….Don’t starting picking out new furniture for the Speaker’s office just yet.
The left-of-center Georgia has been a buzz over the coming collapse of the Georgia GOP from infighting between the Governor, Lt. Governor and Speaker of the House. Georgia Democrats are salivating at the prospect of a GOP meltdown that will whisk them into power next year.
Aint gonna happen.
What you’re seeing in the Georgia Conservative Movement is evolution in action. Our majority is young and not as entrenched as our Washington brethren. We aren’t as beholden to lobbyists. We observed what happened in November of 2006 and we are learning.
Two weeks ago the Lt. Governor and Senate changed the paradigm regarding the Supplemental Budget. No longer does the General Assembly say “Oooh. We have and extra $240 Million laying around. Lets buy toys!”. The LG said “This money should go into savings (Reserve Fund)”, the Senate backed him up on that decision and the Senate & House went into a showdown.
After hearing from their constituents, the House realized they were on the wrong side of that argument. They changed their tune and cheers to them for doing so. Its fine to be wrong if you fix your mistakes once you realize them. The Speaker and House leadership did that.
Our Party took another step towards its roots and our Party is stronger for it. I suspect that during this special session the debate will be between funding the reserves and tax cuts. While I’m almost universally for tax cuts, the reserve is an important buffer for lean times and helps keep our bond rating high and interest payments low. I can see the wisdom in both sides. I welcome the debate.
We are by no means done and converting a Republican majority into a conservative majority will not be a painless process. We have a Governor who wants to spend millions of your dollars on bass fishing. We have budgets that have grown by over a billion dollars each year. We have hundreds of lobbyists up at the capitol every day they are in session begging for tax breaks for their clients.
The ship of state does not turn on a dime. These squabbles are a necessary part of reforming the process.
As for the theatrics of the past two weeks, very few outside of political-wonkdom will remember this budget battle in a year and a half when elections are held again. But the impact will be felt. The genie is out of the bottle and both budget and tax reform are on the table.
I’m looking forward to 2008.