“I hope you will agree with me that the members of the General Assembly did an exceptional job this year as they have done every session that I’ve had the opportunity to work with them,” Deal said, after noting that the session has ended.
“I start out most of the speeches that I make lately with a very simple explanation of where I come from. Where I come from is, when I became governor, the unemployment rate in this state had hovered at 10...percent...we are down to the lowest unemployment rate we have had in five years. Seven percent and it continues to drop, and that’s the big news. But I took the position that...there are a lot of things that people want government to do. Everybody you ask will have another idea about where they should spend your tax dollars. I don’t believe that is the primary responsibility of government. I believe that government has the responsibility to lay certain foundations upon which the private sector and free enterprise can operate.
“Jobs are the most important thing that our state can have for this very simple reason, if a person has a job they can provide for himself or herself, they can provide for their family,...and they will have less reason to ask government to do for them because they have the ability to do it for themselves.
“That’s the premise on which I am operating. And quite honestly I think it is paying dividends. Not only do we have been designated the number one state in the nation in which to do business, and by the way that is in large part due to things the General Assembly has passed and also it is...what your chamber of commerce and your compadres across this state...are doing. It is a joint effort at the state and the local level.
“In addition...it has many features that have allowed to obtain that goal. One was the private sector employment rate. The latest that I have from the Labor Department indicates that we are now 243,000...new private sector jobs in the less than three and a half years that you have allowed me to be here. I’m very proud of that folks and I think you should be, too.
“We started by trying to get our policy right to begin with. That’s the one thing government can do. Government can’t create these jobs but it can put the right policies in place so that private business can create the jobs.”
Deal said after hearing information gathered through a task force and town hall meetings, there were major reforms in policies and tax laws.
“We can still be a very important state in terms of manufacturing. The first step was what do we need to do there? The recommendation was if you will remove sales tax on energy that is used...you will see your manufacturing sector grow significantly. Even before we passed that reform...we already had companies that were looking at us and when they heard what we intended to do, they made the decision to come to Georgia.”
Deal gave a list of major companies that haved moved into the state.
Deal commented on the revitalization of the carpet industry, which is now referred to as the flooring industry.
“Your county...is the beneficiary of one of those announcements with the new plant that is coming to you, somewhere in the neighborhood of 1200 new jobs and that facility and an adjoining plant in Whitfield County with another 1200 jobs...we’ve seen expansions...Mohawk has made expansions...and others.
“Over the last eight plus months in the flooring industry alone we have had announcements of new jobs between three and four thousand...and that is significant and as you know, most of those are in North Georgia.”