On behalf of the more than 8,000 Georgia members of the National Taxpayers Union, I write to urge the deletion of unnecessary pork-barrel spending from the supplemental budget.
It is unfortunate that the Legislature was unable to fully fund its priorities through the normal budget cycle. Hard-working Georgians provided Atlanta with ample revenue to do so, yet they've been victimized by the repulsive and recurrent trend of exploiting a supplemental budget to dole out favors and pork. The House supplemental budget contains $700 million in spending on items such as big-government health care and includes more than $50 million in pet projects.
If a supplemental must be enacted, it should consist of funding for unanticipated expenses involving core state responsibilities, not special interest handouts. A $1 million sop for the Tour de Georgia is not a core responsibility. Nor is $5 million for the National Infantry Museum Project. These programs are not properly the role of state government and most certainly should not be included in a supplemental budget.
Many members of the Assembly spent years campaigning on the reduction or elimination of the supplemental budget. Unfortunately, some have allowed the trappings of office and the appeal of pork to change their minds. Our members, however, have not changed their minds and believe that this supplemental should not be used as an excuse to propagate wasteful spending.
Instead of maneuvering over how to spend every last surplus tax dollar, give Georgians a break and provide some tax relief. The people who pay government's bills deserve it.
Again, we urge the passage of a pork-free supplemental. We look forward to working with you in the future to continue an informed dialogue on spending and taxation in Georgia.
Government Affairs Manager