Category: The Forum

The Assault on Free Speech

By Michael J. Reitz We Americans have long enjoyed the right to financially support our favored causes. Whether our favorite voluntary association is a food bank, church or public policy organization, we value their work to build social capital. Concomitant with the ability to donate one’s resources is the right to do so privately, without the scrutiny of government regulators. A loud and insistent movement seeks to force all private giving into the public eye. Complaints about “dark money” and the “undue influence of money” inflame concern, but these attacks are designed to squash thoughtful debate about how we should govern ourselves. The enemies of debate would require individuals report charitable giving: personal information, donation amounts and the names of… View Article

Checking Up On Health: August 18, 2015

Health Policy News and Views Compiled by Benita M. Dodd BENITA DODD My opportunity to participate as a team volunteer in a Remote Area Medical mission was lost last week when the mission, scheduled August 13-17, had to be canceled at the last minute because – as I posted on my Facebook page – there was unrest in the region. That’s right. The program organizers were apparently unable to guarantee the safety of volunteers on the trip to East St. Louis, about 10 miles from Ferguson, Mo., where protesters were marking the anniversary of Michael Brown’s death. It’s a tragedy that hundreds of low-income residents missed the opportunity for free, basic medical care brought right to their doorstep, all because… View Article

Georgia Gas Tax Hike: Much Ado About Nothing

By Clay G. Collins and E. Frank Stephenson  One of the most significant bills enacted by the Georgia Legislature in 2015 was the nearly billion-dollar Transportation Funding Act of 2015 (HB 170). A key provision of the bill was a change in Georgia’s gasoline tax, taking effect on July 1.  Before the change, Georgia had a two-part gas tax: a 7.5 cents per gallon excise tax and a 4 percent state sales tax. Gas was also subject to local option sales taxes, which run another 3 percent in most counties. Levying gas taxes as a percentage of the purchase price had drawbacks. One was difficulty in transportation planning because tax revenue fluctuated with gas prices. Another was the perverse feature… View Article

Friday Facts: August 14, 2015

It’s Friday! Events October 15: Just added to the list of experts at the Sixth Annual Georgia Legislative Policy Forum: Nevada Sen. Scott Hammond, sponsor of that state’s Education Savings Account law. Register now to attend the event at the Renaissance Waverly Atlanta on Thursday, Oct. 15. Arthur Brooks, president of the American Enterprise Institute, is the keynote. The theme is, “Wisdom, Justice and Opportunity.” Details here. Registration is $125 per person; an Early Bird rate ($100) applies until Friday, September 4. Register here. Sponsorships are available; contact Benita Dodd. Quotes of Note “That principle is, that the sole end for which mankind are warranted, individually or collectively, in interfering with the liberty… View Article

Snake Oil in the Clean Power Plan

By Benita M. Dodd BENITA DODD “The most terrifying words in the English language are: I’m from the government and I’m here to help,” Ronald Reagan famously said. After new energy regulations were announced this week, Americans should ask government, “With friends like you, who needs enemies?” This nation has never been sold a bigger, costlier bill of goods than the Obama Administration’s Clean Power Plan (climate action plan) to reduce carbon emissions, which the administration has fervently tried to relabel as carbon “pollution.” According to President Obama: With this Clean Power Plan, by 2030, carbon pollution from our power plants will be 32 percent lower than it was a decade ago.  And the nerdier way to say that… View Article

Friday Facts: August 7, 2015

It’s Friday! Events Today: GOP presidential candidates and the Foundation’s Benita Dodd are at Red State Gathering! Join Benita at, “Due Process Denied: How Civil Asset Forfeiture Undermines Freedom,” a 12:30 p.m. breakout session at Red State Gathering, (Hope Room, Intercontinental Buckhead Hotel). Moderated by Jason Pye, FreedomWorks’ Director of Justice Reform, the panel will include Marc Levin of the Texas Public Policy Foundation and Lance Lemmonds of the Coalition for Public Safety. October 15: The Sixth Annual Georgia Legislative Policy Forum takes place at the Renaissance Waverly Atlanta on Thursday, Oct. 15. Arthur Brooks, president of the American Enterprise Institute, is the keynote. The theme is, “Wisdom, Justice and Opportunity.” Details here.… View Article

Checking Up On Health: August 4, 2015

Health Policy News and Views Compiled by Benita M. Dodd BENITA DODD On Sunday, colon cancer took the life of a very dear, longtime friend and former colleague at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The tributes to Frank Hyland, a fine author, sportswriter, editor and all-round classical journalist are both poignant and hilarious. It’s consoling when someone leaves you with the finest of memories. I have a feeling Frank’s busily reviewing obits and checking game stats at the Pearly Gates while we’re still here chuckling about his shenanigans. And if you haven’t read his book, “The Sportin’ Life of Lewis Grizzard,” you’re missing some great, irreverent newsroom tales! It got me thinking again about colon cancer and screenings. My mother-in-law, too, succumbed… View Article
GEORGIA PUBLIC POLICY FOUNDATION NEWS RELEASE For Immediate Release August 4, 2015 Contact Benita Dodd at 404-256-4050 or benitadodd@georgiapolicy.org Foundation’s Friedman Event in Savannah: ‘Exceptional’ Atlanta — Friday, July 31, would have been the 103rd birthday of economist Milton Friedman, the Nobel Prize winner and champion of school choice who died on November 16, 2006. Friedman’s birthday is celebrated worldwide annually as “Friedman Legacy Day.” Last year, the Georgia Public Policy Foundation hosted Friedman Legacy for Freedom Day in Macon; more than 10,000 people at more than 100 events around the world gathered to recognize Friedman’s life, legacy and ideas. This year, the Foundation celebrated with a Policy Briefing Luncheon in Savannah on Wednesday, July 29, at Vic’s on the… View Article
GEORGIA PUBLIC POLICY FOUNDATION NEWS RELEASE For Immediate Release August 3, 2015 Contact Benita Dodd at 404-256-4050 or benitadodd@georgiapolicy.org Clean Power Plan ‘Cleaning out Consumers’ Wallets’ Atlanta – Kelly McCutchen, president of the Georgia Public Policy Foundation, had this to say about the final rules of the Obama Administration’s Clean Power Plan: That the Environmental Protection Agency has delayed implementation of the Clean Power Plan by two years for the states is no help. As we pointed out in testimony before the EPA in July 2014, the agency’s promise of “flexibility” and “state leadership” toward building a cleaner power sector is akin to letting a condemned man choose his method of execution: One way or another, it’s the end. Despite… View Article

Thank you for what you are doing to lead the nation. The Georgia Public Policy Foundation is leading the way. This is truly one of the leading lights in the state think tank movement. Excellent ideas. It’s well run. For those of you who are donors I congratulate you on your wisdom and I encourage you to do it and do it more.

Arthur Brooks, President, American Enterprise Institute (2015) more quotes