Political Vine: The Insider's Source on Georgia Politics

Political Vine: The Insider's Source on Georgia Politics

The Political Vine is the home of political news, satire, rants, and rumors.

SB 1: Only A True Democrat Would Veto It

by PV

Rumors have it that Governor Sonny Perdue is contemplating a veto of SB 1, known as either the “Waste Reduction Act of 2009” or, by its more well-known name, the Zero-Base Budgeting Act.

Zero-based budgeting is the act of starting a budget from scratch…with nothing like the typical guvment rule of thumb of looking back at “Well, look at what we spent last year…let’s just add a fudge factor of 5% more for this year’s budget. We’re done!”

According to what PV understands, most of the GOP candidates* for the 2011-2014 reign have stated positions that are in favor of SB 1. Here are some of the quotes we could find regarding SB 1:

Jeff Chapman: “I urge the governor to sign SB1 – we must take meaningful action towards more open and efficient government” (via Twitter)

Nathan Deal: “I support zero-based budgeting and want to implement it so that when the good times return – and they will – this approach will let us resist the urge to ‘regrow’ government and then we can really cut taxes.” (via e-mail)

Eric Johnson: “As Governor, I will direct all state agency heads to implement zero based budgeting so that I, the legislature, and Georgia taxpayers will know exactly what services government is providing and what it costs to provide these services…Like the private sector, government should be in a position to make informed decisions based on the total actual costs of different programs, not just changes in expenditures.” (via his press release on his Website: http://johnsonforgeorgians.com/?p=30 )

John Oxendine: Oxendine has it as #1 on his Contract with Georgia “Make state government smaller and more accountable by implementing zero-base budgeting.”

We have heard from a source that Karen Handel is in support of the Governor signing SB 1. We have no idea how Otis Putnam feels about SB 1.

PV’s Analysis: Frankly, we cannot figure out why the Governor would be hesitant to sign this into law. It’s not as if every single department would have to immediately initiate a zero-based budgeting process. The bill (as passed) calls for the following:

“b) It is the intent of this Code section that in any given year the Governor’s budget report shall include zero-base budgeting for no more than one-third nor less than one-quarter of all the programs in the most recently passed General Appropriations Act. The Office of Planning and Budget shall determine which programs shall submit zero-base budget recommendations in each year; except that no program shall use zero-base budgeting more often than once every four years.”

So, if there are 100 state departments/agencies, etc., in the first go ’round of a zero-based budgeting statutory requirement, the number of departments affected would be between 25 and 33. And, once a department subjected itself to proving its case with a zero-based budget process, it would not have to go through that process for another 4 years.

NOW…there is a reason Sonny would have to possibly be considering vetoing SB 1. And, that reason would be that he still is, truly, a Democrat at heart. Because only a control-freak-Democrat would not care about making a government department run more effectively or efficiently.

Remember Al Gore’s infamous initiative about “reinventing government”, along with a wheelbarrow full of big government manuals? Yeah…you recall the announcement, but no follow-through to speak of, right?

Same thing with Sonny. A whole lot of talk. Not a whole lot of action. Except, of course, for his Go Fish! investment using $27 million of our taxpayer dollars. Bet he’d hate to see how that expenditure could survive a zero-based budgeting process.

And, here’s something to think about: IF all of the candidates* for the GOP nomination would be signing a new version of SB 1 if Sonny vetoes this one…then what might be going through Sonny’s mind about the next Governor of Georgia? Why veto something that would be signed into law (once it ran through the legislature again under another SB#) in 7-8 months?

Well…we think that if he vetoes it, it means he believes that a Republican will NOT win this Fall…and, his legacy of state government will stay intact for at least another 4 years with a new Democrat regime.

So, again, only a TRUE DEMOCRAT would veto SB 1. Is Sonny a true Democrat? We’ll find out by tonight (June 8, 2010) at midnight.

* Yeah, we didn’t try to dig-up anything from McBerry to see what he might think about SB 1. Why? Well, to be quite frank, we’re pretty sure his plan (if he wins) is to annex South Carolina, build-up troops at Fort Sumter, and re-fight the Civil War. Not really going to need SB 1 once the shootin’ starts.

One Response to “SB 1: Only A True Democrat Would Veto It”

  1. Craig Harfoot Says:

    Bill, Sonny went to Cuba this week with a delegation to sell them Ga. agriculture products. It sounds good for farmers at face value? Check out the international news in Spanish. Canada and Spain pulled out and quit doing business with Cuba because Castro as usual has not paid them in over a year. Castro never pays when given credit. Who is going to get burned in Georgia?

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