Category: Government Reform

This commentary is excerpted from testimony before the U.S. House Committee on Financial Services. By Todd Zywicki An animating premise of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank) was the belief that a primary source of financial instability was an inadequate consumer financial protection regime at the federal level.  Dodd-Frank sought to address those perceived deficiencies by creating the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (CFPB) and vesting that new super-bureaucracy wielding an unprecedented combination of vast, vaguely defined substantive powers with no democratic accountability.  At the outset, allow me to stress that I personally agreed with the proposal to combine the administration of federal consumer financial protection laws under one agency’s roof. The preexisting system was too… View Article

Dodd-Frank’s Dire Legacy: Durbin Amendment

By Iain Murray This week was the fifth anniversary of the passage of the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, better known as Dodd-Frank. As the Mercatus Center revealed this week, it may be the biggest law ever written, because it gives the administration so much discretionary power to make secondary law. It has harmed consumers by reducing choice in financial services and failed to solve the problems it was purported to solve, as I outline in my new paper, How Dodd Frank Harms Main Street. One of the worst examples of this stems from the Durbin Amendment, a last minute addition to the bill that gives the Federal Reserve the power to cap interchange fees charged… View Article

The Dignity of Work

By Kelly McCutchen KELLY McCUTCHENPresident, Georgia Public Policy Foundation For most people, chronic homelessness among men would not be the first choice among problems to tackle in inner-city Atlanta. Millions of dollars in government and charitable programs give some of these men a warm bed at night, but that hasn’t changed the underlying challenges that keep them on the streets. Yet that’s exactly where Bill McGahan started. McGahan had an audacious idea: Create a program where “upon graduation the goal is a permanent job and permanent housing for each man.” “When men enter the program they are typically dependent on drugs and handouts. When they leave, the goal is to never be dependent again.” In 2013, he created Georgia Works,… View Article
By Benita M. Dodd BENITA DODD Susette Kelo was minding her own business when the city of New London, Conn., set its sights on her home. The city wanted to take the property and demolish the home, along with her neighbors’ homes, to make way for private economic development. Kelo decided to fight back. The Institute for Justice led her fight, joined by think tanks around the country, including the Georgia Public Policy Foundation. Remember the shocked property owners around the nation when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on June 10, 2005, that the city could take Kelo’s home and land against her will? The Court said it was the states’ responsibility to toughen the laws on eminent domain that… View Article
By Brandon Arnold and Benita M. Dodd The congressional debate over trade has been white-hot in recent weeks. With the support of both Georgia senators, Johnny Isakson and David Perdue, the U.S. Senate just approved Trade Promotion Authority, which would help the United States enter into more trade agreements with foreign nations, benefiting people right here in Georgia. As the debate shifts to the U.S. House of Representatives, a bizarre political coupling has emerged against Trade Promotion Authority (TPA): the union bosses and many of their traditional anti-trade friends on the left seem to have forged an alliance with some members of the Tea Party, which is traditionally aligned with the right. In one corner of this odd alliance the… View Article
A new study from North Carolina’s John Locke Foundation suggests a market-oriented alternative to state professional licensing. Read the press release below: North Carolina could promote job creation, lower consumer prices, and boost opportunities for low-income families by replacing most of the state’s occupational licensing with voluntary certification. A new John Locke Foundation Spotlight report explains why. “North Carolina’s aggressive occupational licensing faces considerable concerns about its fairness, efficiency, scope, and more,” said report author Jon Sanders, JLF Director of Regulatory Studies. “A ready answer to these concerns would be to transition most jobs currently under state regulation away from licensure and into private certification.” Sanders releases his report as the state’s occupational licensing system faces questions on multiple fronts.… View Article
The Wall Street Journal published an essay by Charles Murray last week, “Regulation Run Amok — And How to Fight Back,” arguing that “America is no longer the land of the free” due to the modern regulatory state. He cites Thomas Jefferson’s definition of good government as one “which shall restrain men from injuring on another” and “shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement.” This presumption of freedom, says Murray, no longer holds. He says that at last count there are nearly 5,000 federal crimes you can commit. He states that “No individual can know how to “obey” laws such as Sarbanes-Oxley (810 pages), the Affordable Care Act (1,024 pages) or… View Article
By Kelly McCutchen  KELLY McCUTCHENPresident, Georgia Public Policy Foundation Many older Georgians recall our economic leadership in what were called the “Four Ps” – peanuts, poultry, pine trees and pecans. These were solid building blocks of the Georgia economy decades ago, and we can be proud that Georgia still leads in these areas. Over the years, Georgia became home to worldwide industry-leading businesses like Delta, UPS, Coca-Cola, Home Depot, Aflac, Gulfstream, AGCO, Shaw Industries, Mohawk Industries, Newell Rubbermaid, Flowers Industries and many others. Moving into the 21st-century economy, Georgia added highly innovative communities of industry to the state. The state has become a leader in health care information technology, financial technology, information security, video game development, interactive marketing, logistics, communications… View Article

Eva Galambos: Farewell to an Iron Lady of Georgia

Friends: The funeral for Eva Galambos, the first mayor of Sandy Springs, Ga., was Tuesday, April 21, 2015. Eva was a memorable lady; read her official obituary here. I remember the first time I met her. She came by the Georgia Public Policy Foundation to discuss her favorite topic: creating the City of Sandy Springs. Sandy Springs Mayor Eva Galambos joined Leonard Gilroy of the Reason Foundation at the first Georgia Legislative Policy Forum in 2010 for a panel discussion on the privatization and outsourcing of government services. We pushed back, questioning the need to create another layer of government. She maintained that consolidated government typically consolidates at the highest service level. She explained: Imagine, for example, two local… View Article
By Kelly McCutchen  KELLY McCUTCHENPresident, Georgia Public Policy Foundation As expected, transportation funding and the Governor’s proposal to address persistently failing public schools dominated Georgia’s legislative session. The measures passed, yet several opportunities to address critical economic issues were missed.  Here’s the good, the bad and the ugly on how the 2015 legislative session affects the average Georgian.  Transportation: You will be paying about 3 cents per gallon in gas taxes more than you did over the last four years. This tax increase, along with annual fees on alternative fuel vehicles and heavy trucks and a $5-a-day charge on hotel and motel rooms, adds up to more than $900 million a year in needed transportation funding.  Legislators also fixed many… View Article

Thank you for what you are doing to lead the nation. The Georgia Public Policy Foundation is leading the way. This is truly one of the leading lights in the state think tank movement. Excellent ideas. It’s well run. For those of you who are donors I congratulate you on your wisdom and I encourage you to do it and do it more.

Arthur Brooks, President, American Enterprise Institute (2015) more quotes