What’s the Deal?


One of the organizing principles of the conservative movement revolves around always cutting taxes and resisting any moves towards raising revenues. Hundreds of conservatives have even signed Grover Norquist’s pledge to never, under any circumstances, support a tax increase.

Gov. Nathan Deal (R-GA) made tax cuts a major part of his campaign promise last fall.

Original DVD cover

Now that Deal is Governor, the state legislature is currently drafting major tax legislation. Deal has been a guiding hand in the negotiations over the bill, and stands behind the latest version of the bill being debated among senate and house legislators. The bill does, as Deal promised, cut many taxes.

For example, it lowers the state personal income tax rate from 6 to 4.5 percent. Yet at the same time, the bill is being touted as being revenue neutral — meaning that revenue has to come from somewhere. Georgia Republicans, under the leadership of Deal, have decided to make up the difference by eliminating a whole host of tax exemptions and increases in sales taxes. The end result? Georgians making over $180,000 would see steep tax cuts while middle class Georgians making between $20,000 and $180,000 would see tax hikes.


While negotiations over the tax bill are far from over, it appears that Deal and his Republican colleagues are standing behind a template that is becoming all too familiar for right-wing legislators: cut taxes on the wealthiest Americans and then demand that middle class and working class Main Street Americans pay out more in tax hikes or in reduced spending to health care, education, and other important investments.

From Georgia Politico:

The Republicans in the General Assembly have been quick to let you all believe that they are lowering the income tax rate from 6.0% to 4.5%. And that is technically true, but it is not going to lower your tax bill.


To compare what someone would be paying in GA taxes with the new tax payment system compared to the old:

Someone making $10,000 a year now would take a $2,700 exemption and a $2,300 deduction, leaving them with $5,000 taxable income. Their GA tax liability under the current table would have them owe $110.00 in Georgia income taxes ($50.00 base rate plus 3% of $2,000). Under the new tax system, they would get neither the $2,700 exemption nor the $2,300 deduction, and the full $10,000 would be taxed at 4.5%. Their tax bill for the year would be $450.00, or almost five times as high as last year.

Someone making $500,000, on the other hand, right now would likewise get the total $5,000 of exemptions and deductions for a taxable income of $495,000 (excluding other business and possible deductions). Their tax bill for this year would be $29,440. Under the new plan, their tax bill would be $22,500, a decrease of over $7,000 for their tax bill.

In other words, rich people will pay less, middle class will pay more.

This is just the income tax. Republicans are also increasing sales tax, the most regressive form of tax, on many services middle class Georgians use everyday.


This GOP plan basically follows middle class Georgians around to see what else they can be taxed on. They got your cell phone, they got your television, they got your vehicle, what are they going to get next?

Isn’t that just peachy?


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15 responses to “What’s the Deal?

  1. jeb

    This is just a prime example to the scummy lying myth of tax cuts. They never really cut taxes – and never intend to – they just give breaks to “the base” as Bu$h called them. They’re disgusting lying crooks.

    • exactly. it’s also the myth that the rethugs hate redistribution of wealth. they just hate it when it’s the poor schlubs who are benefiting.

  2. “what are they going to get next?”

    They were going to tax Girl Scout cookies but they finally relented. No I am not making that up.


  3. The question was asked:

    This GOP plan basically follows middle class Georgians around to see what else they can be taxed on. They got your cell phone, they got your television, they got your vehicle, what are they going to get next?

    I answer:

    Recalled! (No deal!)

    That is quite the hocus pocus financial magic act.
    Middle class: See your money disappear!
    Wealthy: Watch your tax cuts increase!

    • man, would i love to see a recall in georgia!! i highly doubt that we’ll see any in the deep south, though. it’s hard to hear reason over the din of all those people thumping their bibles.

  4. elizabeth3hersh

    I think we are on the same page here nonnie…I never understood tax cuts (but I don’t understand all this spending either). It’s so far out of my realm of comprehension I don’t even try to understand. Paul Krugman needs to break it down for us math morons.

    • i always try to understand these things by trying to compare them to an individual family or a neighborhood. if nobody spends, then everyone’s place goes to seed. if only some are able to spend, the value of their houses will go down if other neighbor’s houses start to fall apart. however, if those who can afford to fix their houses do themselves a double favor if they pay one of their poor neighbors to do the work. those who are more well-off have a house that’s in good shape, and therefore, worth more. the poor neighbor will have the money to fix up his own house, so his house will be in better shape and won’t bring down the prices in the neighborhood.

      if the richer neighbor decides to just save his money and let his house go to seed, then he and everyone else in the neighborhood suffers, because he has a house he’s not happy in, and the prices in the neighborhood go down. if he hires someone from a different neighborhood, then he’ll be happier in his house, and the value might go up a little, but the rest of the neighborhood will go to seed, so the value of his house is not what it should be.

      spending sounds like something that will bring an economy down, but the opposite is true. when you spend, you stimulate the economy for everyone, and the rewards will be across the board. if you just sit on money, the economy comes to a halt, and everyone suffers.

      of course, spending has to be done wisely. the most important thing is infrastructure. we should be spending like crazy to fix roads, dams, the power grid, bridges, and all the other things we can’t do without. that would mean a lot of jobs for a lot of people, and that would mean a more active economy, which will be good for everyone. that’s the key–spending smart. let’s stop wasting money on planes that no one is going to fly or farm subsidies for people who don’t need or deserve the money.

      • Well, you got my vote. But you stress “reasonable” and in this poisonous political climate, that’s just not going to happen. This country seems to be spiraling out of control to a third world status thanks to the Bush depression (#38 since 1817) and it looks to be the one to stay. And now we are getting deeper and deeper into this Randian banishment of the working class, paying particular attention to destroying pension payments and dealing harshly with the “old people question” as they would say in the reich. Were boned. The oligarch is getting stronger every day and will rule with an iron rod. And in the end, we will be ruled by a bunch of pricks that are aptly described in the backstory notes for the opera Boris Gudenov where the concerns of the rich are mentioned as being dearly concerned with these things: “Drinking, gambling, whoring, and the proper way to beat the servants”.

        • there’s going to be a revolution. there are a lot more poor people than rich people, and it’s just a matter of time.

          • elizabeth3hersh

            I would welcome aggressive infrastructure/public work projects as they are monumentally important to commerce. Nice analogy nonnie and you nailed that one. At one time I was in the top 1% tax bracket (that doesn’t mean I was good at math…I left that to accountants!) and never begrudged the government my fair tax share. I looked at it this way: the more I had to pay in taxes, the luckier I felt. That said, I still subscribe to the John Boehner school of financial thought (i.e. fiscal responsibility). Let me clarify that: on a personal scale as I can’t really comment intelligently on a macro scale (I know my weaknesses).

            • not only commerce, but safety, too. if people live in safe environments, there are fewer accidents and less sickness, and it’s cheaper in the long run for everyone. if everyone gets a smallpox shot, and smallpox is eradicated, then individuals and governments don’t have to spend much more later on trying to control an epidemic.

              of course, people should have personal responsibility. there are plenty of people who think they are being responsible, because they are being told they are by the government, by corporations, and by the press. buy long-term disability, and if you get hurt and can’t work, you’ll be covered! yeah, for 2 years you’ll be covered, and then the insurance company will find some bullshit reason for no longer covering you. buy health insurance, and if you get sick, you won’t go bankrupt! sure, until the insurance company dumps you.

              and how about equal responsibility if you do screw up. why is the penalty for getting busted for crack cocaine so much more severe than getting busted for the cocaine that goes up rich people’s noses? how about equal justice for all? why are people in jail for a nominal first offense while people like lindsey lohan get to go to celebrity rehab a hundred times? and what about kids? should they suffer if they lose (as jerry calls it) the vagina lottery? if your parents are poor, should you starve or freeze or have to settle for a crappy school?

              and what about corporations? they’re now considered people when it comes to making campaign contributions, and they’re allowed to lobby the politicians that are supposed to be working for the people. why is it that they get all the perks, but when it comes to crime, they never get the same punishment? corporations killed 11 people in the gulf of mexico. corporations made hundreds of people sick when they sold eggs from facilities that were filthy. banks caused the economic disaster we’re all trying to bounce back from now. why hasn’t anyone gone to jail for murder, for assault, or for theft? i guess personal responsibility is on an inverse sliding scale. the poor get thrown in jail or lose everything they own, and the rich get rewarded.

              how would you feel about fines being based on income rather on offense? if a person who makes minimum wage and a person who makes a million dollars a year are each stopped by the cops for going 10 mph over the speed limit, should the fines be exactly the same, or should there be a sliding scale so that both feel the pain a bit more equally? i would bet you that the rethugs would scream that that’s socialism. in my mind, punishment should hurt the same for the same offense. a $50 fine would really hurt someone living from hand to mouth, but it would mean nothing but a minor inconvenience to someone who makes a million.

              • elizabeth3hersh

                Since I feel so strongly about your last paragraph I’ll start there. I am in 100% agreement. If you and I were running things there would be punishment based on a sliding scale. It may not happen in our lifetimes, but it will happen.

                Paragraph # 1: agree!

                Paragraph # 2: I’ve been there. I had long term disability and never collected on the coverage. If I didn’t have Medicare (I became disabled and lost my 1% top tax status in the late 90s) I surely would have lost my insurance coverage.

                Paragraph # 3: fair!

                Paragraph # 4: I am so anti-corporate you have no idea. I know it sounds weird to hear someone who votes Republican (I actually vote for the ‘man’ and not the party) to say they loathe corporations, but it is true!! I love mom-and-pop establishments (wait, I love Neiman Marcus too so I guess I love some corporations)!

                We could share a cup of tea nonnie (I would offer you a virtual beer, but I had to give that shit up). 🙂

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