Ga. legislators trying to sell us sub-prime-like ‘tax cuts’

Tue, 03/18/2008 - 3:44pm
By: Letters to the ...

The collapse in June 2007 of two internal Bear Stearns hedge funds that had been heavily invested in mortgage securities kicked off the full-fledged market panic that now grips our economy.

The absolute psychological low point was last week when Bear Stearns shares were handed over (or maybe “salvaged” is a better term) at a paltry $3 per share. I can remember when their January price of $70 per share was considered “hitting bottom.”

Bear Stearns CEO James E. Cayne and his colleagues at other major firms were caught up in the yellow brick road march to riches in sub-prime mortgages. Fortune magazine actually ran a cover graphic decrying, “What were they smoking?”

It is obvious that people whom we think ought to know better can seriously break down and lose all sense of risk, ethical business administration and accountability to the shareholders. Now, we the taxpayers are going to be backed into securing a portion of the recklessness by a few who thought they were immune to the disease of failure.

The Bush administration certainly did not help by trying to relax regulations on the Wall Street and appointing Henry Paulson, a former chairman and chief executive officer of Goldman Sachs, as U.S. Treasury Secretary. Instead of averting the looming crisis, Paulson looked the other way. Now, Paulson wants the taxpayers to be Wall Street’s after-the-fact insurance policy.

Let’s shift over to our local government scene and try to guess what they are smoking. Our state legislators are getting high on election year foolishness designed to make them look good while abandoning all sense of risk, ethical governance and accountability to the taxpayers.

Rep. Matt Ramsey and his fellow House members are moving to usurp the powers of local government by eliminating local taxing capacity and consolidating that power at the state level. Ronald “government is best which remains closest to the people” Reagan must be rolling in his grave.

Governor Perdue described the House of Representatives’ move to eliminate property taxes on cars as an off-the-cuff idea hatched by a few people in a committee the day before a legislative deadline with no public discussion. The governor’s sanity is greatly appreciated in the midst of the election year vote pandering.

The runaway representatives are screaming “tax relief” from the rooftops, but they cannot explain how the local and state governments will function with the huge losses in revenue.

How can you pull over $1 billion out of the revenue stream in a declining economy and still promise to maintain the current funding levels?

The state is currently pulling funds from education, the prison system and health system are being run on a shoestring and there is not enough money for roads, and they want to pull $1 billion out?

I think we are being sold a sub-prime mortgage.

Let me tell you how this book ends: The state will not be able to pull $1 billion out of the sky, and the local governments will be told to make do with drastic cutbacks. So your police and fire service, streets, schools, recreation, etc., will be degraded, or your local taxes will be drastically increased.

Faux conservative Ramsey appears especially conflicted as he recently sponsored legislation to spend state budget surpluses, and now he is rallying behind a movement which will create budget shortfalls.

The faux conservatives in the Georgia GOP are moving toward centralized government because there is a great deal of power in having all of the money. After all, big brother knows best.

Tax relief is a laudable goal, but create a decent plan that will not bring us down in ashes. House Speaker Richardson’s so-called GREAT tax plan was shot down by local governments and tax advocacy groups as a ruinous proposal.

The recent last-minute hack job passed by the House shows nothing more than some people will do anything to get re-elected.

Steve Brown

Peachtree City, Ga.

[Brown, a former mayor of Peachtree City, was defeated by Ramsey in the December 2007 special election to fill the unexpired term of Rep. Dan Lakly, who died last fall.]

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Submitted by Spyglass on Wed, 03/19/2008 - 7:35pm.

blah, blah, blah.....

Sour Grapes at best...

mudcat's picture
Submitted by mudcat on Wed, 03/19/2008 - 7:42pm.

Move, dude. You are nuts and we don't need your liberal and stupid opinions here.

Go take your left-wing act to some other place. Florida is good. Stay near the coast. The inland people will not like you.

You can write for Cal from down there and he will still pay you the $50.

CCB's picture
Submitted by CCB on Wed, 03/19/2008 - 6:38pm.

The state cutting the car tax might not be the best move in this economy, but how about giving Rep. Matt Ramsey some slack. He’s an inexperienced first-time elected official and he’s going to make some mistakes. I think Steve Brown is more right than wrong on this one and I wouldn’t discount his comments as sour grapes.

Sure, Rep. Ramsey is pandering for votes and all politicians do that. The only thing that scares me with the tax change being a constitutional amendment is the state won’t be able to save us if they land in a major budget crisis because it would require changing the constitution again. I guess it could also be solved by a large tax increase, but I don’t think they have the willpower to make that kind of move.

Colorado got burned big time for tinkering with the tax system and a bunch of the politicians got thrown out.

hutch866's picture
Submitted by hutch866 on Wed, 03/19/2008 - 9:54am.

"The recent last-minute hack job passed by the House shows nothing more than some people will do anything to get re-elected."

Hey Hack, did you get a new job to tide you over till your arm heals?

I yam what I yam....Popeye

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