Being a newspaper columnist means occasionally one of these things will happen to you: 1) You won’t be able to come up with a topic, even with a gun to your head, or 2) You’ll have so many topics that you have a terrible time picking one.
This week it’s No. 2, and I don’t feel like picking.
A good Deal
Our new governor understands that it’s better to let the people decide.
Despite proclaiming that he would never vote for alcohol sales on Sunday, Gov. Nathan Deal (great first name, by the way) has said he will sign the measure that will allow Georgia’s residents to have that choice.
Here’s my prediction. Just because local communities will be able to put Sunday sales to a vote doesn’t mean they will. I have a feeling a great many counties and towns will choose to do nothing. But for the ones who want to choose, at least now they can.
And a better deal
While we’re talking about the legislature, thank your lucky stars the Republican leadership finally decided to kill tax reform, at least for the time being.
Not that I’m against tax reform, but no one seemed to understand what the true effects of this massive overhaul would be. Here’s all I was ever able to ascertain: It would have lowered the personal income tax rate a wee bit, while slapping additional taxes on a whole mishmash of goods and services.
To me, it sounded like Georgia was going to become a much more expensive place to live. Some of the people crunching the numbers for the government agreed, but then the numbers themselves turned out to be suspect. Sensing it would be better to understand a bill before making it law (are you listening, Congress?), Speaker David Ralston put the kibosh on it, for now at least. In the process I’m sure he angered some of the folks pushing it, who had made it widely known that the real purpose of the bill was lowering the corporate income tax rate, which brings me to our next topic.
GE — We bring confusion to light
By now, you’ve no doubt heard about the New York Times report that General Electric paid no federal income taxes in 2010 despite showing a $5 billion U.S. profit. You may have also heard GE’s response that it did pay — sort of. It paid its estimated taxes but will probably get most or all of that back due to tax benefits the company gained by losing its hiney during the meltdown, which will ultimately mean it owes no tax.
Crystal clear, right?
Despite the murk the Times stirred up, it did succeed in bringing corporate taxes into the forefront of debate. Congress has remained true to modus operandi, with Republicans proclaiming the best way to balance the budget is too slash corporate taxes while the Democrats say the only solution is to jack them up.
Which side is right? I have no idea. But as scared as I was of the state changing the tax code without a clear understanding of its consequences, Congress doing it scares me more.
A history lesson
On Thursday, the California state Senate passed a bill that would add gay history to the lengthy list of topics that are required learning in that state. Already on the list: women, entrepreneurs, labor, and a laundry list of hyphenated folks, including Mexican-, African-, Asian- and European-Americans. And American Indians.
What would be next, California? Fat Americans? Skinny? Old? Young? Lefties? One-legged, Irish-Italian Jewish/Catholic converts who wear toupees?
Daily Post publisher J.K. Murphy has a saying: “All emphasis is no emphasis.” In other words, when you try to put the focus on everything, it’s hard to focus on anything.
Why make things so complicated, California? If someone did something significant, teach it in history class and quit trying to cover so many topics at one time.
That only works in newspaper columns.
E-mail Nate McCullough at firstname.lastname@example.org. His column appears on Fridays. For archived columns, go to www.gwinnettdailypost.com/natemccullough.