waiting to see how far budgets will be cut. The song and dance is timeless and plays like a broken record year after year.
We hear the assurances
that there will be no new taxes, and they are usually right. State leaders don’t raise taxes, they merely cut state budgets
drastically and leave local officials the tough decisions on how to make those cuts work. It’s unfair to local leaders as they feel the brunt of citizen
disgust come election
time, while state officials drive back into town smelling like a rose.
Haven’t you had enough? Can’t you see through the veil? The truth be known, most local citizens don’t pay attention to, and don’t care what transpires
under the Gold Dome in Atlanta. To the rank and file it is just a formality of government
and nothing important transpires there. After all, the big decisions come from Washington, don’t they? My friend you couldn’t be more wrong. What happens
at the state level affects your life, livelihood and pocket far more than anything transpiring in Congress, with the notable exceptions of war and the health-care fiasco being currently
debated. Think about what affects you every day and you’ll begin to understand.
Griffin-Spalding County currently has an abnormally high unemployment rate. Is that Washington’s fault? No. It is the fault of Georgia lawmakers
who have not done enough in competing with other states for growth. And this is not just because we lost a bid for an automaker or defense plant. It has more to do with the lack of interest in making the tough decisions at our Capitol that new industries look for, and new citizens moving
here from other states expect.
You can give all the tax breaks to industry in the world, but they will not compensate for a lack of water supply,
a lack of transportation
planning, a complete
disregard for the needs of education. In these areas the state has shown no inclination
to want to stick their necks on the line for what needs to be done. It’s all about saving their bacon to win the next election so they can do nothing for another two-year term.
Griffin-Spalding County has seen an increase in crimes. Is that the failure of city and county officials, or is it the failure of state leaders in not bringing in opportunities
for employment for this community?
Our schools and universities have seen an increase in enrollments, yet continually
see a decline in revenue from the state. Now why is it that every time there is a problem with the budget, education
funding gets cut? Sure they can say it will be limited to 3 percent. But they also know that your county can raise millage rates to compensate for their cuts. What they can’t seem to see, however, is that education is second only to employment for what brings growth to our state. Seems we lose both counts on that scale. Neither can state lawmakers
understand just why education costs are up so much over 10 or 20 years ago.
It’s a little something
and the costs in equipping and training our students in the use of it. I’m sorry, but the days when uneducated masses meant cheap labor and industrial
growth are over. Those jobs have all gone overseas or across the border.
I could go on forever,
but my rambling would eventually bore you, if it hasn’t already. I close by asking you to get involved with your General Assembly this session. Look through the smokescreen
that the gubernatorial race will create and see what really happens this year in the Gold Dome.
See how your lawmakers
vote on key issues, and hold them accountable come election time. If they simply warm a chair at the Capitol, replace them with someone who will actually work and fight for this community.
Keep track of them by looking at their voting records at http://www.legis.state.ga.us/. Put their feet to the same fire you deliver to your local leaders. And above all, feel free to contact
them with your issues, because that’s what you voted them there for.