• Matt Gurtler

Week 9: Georgians deserve better, let's not be like DC

Updated: Mar 21


This week was the big debate on how we are going to spend your money so I thought it appropriate to share with you the speech I gave on the House floor.

But first, an update on how the coronavirus is affecting the legislative process.

As of last Friday, session is officially suspended until further notice. An overabundance of caution is better than the alternative, and we will reconvene for the last 10 days of business, hopefully sooner than later.

Now for my thoughts on spending… "Thank you, I rise today in opposition to House Bill 793.

By now most of you know I most assuredly vote NO when I see something that is not the proper role of government

And while there are many things in the budget that fall in line with protecting life, liberty & property, there are, as usual, too many things that hurt our state, and go against conservative values and principles that are the backbone of our nation.

Where do I start, time and time again the case against subsidies and corporate welfare has been made, and shown to hurt the free market we profess to support, and yet the Department of Economic Development is getting over $30 million to meddle in the private sector, and $70 million in bonds to compete directly against the private sector. Also, the Department of Community Affairs in getting another $18 million to expand the welfare state and dole out federal, so called “free money”.

It’s not free, it’s a debt and a tax on future generations, that directly puts my daughters future at risk.

And of course who can forget the One Georgia Authority, who is getting over $20 million dollars of taxpayer money to their slush fund run by politicians and unelected bureaucrats with no real oversight or accountability.

Politicians aren’t supposed to spend the taxpayers money, they are supposed to appropriate tax payer money.

Particularly egregious to me, as a Representative of a rural district, the people who elected me are being asked to pay for and subsidize the Atlanta Transit Link Authority and the Georgia Regional Authority to the tune of over $18 million.

I challenge you to justify why hardworking people and retirees from the beautiful mountains of North Georgia are being forced to pay for Atlanta’s transportation needs?

Or why we are subsidizing transportation for that matter when the free market does it so much better.

Then we also have hundreds of millions still being collected from the largest tax increase in Georgia history, HB 170 and the hotel/motel tax, which was rejected by the people at the ballot box and then forced upon them by this body.

Finally, as I alluded to earlier, debt is not conservative. As Benjamin Franklin said “When you run in debt, you give to another power over your liberty."

I understand bureaucrats and politicians are good at twisting the truth, but you won’t convince me that it is responsible, good for Georgia, or caring towards our children and grandchildren to saddle them with over a $1 billion every year in additional debt, not to mention the unfunded liabilities.

Having said all that, I very much empathize with my colleagues and their frustration with the budgeting process.

I understand trying to find a way to navigate this process is difficult when you are trying to uphold the things you were elected to do.

However, this budgeting process is broken.

We look at DC with so much disdain and yet we employ the same budgeting process, an Omnibus style bill with everything jammed in there and shoved down our throats, the good, the bad and the ugly.

That’s why I think it’s important to split up the budget so we can vote on individual appropriations on their own merits. Like I have proposed in HB4.

Other states do this, why can’t we?

Families do this, why can’t we?

Businesses do this, why can’t we?

I will not let the establishment force me and my constituents to vote for something that we think is ill advised, and certainly not let them force us to vote for something we think is morally wrong.

Georgians deserve better.

The free market is better, and the solution is simple.

A fair, open, process where the budget is voted on separately based on their own merits.

I don't want to needlessly repeat myself- my point has been consistent for 4 years,

thank you."