Georgia Gang Live Blog 2/21/10

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  1. B Balz says:

    Note to Speaker Pro Tem Jones:

    “… Big problem with Milton County Bill; Dunwoody isn’t in it…”

    Dateline 2020:

    The combined Atlanta/FULCO government authority today announced new integrated mass transit options for Campbell and Milton County consideration. Both Counties are expected to accept this cost-cutting, forward looking plan for immediate implementation.

    And then I woke up from my dream….

      • B Balz says:

        Since the threadjack Police are off to Church, I am gonna rant for a moment.

        Some years ago, before the State was broke, I made the comment to a business leader bringing about 600 jobs to the metro. Essentially, I said, “Atlanta is successful in spite of itself.”

        Think about this, roughly speaking growth in the Atlanta metro was 100,000 people per year from 1990-2007. In all those good times of plentiful jobs, huge construction projects, etc. nobody put away anything for a ‘rainy day?’

        Not one governmental official, City or County administrator, office or committee set up a reserve fund to insure Atlanta or Georgia would be able to weather an economic storm.

        Instead, I get to listen to folks like Indy Injun/John Konop
        predict a hugely dismal future driven by massive defaults of unfunded obligations for State pensioners. Not a crack on those two fellows, mind you, I believe their prognostications could be about right, if steps are not taken.

        We elect lawmakers to keep us mere voters, who are good for only two things PAYING TAXES and keeping our PIE HOLES SHUT, out of the economic woods.

        Do your durn job!

        I’m done, thank you very much.

        • polisavvy says:

          You can rant with me anytime you want. I totally agree with you. I expect our government (local, state, and federal) to be prepared to any economic downturn. I agree in that I don’t know why they don’t save for rainy days. Just think, had they done so, and not spent the money like it grew on trees, there might not be a need for furloughs. As far as elected officials go, the vast majority (on all levels) are looking out for one thing and one thing only — themselves. I’m sick to death of it.

          I know that the vast majority of the posters here don’t like my guy; but, I do believe strongly that he could help this State. It takes a lot for me to feel that strongly about any candidate — I am usually skeptical of them all; however, my guy seems real.

          Hopefully we won’t get banned for this thread jacking we just did; however, basically what you said is the root of the discussions on Georgia Gang. Careful management in the future could start putting an end to the economic hardships Georgia has. In a way, your post is on target.

          • ByteMe says:

            But compare that to the rant that was going on in 2000 when George Bush was being cheered for saying that government running a surplus meant it should give all that money back to the people instead of saving it for, oh, say, the next year when the deficit ballooned again.

            People are schizophrenic.

          • polisavvy says:

            I didn’t agree with that idea then, and I don’t agree with it today. You need to be prepared and save for a rainy day (i.e., a down turned economy). It’s the craziest concept I’ve ever heard. With my husband owning his own construction/remodeling company, we had to be sure to save because we saw where the economy was heading. His business has slowed down to a snail’s pace; but, we are still able to pay our bills. The government, on all levels, need to run the government like a household and always be prepared for the “emergencies” that come. Also, we don’t spend money we don’t have (i.e., credit cards) and the government (on all levels) should do the same. I’m sick of this crap. I’m sick of those we elect not giving two hoots as to what happens to us just as long as they come out smelling like a rose.

          • ByteMe says:

            But you have fools, and some of them are out here, who loudly yell “but it’s OUR MONEY” as though they have no stake in the outcome for our country.

            Just no end to the foolishness a barely educated population will allow.

          • polisavvy says:

            Exactly, and the operative word is “fools.” Some don’t realize the importance of education to our country, do they? It’s very sad, very sad indeed.

    • polisavvy says:

      He is a good man. He would, in my humble opinion, be very good for Georgia. He does not have any baggage. He has not been bought and sold by lobbyist. He knows the importance of business and the breaks that businesses need to get in order to bring jobs to Georgia. He really is just a good and decent man. I was terribly impressed when I met him and had the opportunity to speak with him one on one. Those who say he’s “not ready for prime time” really have no basis to even say such a thing. He’s ready and I feel strongly he’s going to surprise a whole bunch of folk.

    • polisavvy says:

      @BBalz, even though that was meant for Indy, I enjoyed reading it and thank you for sharing. Healthcare could use a lot of work, but pensions look pretty sound. Thanks again!

    • IndyInjun says:

      Look here

      Georgia Debt per Capita – $984 Unfunded Pension per Capita – $8,642 (US stats have GA per capita income at around $35,000 before tax.)

      Forbes also has an interactive map

      Several years ago the unfunded health care liability was estimated at $20 billion, putting per capita liability around $2000.

      This would mean there are more than $10,000 in liabilities for each of Georgia’s 9.8 million people.

      Every year a bigger slice is due and payable out of declining tax revenues.

      The difference in these #’s and the Pew #’s may be that pensions would only be 60% funded nationwide if liabilities were figured the same as those of the corps.

      • B Balz says:

        Yeah, I was curious, because I DID look at the Forbes info. and noticed the inconsistency. Bears watching, that’s for sure.

        This issue affects everyone, taxpayers and pensioners alike.

        Time for an open thread, methinks. I want the ‘Framers of Big Questions’ committee to get this issue up front and out there on the upcoming gubernatorial debates.

        Now that Tyler is done with the marbles thing, I nominate him!

  2. IndyInjun says:

    Since we got kind of off topic, there is a looming issue that most on PP don’t see.

    Here is a related story…..

    He said….government employee unions such as the SEIU ….violate the raison d’etre of the party, which is to “stand up for ordinary average Americans, not money and special interests.”

    “I think the public unions are going to take the country and the Democratic party down the tubes,” Caddell said. “They’re in the business of taking care of — of asking taxpayers, asking ordinary people, to pay for people who make twice as much as they make, with benefit packages they will never see, and they’re told, you may not cut those.”
    Caddell said he was not attacking government employees but that the system “has grown into something far beyond what it should be.”

    “How are you going to tell a person who makes $40,000 that they must pay money to make sure that people keep jobs who make $80,000, roughly, and who have defined pensions that they will never see?” Caddell said. “You cannot ask ordinary Americans who have no jobs, whose pensions have been ransacked, and whose pay has been stagnant, to keep rewarding people who don’t face the same kind of conditions and risk.”

    “The people who pay for it are suffering,” he said. “The taxpayers are going to explode. This is the big coming issue of our time.”

    “The taxpayers are going to explode. This is the big coming issue of our time.”

    In Georgia, too.

    State and local governments cannot go into bankruptcy per the state constitution.

    It is time for an amendment.

    Just in case.

  3. IndyInjun says:

    You won’t see any questions on this because:

    1) Finance is beyond all of them.
    2) It was/is boring until it starts eating finances alive – it is, but they can still hide it, albeit barely.
    3) It is so frickin’ BIG that it renders everything else they might do insignificant and its so big no solution is politically acceptible
    4) It will devour the next governor, politically, but maybe they can fake it for 2 more years and get 1/2 term of being lauded before the people start calling for his/her head.

    Ergo, it won’t be discussed.

    • polisavvy says:

      I actually was at a meeting last night where a gubernatorial candidate was there who literally picked apart areas where the State could save money and how easy it would be. He addressed the budget and had a copy with him. He laid it out in black and white. It is a grim situation; however, there are changes that can be implemented immediately where the State could save money at no added expense to the taxpayers. As bad as the situation really is, every penny saved should be valued highly. If enough pennies are saved, they begin to add up over time.

      It was refreshing to see a candidate actually attack an issue instead of just reciting a biography. The questions asked by the audience and the answers given by the candidate indicated that simple things can add up to big savings in the long run. You are correct, whoever goes in has a giant mess on their hands. I don’t believe Georgians are going to be happy with anyone faking this State’s economy any longer.

      • B Balz says:

        I was not at any meeting last night, other than the one with my patient wife and dog. Not did I communicate with anyone about this matter offline to PP. That said:

        Let me guess, Rep. Austin Scott discussed Dept of Administrative Services?

        • polisavvy says:

          Yes, it was Representative Scott; however, please don’t think that I have not heard any of the other candidates. I have. He discussed a lot more than just the waste in Administrative Services. I was amazed at the volume of waste going on in various areas. There are so many simple, no-brainer things that can be done that will save a crap load of money. There is waste on many levels of government and not just Administrative Services. From the reaction of the crowd and their subsequent discussions with him after the meeting, apparently he touched on a nerve. The response was very good. Sometimes the simplest ideas are the best and most effective.

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