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Amy Bilskie February 7, 1997 FOREWORD There is overwhelming evidence that our current welfare system has failed many Americans and it has, in fact, been extremely harmful to the very people it was designed to protect C women and children. Several states, including Georgia, have learned that a reform approach emphasizing personal responsibility and work is much more likely to bring about real improvements than one that perpetuates the practices of the past. The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 took just that type of approach. Both the new federal welfare law and Georgia’s plan for implementing a substantial portion of that law are positive attempts to improve the flawed system. Both are good in many ways.… View Article
Amy Bilskie December 2, 1996 FOREWORD August 22, 1996, marked a dramatic new day for America’s welfare programs.  On that day President Clinton signed the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 into law, bringing to an end some 30 years of federal government policies that have, despite billions of dollars in effort, done little to alleviate the needs and distress of the poor. The current welfare system consists of an array of programs that are designed to provide society’s neediest members with cash assistance, food stamps and medical assistance.  Though well intentioned, it has evolved into a bureaucratic behemoth that is largely ineffective.  In fact, many critics fault the current system for contributing to, rather than solving,… View Article

Why Georgia Needs a New Approach to Testing

By Dr. Franklin Shumake Georgia spent $4 million in 1995 (test development, administration and training) evaluating students using Georgia-designed tests that compare Georgia students with other Georgia students. Moreover, the tests are geared specifically to a Georgia curriculum. Ironically, this testing program is not only very costly, it perpetuates mediocrity and prevents parents and teachers from knowing how Georgia students compare with students from other states and regions. Individual Scores and National Comparisons Student achievement will improve in Georgia on a student-by-student basis. Teachers can best assist students when they have a clear picture of the academic strengths and weaknesses of individual students. A testing program should provide teachers with this data, enabling them to teach a student rather than… View Article

Bringing Health Care Back to the Free Market

By Brenda Fitzgerald, M.D. THE PROBLEM Two factors are central to developing a good public health care policy for Georgia. Health care costs are enormous, and the federal portion of the indigent health care burden is likely to be shifted to the states. The government pays 45 percent of America’s health care costs. This burden has far exceeded anyone’s expectations.  When Medicare was created in 1965, it was estimated that its budget would reach $9 billion to $12 billion by 1990. The real cost in 1990 was $107 billion. Medicaid was predicted to cost some $1 billion by 1991. The actual cost was $56 billion. For Georgia, health care is the second largest budget item, with only education receiving more… View Article
By Sunny Park Sunny Park was born in 1942 in Seoul, South Korea. After coming to the United States in 1967 and gaining full citizenship in 1974, he became a successful businessman and an active member of his community. As a relative newcomer to this country, he is concerned that America’s youth are not being taught, and consequently do not fully appreciate, the principles their forbearers fought for in creating the freest nation on Earth and how fortunate they are to be Americans.  As an immigrant, I have personally learned and benefitted from the tremendous value of this great country, the United States of America. I think it can be summarized as follows: • Freedom — A people willing to… View Article
Terry L. Anderson and Pamela S. Snyder “Georgia coast faces new rules on water use” reads a February 20, 1996 headline from the Atlanta Constitution. The Associated Press article says that South Carolina is threatening to sue Georgia for using too much water from the Floridan Aquifer. In response, Georgia will impose new restrictions on groundwater pumping in 24 coastal counties, especially in the growing Savannah and Brunswick areas. The restrictions are nothing new to those Georgians who depend on the Floridan Aquifer for their water supply. It is common knowledge that heavy pumping in Savannah has created a cone of depression centered under the city. Saltwater has begun to intrude into the aquifer at Hilton Head Island, South Carolina,… View Article
In May of 1995, the Georgia Public Policy Foundation published a report authored by John Sherman, “Rescuing Atlanta From A Fiscal Cri- sis,” the purpose of which was set forth in the first paragraph: “America’s cities are in trouble. Faced with increased demands for services, cut- backs in state and federal funds, and a dwin- dling tax base, many cities have resorted to higher and higher taxes. Several progressive city governments, however, have found ways to maintain services without raising taxes. They have achieved their success through methods such as privatization, consolidating city and county services, improving employee accountability, greater use of volunteers, and professional city management. Few cities could benefit more from these alternatives than the City of Atlanta.”… View Article
by John G. Malcolm1 It is beyond dispute that fighting crime is one of the fundamental obligations that any government owes to its citizens. Indeed, the Constitution of the State of Georgia provides that, “Protection to person and property is the paramount duty of government and shall be impartial and complete.”2 Nothing has done more to undermine trust and confidence in our public servants and public institutions than our government’s failure to deal forcefully and efficiently with the greatest threat to the promise of “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness” provided for in our Declaration of Inde- pendence: crime. Can government “solve” our crime problem? Of course not, but it must do more.… View Article
Daniel Bloom and Lynda Carter Cajoleas As the stigma of out-of-wedlock pregnancies and indiscriminate sexual behaviors seems to have been eliminated from society’s value system, many children in Georgia are growing up in situations almost unimaginable thirty years ago.  Born with crack cocaine and heroin addictions, or with fetal alcohol syndrome, to drug and alcohol addicted mothers in fatherless homes, unprotected from violence and neglect, these children are a part of what the U.S. Advisory Board on Child Abuse and Neglect terms a “national emergency.”  According to the Board, in the early 1960s there were 60 thousand annual reports of abuse and neglect compared to 3 million today.  Between l980 and l991 alone, reports of child abuse and neglect tripled. … View Article

Term Limits: The Lousiana Experience

By Rense Johnson [Of the 20 states that have passed term limits for state legislators, Louisiana is the only state without a ballot initiative process to have done so. Ballot initiatives, which are unavailable to the citizens of Georgia, allow voters to effectively by-pass their legislature and enact popular laws. Since the Georgia General Assembly has failed to enact term limits or a ballot initiative process, Louisiana provides a good example of how a grassroots term limits campaign can be successful.] The State of Louisiana is not noted for its good government. Good food, perhaps, and hunting and fishing, and jazz for sure, but not good government. Its constitution has been drafted for the benefit of the politicians, not the… View Article

Finally, a one volume resource from an independent source that gives those of us in public life a new view on which to make public policy.

Governor Roy Barnes more quotes