Mood: on fire
Topic: "26 Damn Dollars"(6)
The Georgia Legislature passed an ordinance in the early 1980's noting that an increase in the State Sales Tax added to the burden upon the poor. The very regressive nature of a Sales Tax means that even an increase of a mere penny adds up to something akin to $26 for an individual making less than $20,000 annually. The ordinance afforded a tax cut of $26 to those Georgia residents whose annual income did not exceed $20,000. The Georgia Legislature in 2010 has eliminated that provision. The reasoning, apparently, is that the continuing economic slowdown has forced the State to cut wherever possible in order to meet its constitutional mandate to balance the budget.
The Georgia Legislature in 2010 increased the Capital Gains Exclusion, and increased tax breaks for wealthy retirees who are residents of the State of Georgia. For sure, these changes encourage those with resources available to spend their "golden years" in Georgia, and to continue investing. These tax breaks are costly however, and in order to afford them, the Georgia State Legislature, in its infinite wisdom, reasoned that adding to the burden of those at or below any definition of the poverty level is a worthwhile strategy.
The difference between these legislative decisions turns on the fact that it was Democrats who served as Governor and as the majority in the Legislature at that time. Today, it is Republicans in the majority.
Perhaps it is true that Democrats sometimes go too far in their generosity and do not exercise adequate control on the expenditure of hard-earned tax dollars. There are beaucoup examples which generate the opposition to fight tooth-and-nail against frivolous programs, and those whose objectives they deem not to be clearly-defined. However, the elimination of a clear and distinct benefit to the impoverished goes beyond the pale. $26, it seems to Frodo, who is admittedly not an expert in this field, would probably constitute one bag of groceries during the course of a year.
Frodo is trying very hard to lower the level of the discourse, as President Obama urges us all to do. Taking a bag of groceries away from somebody who can ill afford it is, however, much more than Frodo can accept. To all of his Republican friends in the State of Georgia, and especially to those whom you have elected to serve our State, Frodo simply avers that you suck.