Skip to comments.Perdue Proposes $1 Billion Spending Increase (Republican spending spree)
Posted on 01/13/2005 3:38:25 AM PST by from occupied ga
ATLANTA (AP) For the first time in two years, Gov. Sonny Perdue laid out good news to a Georgia Legislature weary of budget cuts, outlining a proposed $1 billion budget increase for next year that will put bulldozers to work on school, road and port construction projects across the state.
But even as he outlined his proposed $17.4 billion spending package to a joint legislative session Wednesday night, he cautioned that the ``New Georgia'' he envisions as the first Republican governor since 1870 is one of making government an instrument to help people do more for themselves not to do it for them.
Apparently responding to criticism that he has been an unambitious governor, Perdue insisted in a combined State of the State and budget address that the path to greatness for a state is not one of increasing the size of government or adding new programs.
``We don't want a busybody government a boss that butts into our lives every chance it gets to tell us how to work, how to play, where to live and on and on,'' he said. ``And we don't want to perpetuate an entitlement mentality that causes people to expect more and more from the government and less and less of themselves.''
``The starring role belongs to We The People the citizens of Georgia who are the true strength of our state,'' he said.
It was the first time since his election in 2002 that he was speaking to a fully appreciative crowd. Both chambers now are under Republican control. For the first two years of his term, Democrats held the house.
His allies rewarded him with two dozen rounds of applause, often rising to their feet.
They also punished his enemies. Democratic Lt. Gov. Mark Taylor, who by custom presides over joint sessions of the Legislature, was not allowed to wield the gavel. Taylor hopes to challenge Perdue for re-election in 2006.
The new House leaders told Taylor in a letter just hours before the event that they would handle those chores, themselves. Joint sessions always are held in the larger House chambers.
Taylor, delivering the response afterward for Democrats, attacked Perdue for ``a lack of vision, a lack of priorities, a lack of leadership'' in presiding over two years of steep cuts to education and health care, and said Perdue should have focused on the strained state of Georgia families rather than the state of the state.
But House Speaker Glenn Richardson, R-Hiram, said of the address, ``I thought it was great. This was a speech from the heart.''
Some of the budget initiatives Perdue announced in the speech were old news the 2 percent pay raise for teachers, state employees and university system personnel; full formula funding for K-12 schools and the university system; and the hiring of 500 new state child care workers and more driver's license examiners. He already had made those announcements at previous events.
Teachers previously had said they were unhappy with the size of the raise, and the speech did not change their minds.
Merchuria Chase Williams, president of the Georgia Association of Educators, said, ``Clearly, it's not enough,'' and added that with the 13 percent increase Perdue proposes for their health care premiums, they will lose further ground.
Despite earlier concerns that health programs like Medicaid and PeachCare for Kids would take heavy hits, they won't. Perdue said no one currently eligible for those programs will lose their eligibility, although some services will be scaled back and some payments to medical providers will be reduced.
That fear resulted from Perdue's announcement to state agency heads last year that they must show him where their budgets could be cut more. In the previous two years, state agencies absorbed cuts of more than $1 billion.
A rebounding economy enabled him to spare most agencies from the ax. One that wasn't: the Secretary of State's office, headed by Democrat Cathy Cox who also plans to challenge Perdue for the governor's office in 2006.
Part of the new money in the budget will pay first-year principal-and-interest costs on an additional $1 billion in new debt, about the same as Perdue proposed last year. About $400 million of the money will finance the governor's ``Fast Forward'' program to relieve traffic congestion in the metro Atlanta area and build or improve rural roads.
Other construction will occur at public schools, colleges and universities and technical schools.
In policy areas, Perdue said he will push a new initiative to put ``booster rockets on small business growth in Georgia'' by offering a new tax exemption for small businesses. In addition, he said he hopes to eliminate many burdensome government regulations.
``Survival is tough enough without the government coming along to poke a stick in your eye with costly, poorly considered and, can I say dumb regulations.''
Perdue also said he will propose a tourism growth initiative and one targeting strategic industries by offering a $500-per-job tax credit for Georgia companies that expand.
The government's safety net is important, he said, but should be augmented by members of the faith community. Perdue said he will again propose legislation allowing government to spend money for services provided by churches and other faith groups.
Perdue also plugged again for passage of his ethics bill, stalled for two years by Democrats when they ran the House.
``I fully expect a strong ethics bill to reach my desk by the end of the session,'' he warned. ``The people of Georgia want it and I think it's time we got it done.''
HEY PERDUE! Instead of spending increases HOW ABOUT LOWERING TAXES. LET THE PEOPLE WHO EARNED THE MONEY KEEP IT FOR A CHANGE.
But of course this is not the Republican/Democrat way - plunder from those who work and give it to the state bureaucrats to squander on their idiotic social engineering and buying votes from teachers unions, the illegal immigrants, and the indolent.
Its in the nature of politicians to spend. What else did you think they'd do when they got elected - vote themselves out of a job? That's not in human nature.
It's the nature of tapeworms to parasitize too, but that doesn't mean that they shouldn't be controlled.
Well, I voted for him once- to try to get rid of Barnes, the Human Wurlitzer ( pay to play... )-- but I surely will not do it again.
I'm thinking Boortz will be all over this today. I'll have to listen.
I listen to Boortz in the truck while running household errands- he's usually good at informing people on the stories the Jackal Pack Media doesn't like to discuss.
I'll try to catch him today.
We need road work...Barnes kissed up to the environmental crowd-traffic is awful. Also, you planning on voting for a Democrat instead of Perdue? That would be your choice.
I'm waiting to see how this budget shakes out before I pass judgement, but after two years of budget cuts, the political reality is that he will have to raise spending this year. Revenue projections are up, and he can't justify the cuts on that basis. Overall, I think he has done a good job with what he's had to work with.
That depends- I've voted for conservative Dems before, but I doubt there are any left. I can always leave a blank spot.
Perdue sounds as 'lost' as his last name implies.
Same thing as voting for the Democrat-but it's a free country.
All of you who think that this is big goverment are delusional and should go back to your bunkers in the desert. One billion dollars spent on infrastructure is hardly pork.....this is a nesc. part of government, especially state government. Roads must be built and maintained, ports, and schools as well. You guys need a life!
A billion here and a billion there and, pretty soon, you're talking real money.
Nonsense. Spending increases are not a law of nature or anything like that. Government doesn't have to increase spending. It just does it because it can get away with it. We need more people like Bobby Franklin in the GA legislature.
Barnes was worse, but not much worse
Has Bobby Franklin managed to get himself elected Governor, yet?
A spending increase, in itself, is not necessarily a bad thing. Prices rise, the population is growing, the economy is also growing, and the state has to grow and modernize as it happens. The important thing is that, when we spend money, we do so wisely and in such a way that the people of Georgia are better served by the government.
Perdue said yesterday, "If we didn't have a monopoly on this business, we would be out of business". The state has been left in bad shape by the one party system that we Georgians have left in place too long. That is OUR fault, we have no one to blame but ourselves. Neither Perdue, nor any other Republican governor could fix that in two years. State government has to be changed, upgraded, and modernized. That takes money.
It is o.k. to offer constructive criticism, and even to offer better suggestions. Perdue has made it clear since day one that he is open to that. It is stupid, however, to attack our own when the Dems are quite willing to do that for us. I would rather have Perdue in Atlanta restructuring and improving our government than to have Mark Taylor or Cathy Cox up there reverting the state back to the old days of good old boy politics where that same money, and probably even more, would be spent to ensure that the Democrats stay in power and their friends stay wealthy.
If Georgia Republicans don't stick together and prove to the citizens of Georgia that we can govern better than the Democrats (which should be a no-brainer), we will be one-hit wonders who will have to live with gloating Democrats back in charge in Atlanta. You can be sure that, if they do get the majority back, they will take steps to make sure they are safely entrenched so they stay in power.
You will have a choice of Governors in two years. Sonny Perdue or Mark Taylor. Which one do you want?
Sad but true. Only the two flavors of the party of big government and its official propaganda arm the lamestream media. The only hope I see is the internet which I hope can bring enough truth and enlightenement to rekindle conservatism rather than the statist brainwashing from government sponsored lies and distortions from the old media.
Unfortunately even this site is polluted by statist worship (look at the sychophantic adulation of King George II on the day in the life of GWB thread).
They always whine about 'shortfalls', 'deficits' and 'underfunded' programs.
BUT... What they don't say is how they actually STILL have plenty of your money while screaming for more.
This is a great site by a retired Air Force Lieutenant Colonel and former Auditor & Federal Accountant, explaining just HOW government plays shell games with OUR money!
According to him, in 2002 Georgia had $18.76 Billion in surpluses of the taxpayers money....and it's still there!