Category: Government Reform

In an excellent op-ed, Eric Tanenblatt writes in the March 4-10 edition of The Atlanta Business Chronicle on how government and elected officials stifle and resist innovation “by protecting a legacy structure.” The former chief of staff to Gov. Sonny Perdue who served in the administrations of both Presidents Bush cites as examples the initial reaction to Amazon and responses to Airbnb, Uber, Lyft, Tesla and personal lender LendingClub.  (Georgia also saw this in the uphill battle faced by craft breweries and distilleries trying to sell their wares.) “Government’s inclination to snuff out innovation when it threatens incumbents is a cancer on our body politic that must be excised,” Tanenblatt writes. “The new sharing economy, an expansive market built on… View Article

Georgia Is Moving Forward on Welfare Reform

By Logan Pike and John Nothdurft Georgia’s dreadful welfare system is perhaps one of the worst in the nation, but the Legislature has an opportunity to reform the failing program and provide significant, lasting changes that will improve the lives of thousands of Georgia’s citizens. The Georgia Senate passed a welfare reform bill that will improve opportunities for upward mobility and self-sufficiency and protect those people who truly need assistance. The bill has been offered in large part as a result of four important hearings held in 2015 by the Georgia House Study Committee on Welfare Fraud, chaired by state Rep. David Clark (R-Buford). Those hearings were created to study the “conditions, needs, issues, and problems regarding Georgia welfare programs.”… View Article

Which Way Employment?

By Harold Brown                                             Harold Brown A person who wants a job and doesn’t have one knows exactly what unemployment means. Sadly, most of us who depend on the media to tell us about the nation’s unemployment don’t quite know. The “unemployment rate” supposedly tells us the proportion of people unemployed, and is often presented as the whole story.  But there is much more to it: The official “unemployment rate” is the percentage of people in the labor force who don’t have a job and are seeking one. What about changes in the size of the labor force? The labor force is not a fixed group. The focus may on the unemployment rate, but changing demographics affect the labor force as… View Article
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Sunday edition on January 10, 2016 published this op-ed by Foundation president Kelly McCutchen on the Foundation’s hopes for the legislative session. The link to the op-ed is here. Time to prioritize, advance state’s economic prospects By Kelly McCutchen As the Georgia General Assembly meets in 2016 amid an upswing in state revenues, lawmakers should avoid the temptation to grow government spending and programs. Rather, legislators should focus on prioritizing the Rainy Day Fund, limiting government and advancing economic opportunity. Economic opportunity begins with quality education. Replacing the 30-year-old school funding formula with a student-centered model is overdue and will dominate the headlines, but the shift to a competency-based education system is perhaps the most overlooked… View Article

A 2016 Legislative Wish List for Georgia

By Kelly McCutchen Conventional wisdom says a budget surplus plus an election year equals a legislative session that adjourns quickly to maximize time for campaigning and fundraising, but not before spreading government funds as widely as possible to maximize voter “happiness.” But Georgia, like many states, faces real challenges so one can hope for leadership on real reforms instead of politics as usual. The current political debate over income inequality distracts attention from a more important issue: economic opportunity. With Georgia’s high level of poverty and a middle class feeling like they are economically stuck in the mud, it’s more important than ever that our policies focus on empowering individuals with every opportunity to climb the economic ladder and tearing… View Article
Letter to the editor, The Citizen, sent December 9, 2015 in response to a letter from Peachtree City Public Information Officer Betsy Tyler alleging the city’s plans were “misrepresented” by the Foundation President Kelly McCutchen and Watchdog.org reporter Chris Butler: Peachtree City’s Public Information Officer and City Clerk, Betsy Tyler, accuses the Georgia Public Policy Foundation of being “alarmist” in questioning Peachtree City’s plan to build out a government-owned broadband internet network (“PTC’s cable plans misrepresented in story,” December 8, 2015). We admit to being alarmed that a supposedly fiscally conservative city in Metro Atlanta would engage in such a risky venture, but we are far from alarmist. The Foundation has a nearly 25 year record of defending… View Article

A Success Story in Helping Lower-income Workers

By Kelly McCutchen With the media focused on partisan gridlock in Washington, it’s easy to overlook major success stories in bringing bipartisan public policy and innovative business partnerships together to help American workers. Part-time and other lower-income workers often drop out of the banking system because they find it is not worth it to pay the higher banking fees that come with carrying low balances in their accounts. But without a checking account, they can’t receive their paycheck by direct deposit. As a consequence, they face the expense of check-cashing services in order to access their paychecks, the expense of buying money orders to pay bills and the expense of payday loans when bills come due before payday. In what… View Article
Anonymous political speech has been essential to democratic discourse since the founding of our republic.  Ratification of the U.S. Constitution was primarily debated through a series of anonymous papers.  Yet in recent years, anonymous political speech has been under attack by so-called “dark money” critics, who demand that government expose the identities of individuals, businesses, labor unions and nonprofits that spend money to participate in political dialogue.  Couched as “transparency” measures, “dark money” disclosure mandates are often used as excuses to silence disfavored speech.  Troublingly, disclosure mandates are sweeping the country in the form of vague and overbroad regulations reaching the activities of 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations – groups that operate in nearly every sector and industry in the United States… View Article

Halloween, ‘Sugar’ and The Right To Try

Are you ready for Halloween? I’m looking forward to good weather and good times with the hordes of trick-or-treaters this evening! Whenever Halloween and the predictions of “sugar highs” come around, I’m reminded of my mother. She had what she called “sugar.” When she died in 2012, having spent more than a painful decade as a bedridden amputee, she had battled Type 2 Diabetes for more than 40 years. The memories are mostly happy thoughts, though, because we were fortunate to have my mother in our lives nearly 75 years. I never did get to meet my grandmother: My mother was just 15 when her 45-year-old mother succumbed to the same insidious disease. It’s one of the reasons I monitor… View Article

Opportunity’s Knocking Hard at Georgia’s Door

By Benita M. Dodd BENITA DODD Six years after the economic downturn, the job market for able-bodied adults in Georgia remains one of the worst in the nation, according to recent figures. The challenge is not insurmountable, but strengthening the job market and Georgia’s economy requires the buy-in of this state’s policy-makers. Georgia has experienced the second-largest decline in the nation in the employment rate for 25- to 54-year-olds – the prime working years – the Pew Center reports. Today, there are 5.4 fewer working 25- to 54-year-olds out of every 100 than there were in 2007. Only New Mexico beat out Georgia for last place. Add to that the startling numbers that led to Georgia’s slate of criminal… View Article

The Georgia Public Policy Foundation has been a catalyst for common sense proposals—and elected officials are listening and reacting.

U.S. Senator Bill Frist more quotes