Pretty good, right? Not according to Sunday’s Rome News-Tribune editorial page, which makes Georgia sound like the lawless land of Somalia, with its denizens reduced to piracy in order to survive.
The headline, at least, was perfect. “Does this make sense?” was the right question to ask about such uninformed, rambling gibberish. It takes a certain backward talent to combine so much misinformation, contradiction and non sequitur into one piece. The editorial suggests that the Legislature passed a bloated budget for next year, but then goes on to say that our state workforce is too small and underpaid and that what we really need is more legislator earmarks for pork-barrel spending. Pardon me if that logic had me scratching my head in confusion.
Gov. Deal has enacted fiscally conservative spending plans. The so-called “increased spending” mentioned doesn’t represent new programs; it is the direct result of the growth of the state. Increased enrollments have shot up the costs of education and Medicaid. The state has held the line on all other spending.
The state’s budget has decreased by billions over the last four years. Every region of Georgia has shared in the cuts, and as a result of that forbearance, Gov. Deal was able to deliver a tax cut to Georgians even as other states across the nation have raised rates to close huge budget shortfalls.
The editorial suggests that Floyd County’s legislators and the governor should hand out more pork. While the writer must pine for the good old days of “business as usual” under the Gold Dome, that’s the exact opposite of what Georgians are seeking. Gov. Deal has responded to Georgians’ desire to have a state government that does a few things, does them well and then gets the heck out of the way.
Immediately upon taking office, one of Gov. Deal’s first acts was to reduce the bond package for the next year’s budget by hundreds of millions of dollars, and he’s fought successfully to maintain our AAA bond rating — a status that saved taxpayers $10 million in borrowing costs last year alone.
Our bond packages, like in every state, are how we achieve long-term projects that will benefit Georgians for many generations. This includes tech schools, colleges and universities, highways, the Port of Savannah and many other projects essential to improving our quality of life and economic development. Gov. Deal is committed to responsible investment in priority projects that will pay dividends for years to come, not in returning to earmarks that buy votes with tax dollars.
Gov. Deal’s responsible, fiscally conservative leadership makes lots of sense for northwest Georgia — and every other region of the state. The evidence shows that his solid record has reduced his implacable detractors to incoherent rants.