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Your Views: To compete, state must upgrade its roads with sales tax

POSTED: July 5, 2012 1:00 a.m.

I plan to vote “yes” to the T-SPLOST on July 31, and I encourage you to do the same.

I agree that our taxes are already too high. And yes, I absolutely agree that our federal, state and local governments have developed an insatiable appetite for spending that will likely burden Americans for many generations to come. These things shape my political beliefs and are a source of great concern to me.

But I am also disheartened to find myself living in a climate where there are no shortage of people willing to invoke their principles as they shout “No!” at every option offered. There are far too few folks willing to stick their neck out and come up with actual ideas to solve the problems that face our nation, state and the Georgia Mountains Region we call home.

If you believe as I do in a limited role of government, then ask yourself: What are the appropriate roles for government? Aside from defense and protection, in my opinion, building and maintaining infrastructure is one of the few things that I think the government actually should be doing.

Georgia ranks 49th out of 50 states in per capita transportation infrastructure spending; only Tennessee spends less. The road and highway projects proposed by this T-SPLOST will be the arteries that will bring economic blood to the Georgia Mountains for years to come, and they will help us retain the jobs and businesses that are already here.

There is no question in my mind that this investment will be easily repaid through the strengthened economy it will provide, and conversely there is no question that the failure of T-SPLOST will put our region at a competitive disadvantage.

We already live in an global economy where the United States competes with Asia, India and South America for each new job created. We live in a country where Georgia has to battle the other 49 states for every new factory or economic development opportunity available. Every time I turn on the television, I see commercials by Robert De Niro inviting me to bring my business to New York state and Jeff Daniels pleading for me to come to Michigan.

And as of July 31, we will live in a state where the Georgia Mountains region will compete with 11 other regions who will be hard at work to lure growth and job opportunities to their corner of Georgia.

Let’s keep Northeast Georgia the best place to live and do business in Georgia. Vote “yes” for T-SPLOST. Visit www.ConnectGeorgiaMountains.org to learn more.

Brian Daniel
Gainesville


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