Category: The Forum

Education Reform Requires More Than Tweaks

By Benita M. Dodd It’s no secret that a 2017 legislative session begun with a smorgasbord of meaningful education reforms disintegrated into crumbs for Georgia families struggling to find viable alternatives when public schools fail to meet their children’s needs. This week, Georgia Governor Nathan Deal signed into law some education legislation that survived anti-choice sentiment under the Gold Dome. Last year, voters defeated a constitutional amendment for a statewide “Opportunity School District” covering Georgia’s chronically failing schools. It fell victim to a well-funded opposition campaign. Foes themed their opposition around Georgians’ fierce loyalty to local control, claiming it would take money and control from the local school board and superintendent. Lost in the kerfuffle, unfortunately, was that providing parental… View Article

Friday Facts: April 28, 2017

It’s Friday!  Quotes of note Foundation President Kelly McCutchen was back at the White House and Congress this week to talk about state-focused health care reforms with national leaders, including Alabama Congressman Gary Palmer (left), who is the former head of a sister think  tank, the Alabama Policy Institute. “Each generation of humanity takes the earth as trustees. … We ought to bequeath to posterity as many forests and orchards as we have exhausted and consumed.” – J. Sterling Morton “Your love of Liberty – your respect for the laws – your habits of industry – and your practice of the moral and religious obligations, are the strongest claims to national and individual happiness.”– George Washington (1789) “Hoodwinking Americans View Article

Friday Facts: April 21, 2017

It’s Friday!  Quotes of note Georgia Public Policy Foundation Vice President Benita Dodd attended Hillsdale College’s National Leadership Seminar in Atlanta this week, which was also attended by Georgia Insurance Commissioner Ralph Hudgens (center) and attorney Jason Shepherd, chairman of the Cobb County GOP. (Read Hudgens’ April 14 commentary on insurance regulation here.) Tax Day: “Countries, therefore, when lawmaking falls exclusively to the lot of the poor cannot hope for much economy in public expenditure; expenses will always be considerable, either because taxes cannot touch those who vote for them or because they are assessed in a way to prevent that.” – Alexis de Tocqueville Election Day: “An election is coming. Universal peace is declared, and the foxes… View Article
By Harold Brown Harold Brown, Senior Fellow, Georgia Public Policy Foundation Every year around Earth Day (April 22), people everywhere are harshly reminded just how “unnatural” environmentalists consider humans.  Humans, they argue, are against nature, and nature is being destroyed by humans. It’s unfortunate. Creating this dichotomy of humans against nature not only confuses the environmental narrative, it claims a separation that doesn’t exist and disregards enough relationships to make it preposterous. A striking recent example is the oft-repeated claim that species are threatened with extinction by human activities. National Geographic, the Public Broadcasting System, the World Wildlife Foundation and others have repeated the theme that “Current rates of extinction are 1,000 to 10,000 times the background (before humans) rate… View Article

Friday Facts: April 14, 2017

It’s Friday! Viewed from I-75 South, the sign at the Atlanta Braves’ controversial new baseball stadium in Cobb County is a reminder of today’s home opener at SunTrust Park. Below the sign, raw dirt marks the spot where the Northwest Corridor reversible toll lanes, under construction, will open in 2018. Welcome to a special “By the Numbers” Friday Facts to mark Tax Day on April 18! Quotes of note “Take not from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned.” – Thomas Jefferson “If, from the more wretched parts of the old world, we look at those which are in an advanced stage of improvement, we still find the greedy hand of government thrusting itself into every corner and… View Article

Return Insurance Regulation to the States

By Ralph T. Hudgens Much of the impasse in Washington regarding health care reform relates to health insurance regulation and mandates. There is a very simple solution: Return the power to regulate insurance back to the states, where it rightly belongs. Certainly, Congress should be able to find common ground in the desire to lower costs, improve quality and empower states. Much of the talk in recent months has been about how difficult it will be to replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The focus of the conversation should instead be on the consequences to the American people if Congress does not repeal this failed overhaul of the health insurance industry. When the ACA was first implemented, as the Commissioner… View Article

Friday Facts: April 7, 2017

It’s Friday!  Quotes of note “Governments create nothing and have nothing to give but what they have first taken away. … Every vote given for Protection is a vote to give Governments the right of robbing Peter to pay Paul and charging the public a handsome commission on the job.” – Winston Churchill “This is the history of governments, – one man does something which is to bind an other. A man who cannot be acquainted with me, taxes me; looking from afar at me ordains that a part of my labor shall go to this or that whimsical end, –  not as I, but as he happens to fancy. Behold the consequence. Of all debts men are least… View Article

Legislature 2017 Misses Many Opportunities

By Kelly McCutchen KELLY McCUTCHEN Last year, we wrote that the General Assembly is often, and appropriately, chided for passing last-minute bills with little debate or study. Once again this year, major legislation was crammed into the waning hours of the last day of the session. It was as ugly as the North Carolina-Gonzaga championship game. Several bills were hurriedly voted on after midnight; many legislators seemed more focused on tearing up papers for confetti in anticipation of Sine Die instead of studying the bills. Sadly, a major reform of adoption law, an income tax rate cut for Georgians and a minor expansion of school choice fell victim to the clock. Legislators wisely passed the 2018 budget before March 30,… View Article
By Kelly McCutchen Be careful when you set a new precedent, because your decision could come back to haunt you. Senate Democrats executed the first partisan filibuster of a U.S. Supreme Court nominee in our nation’s history this week. In response, Senate Republicans are expected to vote to change Senate rules to allow confirmation by a simple majority vote – the “nuclear option” – instead of the current 60-vote majority rule. Republicans cite precedent to justify their actions. Democrats changed Senate rules in 2013, ditching the 60-vote rule to allow a simple majority vote on Cabinet nominees and lower-court judges. The Wall Street Journal cites a floor speech by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) on Nov. 13, 2013, where she called… View Article

AJC Publishes Op-Ed on Atlanta, MARTA TSPLOSTs

The Sunday edition of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on April 2, 2017, published an op-ed by Foundation Vice President Benita Dodd on the new transportation special purpose local option sales taxes for MARTA and Atlanta. Her op-ed is published in its entirety below; the AJC link is here: http://www.myajc.com/news/opinion/opinion-look-future-not-past-gain-most-from-atl-splost/5h0CTF5gG9cK2ppp2ZRL4O/. OPINION: Look to future, not past, to gain most from ATL T-SPLOST By Benita Dodd April marks the full implementation of two transportation special-purpose local option sales taxes (TSPLOSTs) overwhelmingly passed by Atlanta voters in November 2016. A 0.4-cent, five-year Atlanta TSPLOST to raise $300 million has joined the 0.5-cent, 40-year TSPLOST begun in March to raise $2.6 billion for MARTA projects. The massive support is no surprise, given lofty campaign promises… View Article

When I served four terms in the state Senate, one of the few places where you could go to always and get concrete information about real solutions was the Georgia Public Policy Foundation. That hasn’t changed. [The Foundation] is really right up there at the top of the state think tanks, so you should be very proud of the work that they are doing!

Congressman Tom Price more quotes