Barnes says put education first

Democrat gubernatorial candidate Roy Barnes made the rounds in Augusta on Thursday, meeting first with retired educators and Richmond County lawmakers, pledging to make education the state's top priority.

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Roy Barnes listens to concerns at Bethel AME Church in Augusta. Earlier Thursday, he told lawmakers and retired educators the state needs $1.2 billion more to better educate the work force in order to attract jobs.  Zach Boyden-Holmes/Staff
Zach Boyden-Holmes/Staff
Democratic gubernatorial candidate Roy Barnes listens to concerns at Bethel AME Church in Augusta. Earlier Thursday, he told lawmakers and retired educators the state needs $1.2 billion more to better educate the work force in order to attract jobs.

"If a state does not have educated students, educated workers to bring higher skills, no amount of cutting the corporate income tax or whatever is going to create jobs," he said.

During the hourlong meeting at the IBEW Hall, Barnes said if he's elected the Augusta area will have a member on the Georgia Board of Regents. He also said any decision about medical education will be made by the president and staff at the Medical College of Georgia in Augusta.

"The determination of medical education is going to be determined here and not somewhere else," he said.

Barnes pledged to get rid of teacher furloughs, and lengthen the school year and the school day for students who need it.

He said to do those things, the state needs $1.2 billion in extra money, which he would raise by:

- Changing to a point-of-sale sales tax collection system that would bring in about $650 million to $700 million more tax dollars;

- Rolling back $50 million in tax credits for private schools;

- Suspending or rolling back $150 million to $250 million in tax breaks for health insurance companies, and;

- Suspending some of the $10.6 billion inspecial-interest sales-tax exemptions, such as those on airlines, diesel fuel and coal.

"Every time you give a special tax break, you increase the days children don't go to school," he said. "I would start in looking at those exemptions that had been passed in the past five to eight years. At least if you're not going to repeal them, suspend them."

Barnes also promised to preserve pre-K education and said 3-year-old pre-K is needed. He also assured the retired educators present that their retirement income is guaranteed and would be paid by taxpayers if the fund were depleted.

Barnes said as governor he'd been involved in many economic development deals with companies coming to Georgia, and the first thing they want to talk about is education, and the last is taxes.

Barnes' second meeting was with students at Paine College, and at noon he met with local elected officials at Bethel AME Church, after which he spoke to a group of Democrats at the Pinnacle Club, urging them to support him with their votes and with their money. 

Mike Huckabee supports Nathan Deal

ATLANTA --- Former Republican presidential contender Mike Huckabee paid a return visit to Georgia on Thursday and called on the state's GOP faithful to throw their support behind Nathan Deal's bid for governor.

It was Huckabee's second trip to the state to rally support for Deal, a former congressman.

Huckabee, a one-time Arkansas governor and current Fox News Channel host, swooped into Georgia just before the state's Aug. 10 GOP runoff to whip up support for Deal in Gainesville.

On Thursday, Huckabee decried the tough attacks being directed at Deal by his Democratic rival, former Gov. Roy Barnes. He called them "desperate and despicable."

"Should we play hard and play to win? Yes," Huckabee said. "But we should play fair and that's not what's happening."

-- Associated Press

Comments (17) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
southern2
6625
Points
southern2 10/22/10 - 07:30 am
0
0
The Dems are pretty serious

The Dems are pretty serious about the separation of church and state until it comes to their political campaigns. How hypocritical. It's time the IRS paid a visit to Bethel AME Church with a bill for taxes due.

Antineocon
0
Points
Antineocon 10/22/10 - 07:42 am
0
0
southern2 Meeting at a church

southern2

Meeting at a church by a political candidate for office does not violate the federal tax exemption laws. How many churches in this state are used as polling locations? Now, if the church goes out and actively campaigns or uses its resources, there may be a violation. What about these national televangelists who get up on TV and specifically criticize elected officials during a campaign --especially if it's an elected official you don't like? Is that okay with you?

Taylor B
5
Points
Taylor B 10/22/10 - 08:00 am
0
0
Yes, end tax breaks on diesel

Yes, end tax breaks on diesel fuel to help our schools. We all know school buses run on sunshine and fairy dust.

RCBOE spends over $8 million on fuel for buses. We have 8 furlough days, that save $8 million dollars. A fuel cost increase will directly cause these days to rise.

Little Lamb
47011
Points
Little Lamb 10/22/10 - 08:33 am
0
0
Taylor makes a good point.

Taylor makes a good point. Sylvia Cooper wrote:

Barnes pledged to get rid of teacher furloughs, and lengthen the school year and the school day for students who need it. He said to do those things, the state needs $1.2 billion in extra money, which he would raise by . . . (s)uspending some of the $10.6 billion in special-interest sales-tax exemptions, such as those on . . . diesel fuel.

So if they start charging state sales tax on diesel fuel, the local school budgets will be hit hard to pay the higher prices to buy diesel fuel to run school buses.

Augusta is under a federal court order to provide busing for the express purpose to achieve racial balance goals in its schools. The court case is called Acree vs. BOE. At the time of the court ruling, Augusta was indeed running two separate school systems — one all-white and one all-black. The forced busing ruling began the transition to one single school system. Today, no one in his/her right mind can say that Augusta has a segregated school system or that the system is run by segregationists. Therefore, it is time to petition the court to declare that the requirements of the court order have been met, and no more actions regarding the petition need to be done.

Once the court order is out of the way, Richmond County's school busing system can be re-evaluated and can be streamlined to realize massive cost savings. Bus routes and school zones can be set up in a rational manner without having to be micro-managed for racial balance. More students can walk to school rather than be bused across the county.

Little Lamb
47011
Points
Little Lamb 10/22/10 - 08:39 am
0
0
For the record, Little Lamb

For the record, Little Lamb opposes tax "breaks" and tax "exemptions" for special classes of people or businesses. The practice sets up a system of winners and losers chosen by the legislature. I prefer an honest tax system where everyone plays by the same set of rules.

But when demogogue Roy Barnes makes a patently false statement such as this —

"Every time you give a special tax break, you increase the days children don't go to school."

— I get angry. Tax breaks and days in school have nothing to do with each other. Unfortunately, many in his Augusta audience do not have the reasoning skills to recognize Barnes’ lies.

dani
12
Points
dani 10/22/10 - 09:31 am
0
0
LOL

LOL

paulwheeler
124
Points
paulwheeler 10/22/10 - 10:32 am
0
0
www.votemonds.com Monds is

www.votemonds.com
Monds is the lesser of three evils in this farce of an election.

Little Lamb
47011
Points
Little Lamb 10/22/10 - 10:43 am
0
0
Roy Barnes said: . . . the

Roy Barnes said:

. . . the state needs $1.2 billion in extra money, which he would raise by . . . (s)uspending some of the $10.6 billion in special-interest sales-tax exemptions, such as those on . . . coal.

Okay, the only significant coal purchaser in the state is Georgia Power Company. If we start making Georgia Power pay Georgia sales tax on the hundreds of millions of dollars of coal they buy (in Kentucky, by the way), what will happen? If you said, “Electric bills will go up,” go to the head of the line. Now, our school systems pay power bills, too. So by Roy Barnes’ (il)logic, collecting sales tax from Georgia Power on coal will “increase the days children don't go to school.”

Barnes is a demogogue.

Taylor B
5
Points
Taylor B 10/22/10 - 10:48 am
0
0
Schools run on sunshine and

Schools run on sunshine and fairy dust too, LL. There is no level to common sense to any of those ideas that he has.

If you tax fuel, it makes everything go up. Farm equipment, trains, transit buses, and trucks all use diesel.

Little Lamb
47011
Points
Little Lamb 10/22/10 - 10:58 am
0
0
Roy Barnes said: . . . the

Roy Barnes said:

. . . the state needs $1.2 billion in extra money, which he would raise by . . . (r)olling back $50 million in tax credits for private schools.

One of the jewels in Augusta's private education scene is Heritage Academy, a school where lower-income parents have a chance to send their children to private school through the use of "income-based" sliding-scale tuition. I'm sure those parents will really like Barnes’ taking away their private school tuition tax credit.

Of course, Barnes doesn't care about what consumers of private school services are facing. He was pandering to public school teachers in Augusta yesterday.

MajorPaul
0
Points
MajorPaul 10/22/10 - 11:46 am
0
0
Uncle Roy says he is all for

Uncle Roy says he is all for education, but he wants to implement "teacher incentive pay" which would get rid of all the best teachers in Georgia.
On the surface, incentive pay might sound nice, at least until you investigate how it works. It is all based on how much your students improve in a given period.
So - a teacher who is very good and whose students are already earning A's and B's would not show any improvement, would not get the pay increase, and would be in danger of losing their job because their students are not showing any improvement.
What we really need to implement is politician incentive pay. Every 9 weeks if the public approval ratings drop, so does the politicians pay, by at least the percentage of approval drop. After 4 nine week periods of drop in approval rating, if it has not improved, the politician would be fired.
Georgia fired Uncle Roy once, it would be really stupid to re-hire him now.

pointstoponder
303
Points
pointstoponder 10/22/10 - 11:56 am
0
0
Little Lamb, I know the local

Little Lamb, I know the local government doesn't pay sales tax on fuel (gas or diesel). I suspect the BOE has the same exemption.

Little Lamb
47011
Points
Little Lamb 10/22/10 - 01:11 pm
0
0
That's correct,

That's correct, pointstoponder. The BOE does not pay sales tax now. But up above we learn that Barnes wants to take away the sales tax exemption. At that point, they'll have to start paying it. And when Georgia Power loses their sales tax exemption on coal they buy in Kentucky, they will raise electric rates and the BOE will pay higher electric bills under the Barnes plan. It's a lose-lose.

Little Lamb
47011
Points
Little Lamb 10/22/10 - 04:08 pm
0
0
The follies just keep on

The follies just keep on coming. Roy Barnes said:

. . . the state needs $1.2 billion in extra money, which he would raise by . . . (c)hanging to a point-of-sale sales tax collection system that would bring in about $650 million to $700 million more tax dollars.

Yeah, you know what this is, don't you? Here he wants you to pay Georgia sales tax on things you purchase out of state, i.e., mail-order and internet purchases.

In addition to ticking off consumers, it will be a bureaucratic nightmare for merchants all over the country. Imagine you want to download some I-tunes. Well, Apple will have to know that you live in Georgia, and to make it more complicated, they will have to know whether you live in Cobb County (6% sales tax) or Columbia County (7% sales tax) or Richmond County (after Deke rams his extra 1% law enforcement tax through – 8% sales tax). Then those merchants all across the country will have to mail the tax to Roy.

I say, “No sales tax on outside the state purchases!”

Little Lamb
47011
Points
Little Lamb 10/22/10 - 04:14 pm
0
0
Roy Barnes said: . . . the

Roy Barnes said:

. . . the state needs $1.2 billion in extra money, which he would raise by . . . (s)uspending or rolling back $150 million to $250 million in tax breaks for health insurance companies.

Yeah, that will make health insurance premiums go up.

Every one of Barnes’ proposals hits the little man the hardest — increases in energy, health insurance premiums, and things purchased by mail order or internet downloads. And like Taylor said up above, increasing taxes on diesel fuel makes anything you buy that was shipped by rail or by truck (which is everything) more expensive.

What a sweetheart!

pointstoponder
303
Points
pointstoponder 10/22/10 - 04:29 pm
0
0
LL, I would say he couldn't

LL, I would say he couldn't possibly be that stupid, but experience leads me to believe otherwise. Good point. I assumed that he wasn't talking about removing exemptions for government entities. That simply adds money to the state coffers by taking from local.

Little Lamb
47011
Points
Little Lamb 10/23/10 - 06:31 pm
0
0
This article has not gotten

This article has not gotten the reader attention it deserves. Roy Barnes is promising higher taxes for many, many businesses, local governments, and individuals in order to pander to the public school teachers. Well, most of the public school teachers pay taxes and electric bills and petroleum bills and they know such policies will drive their bills up. The teachers are smarter than Barnes.

The saddest thing is Barnes' promise to end the Georgia income tax credit for people paying for private schools for their children. For middle income families, this tax credit is the "leveling" measure that allows the choice to sacrifice for private school education. But Barnes and the education establishment elite hate the very notion of private education. Fortunately, the teachers can appreciate that the state needs both options, public and private.

Barnes needs to be rejected for this one idea. Abolishing the public school tuition income tax credit will put some private schools out of business, thus growing King Roy's empire.

Back to Top

Search Augusta jobs