The AJC has an article today on how campaigns “bring out the big spender” in candidates, in the form of promised programs, benefits, etc.
Election years bring out the big spender in even the most conservative of politicians, and this year’s governor’s race is showing what can be done with a little imagination and fat state wallet.With an overflowing state treasury and record $18.6 billion budget, Gov. Sonny Perdue already has shown considerable generosity, from big pay raises and gift cards for teachers to tax credits for Georgians with kids in child care, adding up to about $700 million worth of goodies. And he hasn’t even begun making promises for the fall campaign.
His Democratic opponent, Lt. Gov. Mark Taylor, has promised voters he’ll make sure children can get health insurance, HOPE scholars won’t have to pay mandatory college fees out of their own pockets, and the state will stop cutting funding to local schools. Older Georgians will get lower-cost drugs, children will attend schools with fewer kids in each class to allow for more individualized attention, and nobody will have to pay taxes on over-the-counter drugs or gas.
I can understand the rationale behind pandering to voters and playing to audiences in an effort to gain support and, ultimately, be elected; it’s (unfortunately, to me) a part of the game. However, where does it stop, and when (if ever) will people finally decide not to rely on government for — or demand from it — ever-increasing handouts, benefits, and, ultimately, cradle-to-grave coddling, at the expense of those who can afford to pay the taxes required to fund such activity?