Political Vine: The Insider's Source on Georgia Politics

Political Vine: The Insider's Source on Georgia Politics

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2010 Georgia Ballot Amendment 2 & Amendment 3 – VOTE YES

by Bill Simon

AMENDMENT 2 – Impose a $10 Tax to Help Fund Trauma Centers

Please refer to this link to my e-mailed newsletter for the analysis of this amendment:

PV Recommends: VOTE YES on AMENDMENT 2


AMENDMENT 3 – Allow Georgia DOT to Engage in Contracts Longer Than 1 Year

Please refer to this link to my e-mailed newsletter for the analysis of this amendment:

PV Recommends: Vote YES on Amendment 3

88 Responses to “2010 Georgia Ballot Amendment 2 & Amendment 3 – VOTE YES”

  1. Michel Phillips Says:

    Do you care that US taxes are at their lowest level in 60 years?

    Do you care that, as reported in Forbes (that Commie rag) countries with higher overall tax rates than the US–like Denmark, Norway, the Netherlands–have higher overall life satisfaction and better economic performance by virtually every measure?

    Or are these more facts that have no bearing on forming an opinion?

  2. Gwinnett_Taxpayer Says:

    I live within 10 miles of 4 medical facilities. I have, unfortunately, utilized ER services on more than one occasion. Not once have I ever gotten to one of these facilites in less than 45 minutes using an ambulance.

    My parents live in South Ga, and are about 35 minutes by car from the nearest hospital. Making all of these Trauma centers will not make my arrival time any faster.

    While I feel for the loss of the 3-year old child that drowned, no amount of taxes will chaznge the incompetence of the parental care that allowed this to happen. I’m sorry, but it is what it is. The child was without a pulse for over 45 minutes, which means that he was in the water for longer than that. He was on life support “for days”. No Trauma center can reverse this.

    What disgusts me is the media hype that lack of trauma centers is the cause of this.

    The hospitals are of course in favor of this – what private industry wouldn’t want tax money to fund an increase of personnel?

  3. Larry B Says:

    Michel, feel free to send your ten bucks to the government. IF you own a car and have a job and not living with your parents. I have three cars I am paying plenty of taxes on, feel free to cover me too, if this means that much to you.

    No I do not care on either count.

    Let me ask you, since we both are adamant in our positions: Given my formulation presented waaaaaayyyy above of life=time=money, just ow much of an individuals life is owed to the government? 20%? 50%? 75% would it not be better for the government to just nationalize everything and took from people what they are able to give and then give to everyone based on their needs?

    What about, are our freedoms given by the government or do they come from somewhere else?

  4. Michel Phillips Says:

    Life = time, for most healthy people anyway. Time = money up to a point, anyway. Life does not = money, or else all the stars in Hollywood would be blissfully happy, and my friend’s dad the bank VP wouldn’t have blown his own brains out. (That was before the financial meltdown.)

    How much time/money do we owe to the government? I don’t think there can be one universal answer to that. The social compact is always being renegotiated. We owe our neighbors and fellow citizens reasonable cooperation and reciprocity, which means what we owe them depends in part on what they provide us, and on what challenges we all face. F’rinstance, in time of war most people would agree the government has the right to institute a military draft. But the government doesn’t have the right to draft people to, say, run the Department of Motor Vehicles in peacetime.

    Reasonable people can differ on whether taxes should be lower or higher (to a point), or whether the govt should provide this or that service. Indeed, it’s guaranteed that reasonable people WILL differ on those questions. There’s a normal range of opinions, not just one normal opinion. And not just one moral opinion. F’rinstance, the difference between a tax rate of 28% or a tax rate of 29% is not a moral question. The difference between a tax rate of 28% and a tax rate of 80% is a moral question.

    Back to the car tag trauma tax: sure, I wish the government were more efficient and cost less. And we should keep working to make it so. But there’s no point in holding our breath till we turn blue and insisting government be perfect before we will pay for anything else that’s worth what it costs.

  5. Larry B Says:

    let me take a wild swing at this Michel…White, 3rd year law student with a minor in philosophy, still dependent on parent(s) for livelihood. Matriculating at one of the more prestigious schools in Georgia. OR maybe having recently graduated, No Spouse. No Children. Definitely early 20’s… not a very long work history if any…
    How close did I get?

    Life=Money, not happiness. And as to the social compact being constantly renegotiated, I disagree…That leads to anarchy. The only Social Compact of consequence is the constitution and it must be firm, not fluid, for any stable society to exist.

    To the liberal mind a reasonable person is one who agrees with the liberal concept. Anyone disagreeing with the liberal mind is unreasonable, hence the vilification of the Tea Party by the Media. To my mind a reasonable person is someone who desires the maximum amount of freedom, including the freedom to fail and suffer the consequences of individual actions, with the minimal amount of government intrusion. IF that means less fire, police, and especially social services, bring it on.

    That makes me unreasonable, uncompromising.

    Wishing for government efficiency is the same as endorsing inefficiency. The line has to be drawn somewhere, and at my advanced age, looking at my grand daughters quality of life potential already being diminished by government spending out of control, I choose to draw the line here. No new taxes, and then I will urge to push back those taxes already extant.

  6. Larry B Says:

    And I note you deftly avoided answering two of my more important questions:

    “would it not be better for the government to just nationalize everything and took from people what they are able to give and then give to everyone based on their needs?”


    “our freedoms, are they given by the government or do they come from somewhere else?”

  7. Larry B Says:

    Better stated, apologies, from whence comes our rights and freedoms?

  8. Michel Phillips Says:

    Not meaning to dodge at all.

    “would it not be better for the government to just nationalize everything and took from people what they are able to give and then give to everyone based on their needs?”

    Of course not. Nor would it be better for people to rely on themselves for everything. When you build a house, is it better to have a hammer or a saw? Stupid question, you need both. Is it better for a society to rely on government or the private sector? Stupid question, you need both.

    I see your advocacy of privately-funded trauma care as akin to advocating pounding nails with a saw.

    “our freedoms, are they given by the government or do they come from somewhere else?”

    Sigh. Again, I reject your absolutism. Some rights are natural, independent of government–like the rights to free speech and freedom of worship. Some rights are granted by government because, in a legitimate democratic (small-d) process, we chose to create them–like the right to a public education, or the right to dispute a charge on your credit card.

    You speak of taxation as “stealing,” as if we have a natural right to be free of taxation. I believe we have a natural right to be free only of UNREASONABLE taxation. What’s reasonable depends on what you receive from the government and what challenges your society is facing…and of course on the democratic (small-d) legitimacy of the process that resulted in the tax code.

    We just can’t expect our government to decide every issue the way we think it should be decided. That doesn’t make the decisions we disagree with illegitimate. We have an obligation to obey laws we disagree with…and what we get in return for that is that our neighbors have a reciprocal obligation to obey the laws we like, that they disagree with.

    Up to a point. MLK certainly broke the law…and advocated breaking unjust laws openly, publicly, lovingly. Not sneaking around trying to get away with evading them.

    The fact you think taxes should be somewhat lower does not make our current tax code so confiscatory as to violate natural law.

    Personal factors (and just why, pray tell, do they matter?)–close on some, way off on others. Will turn 50 in January. Married 28 years; kids 20 & 18. Lawyer & white, yes; undergrad major was history. In 25 years practicing law, I’ve worked for two judges, one nonprofit agency, two private firms (including my current one), and had a 5-year stint in solo practice.

  9. Michel Phillips Says:

    “Government spending out of control.” OK, do this. Find a country somewhere in the world that meets BOTH of the following criteria:

    1. Has a lower per-capita government expenditure than the USA. (Count national, state/provincial, and local government spending.)

    2. Has a higher standard of living than the USA. Don’t count just per-capita GDP, though that’s certainly important. Also count life expectancy, literacy rate, etc. The “human development index” is one fairly-comprehensive measure.

    The resources to do this are easily available on the web. Let me know how many countries you can find who are doing a better job for their citizens on less money.

  10. NIKKI Says:

    I am loving this thread.LarryB–you’re my hero.

  11. Larry B Says:

    nope. not relevant. Don’t care. That’s them, this is us.

    Of course America is better off in almost every area. Should that not be the case?

    Should we tax to the point that the UK taxed back in the 60’s and 70’s?

    Should we, out of solidarity, diminish our standard of living to something akin to what is seen in North Korea?

    Should we not have the highest standard of living on the planet? The reason we have what we have is that for the majority of our existence, Government has largely been fiscally out of the way of the producers. Now we are rapidly approaching the scenario outlined in “Atlas Shrugged”

    Wait a minute…hold on, got to go back and read your last comment… are you seriously suggesting that american greatness is largely due to Government? That there is a link between what we pay the government in taxes and our standard of living? Holy smokes, please tell me that is not what you are postulating?!

    well crap, of course you are, how stupid of me. Your existence is based upon dealing with government regulation and helping to interpret it for the common man, a worthy calling to be sure… Jeez what a dolt I am…YOU of necessity have to be ok with government for that is the table whereon you are fed. dude we don’t even speak the same language. Sorry to have expended so much of your time.

  12. Larry B Says:

    Careful Nikki… ALWAYS make sure your heroes are dead. That way they can’t disappoint 🙂

  13. Larry B Says:

    “When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men living together in society, they create for themselves in the course of time a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that justifies it.”

    Frederic Bastiat

  14. Larry B Says:


    WE HAVE SOMETHING IN COMMON!! JANUARY BABIES… Regardless of the outcome with this amendment, I wish you happy birthday in advance!

  15. Michel Phillips Says:

    Larry, take a deep breath. Now open your eyes.

    “Of course America is better off in almost every area. Should that not be the case?…Should we not have the highest standard of living on the planet?”

    Well, again, please just look at the facts. We DON’T have the highest standard of living on the planet. Other countries, with higher per-capita taxation, have a HIGHER standard of living.

    We DO have the highest per-capita wealth. Not income, but accumulated wealth. (a) The fact we don’t have the highest per-capita income implies that we won’t have highest per-capita wealth for long. (b) There’s a lesson in the fact that the highest per-capita wealth doesn’t result in the highest standard of living. Again, life does not = money.

    “nope. not relevant. Don’t care. That’s them, this is us.”

    When did forming opinions fact-free become a badge of honor?

    “are you seriously suggesting that american greatness is largely due to Government?”

    It’s largely due to our constitutional system, which makes government responsive to the people. More or less. As Churchill said, democracy is the worst form of government except for all the other forms of government.

    “are you seriously suggesting…That there is a link between what we pay the government in taxes and our standard of living?”

    In a democracy, yes–because there comes a point where you don’t get more than you pay for. (Yes, I realize that due to government inefficiency we get less than we pay for. The world is imperfect. That’s life. We don’t shut down the NFL because the refs miss a few calls every Sunday.) North Korea and Denmark both have heavier tax burdens than us. (We agree that NoKo government ownership of almost every damn thing counts as a close to 100% tax burden, right?) North Korea is not a democracy (I have a gift for understatement) and Denmark is. NoKo has, of course, a much lower standard of living.

    Denmark’s standard of living is higher than ours. Their economy performs better than ours, AND their people measure higher in non-economic measures of health and well-being. And they’re not slaves to some Danish tyrant, either.

    Denmark is just one example. There are others.

    “YOU of necessity have to be ok with government for that is the table whereon you are fed.”

    Every time I ask you for a real-world example of your ideas achieving the results you claim they’ll achieve, you deflect the question by returning to my personal qualities.

    Can you point to ANYWHERE that has a higher standard of living than us, with a lower tax burden? Somewhere? Anywhere?

    If not, then what is the basis for your opinion that taxes are too high? Your ability to type the word “stealing” doesn’t cut it.

  16. Michel Phillips Says:

    “The right to swing my fist ends where the other man’s nose begins.”

    Oliver Wendell Holmes

  17. Larry B Says:

    To define “standard of living”:

    “Standard of living is generally measured by standards such as real (i.e. inflation adjusted) income per person and poverty rate. Other measures such as access and quality of health care, income growth inequality and educational standards are also used. Examples are access to certain goods (such as number of refrigerators per 1000 people), or measures of health such as life expectancy. It is the ease by which people living in a time or place are able to satisfy their needs and/or wants.

    The idea of a ‘standard’ may be contrasted with the quality of life, which takes into account not only the material standard of living, but also other more intangible aspects that make up human life, such as leisure, safety, cultural resources, social life, physical health, environmental quality issues etc. More complex means of measuring well-being must be employed to make such judgments, and these are very often political, thus controversial. Even between two nations or societies that have similar material standards of living, quality of life factors may in fact make one of these places more attractive to a given individual or group.
    However, there can be problems even with just using numerical averages to compare material standards of living, as opposed to, for instance, a Pareto index (a measure of the breadth of income or wealth distribution). Standards of living are perhaps inherently subjective. As an example, countries with a very small, very rich upper class and a very large, very poor lower class may have a high mean level of income, even though the majority of people have a low “standard of living”. This mirrors the problem of poverty measurement, which also tends towards the relative. This illustrates how distribution of income can disguise the actual standard of living.

    Likewise Country A, a perfectly socialist country with a planned economy with very low average per capita income would receive a higher score for having lower income inequality than Country B with a higher income inequality, even if the bottom of Country B’s population distribution had a higher per capita income than Country A. Real examples of this include former East Germany compared to former West Germany or North Korea compared to South Korea. In each case, the socialist country has a low income discrepancy (and therefore would score high in that regard), but lower per capita incomes than a large majority of their neighboring counterpart. This can be avoided by using the measure of income at various percentiles of the population rather than a highly relative and controversial overall income inequality measure”


    And, to paraphrase, “the right to swing my fist, without reasonable expectation of consequenceends where the other man’s nose begins”, I believe to be more accurate. 🙂

  18. Bill Simon Says:

    “When did forming opinions fact-free become a badge of honor?”

    Ummm, Michel?…this is the World According To Larry. 🙂

  19. Michel Phillips Says:

    Happy birthday to you, too, Larry. Mine’s on the 4th. Yours?

  20. Larry B Says:

    With all hope, this is to be my next to last missive. So make your response good gents


    Yay! Congratulations Sir! I am ecstatic to see you exploring your wit to its fullest potential! Good to see you again. You will find your crayons over in the corner where you left them 🙂


    all kidding aside, with all sincerity it appears I owe you an apology. I did not mean to be disparaging. What I meant was simply that Lawyers tend to think and view the world a bit differently than your regular joe. For instance, most lawyers out of necessity have a devotion to law over justice where the non-lawyer would necessarily hold the opposing view. In most cases where you have the crusading attorney fighting for justice you are reading a script derived from the latest john grisham novel.

    A blacksmith needs a forge, physical tools and a supply of raw material in order to practice his trade. The more of the raw materials he has, the more productive he can be. To lawyers, the raw material they use is law and government. the more there is of each the better the lawyer is equipped to practice their profession and provide for themselves and their families.

    it is understandable then, by necessity the lawyer has to defend government growth. At least that is the observations I have made.

    To address your cries for evidence supporting my opinions. First, this is not a court room, a venue requiring Greenleaf’s rules. This is the cyber equivalent of an op-ed piece. You don’t write in to the new york times every time some op-ed appears that you disagree with demanding the editor provide evidence for his beliefs do you?

    Michel, had my head been buried in the sand for the past forty years and ignorant of government largess and malfeasance, I would certainly do research, find data and form an opinion. But… this is not the case. This opinion I have formed is the result of decades of observation, consternation, bewilderment, and frustration. I have served in local and federal government offices. I have served in the Army. I have traveled around the world and compared each place I have been to my homeland. Sociologically and politically. I have gained friends from tokyo to tehran and gotten to know the people and governments of other nations. I have Family in Korea.

    So no, I don’t have opinions built on data and percentages garnered to allleviate my ignorance. In the absence of ignorance I have formulated opinions based upon first hand observation and a highly developed sense of right and wrong. I am providing opinions based on first hand experience. Admissible in a court of law? I am bringing forth an eye witness account. Where then the need for second hand supporting evidence?

    Will you settle for anecdotal presentation? In the 1930’s when the progressive income tax was introduced, we were told, “this will only affect the rich new englanders” from thence, my has it not grown?

    When FDR, First Messiah of the progressive liberals, gave us Social security It was meant to go in a lock box(how about that, Billy boy, another lockbox)somewhere along the way, the lock fell off and government exercised perhaps the greatest malfeasance in our history and raided the box! All the money (lol) that had been put into that box was “borrowed” (I prefer stolen) and replaced with IOU’s. None of that money has been repaid, nor is it likely to ever be repaid, and the Ponzie scheme is nearing its end…and the American people have been swindled by our servants. So now every week 15.3 % of my life gets eaten by the black hole we lovingly refer to as fica, and no clue if I will ever see a dime of it. What’s that you say? Employed people only pay 1/2 of that? LMAO… who do you think pays the other half? the Employer? If you are thinking that, you aren’t worthy of the time I am taking to do this. 1/2 comes out of your paycheck. the other half comes out of funds allocated to keep you as an employee anyway. Nice little con game the gov has going there.

    Not enough? How about medicare. Even the dems are now saying it’s going bankrupt and we had to surrender 1/6th of the national economy to the government to try to save it. It was supposed to be self sustaining. It was not supposed to go bankrupt. It should not have required the largest seizure of wealth in the history of the world to sustain it. I am not sure if we were lied to, swindled, or the management of the program was just too inept or a combination of all 3. Either way, it does not inspire confidence.

    Our Schools…How do our schools rate against the other industrialized nations in something as important as mathematics? how about 35th out of 57 ? 35th? with all of the money we pump into the US department of Education?! $972,000,000,000 in 2007 alone! 35th out of 57… What is that word again? Malfeasance?

    But that is the federal level. Well the fine folks at the state and local level do their best to emulate.

    Not only GA 400 but toll roads all over the nation. In NY alone there are toll roads that were promised to be toll free in 11 years and 35 years later they are still charging tolls! and the tolls are MORE than when first established. Once the gov has an in on your wallet, they can’t let go! Want a take a stab at where Georgia schools rank in the nation ? how much money flows into the coffers of the GA dept of labor for that disastrous number?

    How about even county? Gwinnett is the one I have observed mostly. Cause that is where I live. just last year the county kills the private waste hauling industry and uh…countyizes? it…puts a number of people out of business in favor of a few of their choosing, thereby killing freedom of choice and INCREASES all property taxes in the county. Bannister and his Boys I believe will finally see justice soon.

    You are an attorney. Words are your profession. Words are only my passion. I cant hold a candle to you in a debate I am certain. But I know what I have seen. You have seen the same dang stuff. we just arrived at different assessments. So counsellor, you have my deposition, I hope it suffices.
    And I admit, I may even be wrong about a lot of this stuff, but, never trust government remains my mantra.

  21. Larry B Says:

    The 26th… but nobody is perfect 🙂

  22. Larry B Says:

    Holmes should have said, “The right to swing my fist, without the rational expectation of reprisal, ends where the other man’s nose begins. If not concerned with consequence, it ends where inertia and force has been completely countered” 🙂 (Bill, this is another example of the concept of humor)

  23. Bill Simon Says:


    Yeah, “humor” as Issac Newton would promote humor, maybe.

  24. Larry B Says:

    from the guts of GA SR 277 “Proceeds of the
    trauma charge under this
    subparagraph shall be
    deposited on a monthly basis
    in a trauma trust fund. The
    General Assembly shall
    provide for the operation of
    such trust fund and shall
    specify the trauma care
    purposes for which such
    funds are to be expended
    ” No one else will determine if that money is needed for your treatment, just the General assembly…

    if anyone is still interested… http://www.legis.state.ga.us/legis/2009_10/fulltext/sr277.htm

  25. Michel Phillips Says:


    Sorry for delay in responding. Turns out I must occasionally interrupt internet ramblings to check in with wife, kids, job.

    Your apology is gracious but unnecessary. Your speculations about me were a distraction from the topic, but they weren’t actually bad. I wasn’t offended–they just didn’t support your points.

    And if you think being a lawyer makes one more confident in government, well…that’s one of the few topics on which a lawyer would actually give you an opinion for free. My practice–Social Security disability–brings me into constant opposition to the federal government and a branch of the state government. It is a source of constant dismay how good, honest people are often shafted by supposed servants of the public, whose salaries they have paid.

    “This opinion I have formed is the result of decades of observation, consternation, bewilderment, and frustration. I have served in local and federal government offices. I have served in the Army. I have traveled around the world and compared each place I have been to my homeland. Sociologically and politically. I have gained friends from tokyo to tehran and gotten to know the people and governments of other nations. I have Family in Korea.”

    A wise boss once told me we must take care not to be handicapped by our experience. Or as the cliche goes, the plural of anecdote is not data. Personal observation is certainly valuable, and I’ve done my share as well, but as necessary as it is, it’s not sufficient. The world is too big for one person’s experience to take it in.

    But OK, let’s talk about your experience. You have friends and family all over the world. Again I ask you—do any of them live in a place with a lower tax burden than America, AND a better standard of living? And if not, then you still have produced zero evidence to support your speculation that America could have a better standard of living with a lower tax burden.

    You and I have the same complaint about the FICA tax being raided to pay not for Social Security, but for general government operations. But whose fault is this? Not FDR’s—as he designed the system, it would have paid for itself and no more; it would have been revenue–neutral. And if left alone, over the long run it would still do exactly that. Social Security’s problem stems from (1) the “reform” deal of 1983—under the GOP Messiah, Reagan, and a GOP Congress (both houses), and the reform commssion led by Alan Greenspan, whom Reagan appointed to lead the Federal Reserve—under which a whole lot of FICA revenue was diverted to general government expenditures; and (2) Reagan and Bush 43, who ran up such a huge national debt that it’s now doubtful the government will repay the diverted FICA revenue to Social Security. Al Gore, as I’m sure you fondly recall, wanted to use the FICA surplus ONLY to pay down the national debt. So you must have voted for him, right?

    Medicare—sure, it’s expensive. But you’re not asking the right question: compared to what? Medicare’s administrative overhead is about 2%. Private health insurance’s overhead is more like 35%. Under healthcare reform, the private health insurers are bitching and moaning that they just CAN’T POSSIBLY deliver 85 cents’ worth of actual healthcare for every dollar of premiums. If you had to replace your or your loved ones’ Medicare coverage on the private market, you’d be spending a lot MORE. Your complaint isn’t about Medicare, it’s about the cost of healthcare itself. And of course the new healthcare reform law takes the first serious shot at reducing the cost of healthcare itself in…well, ever. And of course one of the main complaints the “small-government” GOP is now making about the Democrats is (I’m not making this up) that they want to cut Medicare! Thus you must have supported healthcare reform, right? And I assume you’re voting Democrat today, right?

    Schools: sure, I share your complaints. But again—what’s your solution? The best public schools in the world are generally considered to be those in Finland. Where the teachers’ salaries are comparable to those of doctors. You ready to pay taxes to increase our teachers’ salaries that much? Put your money where your mouth is, Larry. But don’t panic! Turns out Finnish teachers don’t make a lot more than American teachers—rather, Finnish doctors make a lot LESS than American doctors. Because they have, um, socialized medicine. And they spend a lot less on healthcare than Americans. But they are healthier and live longer. Oops, troublesome facts again.

    Or how about this: the Tennessee STAR study showed conclusively that smaller class sizes in grades K-3 resulted in better grades throughout a student’s entire academic career, a lower dropout rate, higher rates of college attendance, and following those kids into adulthood, they now earn more as adults and are more likely to have their own 401(k). But smaller class sizes mean you have to hire more teachers; and of course build more classrooms for those teachers to hold classes in. Are you ready to pay taxes for that? And of course, that’s exactly what Roy Barnes pushed through when he was governor. So you must be voting for Roy today, right?

    Toll roads: my general feeling is that roads should be free until they become chronically congested, and then—darn right, they should be tolled. Why should we subsidize congestion and pollution? Especially when we subsidize the alternative, public transit, to a much lesser degree or not at all? GA 400—sure, it’s a problem when government doesn’t keep its promises, but it’s also a problem when government makes a stupid promise in the first place. The GOP now is promising all of the following: they will cut taxes, balance the budget, and maintain current spending on Medicare(!) and defense. And their tax cuts will spur job creation…just like under Bush 43. Oops. How can anyone believe them? “A man is his own easiest dupe, for what he wishes to be true he generally believes to be true.” (Demosthenes.)

    “Words are your profession. Words are only my passion. I cant hold a candle to you in a debate I am certain.”

    Larry, I haven’t used any fancy words or rhetorical tricks. Just facts.

    “But I know what I have seen. You have seen the same dang stuff. we just arrived at different assessments.”

    “To see what is in front of one’s nose needs a constant struggle.” (Orwell.)

    Best wishes, Larry. Take care.

  26. Larry B Says:

    Today is the day. Prediction: Amendment 2 will pass.

    The sponsors of sr 277, by the way, for the most part, are all GOP senators.

  27. Doc30j Says:

    Parent30078 Says:
    October 23rd, 2010 at 8:06 am

    “Have you lost your mind in voting“No”!?”

    First and foremost I am glad to hear your son is OK. I would also like to thank him for his service to this Country.

    I think you misunderstand this Amendment. It says nothing about building more trauma centers it to fund existing ones. Regardless of whether this bill was in place at the time of the accident, your son still would have been airlifted to a Trauma Center.

    I work in Emergency Services in Southeast Georgia, I have been a Paramedic for 20 years. If anything we need more life flights in rural areas. I have done A LOT of research on this bill and on the trauma centers that would receive funds from this $10.00 charge. I have to tell you I’m not impressed.

    Go to http://www.georgiawatch.org/ and read The Hospital Accountability Project: Hospital Reports. These hospitals are supposed to be non-profit, they are for tax purposes. However they are all under a for-profit umbrella, and funnel funds to the for profit companies.

    The legislator has the final say where this money gets spent. Why are the Georgia Chamber of Commerce and regional medical facilities spending $1 million dollars on an TV ad campaign? Not to mention the signs up all over the damn place. Hmm! maybe that money could be well spent on trauma care. There is nothing in this amendment that guarantees the money is to be spent building more trauma centers in the state. This is private corporations wanting more of our money, so they can pocket their profits. The Provident Corporation the parent company of Memorial University Medical Center, is a for profit company. In addition to its main facility, Memorial University Medical System owns and operates dozens of facilities and companies, the bulk of which are for-profit entities.

    From Fiscal Year 1999 to 2005, for example, Memorial owned a total 60 entities. Only six were nonprofit groups, including the main facility. Memorial appears to invest most of its surplus funds in for-profit entities, though the system held a fair amount of non-interest bearing cash from Fiscal Year 2000 to 2005. Why aren’t they putting the surplus back into trauma care if they …are not for profit? Memorial also operates Memorial Professional Assurance Corporation, a for-profit medical malpractice insurance agency, domiciled in the Cayman Islands. This is their insurance company as they are self-insured for all of the employees. By holding the dollars in the Cayman Islands, they are not subject to federal law.

    It was the super speeder fee last year, this year it’s amendment 2, what will it be next year? Make these Hospitals balance their budgets and quit paying CEO’s outrageous salaries.

  28. Bill Simon Says:

    Re: the “Super Speeder Law”

    Funny how when one raises the price/penalty of an action that there is a reduction in the occurrence of the action.

    Sonny’s “brilliant” (sic) answer to speeders to raise their fines did not result in the anticipated money stream being created due to the super-speeder law.

    AND…the super-speeder money, like all OTHER budgetary fees can be manipulated directly by the entire Legislature and used for things not related to the trauma network.

    By making this an amendment, it prevents the money from being tampered with by the legislature…just like making the Georgia Lottery a constitutional amendment has prevented the 238 greedy pigs who use the Gold Dome as their personal trough from touching ANY of those proceeds, making the trauma fee a constitutional amendment will also mean it gets directed to only trauma.

  29. Larry B Says:

    Bill still believes in the mythical “lock box”…and unicorns? :)both are equally believable…

  30. NIKKI Says:

    Let the people speak! Were sick and tired of being taxed. If people think this is good idea, send donations…hey–so far they are tax deductible.

  31. Kathy Says:


  32. Larry B Says:

    Truly astonished. This is Georgia, right? We ALWAYS vote for more taxation…

  33. Kathy Says:

    Maybe this is a sign that the current “change” isn’t working! One can only hope! 🙂

Today's Deep Thought

Maybe in order to understand mankind we have to look at the word itself. MANKIND. Basically, it's made up of two separate words: 'mank' and 'ind.' What do these word mean? It's a mystery and that's why so is mankind.


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