America's budget is in turmoil. Our national debt is at an all-time high, home prices are falling, financial institutions are failing and people are losing confidence in the American dollar.
Last Spring's freeze cost our vineyards up to 80 percent of their grapes. The freeze was followed by the second year of a drought which stressed wine makers physically and financially.
Two weeks ago, I wrote about how credit scores affect our financial lives. A number of you who read that column have called me and pointed out how difficult it is for sub-prime consumers to improve their credit scores. They are absolutely correct. Some areas of consumer loan laws need to be changed.
We are finally feeling some relief during the energy crisis with the decline of gas prices. Although this relief is welcomed, we should not ease the pressure on our national leaders to develop a long-term, comprehensive energy strategy.
It's been proven. In a down economy, if you get to keep more of your earnings, government gets more tax revenue. The reverse is also true. When governments raise your taxes in economic downturns, they generate less in taxes. Consumers control the economy by their spending habits.
For the past three months it has been an honor to serve as your county manager.
It's not always easy to understand about Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, sub-prime mortgages and credit scores. How do these things affect your life?
Every Legislative Session yields many new laws that can affect your life. I have picked out 10 bills from the 2008 Session on which to comment because they continue to come up during conversations with you. They concern bills that are designed to make government consumer-friendly, protect families and protect our natural resources.
An opinion poll in a local publication asked in March, "Should Kevin Tanner be appointed county manager?"
I don't understand why some elected officials and candidates for local office are still confused about tax cut referendums on the November ballot. Most taxpayers seem to get it. They understand the need for some property tax relief for their parents and grandparents and the permanently disabled who are on fixed incomes and being taxed off their land.
Just a few weeks ago, President Bush issued an executive order to lift prohibition on oil exploration in the Outer Continental Shelf. With the action, the executive branch's restrictions on this exploration have been cleared away.
It's not a repeat of World War II, but many plants are under attack by Japanese beetles. This insect was first found in the United States nearly 80 years ago.
During my recent campaign for re-election, my focus was on the need for ad valorem tax relief. Your overwhelming vote of confidence leads me to believe that you are in favor of tax reform and want me to go about the business of instituting change in our current system.
Each month I receive hundreds of calls from gardeners with questions ranging from how to keep deer out of a garden to disease control in a home lawn. A few questions you may have thought about but never got around to asking are as follows:
Just a couple of weeks ago, more than 400 bills passed by the General Assembly and signed by Gov. Perdue became new state laws.
Last week, Winter Storm Leon brought snow and ice to many parts of our great state. Leon's impact on the metro Atlanta area was particularly harsh.
Columbia University's John McWhorter lectures on English linguistics and he, along with other linguists, are excited people these days. That is good because I would hate to think of them being bored.
My fellow Georgians, in order to keep my national certification as a modest and much-beloved columnist, it is a requirement that I submit to you annually a State of the Column message. This I do today. (Yea! Clap! Clap! Clap!)
Since I can't get out and about too much these days and since the weather has been too cold to be out and about much anyway, I decided to share some email chatter that might make you smile.
Every January, legislators from across the state convene at the Georgia State Capitol to set the course for Georgia's future. Because 2014 is the second half of a legislative biennial term, bills that did not pass in 2013 are still eligible for consideration in addition to the new bills introduced this year - which means legislators have a significant pile of work (literally, when you think about the stacks of printed bills on our desks...) ahead of us.
The purpose of this letter to the editor is to request the residents of Dawson County to assist me in contacting our local and state officials to work toward improving the unsafe intersection of Hwy. 53 and Hugh Stowers Road.
Gov. Nathan Deal gave his annual State of the State address to a joint session of the General Assembly on Jan. 15. The annual event takes place in the House of Representatives and is attended by members of the House, Senate, State Supreme Court Justices, State Court of Appeal Judges and the State's Constitutional Officers.
I read a news report this week that says while we are living longer in the U.S., people in other countries are living even longer. Bummer.
Before 2013 faded out, my intentions were to congratulate a number of local people receiving honors. And though it is late, and I'll probably overlook some important ones, I'll still tip my hat to these.
I hope each of you had a safe and wonderful Christmas and that your New Year is off to a good start. My family was blessed this past year in so many ways, and we had a wonderful holiday season. Stacie and I have a tradition of taking the girls to the mountains for New Year's, and we had a great time again this year. The girls were extremely excited to be there to see their first snow of the season.