Your Georgia Desk
From Governor Nathan Deal
Great Challenges Require Great Cooperation
Deal proposes plan to rescue failing schools, new transportation plan
Lt. Governor Cagle, Speaker Ralston, President Pro Tem Shafer, Speaker Pro Tem Jones, members of the General Assembly, constitutional officers, members of the judiciary, members of the consular corps, my fellow Georgians:
Today marks the fifth year that I have reported to you, the people’s representatives, on the state of our state. This is our annual checkup exam on the body politic, where we measure our vitals, celebrate areas of great health and seek cures for what ails us. In each succeeding year, we’ve seen the green shoots of our economy grow a little taller. Each year, we’ve seen more Georgians return to work or get their first job. Each year, we’ve seen hundreds of more businesses open or relocate here. Each year, steady revenue growth has allowed us to slowly mend the ravages wrought by the Great Recession. Now, our economy is seeing positive growth with thousands of new jobs added every month. We’re seeing the tell-tale signs of cranes and bulldozers humming on newly cleared land. We’re seeing home values recover and Georgia families rebuild their savings. And Georgia has been named the No. 1 place in the nation in which to do business by several major rating agencies and has repeated that designation by one of them already. In short, I’m here to report to you today that the state of our state is strong, and getting stronger every day.
But for every milestone we reach, for every victory we attain, for every improvement we achieve, new challenges await. Certainly, there are those who focus only on the negative, zeroed in on areas where we should do better. They downplay any progress as “not good enough.” To them I say: Celebrating our progress puts our challenges in perspective and reminds us that together we can achieve greatness. Our shortcomings don’t go unacknowledged. They’re simply what we’re going to address next.
When focused only on the negative, the job before us can seem overwhelming. These feelings are not new to our generation. Atop President Kennedy’s desk sat a fisherman’s prayer: “Oh, God, Thy sea is so great and my boat is so small.” When confronting the challenges of 10 million people – challenges that can appear insurmountable – it’s easy to feel that the tools we’ve been given aren’t up to the task.
When it comes to our constituents’ needs in education, health care, transportation and public safety, the sea seems so great and our boat so small. We may have 10 million challenges, but we also have 10 million oars.
In the turbulent waters of recession and recovery, we have rowed steadily forward. The synchronized beat of unified oars has reset the rhythm of our economy. Georgians have spoken clearly that the conservative principles, which have guided our decisions, the very ones that have brought us out of the recession, must continue to guide our future growth. These include keeping our government small, prioritizing and balancing our budget, and emphasizing a strong business climate.Continue Reading..