Category: The Forum

Friday Facts: May 26, 2016

It’s Friday! Foundation Vice President Benita Dodd (third from left) visited with the Republican Women of Gilmer County last week; she was invited to speak to the group by Foundation supporter Margaret Williamson of Ellijay (far right). Quotes of Note “Health-care reform is a test of whether Republicans, having been handed the gift of ObamaCare’s failure, can show voters that they can do better with conservative principles. The health-care market is at a crossroads. Either it heads in a more market-based direction step by step, or it moves toward single-payer step by step. If Republicans blow this chance and default to Democrats, they might as well endorse single-payer because that is where the politics will end up.” – Wall View Article

Second Chances for Ex-Offenders

By John G. Malcolm and John-Michael Seibler  A simple adjustment in federal law would provide much greater opportunities for young individuals who made some bad life choices but atoned to reintegrate into society successfully and to become productive, law-abiding citizens capable of supporting themselves, their families and their communities. Reps. Trey Gowdy (R-SC), and Hakeem Jeffries, (D-NY), introduced a bill Wednesday, the Renew Act of 2017 (H.R. 2617), with one goal in mind: Increase the age of eligibility for first-time offenders who were charged with simple misdemeanor drug possession to have their record – including any record of their arrest, charge, or disposition – erased, a process known as “expungement.” Under current federal law (18 U.S.C. § 3607),… View Article

Eyes In the Sky Over Sandy Springs?

The use of drones has exploded over the last several years, with the (mostly) flying robots so ubiquitous that it is easy to forget that even as recently 10 years ago, no consumer-grade versions of the devices were even available. (See the Foundation’s March 2017 article on the subject). The implications of the topic are coming to bear in a very real way for those in metro Atlanta, with a proposal to bring law enforcement drones to Sandy Springs. As reported in a city staff memo and by reporternewspapers.net, the city is considering the use of a new and ruggedly-equipped drone device for purposes including “Photographing and video recording crime scenes … [a]ssisting in reconnaissance for high risk… View Article
What promise do metro Atlanta’s express toll lanes hold for congestion relief, mobility, quality of life and affordability? In a nutshell: NewGeography.com describes the need for “affordable proximity” – enabling a growing regional population to live, work, shop and play without breaking the bank on housing or transportation costs. We need to acknowledge that in “decentralized, post-WW2 Sunbelt cities built around the car, commuter rail solutions don’t work and an alternative is needed, especially as we see autonomous vehicles on the horizon.” The solution lies in managed express lanes (MaX lanes), which leverage existing infrastructure, writes Tory Gattis of The Center for Opportunity Urbanism. He addresses this approach in his new report, “A Next-Generation Mobility Strategy for Affordable Proximity View Article

Friday Facts: May 19, 2017

It’s Friday!  Quotes of note “The biggest problem with alarmist claims, however, isn’t the repeated falsehoods and false prophecies. No, the greatest damage is the way ‘addressing climate change’ has become the latest euphemism for denying billions of people access to affordable energy – with victims ranging from working-class Americans to the world’s poorest in sub-Saharan Africa. And while the vulnerable suffer, wealth and power is transferred to the likes of biofuel processors and the bureaucrats of the Environmental Protection Agency and the European Union.” – Steven J. Allen “I wish to have no connection with any ship that does not sail fast; for I intend to go in harm’s way.” – John Paul Jones Transportation Moving ahead: New… View Article
By Robert Krol Robert Krol President Trump and Congress seem poised to boost spending on highways, bridges, and mass transit. Yet if this increase in spending ends up being funneled through the existing transportation funding system, the results will be disappointing. Instead of increasing Washington’s influence over infrastructure spending, it makes more sense to leave most funding responsibilities with the states. That approach would result in better project selection and a superior transportation infrastructure. As things stand, Washington plays a significant role in highway funding. The 2015 Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act contains five formula-based surface transportation funding programs that will cost about $45 billion per year from 2016 to 2020. Although this and previous transportation funding bills have increased… View Article
The topic of civil asset forfeiture, the practice of law enforcement seizing and holding property even if the owner is never charged with or convicted of a crime, has made the news recently both in Georgia and nationally. The Georgia Public Policy Foundation focuses frequently on civil asset forfeiture. Many other policy organizations and grassroots groups, both conservative and liberal, have decried the practice. Regrettably, its status remains the same after the most recent Georgia legislative session. While the last reforms Georgia made were meaningful, the result has been somewhat underwhelming. There should be transparency through increased reporting.  Unfortunately, there is no real accountability for missing information and some confusion in the reporting process itself, as the Foundation reported View Article

Friday Facts: May 12, 2017

It’s Friday! Quotes of note “The mobs of the great cities add just so much to the support of pure government as sores do to the strength of the human body. It is the manners and spirit of a people which preserve a republic in vigor. A degeneracy in these is a canker which soon eats to the heart of its laws and constitution.” – Thomas Jefferson (1787) “Back in 1927, an American socialist, Norman Thomas, six times candidate for President on the Socialist Party ticket, said that the American people would never vote for socialism but he said under the name of liberalism the American people would adopt every fragment of the socialist program.” – Ronald Reagan “Noise proves… View Article

Education is Key to Redeeming Lives in Prison

By Gerard Robinson and Van Jones Every year, more than 650,000 men and women leave prison and return home to communities across America. They are often released with little more than some spare change, a bus ticket and a criminal record that bars access to some of their most basic rights and privileges. Facing deep social stigma, many returning citizens feel as though they have left the grips of a physical prison only to find themselves engulfed in a new, social prison. It is tragic but not surprising that 50-75 percent of them end up incarcerated again within five years. In today’s knowledge economy, higher education is one of the first rungs on the ladder to economic freedom and social… View Article

Friday Facts: May 5, 2017

It’s Friday!  Quotes of note “When we’re dealing with big, intrusive government, we need to forget about good intentions. Instead, let’s focus on how it adversely impacts people at the lower end of the income spectrum.” – Ed Feulner “It is a general popular error to suppose the loudest complainers for the publick to be the most anxious for its welfare.” – Edmund Burke (1769)  “The speed of communications is wondrous to behold. It is also true that speed can multiply the distribution of information that we know to be untrue.” – Edmund Murrow (1964)  Health care  Medicaid: Nationally, seniors and people with disabilities account for 23 percent of Medicaid enrollment but 64 percent of spending in the program… View Article

The Georgia Public Policy Foundation is the best source of the rarest and most valuable commodity in public policy debate: facts.

State Representative Bob Irvin more quotes