The Carl Vinson Institute, the GMA, Mandatory Training, and the Tax Jesus

First, I’m no fan of mandatory government training. It seems to be silly and an excuse to subsidize the Carl Vinson Institute at the expense of tax payers beyond normally budgeted items.

That said, I’m been largely pleased by the torture. It hasn’t been that bad, but then it has not been largely useful either*. About the only thing I can say I really learned was that as bad as your municipality is, at least you’re not Augusta- Richmond, unless you are, and then you’re screwed, unless you’re the sheriff.

Okay, over all though, the lecturers have been okay. A few of them are from Athens-Clarke County and they seem to think they are quite special and the rest of Georgia should be as progressive. But then they generally weren’t the best lecturers over the course of the two days.

The mandatory dinner was lame. You’d think with all the encouragement to get to know your fellow elected officials, they’d be encouraging folks to go out in Athens instead of sitting in a banquet hall listening to a comedienne and being spun on what a great thing CVI is and GMA is. Yeah, they’re good, but captive audience and all that kind of sucks for dinner.

Overall though, the weekend has been tolerable. There hasn’t been too much said about the GREAT Plan, except for the GMA President over lunch with his captured audience. I wonder if Tax Jesus contemplated that newly elected officials, the ones most easily persuadable as to the merits of his plan, would be a captured audience for two days with the GMA teaching them. Probably not. But there really wasn’t that much on it.

In any event, I can now say I’ve done it and don’t have to do it again.

*By and large, the program was not largely useful because Macon is so bizarrely unique in its political structure from land management to government structure. Perhaps having one mandatory training for large municipalities and one for small municipalities would be more appropriate.

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Erick Erickson

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