Meet Nathan Deal — Georgia’s ‘food stamp governor’
by Kevin Foley
Columnist
August 01, 2013 10:39 PM | 2174 views | 5 5 comments | 45 45 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Remember when Newt Gingrich cynically slapped the “food stamp president” label on Barack Obama?

Obama didn’t deserve it. When he made his racially-tinged crack, the ex-speaker hoped you’d forgotten that 8 million jobs were lost on President Bush’s watch, driving record numbers of unemployed Americans onto the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP/food stamps) rolls.

About 7.2 million of those lost American jobs have been recovered since President Obama’s first year in office. The recovery would be considerably stronger if the Republican-led House of Representatives passed the American Jobs Act.

That legislation, blocked for two years by the GOP leadership, would put 2 million unemployed Americans back to work, lower the deficit and be paid for in 10 years, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

Closer to home, however, there is someone who has richly earned the “food stamp” title.

The Associated Press reported last week that 40,000 Georgia residents have been added to SNAP. That brings the total to nearly 2 million Georgians — 25 percent of them children under the age of 6 — who rely on food stamps in a state with a population of 10 million.

“Georgia has surged from having the 15th-highest proportion of food stamp recipients to sixth-highest,” AP noted. More than a half-million of these recipients are in metro Atlanta counties, including Cobb, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

“Georgia suffered more than most states and is still hundreds of thousands of jobs below its pre-recession levels,” reported AP. “Additionally, many jobs that have been added are low-paying positions. About 58 percent of working-age food stamp recipients are employed.”

It begs the question Republicans are so fond of asking Obama: Where are the jobs, Gov. Deal? Why is dependence on federal food assistance growing, not shrinking, since you took office?

Here’s part of the answer: Deal is under the thumb of Georgia’s tea partiers, who would rather have 500,000 Georgia children dependant on federal food assistance — or better yet, no federal assistance — than see their parents going to work.

Medicaid expansion would quickly create 70,000 good-paying health care jobs, according to Healthcare Georgia Foundation, increasing state and local tax revenues by $275 million annually while producing an $8 billion economic impact in Georgia.

“For the average taxpayer, the Medicaid expansion is actually a good deal,” said the study’s author, Dr. Bill Custer, one of Georgia’s leading health care economists.

Terrified of being primaried by his tea party patrons, Deal rejected expansion under Obamacare. He claims it will cost Georgia $4.5 billion over 10 years — twice other estimates. In fact, Medicaid expansion would cost Georgians nothing in the first three years and just 10 percent of the total annual cost thereafter.

“I think it is probably unrealistic to expect that promise to be fulfilled in the long-term simply because of the financial status of the federal government,” Deal said.

I think it is probably realistic Deal is smoking tea party exhaust. The governor knows Georgia can leave the program if federal reimbursements fall below 90 percent.

Nearly a quarter of employed Georgians lack health insurance, with working families making up nearly half of the uninsured. With about 700,000 uninsured Georgians added to the Medicare rolls, Peach State taxpayers would no longer pay for the most expensive healthcare there is when these uninsured folks go to hospital emergency rooms for medical treatment.

Deal couldn’t care less what the numbers or the experts say. And that, more than anything else, tells you all you need to know about a state with so much economic growth potential but so little leadership to develop it.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Nathan Deal, our food stamp governor.

Kevin Foley is a public relations executive, author and writer who lives in Kennesaw.
Comments
(5)
Comments-icon Post a Comment
on balance
|
August 06, 2013
Just passing though and I noticed that Fooley did not mention that Georgia has over a half million illegal immigrants. If he wanted to make a point, he should have asked why we have not heard anything from the committee appointed by the Governor to watch over the jobs situation vis a vis criminal aliens.

That said, I find Governor Deal to be doing a fine job at what he was elected to do.

Can Foley tell us how many of the illegals are on food stamps??
CobbCoGuy
|
August 03, 2013
Nathan Deal.

Yawn.

Let's talk about some other things.

As a small businessman, what do you think about Obama's recent proposal to reform corporate tax rates?

Works for me; however, there's a rub. The proposal does not address individual rates and since most small businesses are pass-through entities, they will receive no relief. At least, that's my understanding. Am I wrong? If so, what is the real story?

Got any employees earning minimum wage? Why don't you double their hourly wage?

Are you a small business in the context of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare)? That is, less than 50 employees? If so, what are they going to do for healthcare?

Do you have 50 or more employees? Are any part-time?

What about Obama waving his magic wand and delaying the Obamacare employer mandate? What will he do next?

The problem is that under Obama, we are no longer a nation of laws. He is the King and business is subject to his whims. How in the world can a business do any planning and forecasting when they have no idea what rabbit he'll pull out of his hat next?

As a small businessman who supports Obama, why not use your experience and gifted pen to enlighten us right wing rubes?
Nettie Helen Stemm
|
August 02, 2013
If there existed a modicum of truth in this left wing baloney and thinly veiled attempt to transfer the blame for Obama’s failed policies to the governor of Georgia, it would make Nathan Deal the poster boy for liberalism and the “TEA Party” the party of choice for all little fledgling socialists.

However, the only thing this collection of fabricated accusations does is prove the saying “83.17% of all statistics are made up on the spot.”

“When favorable facts are needed, liberals will invent them!”

Papermill gal
|
August 02, 2013
Please note Ann Coulter's column today. It should blow you away for the next few weeks, especially where it says Bobby Kennedy worked for Joe McCarthy.

You forgot to remind us of that last week, Kevin.
Samuel Adams
|
August 02, 2013
I'm no Nathan Deal fan and hope he gets creamed next time by a real Republican. But Foley shows here liberals will do anything to misdirect, lie and obfuscate true facts.

Since when do Democrats want to take the power, authority and responsibility away from the feds and put it with the states? Since Obama became president and directed his minioins to shift responsibility for his failures to repub. governors, GWB or anyone else he can find.

Accountability lies with the president, his policies and his overreaching, over regulatory administration and policies. Worst jobs president ever, with folks on food stamps because his HHS used our own tax money to advertise them, even in "hot markets" like Mexico. Shame on you Foley.
*We welcome your comments on the stories and issues of the day and seek to provide a forum for the community to voice opinions. All comments are subject to moderator approval before being made visible on the website but are not edited. The use of profanity, obscene and vulgar language, hate speech, and racial slurs is strictly prohibited. Advertisements, promotions, and spam will also be rejected. Please read our terms of service for full guides