Why settle for Billions when you can have…Millions!?

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?

6 comments

  1. Stephanie says:

    Jeff:

    I agree that elections should not be purchased with money or won via empty campaign promises. This activity results in despondent voters; hence the low turn out numbers; movement by the people away from actively participating in government (a Republican objective). What do you think about having a ceiling on campaign expenditures? It could be graduated based on the office that was being sought.

    I have to take objection with your last statement: why don’t you do a little expose about the mega-wealthy, “Party of Davos” types that are pulling the politcal strings of the congressional
    puppets and lobbyists? I guess what I am asking you is this:

    Is it worse for a single mother of 3, who gets some gov’t. subsidies (lets say foodstamps) and doesn’t report all her income on her 1040 OR a wealthy individual who hides his investments in a shell company in the Cayman Islands, evading taxes, paying his tax attorney to find loopholes, and laundering $ through other investment vehicles?

    One person is “cheating to GET BY. the other is cheating out of sheer greed. Both are breaking the law.

    Take a gander at a book called Perfectly Legal by David C. Johnston, or The Global Class War, by a brilliant guy named Jeff Faux who founded Economic Policy Institue.

    Hell, if you’re feeling extra brave you could check out Conservatives without Conscience, authored by reformed right winger (moderate) John Dean (from Nixon’s administration).

  2. mercergirl says:

    Something that I find interesting is that apparently, from what my emplpoyer has told me, is that Mark Taylor has said that if elected he will allow nightclubs to stay open past 2 am. Because of this one of my employer’s business parters is holding a big fundraiser for him at his Atlanta nightclub. To me, its another empty promise used to get money for his campaign. As I pointed out to my employer, the Gov. cannot introduce legislation and if his party is not in power then I doubt it’ll get passed. But again, it seems to me to be another empty promise with a lot of reward in it for the Big Guy.

  3. CobbGOPer says:

    Mercergirl,

    Nightclub closing times are the jurisdicition of the city or county in which they are located. There is no state-wide law regarding bar or club closing times because the General Assembly has no jurisdiction in those matters.

    As for the tax issues listed above from Stephanie, there’s a perfectly simple way to eliminate such tax fraud, whether by ‘evil’ rich people (funny how people think rich folk are ‘evil’, but everybody plays the lottery or works their butts off to get ‘rich’) or by your working mother of three.

    That way is the Fair Tax. Instead of reading anti-globalism screeds you should look into this tax reform plan and read Boortz and Rep. Linder’s Fair Tax Book.

  4. CobbGOPer says:

    And in regards to campaign spending promises, well, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I wish the Republican Party would get back to our platform basics, namely cutting spending where we effectively can.

    The problem is that, as Jeff says, “where does it stop?” When do people stop asking for government handouts, or more appropriately, stop demanding taxpayer funded services which either they could pay for themselves or could find assistance more efficiently through non-profit or private organizations.

    They don’t want to stop, and won’t. The people who receive these ‘spoils’ have no ambition to stop receiving them; hell, why should they? It’s a good racket.

    Besides, the facts are that a minority of taxpayers in this country pay the majority of the taxes that these other folks enjoy in various benefits. And they don’t do it voluntarily, they do it under threat of government force. Come on people, I ask you: are you more likely to HAPPILY, willingly give to a charity that helps feed single working moms with kids if you are presented with a convincing argument or plea for assistance, or if you have a gun shoved in your face with someone FORCING you to do so because it’s “the right thing to do?”

    Don’t know about you, but I’m more likely to think I’m doing a good thing when I ALONE make up my mind to do it, as opposed to being forced to do so.

  5. CobbGOPer says:

    So don’t bitch about rich folks when they complain about their taxes. As we’ve seen through various rich folks, like Bill Gates for example, they all willingly give a very large amount of money to various charities. If they were not paying extortionate taxes on pain of imprisonment, they would likely be giving even more, as well as creating new business and jobs to pull more people out of situations where they need government or any kind of assistance in the first place…

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