Kevin Foley’s May 16 MDJ column (“Deal hiding real record with dubious magazine ranking”) warrants a response from someone in the trenches of workforce and economic development. Under Gov. Nathan Deal’s leadership, Georgia is becoming a diverse economy and in the process of experiencing a manufacturing, creative and high tech renaissance.
Caterpillar has invested $200 million into their new Athens facility, a plant that we attracted from Japan. Trinity Rail (the nation’s largest rail car manufacturer) is returning to the Peach State, investing in a once-shuttered facility in Cartersville.
Companies like Trinity Industries, which just posted a record $857 million in first quarter revenues, are the choice employers Gov. Deal’s policies are attracting.
I was recently in California, where their Film Works Alliance has billboards throughout Los Angeles as a result of Georgia becoming the nation’s third-largest production environment.
Under Deal since 2010, Georgia enjoys the lowest tax burden on its citizens in the nation, 235,000 jobs have been added, unemployment is the lowest it has been since the recession, going from 10.4 percent to 7.3 percent, and we saw a record number of imports and exports for the fourth consecutive year.
But the real humor in Mr. Foley’s column is when he cites Maryland as an example of Democratic leadership. Under Martin O’Malley, a presumptive 2016 presidential candidate, adventures in capital misallocations have become the norm. Projects ranging from roof bars to wind farms have been developed through more than two dozen tax and fee increases on personal and corporate income, retail, gasoline, tobacco and alcohol sales. Despite all the taxing and spending, the little state still projects deficits of $166 million over the next two years. As a result, over the past decade, a net of 66,000 residents and $5.5 billion in income has fled Maryland’s borders.
Georgia Trade School