Richardson the hypocrite

I just got through watching a video of Speaker Richardson and Rep. Alicia Thomas Morgan debating over Peachcare from crossover day. Richardson said something that struck me as hypocritical.

While responding to Morgan, Richardson said:

It is time that we put some restraints on this program to bring it in conformity with what the people of Georgia want to do, the people from whom we take the money by threat of force and imprisonment to pay for this program…

Now take that line to what we are witnessing right now over the debate of the 2007 supplemental budget. Richardson isn’t willing to apply the same standards to spending and pork and that is incredibly hypocritical.

Don’t get me wrong, I actually agree with him on PeachCare and about healthcare not being a right, which he goes on to say toward the end of the clip, but you have to apply the same standards across the board whether it’s cutting eligibility for PeachCare or for pork projects across the state. Neither are a right and the taxpayers expect the same standards.

18 comments

  1. foray says:

    This fight goes on every year- it has been drawn into the Public eye this year- the House Supplemental Budget was created over a period of 3 mos- with insight from OMB, the Governors Office and House Budget Office- these so called “Pork” projects are things like new State Patrol Cars, facilities upgrades at our Universities and Tech Schools and new staff in various depts- the Senate and the Lt. Governor should have to explain why each of these projects are not necessary before they grab a mic and spew talking pts.

  2. Jason Pye says:

    the Senate and the Lt. Governor should have to explain why each of these projects are not necessary before they grab a mic and spew talking pts.

    Uhhhh, they’re not necessary because there are so many items in the supplemental budget that should NOT be funded by the taxpayers.

    There is your damned explanation. As taxpayers, we need to hold both bodies responsible for spending our money.

    Here are some of the items in the House version of the supplemental budget that you have apparently overlooked.

    – $25,000 for operations to the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame.
    – $25,000 for operations to the Georgia Music Hall of Fame.
    – $50,000 for the Civil War Heritage Trails project.
    – $50,000 for the Silver Haired Legislature.
    – $75,000 for Georgia Voyager magazine.
    – $100,000 for Warner Robins Air Force Base museum.
    – $125,000 for the Historic Chattahoochee Commission.
    – $250,000 for programming and design development for replacements of existing interiors within common areas, electrical, HVAC and water intrusion within the Floyd Building.
    – $300,000 for operations to the Georgia Golf Hall of Fame.
    – $350,000 for Zoo Atlanta’s proposed new animal hospital.
    – $429,390 for House member’s per diem.
    – $1,000,000 for the Tour de Georgia.
    – $5,000,000 for Civil War commemoration preparation and Resaca Battlefield development.
    – $5,000,000 for the National Infantry Museum project.
    – $5,734,000 for the demolition of the State Archives building.
    – $19,000,000 for “Go Fish Georgia.”
    – $46,550,000 for the West Point Development Authority for the Kia project development grant and purchase of a rail spur to complete site development.
    – $50,000,000 for grant funds to acquire lands for the preservation and protection of Georgia’s critical and essential watersheds and wildlife habitats within the Governor’s Land Conservation program.

  3. foray says:

    I consider Economic Development and Tourism important- all those museums and hall of fames serve that purpose- as does Go Fish Georgia.

  4. Jason Pye says:

    Those are projects that shouldn’t be funded by the taxpayers. They should be privately funded.

    They aren’t economic development projects by any means.

  5. Icarus says:

    I don’t have a problem with seed money for economic development, provided there’s a reasonable cost-benefit analysis that the economic impact will generate more tax dollars in a reasonable amount of time than the original seed money as an outlay.

    That said, economic development isn’t usually an “emergency”. These requests should be weighed against other needs and priorities in one unified budget.

    The mentality that has developed that last year’s budget surplus is some kind of windfall that must be spent must be stopped.

  6. tony r says:

    So we’re clear – jason – if the projects end up in the 08 budget you still think they’re bad?

    I agree with that position by the way. As I’ve said before, I’m pretty fed up with folks claiming to be conservative cause they shifted money around.

  7. Icarus says:

    Tony,

    You’re asking Jason, but I’ll give you my answer.

    Yes, and no. Depends on which ones you’re asking about.

    I think Kia is covered in my answer above.

    I actually can support the $50MM in land conservation. Living in a county that was formerly rural but is now part of Atlanta’s urban sprawl, a little money a long time ago would have made a huge difference. There are many areas of the state where we still have the opportunity to protect natural resources. It should be weighed as a priority against other spending needs in the full budget. If there’s room for it, keep it.

    I’m not a fan of museums or halls of fame. That’s about a 7 on the 1-10 pork scale.

    Upgrades for the Floyd building? If we defer all maintenance, we can build a new one in a few years. Let’s spend that $250K, but in the ’08. Not emergency.

    House member’s per diem? How is this an emergency? Lobbiest stuck a member for his own tab at the Cheetah? However, per diem is part of the (very low) pay of our legislators, so put it in the ’08 budget.

    Biggest (almost hidden) red flag to me here is almost $6MM for demolition of the Archives building. What for? What’s the future of the site? My guess is redevelopment, and the state will get far less than $6MM for the land the building sits on. This will not pay for itself, but it may give legislators an investment opportunity for high rise condos near the capitol.

    $1MM for Tour de Georgia. Too French. And a for profit entity. AT&T stepped up. Kill it.

    And Go Fish GA? Fishing for beer is a better use of time and money. No Sunday Sales, No Go Fish GA.

    That’s my take, your version may vary.

  8. Jason Pye says:

    The reason I take the view I do is because I don’t believe the purpose of government should meddle in what should be privately funded affairs.

    I’m a capitalist. It is my belief that the only purpose government has is to protect life, liberty and property.

  9. Donkey Kong says:

    Icarus,

    Man, I’m with you. We all know you can’t fish without a good sixpack. So if we can’t have our Sunday beer, that’s one less day per week we can fish.

    If Perdue wants to increase fishing in Georgia, let us buy our fishing beer, seven days a week.

  10. Icarus says:

    I’m a capitalist too, Jason, but as I get older, I’m also more of a realist.

    If there was a federal law banning states from competing on economic development, well, it would be unconstitutional.

    But if there were, then it would be easier to say the state shouldn’t be involved in Kia kind of projects. But in the real world, GA competes against AL and SC for these kinds of projects. I can support seed money on the basis of of my above post.

    And as for protecting natural resources and greenspace, the “market” won’t do it. Government does have a role to counter act negative externalities that are an inevitable by-product of a captialist system.

    All that said, I appreciate your point of view, and hope you continue to take it to the limit. It keeps the rest of us who have settled for less honest.

  11. Jason Pye says:

    Check this month’s issue of Reason magazine. There is an article on corporate welfare and tax benefits for business and it specifically mentions the Kia plant in Georgia.

    I’m not going to post on it here, but check it out if you can.

    The government’s involvement in the economy should be minimal, it should provide the atmosphere but not get involved in the businesses themselves.

  12. foray says:

    That is all money that is needed now- not in July- if we have the money and its gonna leave anyway- sooner the better

  13. Demonbeck says:

    What if the taxes created by Sunday sales went to pay for Go Fish? Would you supportive of it then?

  14. Jace Walden says:

    the Senate and the Lt. Governor should have to explain why each of these projects are not necessary before they grab a mic and spew talking pts.

    Uh, no. It’s the job of Speaker Richardson and the Lt. Governor to give the tax payers a damn good explanation of why each pork article is necessary before they put that shit in the budget.

    The burden should always fall on the legislators to explain to us EXACTLY why more government or more spending is necessary in the first place.

  15. Icarus says:

    Couldn’t find the reason article on line, but did read from the link above. I sat behind the author of the Reason article once at Dad’s Garage when they had a political panel. His shouting and catcalls gave the distinct impression he thought the green party point of view was too right wing. Not a guy I want to get my economic advice from.

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