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: GBPI.org 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”

    http://gbpi.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/state-of-working-georgia-2012-11202012-web-FINAL.pdf

    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.