Georgia Public Policy Foundation
Changing Georgia Policy, Changing Georgians' Lives
Since 1991
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When ‘Poverty’ Founders, Float ‘Income Inequality’

‘Poverty’ gets harder to define in a changing world.

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Friday Facts: October 17, 2014

Savings vs. costs under the Affordable Care Act.

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It’s Just Wrong

Florida’s Tuition Tax Credit Scholarship program is under attack. Similar to Georgia’s scholarship program, the Florida program awards scholarships to students to attend private schools. Also, just as in Georgia, opponents have filed a lawsuit trying to block this educational opportunity for thousands of students.

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Friday Facts: October 10, 2013

What if you could eliminate 90 percent of road vehicles?

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Transit Tall Tales and Coping With Too Much Money

If it weren’t for a surfeit of federal funds, cities wouldn’t plan ridiculously expensive rail lines that, in most cases, do nothing for transit riders or transportation users in general.

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Four Drivers of Tomorrow’s Education Reforms

In “Time for a Reboot,” Checker Finn highlights four drivers of tomorrow’s education reforms.

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2014 Forum VIDEO: Tearing Down Doctor – Patient Walls

The U.S. health care system confounds and confuses nearly everyone.  Ever-changing federal government mandates, an alarming number of people who have no health insurance from any source, the trend by employers to reduce or even eliminate health care coverage for employees and retirees, all of this and more has created hyper-ventilation in health care which is about one-sixth of the entire U.S. economy.

“Tearing Down the Walls Between Doctors and Patients” brought three medical practitioners together at the 2014 Georgia Legislative Policy Forum.  Dr. Josh Umbehr is a Wichita, Kansas physician whose Atlas MD provides direct primary care at a fixed price.  Dr. Brian Hill is with Urology Specialists of Atlanta at St. Joseph Hospital.  Jimmy Childre, Jr. is former chairman and current CEO at the Washington County Regional Medical Center Authority in central Georgia.

(Article and video production by Mike Klein)

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2014 Forum VIDEO: Fall of the Berlin Wall 25th Anniversary


Gen. Lucius D. Clay and Joseph Rueffert never met but they share something in common, post-World War II Berlin, Germany. Gen. Clay engineered the unprecedented 1948-49 Berlin Airlift that saved West Berliners from Soviet-planned starvation.  Rueffert was an East German guard who escaped to the West during the 1961 Soviet construction of the Berlin Wall.

Gen. Clay’s grandson Chuck Clay and Joseph Rueffert’s son Hans Rueffert shared the stage at the 2014 Legislative Policy Forum discussion, “Fall of the Berlin Wall: The 25th Anniversary.”  They were introduced by Tom Harrold.

This video begins with a segment from the 2003 Unification Conference that brought former U.S. President George H.W. Bush, former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev and former German Chancellor Helmut Kohl to Atlanta for a discussion moderated by Tom Brokaw.  Harrold organized the Unification Conference.

Several images from 1948 – 49 and 1961 were shown on screen during the Forum presentations by Chuck Clay and Hans Rueffert.  Here are the links:

(Article and video production by Mike Klein)
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Checking Up On Health: October 7, 2014

If Ebola is the enemy, should we allow it to gain a foothold here?

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2014 Forum VIDEO: Tearing Down Walls to Economic Growth


Georgia’s personal state income tax rate at 6 percent is now the highest in the Southeastern United States.  Is that a competitive disadvantage when Florida and Tennessee collect no personal income taxes and every other state that surrounds Georgia is also lower?

What are the proper roles for personal, corporate and sales taxes in a state economy?  How to keep Georgia’s economy competitive in the taxes environment was a focus at the fifth annual Georgia Legislative Policy Forum.

Tax Foundation economist Liz Malm said sales of goods are decreasing as a percentage of Georgia’s overall economy and sales of services are increasing.  Georgia, however, has not adjusted its taxation strategies to acknowledge this change in the state’s economy.  Malm’s recommendations included a broader overall tax base with lower rates and, specifically, taxing all end consumer services, taxing groceries with built-in protection for low-income earners and exemptions for business-to-business services.

The conference also heard from former North Carolina state Senator Thom Goolsby who championed the state’s personal income tax rate cut.  The Legislative Policy Forum is a partnership project of the Georgia Public Policy Foundation and the Conservative Policy Leadership Institute.  The Forum was held on Friday, September 19, in Atlanta.

(Article and video production by Mike Klein)

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"I wanted to publicly say how much I appreciate Georgia Public Policy Foundation.  For those of you that will be entering the Legislature or are relatively new you may not quite yet appreciate how much we rely on Georgia Public Policy Foundation’s research and work.  As you know we’re a citizen’s legislature.  We have very little staff. They have been an invaluable, invaluable resource to us.  To put this [Forum] on and the regular programs that they do throughout the year make us better at what we do. (At the 2012 Georgia Legislative Policy Forum.) " - Speaker Pro Tem Jan Jones