The Libertarian Response to the 2024 State of the State Address

 “We, the Libertarian Party of Georgia, seek a world of liberty: a world in which all individuals are sovereign over their own lives and are not forced to sacrifice their values for the benefit of others.”

As our members know well, crippling ballot access laws block Libertarian voters in Georgia from choosing representatives that embody our values, thereby preventing us from enjoying citizenship in a state where we are truly represented. Having listened to Governor Kemp’s annual address, we find both opposition and agreement with his various positions.

We appreciate Governor Kemp’s commitment to accelerating the reduction of the income tax rate and alleviating the burden it places on the hardworking people of Georgia, but we encourage him to take even bolder action.  He should work with the General Assembly to follow the lead of other states and eliminate income taxes in Georgia altogether as quickly as possible.  The people of Georgia deserve to keep their entire paycheck; they know how they should spend or save their own money better than politicians ever could.

Governor Kemp is absolutely correct when he says that Washington, D.C. tries to regulate problems away and just makes things worse instead of allowing the free market to innovate and create real solutions, which has contributed massively to the dysfunctional healthcare system in the United States.  We challenge the Governor to apply that same reasoning to Georgia and push the legislature to eliminate the state’s anti-competitive Certificate of Need regulations this session, unleashing the free market to provide the accessible healthcare that Georgians deserve. As the governor stated in his address, “we return money back to the taxpayers rather than justifying new government programs.” Certificate of Need reform would decrease healthcare costs through the free market, reducing the need for state programs such as Georgia Access and state investment in mental health initiatives.

It is unfortunate that in his defense of law enforcement, the Governor skipped over the very first paragraph of the very first section of the very first article of the Georgia Constitution, which states that no person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property except by due process of law.  Georgians who have done nothing more than peacefully exercise their right to protest have had the legal system weaponized against them, all while due process is turned on its head by law enforcement with practices like civil asset forfeiture.  The people of Georgia do not need a Cop City training police in urban warfare to keep them safe; they need police who are held accountable for their actions and who focus on real crimes instead of going after people engaged in non-violent, consensual activities. We agree with Governor Kemp’s statement that the state of Georgia should “trust our citizens more than we trust the government.” That is why we support initiatives like Constitutional Carry to keep our citizens safe rather than militarized police.
 We commend Governor Kemp for his strong support of educational freedom and welcome legislation in support of this goal. That said, it is important that this legislation does not allow the public education system to worm its way into the non-public-school choices. True educational freedom means that homeschooling families and private schools are free to operate without intrusive legislation and strings attached that would force these choices to conform to the same inflexible standards and requirements that have left so many children behind.

We are pleased that Governor Kemp’s efforts to make schools safer for Georgia’s children do not include the counter-productive attempts at gun control that many other states have pushed. As a general rule, local systems of government best know how to provide for their constituents and the state should serve as a protective measure against abuse of this local control.

We do have concerns about the role that “technology improvements” might play in school safety programs. The Libertarian Party of Georgia stands firmly against the proliferation of government surveillance on any level and we do not want Georgia students conditioned to be comfortable with such surveillance by the introduction of it in their schools. All human beings have rights, including the youngest among us.

In his address, Governor Kemp announced a $500 million investment to strengthen the state retiree fund. We feel that funds such as these can be further strengthened with state investments in precious metals such as gold and silver. We hope that the General Assembly will move forward in protecting the wealth of not only state retirees but also that of the entire state with adoption of legal tender legislation. 

The Libertarian Party of Georgia looks forward to working with the Governor and members of the General Assembly, Republicans and Democrats alike, to free the people of Georgia of burdensome government interference and allow them to prosper, secure in their individual rights.

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