As promised here are the results from the 2013 Georgia Legislative Session Survey. 186 people responded to the survey and because of it’s limited distribution most of the responses came from members of my email list which is mostly made of up residents of the Lawrenceville/Suwanee area and reside in district 101 and the new 102. To compare these results to those of the readers of political blog Peach Pundit, click here. To be sure this is not a scientific survey, but this does reflect the opinions of those who responded. I want to thank all of those who took the time to respond. I plan on doing this again at some point during the 2013 Legislative Session.
Here are the questions and the results:
1. Generally speaking, do you usually think of yourself as a Republican, a Democrat, a Libertarian, an Independent, or something else?
Why I asked this question: I was interested to know the political leanings of member of my email list.
Something Else: 5.4%
5. Considering how things are today, would you say that Georgia is generally headed in the right direction, or is it off on the wrong track?
Why I asked this question: I think this is an important question to gauge how people think we’re doing in a general way.
Right Track: 38.4%
Wrong Track: 33.3%
- Right direction as I see more and more people and local politicians embracing the ideals of limited government and true freedom.
- Too damn many laws, rules, regulations, boards, commitees, intrusions, fees, permits, registrations, offices and just stay out of our lives in general.
6. Thinking about the State of Georgia, what do you think are the most important issues facing the State? Please rank in order of importance with 1 being most important and 11 being least important. – The smaller the number, the higher people ranked that issue. Thus, Economy/Jobs is considered the most important issue by the majority of those taking the survey.
Why I asked this question: There is always a lot of noise about what issues are “most important.” Interest groups have their agendas and media covers stories they find interesting but what do the folks out there in the real world think is most important?
7. Should the State of Georgia raise the debt cap for the Georgia World Congress Center Authority to facilitate building a new stadium for the Atlanta Falcons?
Why I asked this question: I figured the answer would be a strong no, but you never know until you ask.
- I need to see how a new stadium would increase tax revenue before I would be in favor of any government funding involvement. I’m a big sports fan but taxpayers should not support any professional sports team. Do we believe more people will attend games and spend money in Atlanta with a new stadium? Is there something wrong with the current stadium other than age or are we just “Keeping up with the Joneses”? If the teams want more luxurious facilities let them pay the bill. If this would be a win for the teams and the taxpayers let’s do it else let the for profit professional teams pay the bill.
- As the saying goes, “NO and HELL NO”. If the Atlanta Falcons want a new stadium, the Atlanta Falcons should build the stadium without the tax payers help. When I want a new home, do I ask the State of Georgia to help me buy a new home?
8. Would you support a revenue neutral tax reform plan that reduced or replaced income taxes with sales taxes even if it meant taxing food or services currently not taxed?
Why I asked this question: I’m a proponent of tax reform, specifically a “Fair Tax” style reform. I’m pleased with this result and hope we can work toward that type of tax system here in Georgia.
- so-called “Fair” Tax is the LEAST fair tax, and will not even work at the national level. At the State level, it is fantasy of the level not even JRR Tolkien could create.
- If it were a consumption tax that would also replace real estate taxes along with state income taxes on individuals and businesses I would support it. I like the Fair Tax as an example, but not a VAT.
9. Would you support increased law enforcement presence on school grounds to protect students?
Why I asked this question: Since the NRA tossed this idea out there, I thought it would be interesting to see what folks thought about it.
- I would prefer that we allow those teacher and admins that are capable and willing to be allowed to carry.
- Nothing against increased law enforcement in schools, but the real answer to security is limiting access to high-powered automatic weapons. I support the right to bear arms, but it must be tempered by common sense!
10. Georgia Legislators are paid an annual salary of $17,342, which has not been increased in 15 yrs. Should this salary be increased to attract and retain better qualified candidates and elected officials?
Why I asked this question: A serious concern I have is the composition of the Legislature. I think it’s best when we have Legislators from all walks of life serving. I fear that with a stagnant economy we lose folks who would like to serve. I also am concerned that as we debate ethics reform we raise barriers to service. If ethics reform raises the cost of serving – especially for rural Legislators – we will end up with a Legislature composed of mainly wealthy people. That would not be good for Georgia.
- I think you are qualified and took the job at that salary. I don’t believe elected officials should be paid at all. Our Founders were not paid, their expenses were covered which I would support.
- John Adams believed elected officials should be paid commensurate to the job. Otherwise, “the poor and the middling ranks would be excluded and an aristocratic despotism would immediately follow.”