Governor Nathan Deal has released a “welcome” to President Obama for his stay here. The op-ed originally appeared at Real Clear Politics:
Welcome to Georgia, Mr. President. We hope you enjoy your stay here during this important week in your presidency. The Supreme Court is going to rule on your signature legislation, Obamacare. We here in Georgia have strong opinions about this law. No matter how the Court rules on its constitutionality, we believe that it is bad for Georgia, bad for businesses in Georgia, bad for the healthcare system and bad for the country.
The fact of the matter is that Obamacare is not only a federal power grab but also an unfunded mandate that will cost the taxpayers of Georgia an additional $4.83 billion over the next 10 years. It takes decision-making away from consumers, away from doctors, and away from the state of Georgia and concentrates it in the hands of unelected federal bureaucrats. That’s just not the way our federal system is supposed to work. It’s not the American way. The American way puts power in the hands of individuals not of government.
That is an astronomical sum. It is also a borrowed sum. In my state – where we have made tough choices to cut spending and balance our budget – we’re more than a little concerned that our national debt is $15 trillion and growing. It should worry all Americans, regardless of their party affiliation.
The additional costs of Obamacare would push us toward national insolvency. We’ve been watching this scenario play out as Greece hovers on the edge of bankruptcy. The rest of Europe may bail out Greece. They are not going to bail us out. No one will. We have to put our finances in order ourselves. And Obamacare is a giant step in the wrong direction.
The No. 1 problem we are facing in this country right now is unemployment and the low rate of economic growth that is causing it. In Georgia, we believe the best way to jumpstart job creation is to give businesses the climate of certainty that would allow them to start investing in new plants and hiring new workers. Obamacare, and its vast catalog of new rules and regulations, does exactly what we don’t need. It makes it impossible for firms to make any reasonable estimate about the costs and the potential profits from investments. Under these circumstances, they simply don’t hire. Our country can and must do far better.
We can’t sustain our current course. Mr. President, we’re glad to have you visit our state. I hope my fellow Georgians treat you with the dignity and respect that your office demands. But Georgians, if you don’t mind me borrowing a phrase, are ready for a change in direction in Washington.
Mitt Romney has put forward a vision that is much more in line with opinion here in Georgia. He believes in giving individuals and giving states decision-making power. He’ll fight to rescind the crippling costs associated with Obamacare, and he’ll work to reduce federal spending. He’s spent a lifetime in business. He knows how to balance a budget.
It’s time for a new president who can truly move us forward, not by growing government, but by shrinking it and giving all Americans a chance to live the American dream.