Rep. Doug McKillip Inadvertently Swerves Into A Solution I Completely Support.

State Rep. from Athen wants to raise taxes for education.

IT IS TIME TO RAISE REVENUE AND PRIORITIZE HIGHER EDUCATION!!

We have cut all we can. We have furloughed teachers, we have reduced travel, and we have honestly eliminated all the possible “inefficiencies” at the University of Georgia. We simply cannot cut any more.
It is time to raise revenue and save higher education in Georgia
I serve on the Higher Education subcommittee of Appropriations. If no additional revenue is generated, the University System of Georgia (the Board of Regents) will be cut by an additional $300+ million for fiscal year 2011. Just to keep this in perspective, we are being asked to cut an amount of money from the Board of Regents’ appropriation that would be equal to eliminating ALL state funding for UGA!

Rather than raise taxes or tuition, just defund UGA and the Regents’ problem is solved! I think this is a fabulous idea.

McKillip goes on to propose the following which I could not support:

People are looking to their legislators for a solution to this crisis.
HERE IS MINE: I have drafted a bill that will (1) put the tax back on food; (2) Add a $1 tax per pack of cigarettes; (3) Add an extra 1% income tax to those making over $400,000; and (4) Eliminate all special interest tax exemptions. These measures will generate over 1.5 billion dollars in additional revenue, and eliminate the need for further cuts to the University of Georgia.

60 comments

  1. c_murrayiii says:

    Hold on a second there Buzz, we can’t have all the finest of Georgia crammed into the North Ave. Trade School. In addition, without UGA any hope of bringing the NCAA football championship back to Georgia would be gone forever.

  2. Jackster says:

    As a Georgia Tech Alumnus, I support cutting all funding from UGA – This would mean they would have to take the money they have donated for sports and use it for scholastics.

    Doesn’t sound too audacious to me!

  3. Technocrat says:

    If you take Lotto/Hope money and don’t make 3.0 average in the semster covered you must pay it back with interest. Same with any other grants or aids.

    “Fewer than 25% of HOPE scholars retain their scholarship through four years of college, but the percentage of students who lose HOPE has declined each year.
    ♦ After 2 years of college, African American students are the most likely to lose HOPE
    and are also the most likely to drop out of college if they lose their scholarships.”

    Somewhere between 40% and 60% of [all races] students lose HOPE and drop out of college which infers that many were not qualified in the beginning.

    • polisavvy says:

      I think you’re onto something. I wish they would make the students pay for their first semester and see what their grades are. If they are a 3.0, then let them get HOPE. If not, make them pay until they get a 3.0 semester. There are way too many who go off to college and use two semesters (and sometimes three) without making the 3.0. Make them prove their worth beyond just what they could produce in high school. There is a lot of money wasted on students who don’t perform. (I know I will get castigated for this one; but, this is my opinion).

  4. c_murrayiii says:

    In all honesty, I only got into this mess because you Techies assaulted my Alma Mater. I think Tech is a fine institution and our state needs both an Engineering University and a Liberal Arts bastion like UGA. What we should all agree on, though, is the need to defund the state Alcoholic Training School (Georgia Southern).

  5. unknowndude says:

    The shortsightedness of the “Leadership” in State government is staggering. I am amazed at the gutless wonders and their inability to actually stand-up and say what needs to be said:

    There is only one course of action that should be considered to meet the needs of the budget – a TAX INCREASE. Everyone in Georgia has to shoulder their part of the load to get us past these tough times. Cutting any more will only create an environment that is unfriendly to business needs and hurts the citizens of Georgia. These cuts are decimating the very foundation of our State. They will have severe and longlasting effects on BUSINESSES that are currently in the state, and any looking to relocate here – cupcake tax-breaks or not.

    Why?

    One of the first things that large corporations, and any small businessman worth their salt, looks at when deciding where to plant their shop is the availability of an educated workforce. If these draconian cuts are implemented, our educational rankings will be cemented at 50-out-of-50, and they’ll stay there. Education and schools are very hard to resurrect once they have vanished. In Dekalb county, at least 2 of the 3 elementary schools in one district are award-winning high-achieving schools – yet they are on the list of schools that will be closed due to budget cuts. Those students will be bussed to another school where the student to teacher ratio will crest 40.

    Cut funding to libraries? Police? Fire? Parks and recreation? These are all things that are eagerly embraced by the leadership and it boggles my mind. At the State capitol and they seem to forget that those same businesses looking at Georgia because it is eager to dole out tax incentives are also looking at the ‘quality of life’ issues that their employees hold dear. What good is it to get a percentage off of the raw materials to build a widget, when you can’t get a warm body there to put the thing together?

    And even if you can, does that employee have the smarts to do anything other than fog a mirror?

    If the folks under the gold dome get their way, the tide of people and businesses moving to Georgia will suddenly shift in the other direction….. and they think we’ve got budget problems NOW….

    • Jeff says:

      UnknownDude:

      Let me get this straight:

      I just lost my job, meaning I have DRAMATICALLY less funds (fortunately my wife still has hers), and you want me to pay MORE in taxes?

      • unknowndude says:

        Yes – I do. My wife was just laid off and we’re losing our house as a result. I am in the trenches along with everyone else – but I also see down the road and know that my wife WILL eventually get another job, and that my two daughters will also need to go to school – and get a good education in that school.

        I am willing to cough up a few bucks a day to make sure that my daughters, and your kids, or your neighbors kids, have an the option of a getting a solid education in Georgia.

        The Republican ethos of “It’s all about ME” has got to stop. We’re all in this together.

        • Icarus says:

          Hang in there unknown dude. I’ve been there, very recently in fact. Keep perspective of what’s important in your life, dedicate yourself to persevering regardless of whatever new trial presents itself, and know that there is light on the other side. It gets better.

        • Sorry to hear you’re down on your luck, but what about my kids? What about Jeff’s kids? Oh, wait, I have no kids… and neither does he. So we should just help contribute to your kids huh? Sorry, I don’t buy that argument.

          • unknowndude says:

            You’ve perfectly demonstrated the typical Republican mantra: “It’s all about ME”. If everyone is busy protecting their own, then society as a whole will suffer. There comes a point where people need to look outside of their own four walls and see the impact that their actions are having on the community.

            On that note, David, I am not sick, nor am I a bad driver. So why should I have to pay for trauma care? Gimme that money. I have not been to a library in years – let me have that money back. I haven’t been on a plane in a couple of years – I shouldn’t have to help pay for the FAA. I’m 38 – why am I subsidizing medicare? Give it back!

            It’s absurd to stand on the hill and yell “I don’t have XYZ, so why should I help pay for your XYZ”. It’s called civic-responsibility and is something that appears to have been forgotten by the Republican/Conservative party.

            • “On that note, David, I am not sick, nor am I a bad driver. So why should I have to pay for trauma care? Gimme that money. I have not been to a library in years – let me have that money back. I haven’t been on a plane in a couple of years – I shouldn’t have to help pay for the FAA. I’m 38 – why am I subsidizing medicare? Give it back!”

              Now we’re getting somewhere! 😀 I’m sorry if you feel that my voluntary contributions to society aren’t enough to the point where you think you should be able to steal from me. You obviously haven’t looked at my bank statements, or else you might see the evidence of my civic responsibility. ByteMe is correct… I’m a Libertarian. But I give freely. The more of my money that you steal, the less I’m able to voluntarily give to charitable organizations of my choice.

              To quote Gene Simmons… “I may decide to give a woman a million dollars because I want to. But if she tries to steal one penny, I will fight until I’m dead in the ground to get that penny back.”

            • unknowndude says:

              I did – but now I am curious as to where you are headed with your thought. Please continue!

              • Republican Lady says:

                If you truly studied the social contract theory in any depth, you know that some of the examples you gave above are examples of social contracts.

                Thinking you are not a bad driver is a subjective statement, people riding with you or who are in front of or in back of you may not agree. The library, trauma care, FAA, and Medicare, are all examples of social contracts whereby society as a whole gives a portion of individual rights for the benefit of others and/or society at large. Homeland Security is probably the most well known recent example.

                • unknowndude says:

                  Correct – and this is where education is something that crosses the boundary into a social contract, which is why I included the examples in my previous statement. David’s statement of “I don’t have kids, so I don’t need to pay for yours” can be considered a social contract statement depending on who is doing the asking.

                  In some cases, a S.C. is a shade of gray….

    • BillinSuwanee says:

      @unknown.

      If you cut spending and lower taxes the economy will grow. Businesses will move into Georgia creating jobs.

      They should renegotiate the public pensions and slash guv’mint bureaucracy. Cut non-military guv’mint salaries 30%. Eliminate all non-essential spending which means if parks and recreation are wanted by the people, let the local communities fund it.

      • unknowndude says:

        All you are doing is shifting the obligation to the local counties and you’re robbing Peter to pay Paul. If you think that businesses are going to relocate to GA based solely on tax incentives, you’re mistaken.

        They need employees that have been educated to standards necessary to meet their needs, and they need those employees to be happy and safe.

        • Aren’t property taxes robbing Peter to pay Paul as well then? Taking money from those without kids to pay for an education for other peoples’ kids?

      • benevolus says:

        The most active business areas in the country have the highest taxes- New York and California. I’m not saying high taxes create business, but the opposite isn’t true either. As unknown says, there is more to the equation than just taxes.

        • IndyInjun says:

          UKD,

          Cutting professor salaries is necessary.

          There must be shared sacrifice.

          Where else are they going to go? This financial meltdown is sparing no state and the endowments for the private schools have been hammered as well.

          Other states are not likely to benefit at Georgia’s expense.

          The unionized states of the north are even bigger losers than Georgia.

          If any of them want to leave Georgia, whose financial problems are quite minor compared to NY, NJ, CA, and IL, and go to an even less-well-funded university, I say one word.

          “Bye”

          • Republican Lady says:

            If professor’s salaries are cut, then the educational loans they are paying back at $1000-$1500 a month need to be modified and changed from a ten-year payback to fifteen or more so the payments can be reduced. Afterall, it took at least ten years of college to get their Ph.D.

            If you look on http://www.open.georgia.gov/sta/viewMain.aud you will see that many professors make $100,ooo – $115,000 a year. Are these the salaries you want to cut?

            The professors I had while getting my master’s degree had $100,000 – $150,000 educational degrees to get their bachelor’s, master’s, and Ph.D’s. If they default on the loans, they lose their jobs.

            • unknowndude says:

              On this subject, I do think that professors making $100k+ a year is a bit out of line. That puts them in the uppermost percentages of earners, and they’re on the state’s dime. I think an education, and a good educator DOES have a lot of value, but $100k+? In this economy? On our backs? That’s a bitter pill to swallow…

              I don’t think they need to be slashed to $50k – but there is definitely some wiggle room.

              I also agree that if they are cut, then their loans require adjustment. However, that is up to the states and/or universities where they received their education.

              • Republican Lady says:

                There are far more people paid by taxpayers making more than the average professor, and they don’t start out at $100,000 or more. IF they are lucky, professors may get $50,000 per year, depending on where they teach.

                You must not be a college student because if you were, you would know students don’t pay the colleges or universities they attended, they pay the institution making the loan, and institutions want the money returned.

                • unknowndude says:

                  I am well beyond the days of a college student, and I put myself through – so loans were not an issue. My wife, however, was a professor at Clemson in the early part of the decade and she made less than your lower figure above.

                  ALL of the state salaries above the national average should be examined – we can’t single out one small section of state employees.

          • unknowndude says:

            Quote:
            “Cutting professor salaries is necessary. There must be shared sacrifice.”

            I agree, but again – the state is singling-out a minute section of Georgia’s population to balance the state budget. If “shared sacrifice” is what you are asking for, then a tax on Georgia’s citizens is truly the way to do it.

            There are around 100,000 state employees and 9,685,744 residents as of 2009. Under what Republican standard is it ethical to have the lion’s share of the pain being shouldered by 1% of Georgia’s residents? Residents who are also taxpayers? (It should also be mentioned that State employees have had their salaries frozen for the past few years, while their healthcare plan costs have increased exponentially.)

            Look at the cuts to state services over the past few years – there is NO fat anywhere left to cut. Download the budget and look for yourself. We’re beyond cutting into the bone – these cuts start to venture into the very soul of Georgia – education, health, and well-being.

            To carry out cuts of this nature while holding the line on tax breaks to businesses and corporations is ludicrous. All the while leaving money on the table in the form of a tax with a clear sunset date…

            I guarantee that if the ramifications and fallout of these cuts were to be properly explained to the citizens of Georgia, that they would vote the tax on themselves.

    • GOPGeorgia says:

      I’m just amazed that anyone with a screen name of unknowndude calls someone else a gutless wonder.

  6. BillinSuwanee says:

    A CASE FOR SMALLER GOVERNMENT

    Rasmussen Reports released a survey on February 5, 2010 indicating that 58% of the American public supports cutting the size and scope of government. Over half, 51%, of the American public support cutting the salaries of non-military government employees. In the face of this overwhelming evidence there are politicians claiming that Georgians want government services. Nathan Deal (R) candidate for Georgia governor made this statement at the January 19, 2010 Republican candidates debate at the University of Georgia; John Oxendine (R) candidate for Georgia governor made the same statement at the Cherokee Womens GOP Forum on February 17, 2010. There is a simple reason these men make such a claim – those who sit at the top of big government are able to grab more power. This power enables them to reward their friends and political cronies. I can prove my claim with a simple explanation of the Chart below.

    Figure 1

    Figure 1 above is an illustration of the true health of our economy. An unhealthy economy erodes our purchasing power and destroys the value of our savings. The blue line tracks the performance of the 10 year Treasury Note Yield and the yellow line Gold spot prices. Treasury Yields are a barometer of the health of the United States economy; Gold measures the future outlook for money. A lower Yield indicates high demand for the United States dollar; higher Yields means the government must offer higher Yields to attract buyers of our debt. Gold prices rising mean people would rather hold this commodity than dollar based investments.

    The two troughs in the Yield curve illustrate an economy healing. By November 2004 the impact of the dot.com bust, 9/11, and Iraq War caused people to save and spend less. Likewise, starting in 2007 Yields began to fall due to the credit crunch and a slowing economy. Yields fell to 2.32% by December 2008 because people and government stopped spending and increased savings. Savings are good. It is required to provide investment capital for businesses to grow and create jobs.

    The peaks in the Yield curve indicate periods of rapid growth in spending (debt) by government. Yields started up shortly after the Medicare Prescription Drug Act (2003)1 and the Homeland Security Act came into law. Both bills increased spending and grew government faster and larger than any other previous Congress in United States history. The Medicare Prescription Drug Act is a $16.1 trillion unfunded mandate and The Department of Homeland Security costs US taxpayers ~$58.0 billion per year — massive spending and bureaucracy. You think rational people would have stopped at this juncture. Not true!

    In October 2008 the Bush Administration, Hank Paulsen and Ben Bernanke, presented to the nation the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 or Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP)2 and insisted without passage world economies would collapse. Nothing could be further from the truth. TARP was a pay-off to political cronies at the expense of the American people.

    Ben Bernanke funded TARP by going to a Bond broker and writing a check for ~$700 billion. Ben Bernanke created $700 billion dollars out of thin air and Hank Paulsen turned this newly created money over to Goldman Sachs. Goldman Sachs did not stash this cash in a vault, they turned it over, continued lending, cleared counter party trades, and generally used the non-inflated value of this currency to boost its profits. By the time this money filtered down into the economy, inflation destroyed its original value. The only people that benefited were the politically connected. The election of Barack Hussein Obama changed nothing.

    On February 17, 2009 The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act 2009, better known as “Stimulus”, was signed into law. Ben Bernanke for the second time in six months went to a Bond broker and wrote another check for $789 billion. Ben Bernanke created $789 billion out of thin air. This money is flowing down to the states to fund public union constituencies. $1.5 trillion … that is $1,500,000,000,000 of savings/capital that was transformed into debt that could otherwise been used to invest in plant, capital, and equipment to create jobs. The result is rising 10 year Note Yields.

    Treasury Yields are creeping up precisely because government is spending/creating money thereby causing inflation and destroying the dollar. From January 2009 to September 2010 (fcst.) the dollar has fallen 54.69%. The value of your savings, retirement accounts, 401K’s, etc, has fallen 54.69%.

    The proof is the value of Gold. Gold is up 322% since the election of G.W. Bush as President and his decade of massive government spending. There is no end in site with the election of Barack Hussein Obama as President. It is not going to stop as more-and-more Americans are purposely forced on to welfare rolls by Federal government policies that impoverish our nation. Both Democrats and Republicans are to blame at the State and Federal level.

    The only way we can combat the impoverishment of our families is to elect a Governor, State Representatives, and State Senators that will slash state government and put up as many roadblocks as possible in front of the Federal government. Georgia State government must be slashed, spending on welfare, Medicaid, SCHIP, and Medicare must be reconciled; salaries of state workers cut, state union pension plans renegotiated, and as much money as possible returned to the citizens of this state to be saved and invested.

    If we fail to elect the right people in Georgia, we will continue to be impoverished by corrupt politicians and a Federal government that is destroying the dollar and the economy.

      • Goldwater Conservative says:

        The one thing I love about these conservative pollsters and their analyses has to be their ignorance of human behavior.

        Sure, who doesn’t want a smaller government and a government with a smaller scope. Even liberals, like myself, believe in it. The idea of smaller government is what they like, just like the idea of low taxes is something people like. Heres the problem, people don’t like the actualization of these ideas. People do not even know to what extent the government is involved in their daily lives. Is this a bad thing? No. Why?

        Well, are you going to buy the equipment to test your water for heavy metals, chemicals and waste? Are you going to research the chemicals used in leather tanning before purchasing a product with leather in it? Are you going to research the effects of various chemical preservatives and potential medications in your basement laboratory before deciding whether they are safe enough for you and your family to use?

        There are thousands upon thousands of these little aspects of government that allow us, as citizens, to collectively pay for the division of labor necessary to provide the answers, policies, case laws and enforcement of decisions.

        Regarding the current issues, none of you, seriously…none of you, know the intracies of torts and democratic theory to know that caps on rewards are injust and unworkable. None of you understand how complex the financial system really is, and how hopeless your endeavors really are when compared to those of capitalist titans that keep you in your place.

  7. ACConservative says:

    I appreciate the sarcasm Buzz. Doug’s my rep so I figure I’ll give this one a go. We don’t need to raise taxes… but we do need to take a deep breath and do some unpopular things that help UGA and the University System in the long run.

    1. Increase the standards for the HOPE scholarship: The HOPE has been a great thing for Georgia students, there’s no arguing that. But, with lottery funds hitting their peak, we’ve got to make changes. Raise the minimum GPA to an 85, that a B on the plus/minus scale. Also add in an SAT score minimum of 1000 on the 1600 scale.
    In doing so, you cut down the number of people on HOPE while encouraging high school students to strive higher in the classroom. It’s a win-win, especially when it comes to achievement by our high schoolers.

    2. Raise tuition. Not every school should see the same tuition rate increase. UGA and Tech both need to raise their tuition in an effort to attract better faculty. If you compare the tuitions of similar institutions (UNC, UVA, the UC’s, Michigan) Georgia and Tech are both noticeably lower. Its time to decide if we want UGA to be known merely as a “great value” or a great institution.

    3. UGA needs to raise admissions standards. No offense, 90% of those girls on Milledge Avenue can’t even tell their left from their right. There are some bona fide stupid people attending UGA that don’t play football.
    Frankly, its because UGA admits too many people. Class sizes are already too big at Georgia and in some schools its a total pain to schedule required classes.
    If Georgia started acting more like the schools it strives to be and accepting stronger students, the University would be in a better place. I think the incentive to do that rises alongside with tuition… you no longer have to have a 30,000+ enrollment to meet operating costs.

    • gopgal says:

      ACConservatiive –

      With regard to item #2:
      In-state tuition + room and board at the University of GA – $18,000
      In-state tuition + room and board at UNC – $17,424
      In-state tuition + room and board at UVA – $21,140

      Out of state UGA – $36, 310
      Out of state UNC – $35, 740
      Out of state UVA – $43, 140

  8. Goldwater Conservative says:

    It is about [email protected] time somebody at the capitol wised up.

    What part of the math do you “conservatives” not get?

    “You can not have guns, butter and low taxes….the number just don’t add up.”

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