Deal hiding real record with dubious magazine ranking

By: Kevin Foley

You can’t watch local television for more than 10 minutes without seeing a Nathan Deal ad crowing about how Georgia is the “No. 1” state in the country for doing business.

That designation came from the Atlanta-based Site Selection magazine. Georgia officials reportedly spent more than $100,000 of taxpayer money on marketing with the publication and its sister company, Georgia Corporation for Economic Development.

The Jason Carter for Governor campaign finds the election year accolade more than a little suspicious.

“It’s outrageous (Gov. Deal) used taxpayer dollars to get that rating,” it said in a statement. “Maybe the 215 subscribers of Site Selection magazine will think the governor is doing a good job, but families who are feeling real pay cuts and sending their kids to failing schools know better.”

If the governor wants this questionable ranking to be the centerpiece of his re-election campaign, then he’ll have to own some other numbers he probably won’t be featuring in any commercials.

For starters, Georgia is next to last in per capita income. As the rest of the country emerges from the devastating Bush recession, our incomes lag way behind.

In contrast, three of the top five states with the highest per capita income are led by Democratic governors and legislatures. Maryland is first, Connecticut fourth and Massachusetts fifth.

In fact, eight of the top 10 per capita income states are run by Democrats.

According to the Census Bureau, Georgia’s poverty rate is the third highest in the country, with nearly two million poor. Twenty percent of the state’s population lives in poverty under Gov. Deal.

In 2013, Georgia shot from 15th to sixth on the list of states most dependent on food stamps.

Nearly 60 percent of Georgia food stamp recipients are employed in low-paying jobs. Thus, a lot of the “job creators” Deal is always talking about are subsidized by the state’s taxpayers.

Georgia’s unemployment rate is the 39th highest in America and we’re 45th on the list of states graduating high school seniors.

When you always align yourself with big money interests, as Deal has done, average Georgians pay a steep price, which the state’s dismal income, poverty and education numbers clearly reflect.

That’s because the governor’s economic policies aren’t intended to help middle class or poor Georgians. Rather, they’re engineered by and for his wealthy and influential benefactors, Deal’s “competitive task force.”

There are no advocates for middle class or poor Georgians among this wealthy crowd of Deal campaign contributors who make their wishes known when they meet with the governor in out of the way places.

Poverty and depressed middle class incomes are just fine by them. And in lieu of state income or corporate taxes, governor, let’s have the middle class and poor pay a 14.5 percent sales tax.

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