Toward Sustainable Habits and Durable Prosperity
On March 29th, 2012, the State of Georgia House of Representatives declined to put Senate Bill 469 up for vote after several attempts to tweak the bill to specifically target unions and movements for change. Criminalizing activities related to the exercise of freedom of speech and right to assemble was undeniably anti-constitutional in the view of all political movements, including the Tea Party. When the deadline for passing the bill expired at midnight, jubilant Occupy Atlanta protesters celebrated in the halls of the Capitol. Although the defeat of the bill was celebrated as the culmination of several weeks of manifestations and outreach efforts by Occupy Atlanta to inform the population, it is difficult to establish the extent to which the Tea Party’s opposition to the bill was crucial in defeating it. While the Tea Party’s participation in rallies against SB 469 was very marginal, their influence over members of the Georgia Assembly is undeniably much stronger.
On the night the House had its last chance to vote for SB 469, some controversial bills were passed. An anti-abortion bill passed with applauds from the floor, which tested the discipline and temper of Occupy Atlanta protesters in the gallery. Also very controversial, was the bill to test welfare recipients for marijuana use. Although such measures have been shown to cost more money than save money, the State of Georgia Assembly had no problem voting for it since 99% of the cost would be paid by the federal government. Who cares if money is wasted in Georgia, if it is the federal government that pays for it?