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.''
He wasn't running for governor, but if we had more people like him in the legislature, there would be a lot more "NO" votes on budgets like this. Personally I think he'd make a fine governor, but his chances of getting elected are about a trillion to one and he has no intention or desire to run.
A spending increase, in itself, is not necessarily a bad thing.
A government spending increase is a bad thing. You don't look at the fact that the taxpayers have to pay for it with money that they could have actually spent on things that they needed and wanted.
Prices rise, the population is growing, the economy is also growing, and the state has to grow and modernize as it happens.
Why does the state have to keep up? What constitutional function needs to be increased? Hint - none
State government has to be changed, upgraded, and modernized.
Again why and what needs to be "modernized" Biometric drivers' licenses? An abomination equivalent to the camp number on the arm of a concentration camp inmate. Health care? Why should I pay for someone else's health care? Health care is a commodity. If I'm obligated to pay for some one else's kids' health care why not take money that I could spend on my family and force me to pay for their entire maintenance? Is this the conservative way - Hell no, but it's the republican was and the democrat way.
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 carry on as though there was a substantive difference between the two. I should remind you that until a couple of years ago good ol' Sonny was a Democrat. He just changed his label and party affiliation, not his nature.
You have hit the nail on the head.
Democrats always put forth this argument in order to get the elected Republicans to spend the tax payer's money like the proverbial drunken sailor. Then when the next election rolls around, the Democrats will retake the election, as conservatives will have fled the party in disgust. The Democrats may be liars and thieves, but they are dead on in knowing what it takes to roll a Republican.
You got that right. Look at King George I's giant tax increase ("read my lips" down in flames) and what happened to him.
That was probably the prime example of a Republican being rolled. The lying, thieving Democrats told Bush that if he'd raise taxes, they'd balance the budget - once and for all.
Being naive, Bush believed them, and the anger against him brought on the misery we had to endure from the Bill and Hillary Clinton presidency.
Works for me
Drive west and you will find Alabama. A little further, and you will find Mississippi.
Are you implying that there is something wrong with Mississippi or Alabama?
Whee fun coming up
Do you like standing in line for two hours to get your biometric driver's license?
I don't believe that there should be biometric drivers' licenses at all.
How about electronic voting machines?
The old ones worked just fine. The new electronic voting machines are just a way to transfer taxpayer dollars into corporate pockets - corporate welfare
If we are going to help pay for people's health care, which both of us know that we will, shouldn't we do it as efficiently as possible.
Wrong question. We SHOULD NOT be paying for health care other than our own. Why not pay for televisions for the indolent also. No difference.
By spending money to upgrade facilities, equipment, and so forth, we can save money in the long run. THAT is the conservative way (but maybe not the Libertarian way).
Its the moderate way, or maybe the liberal way, although liberals would want to spend even more. The conservative way would be to shrink the scope of government, and the libertarian way would be to throw 95% of it out.
You're right, I do believe there's a difference.
In form only, not in substance. They both believe in government spending fueled by taxation. It's just a matter of degree not fundamental difference.
That's what I thought.
That's one way of evading the question.
The old ones were antiques, and no longer in production. They were going to have to be replaced anyway because you can't get parts for them.
Evaded that question, as well.
You are right that shrinking the scope of government is a goal of conservative politics, but it won't get done the first two years we're in power. The first thing that has to happen is to get the mess we have in working order, and only then can we effectively begin paring it down.
It's a matter of perception. I see vast differences between the two, but I also see the realities of staying in office long enough to make the changes that we want to make. If I were state dictator for life, I would just make decrees. Perdue has to get support for ideas, and needs to be re-elected. People who expect the impossible will be sadly disappointed. The State of Georgia didn't get in this mess overnight, and it won't get fixed that fast either.
If you hate it so much, why don't you leave? Both this forum and the U.S.
ummm, HELLO!!! Teachers work too (some of us might even work harder than you do), and we also pay state taxes.
If you'll read carefully, he's proposed increasing our pay by 2% and our health insurance premiums by 13%.
They've also taken the caps off class sizes, so now I can have 30 or so science students in a room built for about 24. It's not the numbers I mind so much as not having room to turn around, and it's hard to keep an eye on everyone during lab.
Zell was the last teacher-friendly governor we've had, but Zell knew what being a teacher was like.
Another nitwit heard from. If you love statism so much why don't you spend all of your time on DU
Umm hello yourself. People at the ATF work too (at least as far as they know), but who cares? What they do isn't something that anyone would pay them for if it weren't for government regulations and the ability of government to plunder taxpayers and spend the money on things that bureaucrats want. If it weren't for tax fueled manditory education that takes from the workers and gives to the bureaucrats you might NOT have a job (unless you worked for a private school.)
You have to consider government jobs in the light if it weren't for government regulations would the jobs even exist in the free market? And the answer for teachers is complex. Yes surely there would be a demand, but it wouldn't be the same since the parents of many might not chose to ejjicate their chillin if they actually had to pay for it.
(some of us might even work harder than you do),
Possible, but so what?
and we also pay state taxes
Again so what? You're still a net tax consumer. You just consume a little less than your gross pay amount.
If you'll read carefully, he's proposed increasing our pay by 2% and our health insurance premiums by 13%.
Is a 13% increase in your insurance premiums equal to a 2% increase in your gross pay? So you really pay almost 16% of your gross salary for insurance? No. I didn't think so, although the freshly educated from public schools might fall for it.
They've also taken the caps off class sizes, so now I can have 30 or so science students in a room built for about 24
What is the voodoo about class size? When you went to college (as presumably you did to get a degree) did you ever have a lecture with a couple of hundred people in it? Of course you did. Was your ability to learn diminshed in proportion to the number of people in the class? If you had 200 fellow students instead of 20 did you learn 1/10th as much because of it? Of course not.
it's hard to keep an eye on everyone during lab
If they require constant supervision during lab, then maybe labs aren't appropriate for that age group.
but Zell knew what being a teacher was like.
What makes you think people don't know what teaching is like? Do you think that if everyone spent a couple of months in a classroom that they would rush out to press their tax dollars on you? Think again.
Bottom line is if you don't like the pay you can do something else that pays better. The government hasn't (yet at least) frozen people in their jobs. I propose the hypothesis that if teachers were really dissatisfied with their pay and working conditions they'd find other employment in droves. But they don't, so either they're not qualified to do anything else (unlikely) or that they found their appropriate level of compensation in the labor market.
Some people couldn't afford to "ejjicate their chillin" [elitist wording there, eh?] if they had to pay for it. That's the reason public schools came into being - the people decided an educated citizenry would be an asset to our society.
What is the voodoo about class size?
Not a problem, as far as I'm concerned, if the room is designed to hold that many, as large lecture halls are. You must also realize that those in college classes choose to be there. They aren't mandated by the law, their parents, or the juvenile court judge.
But they don't, so either they're not qualified to do anything else (unlikely) or that they found their appropriate level of compensation in the labor market.
I love teaching, and I choose to do it. Before I chose to teach, I probably made more than you do. I can afford to do it, because my husband has a good job. That doesn't mean I can't see the pros and cons.
In any case, my point wasn't to complain about my job. My point is, Perdue isn't exactly pandering to teachers' unions.
You're letting your subconscious collectivist conditioning show here. The people didn't decide anything the bureaucrats did. A lot of people don't like public education and choose to send their kids to private school or home school. A lot just look at as taxpayer funded day care. As far as affording it, if there weren't the high tax burden for the innumerable collectivist wealth redistribution and social engineering programs, most of us could afford a whole lot more than we do.
You must also realize that those in college classes choose to be there. They aren't mandated by the law, their parents, or the juvenile court judge.
Yes, exactly my point about public education. It is a government mandated system, not a free market system. If people had the choice they might choose something else.
I love teaching, and I choose to do it.
So in your case the money isn't a factor, but you like the job. I nevertheless suspect that you wouldn't do it for free. Money is always a factor, maybe less a factor in your case than others. but I'm sure it's still there.
Before I chose to teach, I probably made more than you do.
My, what an arrogant comment (and irrelevant too). It's always possible, but the odds are about 50 to 1 that you're wrong.
I can afford to do it, because my husband has a good job. That doesn't mean I can't see the pros and cons.
You just made a good argument that you should be paid less :-)
My point is, Perdue isn't exactly pandering to teachers' unions.
By spending the taxpayer loot rather than decreasing the tax burden he's pandering to someone. for road construction read pandering to construction contractors (who by the way were the driving force behind the recent Gwinnett county sales tax referendum calling themselves "Citizens for fair tax" or something totally misleadling like that) for education read pandering to teachers unions.
The fact remains when you increase the state budget you're taking money from the ones who earned it and spending it on those who whine for it. When government spends money, it spends it on something that is politically driven, not market driven.
The state of Ga isn't in all that big a mess at least compared to places like NY and NJ. Although, increasing taxation and government spending is a good way to get it closer to the aformentioned socialist police states.
Government isn't what makes things great. Free enterprise is, and every time you increase taxes and government spending you reduce the chance citizens have to expand free enterprise.
At state government one equates to the other since states can't run on deficits like the fed. To spend more, the state has to rake in more tax. Now the tax rate might not increase, but the total tax has increased. If the state is taking the same proportional bite of a larger pie, then the state is taking in more money, hence a tax increase even though the rate remains the same.
If all he does is continues to cut spending and doesn't accomplish anything else, he will be a one term governor.
Are you seriously trying to suggest that he can't accomplish anything with a $16,000,000,000 budget. Cutting programs and taxes is accomplishing something - something pretty worthwhile from my viewpoint.
As long as the spending is on the right things, and it doesn't result in a tax rate increase, I have no problem with that.
I think we're saying the same thing here. It's just that you think it's OK and I don't.
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