Category: The Forum

Friday Facts: February 28, 2014

February 28, 2014 It’s Friday! Events  Please join us at the Georgia Public Policy Foundation’s Annual Reception and Dinner on Wednesday, March 5 as we celebrate 23 years of promoting liberty in Georgia! The event is at the Cobb Galleria Centre, with keynote speaker Daniel Garza, a first-generation American who is the inspiring executive director of the LIBRE Initiative. Find out more about Garza and the event here. See Kelly McCutchen explain the significance of the event here. Quotes of Note “Dependence begets subservience and venality, suffocates the germ of virtue, and prepares fit tools for the designs of ambition.” – Thomas Jefferson “It is the highest impertinence and presumption, therefore, in kings and ministers to pretend to… View Article

Don’t Let the Law Get Away With Georgians’ Goods

By Benita M. Dodd There’s no doubt that Georgia’s law enforcement officials dislike strings that restrict civil asset forfeiture, which is the power of law enforcement to seize and keep property suspected of being involved in criminal activity. They’ve told legislators that … time and again. For the rest of Georgia, however, it’s a problem. Unlike with criminal asset forfeiture, under civil forfeiture the owner of the property being seized does not have to be charged with a crime. Cash, cars, homes and other property can be taken without even filing charges, let alone convicting the property’s owner of a crime. It’s a cash cow and an incentive for excessive enthusiasm, even abuse, on the part of law enforcement. Why?… View Article
By Medicaid needs reform, not expansion. This federal–state health care program provides health care to over 60 million Americans and consumes a growing portion of state and federal budgets. Research shows a long history of Medicaid enrollees having worse access and outcomes than privately insured individuals.[1] Due in part to low reimbursement, one in three doctors refuses to accept new Medicaid patients.[2] Despite access issues, Medicaid spending continues to grow. In 2010, total federal and state spending on Medicaid exceeded $400 billion.[3] Instead of reforming Medicaid, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) expands eligibility to all individuals earning less than 138 percent of the federal poverty level (FPL).[4] The Medicaid program is… View Article

Atlanta Streetcar Costs: Up, Up and Away

First it was to cost $72 million, $47.6 million of it from a federal government grant. In April 2013, the estimated cost of Atlanta’s 2.6-mile streetcar line to $99 million. (Watch for it to go even higher!) The official Streetcar site estimates that operating the streetcar will cost $1.7 million annually in 2013 dollars. (It also lists capital costs at $92.6 million.) Back in 2012, the federal government put the annual operations cost at $2.6 million. But WSB-TV in Atlanta reported this week that the price is now 70 percent higher than original estimate: Operations are now projected to cost $4.4 million. Read Benita Dodd’s recent op-ed in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution on the Streetcar:… View Article
Foundation’s March 5 Event Celebrates 23 Years in Georgia Atlanta – The Georgia Public Policy Foundation cordially invites you to attend the 2014 Annual Reception and Dinner, which begins at 6:30 p.m. on March 5, 2014, at the Galleria Centre in Cobb County. The Annual Reception and Dinner, which this year celebrates 23 years since the Foundation was established in Georgia, is our one fund-raising event each year. This is your opportunity to: Support the state’s only free-market public policy research organization Hear from prominent Georgians who seized opportunity and achieved the American Dream Learn how to expand the message of free markets, limited government and individual responsibility. The keynote speaker is Daniel Garza, executive director of the LIBRE Initiative View Article
This year Senate and House legislators have passed three bills that use different approaches but share a common goal, that states should be able to compel the federal government to operate within a balanced budget.  The Compact for America approach passed as House Bill 794 would bring participating states together at a convention to pass a balanced budget constitutional amendment. Action by the convention would not by itself compel the federal government to live within a balanced budget.  Congress would be required to act on the proposed amendment and states would be required to ratify the language.  Goldwater Institute constitutional scholar Nick Dranias explained the balanced budget constitutional amendment approach at the Georgia Public Policy Foundation’s February 26 Leadership Breakfast… View Article

Checking Up On Health: February 25, 2014

Health Policy News and Views Compiled by Benita M. Dodd Opting for organic? How scientific are you about your food intake? Do you insist on buying organic coffee and bread from Whole Foods? You simply must read Michael Schulson’s article in the Daily Beast on the scientific credibility we allow the store he calls, “America’s greatest shrine to pseudoscience.” “Bringing sound data into political conversations and consumer decisions is a huge, ongoing challenge,” Schulson says. “It’s not limited to one side of the public debate. The moral is not that we should all boycott Whole Foods. It’s that whenever we talk about science and society, it helps to keep two rather humbling premises in mind: very few of us are… View Article
GEORGIA PUBLIC POLICY FOUNDATION NEWS RELEASE For Immediate Release February 25, 2014 Contact Benita Dodd at 404-256-4050 or Foundation Releases Study on Retirement Benefits Reform Unfunded Liabilities an Urgent, Growing Burden, Analysis Concludes Atlanta – Across the nation, cities and states are staring at a mountain of unfunded government pension and other employee benefits. For decades, public officials have freely doled out rich benefits to public employees, knowing the bill won’t be due until far in the future; what George Will describes as “‘IBG, YBG:’ I’ll be gone and you’ll be gone when the reckoning arrives.”   Reckoning is rapidly approaching for these governments and the taxpayers who fund them, according to a study released today by the Georgia Public… View Article

ER Costs vs. the new model of Direct Primary Care

The cost of the average ER visit is $969. Cost of primary care for a year under a new model: $600 to $720 a month for adults, with lower fees for children, according a New York Times report. In this new model, called Direct Primary Care (DPC), “patients pay a monthly flat fee directly to a personal physician—cutting out the insurance companies—to cover primary care, is known as concierge care. Long existent as a niche market, it has been derided as an elitist model for the rich and never seriously considered as a health reform for the general population.” In “Concierge Care for the Little Guy,” Jordon Bruneau, describes the practice of Dr. Lee Gross: For $83 a… View Article

GA House Passes Interstate Compact for Juveniles Bill

By Mike Klein Every year Georgia locks up hundreds of juveniles who fled here from other states after they violated their probation or parole terms.  Those hundreds sleep in Georgia beds, eat Georgia food, attend Georgia school classes, use Georgia medical services and in every other regard, they become a costly burden for Georgia taxpayers.  But that might end soon Monday afternoon the Georgia House unanimously approved HB 898 which would enable the state to rejoin the Interstate Compact for Juveniles (IJC).  Georgia is currently the only state that is not an IJC member although it was a member for several decades until withdrawal in 2010. The Council on Criminal Justice Reform recommended that Georgia rejoin the IJC in January. … View Article

“I am here today to thank the Georgia Public Policy Foundation for your role in building a fiscally conservative, pro-growth state. Not only did you help pave the way for a new generation of leadership, you continue to provide key policy advice and to hold us accountable to the principles we ran on. In short, you have had a transforming influence on this state. We are healthier, stronger, and better managed because of your efforts.

State Senator Eric Johnson, President pro tempore, Georgia State Senate more quotes