Over the course of the last twenty-four hours, I have been experiencing something I have not felt for quite some time, and that is a sense of optimism – optimism that there just might yet be hope for turning this country around before it irretrievably goes over the cliff.
The supposedly dead and buried (according to the democrat dog-washers in the MSM) TEA Party’s big win in Texas on Tuesday is what got it all started.
Then there was the huge turnout in support of Chick-fil-A yesterday, which reportedly took in $30 million, and some stores actually had to close because they ran out of food!
But something else happened this week that really lifted my spirits, and that was that on Tuesday, about 600,000 of my fellow Georgians walked into the voting booth, and a large majority of us told the government to go pound sand when it came to a 1% increase in sales taxes.
Voters reject transportation tax
By Ariel Hart
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Distrustful of government and riven by differences, metro Atlanta voters on Tuesday rejected a $7.2 billion transportation plan that business leaders have called an essential bulwark against regional decline.
The defeat of the 10-year, 1 percent sales tax leaves the Atlanta region’s traffic congestion problem with no visible remedy. It marks failure not only for the tax but for the first attempt ever to unify the 10-county region’s disparate voters behind a plan of action.
“Let this send a message,” said Debbie Dooley, a tea party leader who early on organized opposition to the T-SPLOST tax measure. “We the people, you have to earn our trust before asking for more money.”
Kasim Reed, who fought years for the referendum as a legislator and as Atlanta mayor, rallied supporters gathered at a hotel in downtown Atlanta. “The voters have decided,” Reed said. “But tomorrow I’m going to wake up and work just as hard to change their minds.”
Gov. Nathan Deal’s office told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution he would now take a central role in transportation planning for the state’s metro areas, and he would not support a sequel to Tuesday’s referendum.
You will find the rest of the article at this link.
Now, anyone that has ever driven in the Atlanta area, particularly during rush hour, knows what a snarled mess the traffic around here can be – and God help you should a wreck occur, or you just happen downtown when a Braves, Falcons, or Hawks game is letting out. Everyone agrees that something needs to be done, but there is little agreement on exactly what that something is.
One thing is certain, the majority of us that bothered to vote on Tuesday decided that simply giving government more money was not the way to go.
In my opinion, there were several things working against the passage of this sales tax:
First of all, there is the Ga. 400 toll.
When this highway was built, the politicians promised us that once the project had been paid for, the toll would be rescinded. That day came and went about eight years ago, and the toll is still in place. Gov. Nathan Deal recently said the toll would be ended at the end of 2013. Sorry guv, too little, too late.
Strike One for the politicians.
Once the news got out that about half the revenues generated by this tax were going to go to the City of Atlanta (which in these parts means MARTA, a bottomless government money-pit if there ever was one), those who reside in distant counties that would still be taxed, but would not be using MARTA, began balking immediately.
Strike Two for the politicians.
Then there is the fact that almost all of us that drive around here routinely pass by GDOT (Georgia Department of Transportation) construction sites, and we rarely fail to see the obligatory seven guys standing around leaning on their shovel handles, while one guy is actually working. That, of course, is a simple way of describing what many see as rampant corruption surrounding most government transportation projects underway around here.
Strike Three for the politicians.
I also believe a contributing factor in the rejection of the increased sales tax is that taxpayers are finally getting more than fed up with being nickled and dimed to death by government (at all levels), being promised the moon, and rarely ever seeing any real, measurable improvement.
I hope this vote will have ramifications far beyond the borders of this state come November, and I have been hearing that it is, in fact, being noticed by elected officials in other states.
Let us all hope it catches on.