As your Lieutenant Governor, my top priority is ensuring we create an economic climate that makes it easier for our businesses – both large and small – to grow and create new jobs for Georgians.
To that end, we’ve worked hard to keep taxes low and cut out bureaucratic red tape that hinders job creation.
And our approach is working.
In July, unemployment in Georgia dropped another tenth of a percentage point and is now 0.7 percent lower than this time last year.
That’s because Georgia businesses are creating new jobs at one of the fastest rates in the country – 116,200 in the past year, to be exact.
That 2.7% growth rate is well above the national rate.
While Washington Democrats continue to push for higher taxes and more government regulation, we’ve shown what really works here in Georgia: When government gets out of the way, job creation flourishes.
It’s not rocket science.Georgia vs Washington: Welfare Reform 1:00 pm
Since President Obama took office in 2009, 14.5 million more Americans are on welfare. The annual cost to taxpayers for this program that now covers over 46 million Americans? $74 billion.
If this high price tag isn’t enough of a reason for reform, the amount of fraud and abuse should be. In 2010, for instance, the federal government spent $64 billion on welfare programs, $2.5 billion of which was later found to have been paid improperly.
Yet any attempts to reform the system by conservatives in Washington are continually met with attacks from Democrats and big-government Republicans who want to protect the status quo.
That’s why, here in Georgia, we’re instituting our own reforms to cut cost and abuse in our welfare programs while ensuring those truly in need continue to receive help.
We’ve introduced – and are now expanding – a work requirement for able-bodied food stamp recipients with no children.
Simply put, no one who is physically able to work should be allowed to simply sit at home and draw government assistance.
I believe our government has a role to play to help those truly in need. But we cannot afford to follow Washington’s model of spending billions of dollars of taxpayer money every year on an inefficient and wasteful government program.
We’re choosing to do things the right way here in Georgia.Georgia vs. Washington: Balanced Budget 5:10 pm
Here in Georgia, our state Constitution requires a balanced budget.
In strong economic times – with healthy government revenues – it’s easy to balance a budget. But during economic downturns – like the Great Recession of the late 2000s – we have to make tough decisions about our spending priorities. This often involves taking a close look at how we’re spending your tax dollars – and cutting out areas where we find waste and inefficiency.
What we don’t do is turn to income tax increases to fill budget holes. I know how hard Georgia’s families and small business owners work on a daily basis and I know the negative impact high taxes can have on their lives. That’s why I’ve worked hard to lessen the tax burden on all Georgians, including the elimination of the marriage penalty and the repeal of the estate tax.
We’ve been able to cut taxes – while balancing the state budget every year – because of fiscally responsible spending and good governance.
Once again, Washington has taken the opposite approach – with predictable results. The federal budget deficit for this year alone is over $600 billion with the Congressional Budget Office expecting annual budget deficits to reach $1 trillion annually in 2022. Meanwhile, total government debt is estimated at over $19 trillion dollars.
Yet despite the massive growth of the federal government and new job-killing programs like Obamacare choking out private sector growth, Washington liberals continue to insist on raising taxes on Americans of all income brackets – while proposing even more in spending.
In Georgia, we’ve taken the fiscally conservative approach – and it’s working. Washington could learn a thing or two from the Peach State.