Taxes and Spending

Politicians seem to forget that every dollar government spends was first earned by one of us. When times are good and revenues are high, they spend like there is no tomorrow. That is exactly what happened here in Georgia in the 1990s when state government spending grew almost three times as fast as our population.

I have fought to eliminate wasteful spending and reduce taxes and I led the effort to pass zero based budgeting so that every dollar of government spending is justified.

I support a cut in the premium tax, which will not only cut the insurance premiums we all pay but encourage more insurance companies to locate here in Georgia, with good paying jobs that do not pollute the environment.

To make ourselves competitive with Florida and other states without an income tax, I support the phased elimination of the income tax. I sponsored a constitutional amendment to prevent an increase in the maximum income tax rate, effectively capping it. I believe that passage of this measure by the people of this state is a first step to end income taxation in Georgia.

As a matter of principle, I believe that government revenue should be raised from taxing consumption, not productivity. I support the Fair Tax proposed by Congressman John Linder.

When times are tough, I believe that government should cut spending, not raise taxes. I support a constitutional amendment that would require voter approval of any future tax increase.

Education

Our children deserve the best possible education. They should be taught to read, write, count and compute, in an environment that is uncrowded and safe. Upon graduation, they should be ready for college, technical school, or a job.

I want to cut the state education bureaucracy and move those dollars to the local school systems where they can make a real difference. I support smaller class sizes. I want teachers teaching, not doing paperwork or acting as security guards. I want violent students and gang members removed from the regular school system and placed in “second chance” reform schools.

I strongly support the HOPE scholarship as a merit based program to help our brightest young minds attend State Universities.

Crime

In the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson wrote that governments were instituted to secure our God given rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. The framers of our State Constitution said it more succinctly when they declared that public safety is the paramount duty of state government.

Convicted criminals should serve every day of their sentences. I oppose the use of parole as a tool to manage prison overcrowding. Dangerous criminals should not be put back on the streets simply because our prisons lack bed space. I support tougher truth-in-sentencing laws. Our criminal justice system should safeguard the rights of victims as zealously as those of the accused criminals.

We must eliminate the urban and suburban street gangs that breed future generations of criminals. I support tougher penalties for crimes against children and the elderly.

Traffic

Traffic congestion keeps mothers and fathers away from their families and reduces our quality of life. I will fight to spend more of our tax dollars on infrastructure to relieve the traffic choked roadways of metro Atlanta.

I oppose the so-called congressional balancing formula and believe that transportation funds should be allocated where needed, not according to gerrymandered political district lines. I support greater use of high occupancy lanes to encourage carpooling, which will reduce traffic congestion and air pollution.

I believe all taxes on auto fuel, including the so-called “fourth penny” of the fuel tax, should be solely dedicated to transportation.

Environment

It was a Republican President, Teddy Roosevelt, who began the modern day conservation movement. I am proud to have twice won the Environmental Leadership Award from Georgia Conservation Voters, and I will continue to work to keep our air and water clean and protect our natural treasures.

Illegal Immigration

From the ancestors of the American Indians who walked across the frozen straits of Alaska to the Europeans who crossed the Atlantic Ocean by ship, ours is a nation of immigrants. I wholeheartedly welcome those who follow the rules and come to America legally.

But history teaches us that nations which lose control of their borders cease to be nations. The federal government has a duty to protect our national border and enforce our immigration laws. I oppose any grant of government benefits to illegal aliens.