Barry Paschal wants to raise your taxes.
The shameful treatment of our legislators, Barry Fleming and Ben Harbin, in Paschal's editorial columns is counterproductive to our legislative agenda in Atlanta. His pronouncements will cost our area jobs and money. In this regard, I ask the following questions:
1. Upon Fleming's departure, the area will have one legislator in a leadership position in Atlanta. Thus, we become the least-represented large metropolitan area in legislative leadership positions. Constant bashing of our representatives only serves to decrease their effectiveness. Does Paschal want our area to be totally ineffective in the Legislature?
2. A News-Times story on Nov. 14 states that a $12 million increase in Columbia County tax collections is anticipated by the assessor. This amount represents a 15.5 percent increase in one year. Most Columbia County residents were not so lucky with their pay for 2007. Inflation for 2007 will be under 3 percent, with population growth around the same percentage. Is this tax increase justified?
3. (House speaker) Glenn Richardson has had the courage to propose a plan devised by Arthur Laffer. Laffer was the architect of the Ronald Reagan tax revolution. He is a world-class economist trained at the University of Chicago. The News-Times' grossly incomplete analysis of the speaker's plan is a slur to our speaker's reputation and unfair to Columbia County residents who wish to obtain the actual facts. Will Paschal apologize to the speaker, Harbin and Fleming?
4. Richardson is (in) the second most powerful position in our state government. All viable state appropriations bills are originated in the House by the speaker's lieutenants. How will the speaker remember Columbia County when the time comes to allocate state funds? MCG and Golf Hall of Fame, beware!
5. The News-Times perpetually advocates tax increases of all kinds - impact taxes, stormwater taxes, house taxes, business taxes, etc. Is Paschal a liberal in a conservative county?
6. Paschal's wife is a principal in Columbia County schools, with a vested interest in maximum tax collections. Will Paschal state his personal conflict of interest any time he editorializes for more taxes?
7. The speaker's plan simply allows the people of Georgia to vote on the method of tax collections in our state. If Paschal's opinions are correct, this measure will be defeated at the ballot. Will he advocate this voting choice for the citizens of our county and state?
It should be noted that the main street in our county is Ronald Reagan Drive, not Hillary Clinton Place.
Dr. George N. Snelling
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