Last Tuesday night was a great night for Republicans across the state. We made history by sweeping all of the statewide offices and added one additional congressional seat to the “GOP” column here in Georgia. Now that the dust is settling, we’re moving into a transition phase before taking power in January of 2011. And the question arises: what should we do? Times are tough, we’re still battling a 10% unemployment rate statewide, and the budget is looming over the General Assembly like a dreary cloud. What do I believe the new Republican leadership should consider for 2011?
The Republicans in office should take a hard and serious look at the tax structure of Georgia. I would like to see the gradual reduction, until elimination, of the corporate income tax. This was in the first version of the JOBS Act written by my now Congressman Tom Graves and vetoed by the now outgoing Governor Perdue. It’s now time to try again with the incoming Governor-elect Nathan Deal (my former Congressman). Elimination of the corporate income tax would spur business growth and create more jobs. Money not spent in taxes could be invested in physical capital, human capital, or savings. Republicans in office should take steps to alleviate corporate tax burden, making Georgia more competitive for businesses, both new and established.
Another issue that Republicans need to fight to make law is zero-based budgeting. I know that’s been a favorite among the other Peach Pundit front pagers, and it’s something that makes good fiscal sense. Why not make a government department justify every penny it wants to spend in the next fiscal year? I believe this policy will go far to eliminate waste in government spending. I hope that the Republicans who lead these areas will do some actual belt-tightening without first resorting to furloughs.
2010 was a hard session to get through. 2011 doesn’t look much better. As Thomas Paine said, “These are the times that try men’s souls.” Georgia needs strong leadership through these trying times. Our newly elected leaders face tough decisions as we head forward. I hope and pray that they stand strong on their principles on which they were elected. We might not have another chance.