Category: The Forum

Friday Facts: February 27, 2015

It’s Friday! Events March 18: “Federalism, The Rule of Law and Regulatory Excess,” is the topic of the Foundation’s Leadership Breakfast with Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens. $30. Find out more here. Register online by Monday, March 16, here. Quotes of Note “If you look at the Akamai State of the Internet report … or other objective data, there’s no question that America is better off, especially considering our relatively lower population density – in terms of deployment, speeds, prices, whatever metric you choose. Moreover, if you look at investment, in the U.S. it’s $562 per household. In Europe, it’s only $244.” – Ajit Pai, Federal Communications Commissioner, on “net neutrality” “I’m not interested… View Article
By Benita M. Dodd BENITA DODD Not many Americans are aware that March 4 heralds a turning point in the Affordable Care Act. It’s when the U.S. Supreme Court hears oral arguments over whether ObamaCare goes forward under the rule of law or under arbitrary interpretation by overreaching politicians and bureaucrats. King v. Burwell is one of four lawsuits, along with Halbig v. Burwell, Pruitt v. Burwell and Indiana v. IRS, to argue that the law specifies subsidies (tax credits) only for enrollees of state-run exchanges. And if that is the case, then extending subsidies through federal exchanges is illegal because it exceeds the authority that Congress gave the Internal Revenue Service. It’s important to note that the parties that… View Article
The growing number of wineries in north Georgia are becoming a tourism success story. Visitors can tour the winery, sample the products and then buy a bottle, or a case, to take home. If you really like the wine, you can have up to 12 cases a year shipped to your home. Craft beer is the latest craze. Breweries are springing up all over the state of Georgia. While breweries are contributing to economic growth in many states, Georgia is being held back by antiquated laws and powerful special interests. Georgia is one of 5 states where breweries cannot sell beer directly to consumers. Brewers in Georgia simply want to be treated the same as Georgia wineries and breweries in… View Article
A bill introduced this month would modernize Georgia teachers’ pensions to be more in line with private-sector retirement plans. The proposal is modeled after the successful reform of Georgia’s pension plan for new state employees 7 years ago. Senate Bill 152, sponsored by Sen. Hunter Hill, would only apply to teachers hired after January 1, 2017.  These newly hired teachers would automatically be enrolled in a hybrid pension plan that combines a defined contribution plan, similar to a 401(k) plan, with a smaller traditional defined benefit component. This is exactly what happened with state employees in 2008 in response to a survey showing that state employees under age 30 earning less than $35,000 annually – who made up the… View Article

Checking Up On Health: February 24, 2015

Health Policy News and Views Compiled by Benita M. Dodd BENITA DODD Dealing with insurance companies in the ObamaCare era has become convoluted and messy, as many have discovered. Time was the physician’s was the last word. No longer, I’ve discovered. After a year of a painful shoulder and elbow, I finally bit the bullet last week and decided I needed to graduate from Aleve to some orthopedic help. The orthopedist diagnosed tennis elbow and bursitis, recommended some exercises and prescribed a topical NSAID for the elbow problem. Imagine my surprise when I picked up the medication at Costco and was informed the insurance company was refusing to pay for it. When I called, I was told the claim was… View Article

Legislature Makes Good Progress on The Issues

By Benita M. Dodd BENITA DODD As the legislative session reaches the halfway mark for 2015 (Monday is Day 20), there are signs of promising action from Georgia’s General Assembly. For novices: The Georgia Legislature has two-year sessions of 40 days each year. Crossover day for legislation is Day 30, which means a bill must have passed at least one chamber for a chance to become law. (Convoluted amendments sometimes skirt this requirement.) If it does not pass in the first year, it has another opportunity to continue in the second year; if not, it must be introduced all over again. Bearing in mind that a part-time Legislature has little time and few resources to get acquainted with policies, precedents… View Article

Friday Facts: February 20, 2015

It’s Friday! Events March 18: “Federalism, The Rule of Law and Regulatory Excess,” is the topic of the Foundation’s Leadership Breakfast with Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens. $30. Find out more here. Register online by Monday, March 16, here. Quotes of Note “[I]t is of the greatest consequence that the debt should . . . be remoulded into such a shape as will bring the expenditure of the nation to a level with its income. Till this shall be accomplished, the finances of the United States will never wear proper countenance. Arrears of interest, continually accruing, will be as continual a monument, either of inability, or of ill faith and will not cease to have… View Article
EVENT INVITATION February 18, 2015 Contact Benita Dodd at 404-256-4050 or benitadodd@georgiapolicy.org Federal Overreach is Focus of March 18 Event with AG Sam Olens Atlanta – Under the Constitution, our Founding Fathers assigned the federal government specific, limited powers. How times have changed. As Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens pointed out to Congressional lawmakers in 2013, “With increasing and dismaying frequency, constitutional principles of federalism and separation of powers have been set aside in favor of administrative end-routes to a preferred policy outcome.” Insidious mission creep and overreach now pit states against the federal government and the courts as they are forced to defend their rights. From the Dodd-Frank Act to the ObamaCare Halbig v. Burwell case before the U.S.… View Article

Friday Facts: February 13, 2014

It’s Friday! Events February 18: Monday is the last day to register for, “Transportation Money Matters,” the Foundation’s February 18 Leadership Breakfast. A panel discussion by Kelly McCutchen and Baruch Feigenbaum of the Reason Foundation will tackle Georgia transportation and funding solutions. The event is open to the public. $30. Find out more here; register online here. March 18: “Federalism, The Rule of Law and Regulatory Excess,” is the topic of the Foundation’s Leadership Breakfast with Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens. $30. Register online by Monday, March 16, here. Quotes of Note “The thought that a federal bureaucrat knows better than parents what they can feed their own families is condescending… View Article

The Economics and Politics of Tax Reform

By Kelly McCutchen  It may surprise many people that liberals and conservatives can agree on many aspects of tax policy. The Special Council for Tax Reform and Fairness for Georgians highlighted these areas of agreement in its final report to the General Assembly in 2011: “Economists generally agree that economic growth and development is best served by a tax system that: Creates as few distortions in economic decision-making as possible Has broad tax bases and low tax rates Has few exemptions and special provisions Promotes equity through transfers, subsidies and tax credits rather than by having tax rates increase with income Taxes consumption rather than income in order to encourage saving and investment Keeps tax rates low since taxes reduce… View Article

…One of the best things about the Georgia Public Policy Foundation is that it has such a broad membership base.

Dr. Wendy L. Gramm, Former Chairwoman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission more quotes