Category: Government Reform

When Government Goes Off Course

By Benita M. Dodd Benita DoddVice President, Georgia Public Policy Foundation Stephen Goldsmith was a champion of privatization and outsourcing of government operations during his tenure as mayor of Indianapolis. He recalled in his 1997 book, “The Twenty-First Century City,” how he used what he called the “yellow pages” test: “Look at the city’s yellow pages. If the phone book lists three companies that provide a certain service, the city probably should not be in that business, at least not exclusively.” “The best candidates for marketization are those for which a bustling competitive market already exists. Using the yellow pages tests, we could take advantage of markets that had been operating for years.” “We consistently showed that free-market competition could… View Article
By Mike Klein Mike KleinEditorGeorgia Public Policy Foundation Georgia’s track record as a low-tax, pro-business, pro-growth state is absolute.  However, the state has been unable to enact an important threshold – elimination or at least a sizable reduction in the 6 percent maximum personal income tax rate – and that prevents Georgia from being considered at the top of states that have low-tax, pro-growth fiscal policies. Today the American Legislative Council released its sixth annual “Rich States, Poor States” economic competitiveness index report that evaluates states on 15 fiscal policy sectors including tax rates, state regulations, right-to-work laws and size of the public workforce as a percentage of statewide population.  The ALEC formula rewards low-taxing, low-spending states, of which Georgia… View Article
By Mike Eckert  One of Georgia’s biggest challenges today is job creation. As simple as it may sound, it needs amplifying. When people work, the economy grows and so does tax revenue, which is critical to funding essential services like education, transportation and public safety.  The unemployment rate in Georgia is 8.7 percent, a full percentage point higher than the national average of 7.7 percent and higher than our neighbors, Alabama (6.8 percent), Florida (7.9 percent) and South Carolina (8.6 percent).    Since when have Georgians been willing to cede economic turf to its border states?  Over the past 20 years a significant percentage of the new jobs in America have been created by small businesses. The Small Business Administration, which… View Article
GEORGIA PUBLIC POLICY FOUNDATION EVENT February 25, 2013 Contact Benita Dodd at 404-256-4050 or Registration Open for, ‘Morality and The Marketplace,’ With Ayn Rand Institute Executive Director Yaron Brook Atlanta – Capitalism has been demonized, markets are not so free and individual responsibility is becoming passé. How does America turn that around? Find out at, “Morality and The Marketplace,” a Georgia Public Policy Foundation Leadership Breakfast at 8 a.m. on Tuesday, March 19, at Cobb County’s Georgian Club. The keynote speaker is Dr. Yaron Brook, executive director of the Ayn Rand Institute and co-author of, “Free Market Revolution: How Ayn Rand’s Ideas Can End Big Government.” This event is open to the public but registration is required. The… View Article
By Mike Klein Mike Klein, EditorGeorgia Public Policy Foundation Georgians will need a comfy couch, lots of time and perhaps some caffeine when they begin to read newly introduced juvenile justice and civil code legislation.  Juvenile justice provisions in  House Bill 242 include a proposal to completely revise the state’s 32-year-old juvenile Designated Felony Act, a long overdue step forward, by creating two classes of more and less serious juvenile felony crimes. Juvenile civil code revisions would update laws that govern how juvenile courts operate and the rights of minors in custody and other situations.  The legislation is a comfy couch read at 244 pages.  The juvenile justice sections closely follow the Special Council on Criminal Justice Reform recommendations,… View Article

TaxReformTheGame.Com … Welcome to Planet Wonky!

By Mike Klein Mike Klein, Editor, Georgia Public Policy Foundation Warning:  Your star ship is about to land on Planet Wonky!   After all, discussions about whether to broaden the tax base, change exemptions and deductions and other such discourse are, if nothing else, wonky.    Even the wonkiest of wonks admit that what they do is too wonky for most folks.  But ah ha!  Now there is a wonky game for even the least wonky among us. TaxReformTheGame.Com has launched on the internet.   It is your ticket to rewriting Georgia’s tax code all by yourself using the two simplest rules in the game:  Point and Click.  Each time you point and click, each time you change the data going in, you… View Article
By David Brunori David BrunoriContribuing EditorState Tax Notes Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) has made the most provocative tax reform recommendation in many years. Jindal said he would overhaul the tax law. If he has his way, he’ll revolutionize it. The governor proposes to eliminate both the personal and corporate income laws in Louisiana. Why eliminate all the income taxes in the state? Jindal thinks it would be a boon to the economy. If the state allows citizens to keep more money in their pockets, they will invest and spend wisely (certainly more wisely than the government). Jindal also believes the change will attract businesses. Businesses, too, would like to keep more money in their pockets. The Tax Foundation predicts… View Article

Government Transparency

What if … Every citizen could track every dollar of federal, state or local government spending, every contract, every real estate deal and every travel expense? What if … Citizens in every Georgia community could use their local knowledge to track and analyze local expenditures? What if … National experts could help citizens decipher government accounting and establish benchmarks for every government service? What if … We could honor every government in Georgia that offered quality services at the best value to taxpayers? What if … we could expose fraud, waste and abuse at every level of government? We believe transparency is the first step to accomplishing all of those goals. Georgia has become a leader in that area, but… View Article

Congress Works to Dismantle and Defund ObamaCare

By Grace-Marie Turner Grace-Marie TurnerPresident, Galen Institute Facing a presidential veto pen blocking repeal of ObamaCare, the House is working to defund, dismantle, and delay implementation of the unpopular health overhaul law to avert at least some of its damage in the near term. The Fiscal Cliff deal chipped away at ObamaCare, eliminating one of its programs completely and cutting funding for another. Farewell, CLASS: The CLASS Act, a long-term-care insurance program that had been championed by late Sen. Edward Kennedy, was blessedly eliminated. The administration had said last year it couldn’t figure a way to assure the program would be financially solvent for 75 years before it was put into place – as the law requires. Health Secretary Kathleen… View Article
By Steve Metz Georgia’s Teachers Retirement System (TRS) represents a significant cost to taxpayers and an important part of teachers’ compensation and benefits package.  The current system is typical of government / teacher pension plans set up many years ago and it serves many teachers well (especially those who put in 30 or 40 years).  There are a lot of situations where it does not work well in today’s world however, and there are many reasons to believe it should be revised. From an employer’s perspective, a retirement plan should help with the Three R’s: Recruiting, Retaining and Rewarding employees.  In the rest of this discussion I will address how the TRS could be modified to better meet these objectives.… View Article

The Foundation always tells the truth.

Governor Roy Barnes more quotes