Former Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue speaks at the Sandy Springs Perimeter Chamber of Commerce luncheon on Jan. 11, 2012

Former Georgia governor Sonny Perdue told the Sandy Springs Perimeter Chamber of Commerce during its Jan. 11 luncheon that America needs leaders with the guts to make tough decisions to restore the country to prosperity again.

“America is hungry for the moral authority and moral leadership where people’s walk will align with their talk,” Perdue said.

Perdue served as governor from 2003 to 2011.

“I don’t care how deep your well is,” Perdue told the chamber.  “Every well has a bottom … Are we going to have the self-discipline as policy makers to make the right fiscal decisions so we can continue to be prosperous?”

Perdue said people look more favorably on government when they get more value for the taxes they pay.

He criticized politicians for skirting the tough decisions because the consequences would be unpopular.

“We keep doing nonsensical, uneconomic things today so we won’t get kicked out of office,” Perdue said.

After his presentation, Perdue answered a couple of questions from a reporter. He said he would encourage voters to pass a penny-sales tax that would generate $6.14 billion for transportation projects around the Atlanta region. He predicted people would put aside their anti-tax sentiment and approve the measure, pointing to the voters’ recent renewal of a penny sales tax for education.

 “It’s a tough economic environment, no doubt, but people will vote for what they determine is value,” Perdue said.

While in office, Perdue opposed allowing Sunday package alcohol sales in the state. During the November elections, voters overwhelmingly approved allowing stores to sell on Sunday.  He said it was up to the voters to make that choice, even if he didn’t personally agree with it.

“I’m disappointed, personally,” Perdue said. “I chose not to support those measures while in office. That’s the way democracy works. This is the Republican and American way.”

Dan Whisenhunt

Dan Whisenhunt wrote for Reporter Newspapers from 2011 - 2014. He is the founder and editor of Decaturish.com