from more than just one source. Gas taxes can’t fund everything, especially if the number of gallons consumed per capita decreases.

I would also add that I am generally in favor of investments of public money in transportation infrastructure. When wisely built, an efficient system can increase economic activity, which improves the quality of life for almost everyone. (Except, I guess, for the people whose houses are bulldozed to build the roads, railways, etc.)

Just Nasty & Mean

July 14th, 2012
10:39 pm

Anybody that knows the pork-filled, bloated, sack of dung the Farm Bill Saxby shafted through the Senate knows he is not a conservative, constitutionalist nor Republican.

He is a big government, good-old-boy, cloak room government hack for his big farm campaign contributors. He’s part of the D.C inside club.

…past time for him to get “primaried”.

Church of the painful Truth

July 14th, 2012
10:45 pm

The last 30 years in southwest Georgia has shown no growth. Saxby should be holding his head down in shame for what he has not done for his area.Pull a salary and act like a big shot in D.C. and Moultrie.He needs to be replaced because he has been in Washington to long!

double

July 15th, 2012
12:51 am

TD ad valorem

?DOT

July 15th, 2012
1:55 am

The problem isnt so much the additional 1% sales tax; it’s the department that will administer it. As long as the DOT is involved, you can be sure that graft, waste, and corruption will follow. Need we be reminded of the outstanding projects DOT can point to now? 85 to 400 North, 316 to 85 parking lot, HOT lanes, … Are they not the agency that is also broke?

jwc

July 15th, 2012
5:10 am

Yet another tax. Yet more money sloshing around promising the payers of that tax meaningful benefit, meanwhile all kinds of people on the public teat line up for retirements, medical benefits, and just plain theft of public funds. It’s not your father’s America. You still pay taxes on fuels, on property, on sales, on income, on licensing, and every kind of tax devised by man forever in place, yet somehow, there’s no money? That’s because the “money” is sucked out of the taxpayer and funneled to folks like Saxby Chambliss along with an army of people pretending to be on the side of the “people”. The “people” have had enough. The “people” are taxed enough. The holes in the tax collection bucket have to be patched otherwise come next time we’ll be hearing the same old song. Not enough money for (whatever public service is most politically charged.) Seems there’s plenty of money for public worker retirements, for war, for assisting foreign countries, for Public Servants to fly around in airplanes, do fact finding missions in exotic places, to get themselves well fed. This is NOT a Georgia problem. It’s a national disgrace. No to this and any other new tax until the old revenues are accounted and properly deployed. Otherwise, we’ll be hearing this song again soon.

Attack Dog

July 15th, 2012
5:20 am

1. Clarence is not a liberal, he has always been southern conservative aka, a Dixiecrat. 2. As a Dixiecrat, he is a big government criminal who voted 100% for Bush’s tax, borrow and spend policies, and an empty suit while 100% for McConnell’s incoherent obstructionist policies. 3. 3. As a result of being in lock-step, he can’t be accused of being a one-time flip-flop like John Kerry or an continuous flip etch a sketch like Willard Romney. 4. Remember that the name calling monikers were all first introduced by Dixiecrats.

Attack Dog

July 15th, 2012
5:33 am

Darn, I didn’t drink my coffee at 5:20. 1. For Fulton and Dekalb residents, it is about the 1% tax. 2. Fulton & Dekalb have been paying for 41-years, while Dixiecrats (especially in Cobb and Gwinnett) have sat on their butts railing against new taxes, rapid transit, and federal spending for real public good. 3. To paraphrase Rhett Butler, “frankly my dear (we) don’t give a darn. So Dixiecrats, get ready to sit on your butts in traffic for a long time.

Buckhead Boy

July 15th, 2012
6:14 am

I agree, jwc, its not my father’s America. Taxes were considerably higher then, a commitment to the commonwealth valued, and education, science, etc. respected and promoted. Prosperity then expanded. Now, the “we generation” has been replaced by the “me generation”, and prosperity has contracted. No, this is not my father’s America.

Ga Values .................. VOTE NO FOR WASTE, GRAFT & CORRUPTION

July 15th, 2012
6:37 am

Surprise, surpprise, Saxby has sold out to the LOBBYIST…well it surely wasn’t the 1st time. I stupidly voted for Saxby 1st time but never again.

Les

July 15th, 2012
6:41 am

Stop sending BILLIONS overseas!

LeaveItToBeaver

July 15th, 2012
7:14 am

Gee Wally, Saxby suggests that we decide for ourselves how we vote on T-SPLOST and commenters call him “weak, flip-flop Saxby , a government criminal, a back-bencher” etc. Feedback about T-SPLOST is lost in a sea of unrelated criticism and name-calling with little or no explanation of the commenter’s view. Stop b!tching! If you don’t like something, take action and do something about it besides flapping your lips into the wind. Just my opinion (not claiming my opinion is “better” than yours)

Edmund Ruffin

July 15th, 2012
7:21 am

Centrist has it right………Taxed Enough Already!

Don Abernethy

July 15th, 2012
7:43 am

Another reason I will not vote for Sax next election.

bulldog

July 15th, 2012
8:03 am

Saxby needs to be working on an onion farm with all the illigals he loves, has half his family on his or the gov. payroll,, By By to him next election

jd

July 15th, 2012
8:03 am

It seems to me what we have here is a failure in leadership. We have a republic that requires visionary leadership to move us fwd. Yet no one is leading.

Left to our own devices, we will find that no one wants to locate in georgia and those who are able, will move from georgai. If T-Splost fails –you will see the companies who moved here in the 90’s — move from here in the 10’s

Whirled Peas

July 15th, 2012
8:09 am

“We don’t have the money in the highway trust fund now to build new roads.”

Why the hell not? Every time we fill up, we put money into that trust fund. Where did it go? There seems to be no accountability anywhere in the Federal gov’t, to say nothing about the State and County. For that reason alone I do not want to put more money in the hands of the government.

Just say NO to waste and abuse. Just say NO to T-SPLOST.

Whirled Peas

July 15th, 2012
8:11 am

I am so old I remember when Republicans were small government conservatives. Now a days it seems they like big spending just as much as the Democrats. They just want a turn with their snouts at the trough.

Georgia is indeed a conservative state. How the hell did we get two goober eating liberals like Chanbliss and Isackson as Senators?

Bill from Atlanta

July 15th, 2012
8:53 am

Sax and the others supporting this are a bunch of crooks and conmen and you little people that are going to vote for this are a bunch of fools.

Road Scholar

July 15th, 2012
9:09 am

Whirled Peas: Why? Because cars are more efficient. Electric cars and hybrids do not pay their share of gas tax. The state gas tax has not been raised and adjusted for inflation for almost 30 years. (raise the gas tax and you would how just as loud). The Fed tax has not been raised for 20 years. Why… because we are tax too much already? If you have a need, you have to pay for it. Oh and what item has not gone up in cost? It is called inflation; have you heard of this before?

This plan was brought to you by YOUR REPUB PARTY!!!! There is only one! Sonny squashed the OP 30 days before the EIS was to be approved on the Northern Arc. The parties that led the charge against it stated they didn’t want it, and in two years, then said they wanted it due to congestion in their area, only a few miles north of where it was planned. Now some, even the narrow minded Phil Kent, says it needs to be built…choke on it. Don’t you think the corridor identified in the past is full of development? Two miles north…doesn’t sound like much of a move? Their is development there also. So who do you inconvenience now If you were to try to set an alignment?

They contend that special interests are at fault. They said the SI and crooked legislators/GDOT are the reason for the distrust on this proposal. How are the SI/ elected/GDOT not going to get rich on the Northern Arc? What BS! Their is a citizens oversight committee to be set up to oversee the expenditure.The politicians were elected by YOU. So does that mean they (and your ability to vote for good candidates) should be removed? How many of you have volunteered for the citizen’s committee to serve to ensure the prudent expenditure of taxpayer funds?

The Board members at GDOT are elected by the legislators in your Cong Districts. If GDOT employees are crooked fire them and take them to court. Have they done this? Have you done this? Made charges (beyond the whining)? What SPECIFICALLY have they stolen? You elected the legislators. Are you going to vote against EVERY repub in office?

Put up or shut up!

Neutral

July 15th, 2012
9:16 am

Enter your comments here

A Conservative Voice

July 15th, 2012
9:21 am

Well, I’ve been against TSPLOST all along, and now with Saxby Chambliss voting for passage, I am agin’ it even more than I was. Saxby talks a lot, but never says anything…..surely there’s a better conservative alternative to the weakest senator Georgia’s had in years and years. Folks, come July 31st, 2012, please vote NONONONONONONONONONONO to TSPLOST.

Buck

July 15th, 2012
9:31 am

I am a Conservative, and I am fed up with Saxby’s Liberal leanings. He has lost my vote for good.
No to TSPLOST. This is a TAX increase supported by Georgia’s Republican Party Leaders, we need to clean house next election. Conservatives do not endorse Tax increases, they cut waste and find a way to get things done. Georgia’s bad economy is a function of Housing correction, it will get better. Let Capitalism work.

td

July 15th, 2012
9:43 am

Romney’s tax returns are only a huge issue in your leftest community. Now let us look at tax returns actually released (Note: I am not counting returns released while the person was President)

Romney: 2010 and 2011
Obama: 2000-2007
McCain: 2006 and 2007
Palin: 2006 and 2007
GWB: 2000
Dick Chaney: 2000
Bill Clinton: 0
GHWB: 0
Ronald Reagan: 0
Jimmy Carter: 0
Nixon: 0

http://www.taxhistory.org/www/website.nsf/Web/PresidentialTaxReturns/

Sun King

July 15th, 2012
9:46 am

How about Ga 400 Saxby? All talk, no substance.

sim namore

July 15th, 2012
9:47 am

“Georgia is indeed a conservative state. How the hell did we get two goober eating liberals like Chanbliss and Isackson as Senators?” These two clowns are liberals? Odd that. Not one of them has ever voted for anything other than the Republican line. Ever. You, sir, are an imbecile.

Jay

July 15th, 2012
9:50 am

It’s irresponsible for our us not to pass T-SPLOST. There’s a lot about it I dislike – mostly the officials who will handle it. BUT it will also means jobs for the metro area. We need T-SPLOST! Saxby Chambliss, no. He’s a warmonger, and he will be defeated if he runs again. BTW, we can also vote for stronger ethics provisions. These should prevent David Ralstons, and many others, from doing the “right thing” by declaring that he accepted a $17,000 trip to Germany – but doing it in spite of ethical violations.

Attack Dog

July 15th, 2012
10:13 am

1. Dixiecrats can’t handle the truth, Clarence and Johnny’s voting records confirm that they conservatives. 2. I am happy to hear Dixiecrats say that they are taxed enough already. Especially when I read, “Toll roads might be only project with clear road ahead.” 3. Let free enterprise handle it…Pay Baby Pay. 4. T-SPLOST will create jobs? Every Dixiecrat knows that government can’t create jobs. 5. Willard’s tax returns are not the issue, but what is in them are. How many jobs has he created with his personal capital gain tax cuts, especially since (depending on what day it is) he hasn’t worked since 1999 or 2002. 6. Please know that playing in the corrupt markets and actually working to create jobs are two different things.

taco

July 15th, 2012
10:15 am

@ sim namore

Who’s the imbecile? Saxby voted for the Farm Bill and the Ted Kennedy McCain Amnesty, not to mention his anti-enforcement activities that lead to the invasion.

The Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (Pub.L. 110-234, H.R. 2419, 122 Stat. 923, enacted May 22, 2008, also known as the 2008 U.S. Farm Bill) was a $288 billion, five-year agricultural policy bill that was passed into law by the United States Congress on June 18, 2008. The bill was a continuation of the 2002 Farm Bill. It continues the United States’ long history of agricultural subsidy as well as pursuing areas such as energy, conservation, nutrition, and rural development. Some specific initiatives in the bill include increases in Food Stamp benefits, increased support for the production of cellulosic ethanol, and money for the research of pests, diseases and other agricultural problems.

Secure America and Orderly Immigration Act (”McCain-Kennedy Bill,” S. 1033) was an immigration reform bill introduced in the United States Senate on May 12, 2005 by Senators John McCain and Ted Kennedy. It was the first of its kind since the early 2000s in incorporating legalization, guest worker programs, and border enforcement components.

There was also this – the act that ended immigration enforcement:

AS they fanned into the Vidalia onion fields of Georgia, the 45 federal agents were doing exactly what they thought they were supposed to do. It was 1998, and they had just arrested 21 illegal immigrant farm workers and were about to round up hundreds more. But the raid met with a stinging rebuke from what might have seemed a surprising source: two powerful Republicans from Georgia’s Congressional delegation.

Saxby Chambliss, then a representative and now a senator, accused immigration officials of using “bullying tactics,” while Senator Paul Coverdell denounced “a moonshine raid” against “honest farmers who are simply trying to get their products from the field to the marketplace.” The Immigration and Naturalization Service backed down, granting temporary amnesty to illegal onion pickers in 19 Georgia counties.

td

July 15th, 2012
10:40 am

Attack Dog

July 15th, 2012
10:13 am

How about if we take the money we would have spent to expand Medicaid under Obamacare and spend it on more roads? Sounds like a good plan to me.

Centrist

July 15th, 2012
10:40 am

Ouch, Obama administration forced to agree that ILLEGALS can be screened from voting in Florida:

WASHINGTON (AP) – In a victory for Republicans, the federal government has agreed to let Florida use a law enforcement database to challenge people’s right to vote if they are suspected of not being U.S. citizens.

The agreement, made in a letter to Florida Gov. Rick Scott’s administration that was obtained by The Associated Press, grants the state access to a list of resident noncitizens maintained by the Homeland Security Department. The Obama administration had denied Florida’s request for months but relented after a judge ruled in the state’s favor in a related voter-purge matter.

td

July 15th, 2012
10:43 am

taco

July 15th, 2012
10:15 am

They both were wrong then but they have “evolved” into the correct thinking now. If Obama can “evolve” then why can not Saxby?

td

July 15th, 2012
10:44 am

Centrist

July 15th, 2012
10:40 am

Wonder why the Lame stream Media forgot to cover this story?

Vashtai

July 15th, 2012
10:48 am

We would have been rid of Saxby in 2008 if only the black people who elected President Obama had gone back and voted for Jim Martin in the runoff. At least Saxby had to spend lots of money to keep the office.

Baron Dekalb

July 15th, 2012
10:49 am

What “Invasion” are you talking about here? As far as I know the numbers of illegals coming into the country has dropped precipitously since the economy took a nosedive. Chambliss and others supported the rights of GA farmers to hire illegals not because they are “liberals” but because they are willing to step out of the simplistic Republican “us vs. them” mentality for pragmatic, pro-business reasons. But please, don’t relent in your attacks on moderate Republicans… hopefully you’ll eventually end up with a candidate so far to the right of the mainstream that we can get some Democrats back in office here. I would prefer liberal Democrats but will take the Sam Nunn kind if that’s what it takes to get this state back on the right track.

Baron Dekalb

July 15th, 2012
10:51 am

so the Associated Press is not part of the “Lame Steam Media?”

td

July 15th, 2012
10:54 am

Baron Dekalb

July 15th, 2012
10:51 am

so the Associated Press is not part of the “Lame Steam Media?”

No they are not. The dumb masses do not read the AP unless the lame stream media chooses to run with one of their many, many stories.

DannyX

July 15th, 2012
11:02 am

so the NY Times is not part of the “Lame Steam Media? Front page on their website.

You see how foolish your brain dead liberal media whine is.

taco

July 15th, 2012
11:04 am

Baron Dekalb
July 15th, 2012
10:49 am

“…they are willing to step out of the simplistic Republican “us vs. them” mentality for pragmatic, pro-business reasons”

The interpretation of “pragmatic, pro-business reasons” – A Cheap, Illegal(under duress) Labor Supply, subsidized by taxpayers.

As for as the millions here – you are still giving them free medical care, including lots of deliveries, food stamps, schooling, and lots of jail space. Why would they leave?

Bill

July 15th, 2012
11:05 am

Wait a minute! Saxby is in favor of TSPLOST in his area because it will improve the economy? I thought the republican line was that government spending (stimulus) would not help the economy. What gives?

td

July 15th, 2012
11:05 am

DannyX

July 15th, 2012
11:02 am

Have not looked at the NY times this morning. I stand corrected, 1 Lame stream media outlet covered the story.

Centrist

July 15th, 2012
11:08 am

So do other red/purple states with Republican leadership like Georgia start screening out ILLEGAL voters? Obviously, blue states want them to continue voting for Democrats who offer freebies on taxpayer backs.

Will the dead vote be screened out next in red states? For unknown reasons, the dead vote almost exclusively for Democrats. Liberals reject the fact that their ends justify the means mentality and lack of ethics is the reason they object to voter ID, and voter registration scrutiny.

DannyX

July 15th, 2012
11:13 am

“so the Huffington Post is not part of the “Lame Steam Media? Front page on their website.

Why can’t you just admit to making things up again td. Do you want more???