Category: Issues

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
By Dr. Steve Morse Executive Summary In 1994, the Governor’s Development Council created Georgia’s Business Expansion Support Team (B.E.S.T.) for the purpose of attracting new companies to Georgia and helping existing Georgia businesses expand. To support the Georgia B.E.S.T. program, the 1994 Georgia General Assembly passed the Georgia Business Expansion and Support Act, authorizing tax incentives to attract businesses to Georgia and allow the state to more effectively compete in the multi-state bidding wars with neighboring states Alabama and South Carolina. Supporters of tax incentives argue that Georgia must offer concessions at least equal to neighboring states or risk losing new business and job creation opportunities. View Article

Let’s Return Real Fiscal Authority to the States

Dr. Dwight Lee [Editor’s Note: This speech was presented at the 1995 Georgia Tax and Budget Conference on April 5, 1995.] It’s a pleasure to be here at the Georgia Tax and Budget Conference. I want to thank the Tax Foundation and the Georgia Public Policy Foundation for inviting me to participate. I’ve been asked to give a wrap-up of the conference and to talk about the road ahead. Although much of the discussion at this conference has been on taxes and spending at the state level, I would like to shift the emphasis a little bit by arguing that one cannot fully grasp what’s happening at the state level regarding taxes and spending unless one first considers the fiscal… View Article

Privatization: Dispelling the Myths

By Kelly McCutchen In reaction to the state’s new emphasis on competitive contracting of services, the state employees’ union has begun a full-scale campaign to stigmatize and discredit the concept of privatization. Their horror stories are attempts to spread the myth that contracting with the private sector will fail to save taxpayers money, will reduce the quality of services and will result in widespread fraud and corruption. These myths, however, can easily be refuted. Myth #1 Privatization well lead to widespread layoffs of state employees. Most public employees do not lose their jobs as a result of privatization. In fact, many states require private contractors to give hiring preferences to current state employees, while other states go even further by… View Article

The Georgia Public Policy Foundation is a driving force for market-based solutions to policy challenges. The work done by this outstanding organization is making a real impact on the future of Georgia. I personally consider the Foundation a primary source for policy ideas. All Georgians are better off because the Foundation is helping lead the critical policy debates in our state.

Senate Majority Leader Chip Rogers more quotes