I was born in October so I recently received a thoughtful note from the state of Georgia requiring me to send them $200. What a great way to celebrate the joyous occasion of my birth. If you own a car here in Georgia you too have probably received one of these car tag bills. Isn’t government thoughtful? And if Republicans get their way the state’s gift to you next year could be even larger. Oh Boy!
The tax increase I am talking about is state constitutional amendment #2 which is on the ballot this year. The amendment says,”Shall the Constitution of Georgia be amended so as to impose an annual $10.00 trauma charge on certain passenger motor vehicles in this state for the purpose of funding trauma care?”
But that can’t be right because Georgia Republican politicans told us that the trauma care in question would be paid for by the “Super Speeder” law they passed last year. Remember when Republicans raised speeding ticket fees by $200? Didn’t our elected officials tell us that exorbitant fines for speeding would raise $23 million dollars a year to pay for the state’s needed trauma centers? Yes they did. They were wrong.
The super speeder law has been an abject failure when it comes to raising money. The state has only received about $2 million of the $23 million they projected. Much to the surprise of politicians it turns out that when you charge people hundreds of dollars for something they stop doing it. And since the first Republican tax has failed to raise enough money the only solution is for us to send them even more money. Well at least they will repeal the super speeder law since it didn’t raise enough money,right? Fat chance. And how much of the $2 million they have raised has gone toward trauma care? I’m guessing the over/under is 0.
Now I realize that the Republicans of Georgia are generally more conservative than the Democrats. But George Bush was more conservative than Al Gore and you see where that got us.
Somewhere along the way the majority of Republicans of Georgia have lost sight of the fact that it is impossible for governments to do everything for everybody. Eventually you run out of other people’s money, as Margaret Thatcher once said. If you don’t believe her just look at the financial situation in Cuba, Venezuela, California or Illinois.
I am not against more trauma centers in Georgia but I do believe another tax on every car owner in Georgia is the wrong way to solve the problem and I am opposed to the state of Georgia reaching deeper into the pockets of my family every time it tries to address a problem. I am also tired of politicians calling themselves conservative as they take more and more money away from their constituents.
Georgia Republicans often have good intentions but you know what they say about the road to hell. Of course, if we could pave roads with good intentions the Republicans might not be advocating a new transportation tax.