Georgia State House Speaker Rep. David Ralson (R-Blue Ridge) gave some clues to the Republican-controlled State House’s 2013 Agenda. Looking over his statements it’s evident that our priorities as a state in 2013 are severely off-track. According to Ralston, he’s got a “$300 million” revenue problem in 2013. What’s the reason for the loss?

1. Poor people – Ralston cites the $300 million as a shortfall in the Medicaid program. You mean the same one he’s been putting off for a few years now while also borrowing from the Medicaid fund ? Yep. The same one that Gov. Deal is refusing over $30 BILLION from the federal government to fund over 10 years? Yep. The same money that State Senator Judson Hill in the article calls “Crack dollars”? Yep

2. No tax increases – How antiquated is Georgia’s tax code? See for yourself.

3. By diverting $1 billion (that’s $1,000,000,000, and over 3 times the amount of the shortfall) to a new sports stadium for the Falcons?…Um, yeah, because that’s a great idea? Nope

4. New Ethics laws with fees attached?…Not if Rep. Larry O’Neal (R-Bonaire) is chairing it as Ralston states…Here’s why. And what are these “practical issues” that Ralston mentions? Oh yeah, these.

Other tidbits – After the Hospital Bed Tax debacle in 2010, Speaker Ralston says he’s “not familiar with a hospital bed tax“….WOW really dude? You don’t even know one of the most fought-over and controversial bills from 2010?…Just 2 years ago?

So who is really the one on crack here? I think we know the answer to that one.

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5 Responses to Georgia and Our Priorities for 2013

  1. Dave Bearse says:

    Ralston is ill-informed as to details of the $300M hole if he’s not familiar with the $200M a year bed tax and its June 2013 expiration.

    If the $300M assumes the tax sunsets, extending the bed tax and abolishing the private school tax credit nearly plugs a $300M hole. If not, it’s a nearly twice as big $500M hole.

  2. Dave Bearse says:

    Ralston may be talking out of the other side of his mouth as concerns a revenue hole when the time comes for an increase in the $50M private school scholarship tax credit (the abolishment of which, would knock out 15% of the hole all by itself).

  3. JMPrince says:

    Update: reminds us again that Reality Sucks:

    “State of Working Georgia 2012
    Great Recession Wiped Out Two Decades of Progress for Georgia’s Poor and Middle Class
    By Wesley Tharpe, Policy Analyst”

    So yeah, why bother spending on what your citizens might need? It pays more to pay your pals and yourself first, best & only. JMP

  4. MelGX says:

    So great to have you back Tim. We’ve so missed you.