If you had Gov. Deal’s job performance, would you still have your job?
Over the weekend we learned the “final price tag” of Gov. Deal’s signature legislation that broke the HOPE Scholarship. It turns out, the law was worse for Georgia than we even imagined.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that hidden deep inside Gov. Deal’s bill to break the HOPE Scholarship for a generation of students was “one of the state Capitol’s biggest economic blunders of 2011.”
Gov. Deal’s short-sighted changes to the lottery-funded HOPE Scholarship nearly destroyed the state’s best pipeline for highly skilled jobs.
Because of Gov. Deal’s signature legislation – his crowning achievement – Georgia’s technical schools lost nearly 25 percent of full-time enrollment in two years.
“Worse still,” the newspaper reports, “Georgia’s technical college system ended up losing 60 percent of its HOPE funding.”
Gov. Deal choked Georgia’s primary jobs funnel during the middle of one of the worst recessions in history.
When Gov. Deal changed the HOPE funding, he made it impossible for thousands of Georgians to be trained for highly skilled jobs – jobs that are going unfilled today – and he tore down the bridge that leads out of poverty and to the middle class. The impact will be felt for decades.
But that’s not all.
Last week, the Georgia Hospital Association broke its silence and said Gov. Deal’s position on Medicaid expansion has put hospitals and the state’s economy at risk.
Gov. Deal’s stubborn, partisan refusal to expand Medicaid leaves thousands of the poorest Georgians uninsured. And, on top of that, his decision threatens the bottom lines of hospitals that were counting on new income from the changes.
Already, three rural hospitals have closed their doors and many more are on the brink.
And, finally, there’s education. Gov. Deal’s budget has underfunded schools every single year he’s been in office.
He is continuing a trend that started in 2003. Since 2010, Georgia spent $1 billion less on public education each year than the state’s own formula says schools need.
We believe Gov. Deal is the worst governor for Georgia’s middle class this state has ever seen. Gov. Deal’s failed leadership has stranded families when they needed help the most. And his failed leadership hurts businesses during a time when the rest of the nation is recovering from the recession and finally moving forward again.
And that’s just his job performance.
Then there’s the matter of the constant state of suspicion that Nathan Deal is a crooked governor:
- The state ethics commission recently called for an independent investigation of charges stemming from Gov. Deal’s last campaign for governor. The state’s top ethics attorney said the governor’s office was involved in efforts to destroy documents in an open investigation involving the FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s office. The ethics commission has now reversed its call for an investigation without a vote.
- An independent reporter recently discovered that Gov. Nathan Deal is collecting political contributions greater than most Georgia families make in a year and failed to file reports for two years.
- The governor is making millions of dollars from a Texas-based company that won’t pay Georgia what it owes. The company owes the state $74 million in back taxes, but Gov. Deal won’t do anything about it, even though he made sure he got paid.
Gov. Deal was under a cloud of suspicion while in Congress; again while he ran his campaign for governor; and again now that he’s in the governor’s office. So, I’ll ask again. If you had Gov. Deal’s job performance, would you still have your job?
It’s time to fire Gov. Deal.