During a deep nationwide recession, our biggest challenge is: What can we do to make Georgia a leader in economic recovery and job creation? How can we make Georgia a business magnet so that every Georgian who wants to work can find a job?
There are no easy answers to these tough questions, but there are some fundamentally sound steps we can take to place Georgia on the path to renewed prosperity.
First and foremost, we must advance a pro-business environment. We can do this by:
*Keeping taxes low and managing revenues wisely. Low taxes translate into more money in the pockets of consumers, more business dollars available for investment, and more jobs for Georgians.
*Making better use of taxpayer dollars rather than trying to tax our way to prosperity. One step in this direction would be to adopt a "pork-free budget" in which every item is prioritized and justified by merit, not politics.
*Developing incentives for small businesses that are the heart and soul of job creation. As a former small business owner, I understand the powerful job-creating potential of thousands of prosperous small businesses operating across the state.
*Recruiting major manufacturers, high-tech industries, and service providers. I will aggressively promote the advantages and resources that Georgia offers to the business community and will encourage incentives for growing firms that add jobs.
Closely allied with economic growth is developing excellence in education. Businesses are attracted to communities with good schools, with well-educated, well-trained citizens who are prepared for the jobs of the future. I will take the steps necessary to build a world-class education system in Georgia to help ensure that students graduate with the knowledge and skills required of effective citizens, productive workers and competent leaders.
Also essential to attracting investment and encouraging businesses to re-locate to Georgia is a first-class transportation system. I will work with experts in the field of transportation to develop a plan that addresses our state's transit problems, which include the need for convenient and reliable alternatives to clogged metropolitan highways, more paved roads for rural Georgia, and improved transportation routes to move goods to and from our growing seaport, Careful monitoring of how taxpayer dollars are spent on transportation projects will also be a priority for me as Governor.
With hard work and persistence, and with your support, we can grow our state's economy, create jobs and make Georgia a place of opportunity and prosperity.