The Tea Party is claiming VICTORY in Georgia having defeated a measure to raise the sales tax in Atlanta by a penny in order to address the city’s massive infrastructure issues. The measure promptly lost by 26 points because DON’T TREAD ON ME or something despite having the support of GOP Gov. Nathan Deal and Dem Mayor Kasim Reed.
The bottom line: Most voters didn’t believe government would wisely spend the new tax revenues – estimated at about $8.5 billion over a decade – and seriously address traffic, which everyone here agrees is horrendous.
A humbled Mayor Reed spoke to supporters late Tuesday night saying he would “stick out my chin and take the loss,” but urged the region to go back to the drawing board to find another plan that voters might accept. Both he and the governor have begun talks about what to do now about alleviating traffic problems in the nation’s ninth-largest metropolitan area, with a population of about 5.3 million.
“What we need now is a bigger table, a bigger table for our friends who disagreed with us,” Mr. Reed said.
The proposal lost in all 10 of the metro area’s counties.
“People as exemplified by this vote have really lost faith in their government to mean what it says,” said Phil Kent, a local conservative commentator who pushed for a no vote.
The mass transit part of the plan was “totally rejected” by voters, most of whom don’t use public transportation, and many saw the road projects as government aid programs “for construction companies and real estate moguls,” he said.
And thus, the American Way triumphs: Georgians would rather sit in traffic for an extra couple of hours a week or so rather than cough up an extra nickel on that trenta iced coffee because LIBERTY. Infrastructure comes from the asphalt fairy anyway, and besides, the argument was that rich people will just pocket the money and not fix the roads, so why try to fix the roads? Our roads are broken, government can never be the solution, so the roads remain broken. Perhaps the city can contract roving bands of nomadic road crews.
Whoever came up with “Americans are mature enough to vote on taxation issues” really needs to get a scoop of hot road tar down their drawers.
Thinking about this, what are the other options? Traffic is awful and it’s costing businesses and people millions, if not billions. You don’t want to pay to fix the problem. There are no other real solutions, unless you want to go with “Let’s just get rid of all the undesirables in the Atlanta Metro area” or something stup…
...Oh. Yes. Silly me. Tea Party.