Category: The Forum

Friday Facts: June 15, 2018

Foundation Vice President Benita Dodd talks transportation with Cobb Reps. Bert Reeves and Don Parsons at a Cobb County transit stakeholders’ meeting on Thursday. (Photo credit: Jon Gillooly) It’s Friday! Quotes of note “The road to democracy is not a freeway. It is a toll road on which we pay by accepting and carrying out our civic responsibilities.” – Lucius D. Clay  “To those peoples in the huts and villages of half the globe struggling to break the bonds of mass misery, we pledge our best efforts to help them help themselves, for whatever period is required – not because the communists may be doing it, not because we seek their votes, but because it is right. If a free… View Article

School Choice Progress Far from ‘Bad Policy’

The average  tuition tax-credit scholarship was worth about $3,450 in 2017, not even a third of the per-pupil funding of about $11,650 for public schools. By Kyle Wingfield A summertime surprise is roiling the Georgia GOP’s gubernatorial primary. A defeated candidate recently released a recording in which Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle said he supported a school-choice bill he deemed “bad policy,” merely to prevent a big campaign donation to a rival candidate. Now Cagle, who faces Secretary of State Brian Kemp in next month’s runoff, is on the defensive. Whatever one makes of the politics of it all, was this bill truly “bad” policy? Not in the least. House Bill 217 raised the cap on the state’s popular tuition tax-credit… View Article
By Benita M. Dodd Dr. Roger Lotson (left) looks on as his cadets at the Georgia Youth ChalleNGe Academy at Fort Stewart, near Savannah, share their experiences with visitors. Eighty percent of Georgia’s students graduate from high school. What happens to the one in five who don’t? Michael Boggs, now a Georgia Supreme Court Justice, was co-chairman of the Georgia Council on Criminal Justice Reform when he remarked that he counted just 34 high school graduates among the first 6,000 criminal defendants he dealt with in felony criminal court in six rural counties. Twenty-five years ago, concerned about a report that declared high school dropouts the greatest domestic threat to national security, U.S. Sens. Sam Nunn of Georgia and John… View Article

Friday Facts: June 8, 2018

It’s Friday! Quotes of note “Paying people to make it easy not to work – and thus languish for a lifetime in poverty – is not compassionate. It’s destructive of human dignity and leads to more inequality.” – Wall Street Journal “When Men are employ’d they are best contented. For on the Days they work’d they were good-natur’d and chearful; and with the consciousness of having done a good Days work they spent the Evenings jollily; but on the idle Days they were mutinous and quarrelsome, finding fault with their Pork, the Bread, and in continual ill-humour.” —Benjamin Franklin (1771) “Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes… View Article

Council’s Misdemeanor Bail Reform Proposals

A summary of the misdemeanor bail reform findings and recommendations from the February 2018 Report of the Georgia Council on Criminal Justice Reform (pages 25-39). By Sophia Strickland The Georgia Council on Criminal Justice Reform’s 2018 report delivered to Gov. Nathan Deal in February focused on pretrial justice, especially within misdemeanor bail practices. According to the report: An increasing amount of research is showing the negative consequences of a money-based bail system. Those people who cannot afford bail and therefore incarcerated pretrial could lose their jobs or go into further financial debt or lose their jobs, and then cannot support their families or pay the court-imposed fines or obligations. In fact, studies show that people who are released on bail,… View Article
By Sophia Strickland Reports on the United States’ rapidly increasing incarcerated population have sparked a discussion over bail reform. However, a segment that may not receive as much attention in this area is the pretrial, incarcerated rural population, which has contributed disproportionately to the increasing jailed population in the United States, according to a new report by Right On Crime. Nationwide, the jailed population increased three times its original size between 1970 and 2014  but sevenfold in small counties in the same period. The increase in this rural pretrial jailed group can be partly attributed to an economic incentive for local jails to house other jurisdictions’ inmates for remuneration and the growing opioid crisis with increased related drug arrests… View Article

Friday Facts: June 1, 2018

About 140 people attended the May 23 Leadership Breakfast with Arthur Brooks, president of the American Enterprise Institute. Wrapping up the event are (from left) Arthur Brooks and co-hosts Kyle Wingfield of the Georgia Public Policy Foundation and Randy Hicks of the Georgia Center for Opportunity. It’s Friday! Quotes of note “People who believe themselves above something, or entitled to something more because of past achievements, will find that new opportunities slip away.” – Tyler Bonin, “My Advice to Grads: Start Mopping” “Over the past decade, merely the increase – I repeat, just the increase – in U.S. oil and gas production is equal to seven times the total energy production of every wind turbine and solar project… View Article
By Dave Emanuel Dave Emanuel As the hue and cry for expanded public transit in metro Atlanta reaches a crescendo, many options are being discussed, but chatter about extending heavy rail predominates. You have to wonder why. The only thing lacking in the proposals to expand heavy rail is a specification to use steam locomotives. Add that, and you have the perfect 19th-century solution to a 21st-century problem. An outmoded form of transportation at best, heavy rail (defined as rail service elevated, subterranean or otherwise separated from street traffic) is expensive to build, operate and maintain, and inefficient in its use of resources. Consider that a single MARTA passenger car weighs 89,000 pounds and accommodates 64 passengers. Consider, further, that… View Article
By Ryan Streeter Ryan Streeter Do you know why most people are poor, and what would make them better off? Mauricio Miller is pretty sure you do not. In “The Alternative: Most of What You Believe About Poverty Is Wrong,” he argues that people involved in anti-poverty work today regularly do more harm than good. In fact, he fires staffers within his organization who simply “help” poor families. Low-income families, Miller says, need to be aided to solve their own problems, not temporarily rescued with outside resources. “Helping” people may sound charitable, but it keeps the helper in control, makes the beneficiary dependent and only offers short-term boosts. In Miller’s view, it doesn’t matter if someone is dependent on government… View Article

Friday Facts: May 25, 2018

It’s Friday! The Vietnam memorial, in front of the Twin Towers at the Georgia State Capitol, commemorates the Georgians who died in the Vietnam War. Quotes of note “It is not for us to forget the past but to remember it, that we may profit by it. But it is gone; we cannot change it. We must put our emphasis on the present and put into effect the lessons the past has taught us. All about us sleep; those of many different beliefs and many divergent actions. But America claims them all. Her flag floats over them all. Her Government protects them all. They all rest in the same divine peace.” – Calvin Coolidge “Ours is a land rich in… View Article

The Georgia Public Policy Foundation is our state’s leading organization promoting government transparency. The Secretary of State’s office shares the Foundation’s commitment to transparency and responsible stewardship of taxpayer dollars, which is why our agency was the first in Georgia to publish its budget and spending data on a public transparency website.

Karen Handel, Georgia Secretary of State more quotes