Ga. can’t afford health care for its people, but tax cuts? Sure!

Time and again, we’ve heard the same excuse: Medicaid cannot be expanded in Georgia, extending much-needed health insurance to some 400,000 of our fellow citizens, because the state budget is under too much strain.

Sure, expanding Medicaid would save lives and improve the quality of life for many others, many of them lower-income working people whose jobs don’t include health coverage. Sure, it would bring billions of new federal dollars into the state and help rescue a health-care delivery system that is now collapsing in much of rural Georgia. Sure, it would create thousands of jobs, and sure, federal tax money would no longer be flowing out of Georgia to subsidize Medicaid coverage for people in other states.

All of that might be true, but supposedly we don’t have the money to pay even the state’s relatively minor share of the cost of expansion.

Yet on Monday, a supermajority of the state Senate voted to slash the state income tax by an amount roughly equivalent to that needed to fund Medicaid expansion. I think that tells you a lot about the priorities of those elected to lead us:

We don’t have enough money to improve the lives of hundreds of thousands of our own people; we do have enough money to finance a tax cut that will largely benefit wealthier Georgians.

Under the terms of Senate Resolution 756, the top state income tax would automatically fall by a tenth of a percentage point by 2018 as long as the economy stays relatively strong. It would be cut by another tenth of a point by 2020, again if the economy stays relatively strong. And because the tax cuts are being implemented automatically, through a proposed amendment to the state constitution, state legislators in 2018 and 2020 won’t be able to stop them.

It gets worse: Because of a separate constitutional amendment that passed quietly in 2014, state legislators would also be forbidden to raise the income tax should future economic conditions require it. Once the rate is lowered, it would be almost impossible to raise it back to its previous level.

It’s important that voters and politicians alike understand what is going on here. Republican legislators have long wanted to gut the state’s income tax, under the belief that doing so would somehow set off an economic boom in a state that already has one of the lowest tax burdens in the country. The fact that states such as Kansas and Louisiana have recently run that experiment, with disastrous results, hasn’t altered their mindset.

By cutting the income tax and shifting the revenue burden to the sales tax, they would also shift the burden of financing government away from the wealthy and onto the already struggling middle and working classes. That is utterly undeniable and politically risky. So rather than do it all at once, when its full implications can be understood and discussed, they are attempting to do it piecemeal.

SR 756 must now go to the House, where it must receive a two-thirds vote to pass. If that happens, it will appear on the ballot in November. Its proponents are counting on voters not comprehending its real impact, and based on what we’re seeing in the larger political sphere these days, that expectation is probably valid.

Reader Comments 0

1602 comments
Vincent1234
Vincent1234

Welfare moochers - can't afford insurance, but booze and lottery tickets?  Sure!

tireOfIt
tireOfIt

"Romney will offer praise for the three other GOP White House hopefuls who remain in the race: Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and Ohio Gov. John Kasich. "


That should finish off those three!!

Donnie_Pinko
Donnie_Pinko

The Democrats are tempting fate. 

Some Democrats said they did not believe that turnout in the primaries necessarily foreshadowed problems for the Democratic nominee in the general election, particularly in states that Mr. Sanders did not vigorously contest. Mrs. Clinton’s supporters insist that many Democrats would become more energized as the general election drew nearer, particularly if Republicans nominated Donald J. Trump as their standard-bearer.

In a general election polarized by Mr. Trump’s appeals to the economic and cultural anxieties of white, working-class voters, those Democrats argued, black and Hispanic voters would turn out in strongly to defeat him.

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/03/us/politics/hillary-clinton-voter-turnout.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=a-lede-package-region®ion=top-news&WT.nav=top-news

St Simons he-ne-ha
St Simons he-ne-ha

@Donnie_Pinko if we don't pick off 15% of the bubbas, concern trolling could turn into reality - true that.

Cmon, one solution - just one - yew can dew it!

FIGMO2
FIGMO2

Does the original Black Panther Party still exist? I know there's a New Black Panther Party. Do they co-exist side by side or is there only one remaining? 

FIGMO2
FIGMO2

@Donnie_Pinko @FIGMO2

Must be old members of the former party disavowing the Newbies then.

Both the KKK and the NBPs can only boast of membership in the few thousands.


Donnie_Pinko
Donnie_Pinko

@FIGMO2 

Does the original Black Panther Party still exist?

Of course not, it was crushed by the US political police.

KUTGF
KUTGF

I going to call Scooter on the "race card" nonsense.  I brought up the Trump who claims to be the "greatest manager" who is belatedly claiming to distance himself from white supremacist like Duke who Trump with the "greatest memory" knew his history just earlier this year...the "great" manager let his son be interviewed by a white supremacist group with the interview to air on election date in Louisiana...home of Duke...

Now JReb whines that somehow these poor mislabeled white supremacist/white power groups are the same as BLM or the Congressional Black Caucus and the posters showing the differences (lynchings, etc) get a "race card" from Scooter.

Shame on you Scooter.  You really should be ashamed of giving support to racists like JReb who make absurd claims of false equivalence and feel there is a place in this society for "white supremacists".  While there is freedom of speech, there should be no freedom from the shame it should cause for absurd nonsense and your "race card" nonsense only leads white supremacists and racists to believe that their positions have support in a civilized world. 

I thought you better than that. 

FIGMO2
FIGMO2

@KUTGF

Pardon the intrusion. I'd like to address Scootter.

I thought you better than that.

Welcome to my world, Scootter.

Frisk the liberals first!

FIGMO2
FIGMO2

@Nick_Danger @FIGMO2 @KUTGF

I knew they were gonna hit Scootter sooner or later. I tried to warn him early on.

Liberals expect everyone to pick a side...theirs.

SFM_Scootter
SFM_Scootter

@KUTGF I don't understand where you got that I was supporting JR.  (seriously Keep) You already know I don't think using the race card to bash each other is useful here. FWIW

KUTGF
KUTGF

@SFM_Scootter @KUTGF Perhaps you should have paid attention to what the posts that ended up with the "race card" that you played were addressing.  Context is important. 

KUTGF
KUTGF

@FIGMO2 @Nick_Danger @KUTGF No sweetie.  But you can be expected to be called out for supporting racism and white supremacy (like JReb)...and for nonsense (like claiming "race card"). But you keep up your whining. 

SFM_Scootter
SFM_Scootter

@KUTGF @SFM_Scootter Perhaps you should have noticed that I made light of the use of the race card only. It was not directed at a certain poster. Sorry I hit a nerve. Whew!

FIGMO2
FIGMO2

@KUTGF @FIGMO2 @Nick_Danger

I'm readin' you loud and clear, schnookums.

I'm not into your arbitrary assignments. Your interpretations don't consistently hit the mark, and because they don't, your others lose credibility.

KUTGF
KUTGF

@SFM_Scootter @KUTGF "Light use" is not an excuse.  It is what gives white supremacists a belief that there is a market for their beliefs and if you have not noticed there is a noticeable rise in racial attacks and a growing racism in the GOP campaign.  Its time you start paying attention and if you don't like being called on it then GOOD, that was my intent. 

KUTGF
KUTGF

@FIGMO2 @KUTGF @Nick_Danger Not worried much about having you determine my "credibility" sweetie..... you don't have much to begin with.

rimsky
rimsky

GOP Foreign Policy Experts Warn A Trump Presidency Would Endanger America////////

There you have it folk; war on Trump is on.

ByteMe
ByteMe

@rimsky Those foreign policy experts are all Moooslims.

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

@rimsky

A programming note: Mitt Romney's speech in Utah is scheduled for 9.30am mountain time, which is

... carry the two... 

11.30 here in GA.

ByteMe
ByteMe

@SFM_Scootter And those same Republicans complain about Obama and the war on ISIS.

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

Sorry if this comes of as concern-trollish, it's an honest question for conservatives here.

If the GOP is really going to wrest control from Trump, at this stage, doesn’t at least one, and preferably two, of the three have to step aside, like, now? Can they really have three serious challengers going after the remaining 60-70% of the GOP primary vote that’s presumably amenable to not voting Trump?

I’m not saying it can’t be done without someone bailing, but it sure is a whole lot harder, isn’t it? 

rimsky
rimsky

@Visual_Cortex There is no cohesion on the con side.  Non of the remaining candidates is going blink at this stage.

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

@DownInAlbany @Visual_Cortex

 Are they going to leave Cruz as the last defender of the establishment, when they hate him equally (?) as much as Trump? 

They might have to. Maybe this personal-dislike rep I keep hearing about Cruz is a tad overhyped. or nothing that can't be walked back and buried with the general population.

DownInAlbany
DownInAlbany

@Visual_Cortex I'm not sure which of the 2 or 3 need to step aside.  Are they going to leave Cruz as the last defender of the establishment, when they hate him equally (?) as much as Trump?  Even as one who calls himself a "Republican" it's a damn good spectator sport.

rimsky
rimsky

Cons bring up (long dead) Sen Byrd as part of the KKK.  True in the past.  

But Antonin Scalia was a true KKK type sympathizer in his own way.

SFM_Scootter
SFM_Scootter

@rimsky The race card get played waaay to often around here. IMO (yes, both sides)

SFM_Scootter
SFM_Scootter

@rimsky @Visual_Cortex They may be split right now but will do the same as Dems. The Party faithful will vote their Party no matter who is running come November.  IMO

rimsky
rimsky

@Visual_Cortex Looks like the GOP is split right down the middle (give or take a % points) and the split is huuuuuge.  I don't see any compromise between the two factions.