Georgia unemployment: 10%. Roy Barnes’ interest in lowering taxes: 0%.

Today the Georgia Department of Labor reported that the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate ticked up to 10% in August, mostly due to blah blah blah. The point: the jobs still aren’t here.

As the Atlanta Business Chronicle reports, “August 2010 also marked the 35th consecutive month Georgia’s unemployment rate was higher than the national unemployment rate, which is currently 9.6 percent. Although the jobless rate rose in the Peach State, the number of payroll jobs increased 0.5 percentage points from 3,802,500 in July to 3,820,300 in August. Still, there are 26,700 fewer jobs than in August 2009, when there were 3,847,000 payroll jobs.”

So, where do we rank among the other states? Why, roughly 39th! How wholly unacceptable. And who is to blame? Well, it is undeniable that the economic woes have been greatly exacerbated by the idiotic economic policies of He Who Shall Not Be Blamed™ (and check out his empty promises, above). But doesn’t the profligate spending and lack of significant, sustained tax relief over the majority of Governor Purdue’s administration bear some considerable measure of responsibility for our current deeper economic hole than the majority of other states? Of course.

But which candidate has a better plan for allowing more Georgians to keep more of which they earn? Nathan Deal’s plan talks about actual tax cuts and investment in research and development. Roy Barnes? One of his “first orders of business” is to “retrofit every state building and public school in Georgia for clean, efficient energy consumption – this includes the use of low-flow toilets and the expansion of our sewer systems where necessary. These projects will reduce the state’s energy and water costs in the long run, while putting Georgians back to work right now.” Again, that is the first priority on Barnes’ “jobs” plan online.

Well, color me green! I’m sure low-flow toilets are #1 on the list of things Georgians feel are oh so critical to getting them back to work. But while I’ll note that there are other components to Barnes’ plan, only in one small corner of the plan is there actually any talk about Georgia government confiscating less of your money. Even now, Barnes still has a lack of understanding of the impact of supply side economics. Oh, but he’ll give you some free football tickets if you spoon feed him some knowledge.

And that is quite telling.

21 comments

  1. Harry says:

    Lowering Georgia corporate and individual tax rates would not only improve the economy and make us competitive with our rivals in the sunbelt, but would build more pressure on further reducing the state’s bloated budget and workforce.

  2. ZazaPachulia says:

    People who employ critical thinking skills know tax cuts are not the answer right now… Cutting taxes in Georgia’s current state budget climate is about like treating a sucking chest wound with morphine and ACE bandage and hoping for the best… Sure, things might get a little better in the short term, but the overriding problems would remain.

    Spending cuts, reorganization of state departments and direct investment that leads to the creation of actual jobs should be the priority. We can’t tax-cut our way out of this hole with money we don’t have. Like Greenspan said yesterday, “We should not have tax cuts with borrowed money.” It doesn’t matter how much or how little the state takes from your paycheck if you don’t have a paycheck.

    Of course, “Cut Taxes!” sounds good to the Republican rank and file, so Pete’s weak little argument here will resonate with some… However, I’ll take competency over “red meat” talking points. I voted against Deal twice in the primaries, and that was before I learned that he can’t even balance his own budget.

    • Harry says:

      Take a walk through DOT, DOR, DHR, etc. (but not during lunch or break times) and then tell me we can’t find more fat to cut out of the state budget. But the only way to put downward pressure on and get the pols to reduce the budget is to reduce tax revenues. Here’s a headline: We the people of Georgia can no longer afford this.

      • “But the only way to put downward pressure on and get the pols to reduce the budget is to reduce tax revenues.”

        In other words, we can’t get our politicians to make the government smaller without telling them they’ll have less money to work with… never mind that the state doesn’t have a good savings built up in a rainy day fund and is already broke?

  3. Bull Moose says:

    Saving money on utilities and energy consumption will lower the cost of government resulting in a savings of taxpayers money.

    If you really want to get jobs moving again, you’d go throw the government with a fine tooth comb and weed out the functions that could best be done in the private sector and immediately put forth a plan to do just that.

    The savings generated by energy conservation and moving needless government functions to the private sector could be used to reduce the corporate and individual income taxes for all Georgians.

    Remember, Georgia is a balanced budget state and you have to pay for our tax cuts, we can’t just borrow from China.

    • Harry says:

      You have a different view of history. What you offer as sarcasm is really the truth. Do you think it was Clinton who caused the early 90s recession to go away?

  4. “Today the Georgia Department of Labor reported that the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate ticked up to 10% in August, mostly due to blah blah blah. The point: the jobs still aren’t here.”

    Wait a minute! You mean that under a Republican Governor and state legislature, unemployment is still going up? Say it ain’t so Joe! It just can’t be!

    • David Staples,

      You and I both know that because of the ridiculous increases in the size of federal government and federal government regulations (and unfunded mandates) that the state governments have little room to do much of anything positive. This is the responsibility of both major parties, but the party pushing fiscal self-destruction is the party of Obama/Reid/Pelosi/Marshall/Barnes/Baker/ad nauseum. And yes, I’m a Republican, but there are degrees of culpability here that should be considered. It’s sad, but true.

      The effect of federal policy on the economy is so much greater than the combined state actions that the two are not even comparable.

      • Ken,

        I don’t really follow national politics too closely. I barely have time to follow Georgia politics. But here’s the thing. Georgia has a budget of over $17B. While I understand that some of that is due to federal mandates, I cannot even begin to accept that most of it is from those.

        Let’s take Go Fish as an example. Or the Governor’s Commission on the Holocaust. Or the Governor’s Arts Council (or whatever similar name it goes by without me taking the time to look it up). There’s so much in the state government that has absolutely nothing to do with the federal government that

  5. B Balz says:

    Georgia’s economy is based on an agricultural State, and then a development driven Atlanta/Savannah/Macon other city powerhouse.

    Nationally housing is way down, and our development side is dead. And that is why we are sucking cyclones. The growers and breeders; however, are doing their part.

    It started to go bad prior to Mr. Obama taking office, and TARP was a GOP construct, first. It may have kept us out of the abyss. This time.

    Like the graph though, makes this pap seem scholarly.

    Hi Bonnie!

  6. The more we increase the size and scope of government the more difficult it is for individuals to be productive – and that applies to Democrat and GOP administrations. Let’s hope this lesson is being learned.

    • ZazaPachulia says:

      “The more we increase the size and scope of government the more difficult it is for individuals to be productive”

      Two extremely costly wars, a massive tax cut (without cutting spending to cover it) and the passage of a huge new bottomless entitlement program (Medicare D, aka the Big Pharm never-ending bailout) were all constructs our “small government” party. When the housing bubble expanded rapidly to mask the economic problems these policies created, we just enjoyed the ride. Well, the has bubble popped and here we are.

      And what are we saying? “Cut Taxes!” I’m not buying it. “Cut Taxes!” is a simplistic and short-sighted temporary fix to a massive problem.

  7. John Konop says:

    You have two sides of an economy production and support of production. Production defined as products that are sold internally that we do not import or we export the product. The concept of promoting not buying more things than we produce.

    If production is working than service companies grow to support the production ie schools, roads, restaurants……

    What Georgia needs to do is figure out what are the best production products to create jobs. If we do that support jobs will follow.

    In my opinion the following are the best production type areas we have in Georgia:

    1) CDC, like it or not stem-cell is a very hot industry!
    2) Payment and information servicing industry
    3) Agriculture
    4) Saving on energy imports

    I would focus on what we are best at first rather than re-create the wheel. A classic example is NCR they sell products that need to be integrated into the payment industry. Metro Atlanta was a great fit since it is a major player in the payment processing industry.

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