Works for Me

While I’d prefer some bold free market efforts, etc., I’m also fine with government doing very little.

Bass fishermen will get boat ramps. Speeders will get stiff fines. And teachers will get gift cards.

Gov. Sonny Perdue has professed to be a believer in small government. His latest State of the State address made clear that he practices what he preaches. The Republican governor began his second term by stringing together a number of small – and politically safe – proposals.

Even his speech was compact, clocking in at just a half hour.

The government that does the least does the greatest service to its citizens.

15 comments

  1. Tommy_a2b says:

    I know I would like to see a large fishing tournament in Cagle Country. It would be a win for both the Gov and the Lt. Gov as well as a big boom for the local economy.

    On super speeders, I think this is one of the dumbest things ever. This is an easy to bring in extra money and ACT like you are addressing the problem of traffic fatalities. Most studies show the major cause of accidents are reckless driving not speeding. All I think this will do is make more world famous speedtraps like the one in Arcade.

    On teachers, the State’s largest group of cry babies, they are getting another undeserved pay raise and keeping their gift cards. I wish someone (legislator) would mandate that teacher’s pay raises were based on performance. I would be willing to pay teachers what ever they wanted if I could know my child would get the best education in the country. We all know that won’t happen in Georgia (I do not care what school district they live in.)

  2. Donkey Kong says:

    “I would be willing to pay teachers what ever they wanted if I could know my child would get the best education in the country.”

    Then send them to private schools. We have some great ones, especially in Atlanta. Private schools can be found in practically every corner of Georgia. I can only speak for the Atlanta area, but most of them are better than a public school education.

    Sorry if it sounds like I’m picking on you Tommy, but I hear many Georgians bemoan our public school system, supporting dumping more and more money into the system (both R’s and D’s), while all but a few private schools cost less per student than the average public school. This data is a few years old, but the average high school student in Atlanta cost the taxpayers over $10,900. Many quality private schools in Atlanta cost a few thousand less. What makes education so different that we think a free market approach is insufficient?

  3. Jmac says:

    … but I hear many Georgians bemoan our public school system, supporting dumping more and more money into the system (both R’s and D’s), while all but a few private schools cost less per student than the average public school.

    There are some quality private schools out there (as there are public ones), but this is misleading. One’s property taxes only partially fund public education, so it isn’t as if you could simply chose a private school over a public one and suddenly have all sorts of disposable income to do so with. You’d still pay property taxes and then, on top of that, have to pay the tuition. It isn’t as if our current system of paying taxes is itemized or anything.

    The free market does many wonderous and positive things for our economy, but its model doesn’t neatly transfer to our educational system. And that’s because it’s not so much about cost, but rather about ensuring that we offer services for special-needs children, low-income families, ‘gifted’ children and the like. In a free market system, the odds are substantially greater these children, and their families, would get lost in the shuffle to cut corners, make a profit and turn out children as fast as possible.

    All of that said, while I’m not totally on board with Sen. Johnson’s idea – it’s dangerously treading the line of a full-blown call for vouchers, which I’d oppose – I think it’s an interseting concept that should be explored.

  4. Tommy_a2b says:

    DK, I should have been clearer when I said I would pay them more. What I really meant was I would complain less about all the taxes I pay. My child is already in private preschool and will most likely attend private school as I did. I was just trying to make a point.

  5. Harry says:

    Without going overboard the GOP leadership needs to bring up some red meat, and they are doing so.

    I’d like to see a serious discussion of elimination of the income tax — such as will be introduced by Rep. Steve Davis. That would sure satisfy my need for red meat.

  6. Who knew when Georgia voters endorsed the status quo (by keeping the government largely the same as it has always been — conservative Democrats through a pretty smooth transition to conservative Republicans) they were actually asking for a radical dismantling of state government?

    I mean, it’s ironic that the Republicans basically campaign on we’re doing a good job send us back and then after they win you guys interpret that as eliminate this, eliminate that, red meat this, red meat that. Since the Democrats can’t quite figure out how to win under the status quo, I encourage you to shake things up!

  7. Donkey Kong says:

    Jmac,

    If we are currently spending over $10K per high school student in Atlanta, and a little less than that for our younger students, I think we would have some substantial disposable income. We wouldn’t get every penny back in our pockets because as soon as the money becomes available other agencies will smell blood and try to pounce on the funds, some being more successful than we would prefer. Regardless, it would allow for a noticeable cut in property taxes. And, the federal and state money that is dumped into education would allow for a further tax cut on those levels.

    One side benefit would be a decrease in rent cost for apartments, helping low-income families. According to a few friends of mine that own apartment complexes in my town, one of the primary reasons for rent increases is either a hike in the millage rate or a re-assessment of property value, both increasing their property taxes. A cut in property taxes would decrease the cost of living for some of the low-income families in America. This is only a side benefit, but one that should not be overlooked. The primary benefit is that the competition would push education to a higher level or risk failing.

    “In a free market system, the odds are substantially greater these children, and their families, would get lost in the shuffle to cut corners, make a profit and turn out children as fast as possible.”

    I’m sure it would happen to a small extent, but not as widespread as you make it out to be. First, let’s not forget that many of the private schools are nonprofit institutions, so a drive for “profit” is less important than revenues keeping up with the organization’s primary goals. Reputation and prestige is the curve these schools are graded on, not the bottom line.

    Furthermore, if capitalism creates a “shuffle to cut corners,” why are many of our critical services, such as emergency response (i.e. ambulance) and hospitals, becoming increasingly privatized? Do they rush to cut corners? No, because they’d be out of a job. A school could only cut corners for a few years. After which, their reputation, and their enrollment, would decline.

    And while we’re commenting, I support vouchers as long as there are NO strings attached to them.

  8. jsm says:

    “On super speeders, I think this is one of the dumbest things ever. This is an easy to bring in extra money and ACT like you are addressing the problem of traffic fatalities. Most studies show the major cause of accidents are reckless driving not speeding. All I think this will do is make more world famous speedtraps like the one in Arcade.”

    What’s up, Tommy. I gotta disagree with you here. On my daily interstate commutes, I see a correlation of those travelling at 80+ mph and those driving recklessly. I typically put set my cruise control at 79 or 80, and cops don’t even notice. I had one flash his blue lights at me Saturday night in a 65 mph zone, but he didn’t pursue. The occasional 80+ driver in morning rush hour will ride my tail until I can get over and will whip around other slow moving traffic that won’t budge. I’ve seen some pretty close calls but fortunately no wrecks, yet. I personally think speed limits on interstates should be raised to 75 or 80 and be more strictly enforced. People will adjust to enforcement.

    I think cars today are safe to pretty high speeds, but I think people’s reflexes should limit them to around 80 mph. Also, cops are rarely present to see reckless driving before it causes accidents. The governor’s plan for increasing fines for 85+ mph drivers is probably a good idea.

  9. Tommy_a2b says:

    Josh, what time do you go to work where you can put cruise control at 80? As a math guy you should understand the difference between the correlation of those travelling at 80+ mph and those driving recklessly and wreckless and just plain poor driving skills causing accidents. For example, what about the old betty’s driving 50 in the fast lane on the interstate and then trying to cross traffic to get off at there exit. Also I never said the wreckless drivers were not also speeding. Do you think your driving skills would be worse if you set your cruise control to 85 instead of 80. Keep in mind you set it at 80 because you think that is the max you can get away with. Just some thougts. Here is one last thought. I bet we could really cut down on accidents and fatalities if the Gov could get all the illegals off the road. What ya think about that?

  10. Donkey Kong says:

    One thing I love about Atlanta is that I CAN drive 80-90 mph during certain times of the day and be going at the speed of (left lane) traffic. I don’t see a need to crack down on it. Most deadly interstate accidents involve “tractor trailers”, not a couple of execs running late to a meeting.

  11. rugby_fan says:

    Focus on speeding and not any of the plethora of real challenges facing the state…that’s what Sonny Did!

  12. Bull Moose says:

    I’m not sure that I’d put this up there in the top of the pile category.

    It’s great to put money toward attracting high dollar tourists and encouraging outdoor activities, but in light of the major challenges facing our state on the fronts of healthcare and education, it seems trivial to count this as a major “must do”.

  13. rugby_fan says:

    What’s on your Sonny Do List? Make wonderful campaign promises making you sound like you will solve Georgia’s problems and make it a grate state, earn large amounts of political capital, and then, not address your campaign pledges (again, and no I am not talking about the flag) and not try to spend your newly minted capital on any issues that matter.

    I am sorry but color me more and more unimpressed with Sonny as every day goes by.

    Soon I will be saying is it 2010 yet?

  14. Jmac says:

    Donkey Kong, I was viewing the issue within the existing framework of our property tax system, while you were calling for a complete overhaul which gives you that $10,000 back in some sort of refund. That explains our differing answers.

    I still think, under your proposal, this would throw the whole state-collecting-revenues thing into turmoil. That’s a large chunk of money to give back to folks, and that’s going to directly affect how the rest of our government operates. Unless you’re proposing a drastic – and I mean drastic – overhaul of the state tax code, you’ll see other taxes (or ‘fees’ as the House Republicans like to call ’em) popping up to meet the shortfall.

    There are also substantially more complex issues to the property tax issue than you suggest. Geographically smaller counties, as well as less populated ones, would have a hard time generating the necessary revenue to operate. Consider Athens-Clarke County where I live which has the University of Georgia taking up a large portion of its property tax rolls, in addition to other non-profit and government entities. Property taxes fund a lot of things, and you’ll either see a push to overdevelop certain areas in the desire to generate revenues or many counties not be able to offer adequate services for its citizens.

Comments are closed.