Category: Commentaries

By Benita M. Dodd Georgia ranks an impressive No. 7 out of all 50 states in the 2017 Economic Freedom of North America report, released this week by the Georgia Public Policy Foundation in conjunction with Canada’s Fraser Institute. Georgia scored a total of 7.5 out of 10 in rankings on government spending, taxation and labor market restrictions. Based on 2015 data (the latest available), the Fraser Institute’s 13th annual report measures the degree to which the policies and institutions of states/provinces in the United States, Canada and Mexico support economic freedom. At the top in the United States is New Hampshire, scoring 8.3 out of 10. Ahead of Georgia were Florida and Texas (tied for No. 2, scoring 8.1),… View Article
By Adam N. Michel Adam N. Michel Tax reform is long overdue. The current tax code is suffocating job creation and holding down wages at home. At the same time, it’s giving American businesses far too many reasons to move overseas. Washington has not significantly changed the federal tax system in more than 30 years. Meanwhile, our major foreign competitors – friendly and otherwise – have made their tax schemes far more business- and worker-friendly. As a result, American businesses face one of the highest corporate income tax rates in the world – a rate that crimps their ability to pay higher wages and create more jobs. The good news is that lawmakers in Washington are mounting a serious effort… View Article

Marsy’s Law of Unintended Consequences

By Benita M. Dodd It’s hard to fathom the depth of the pain and suffering of crime victims and families left behind. For Henry Nicholas, the experiences of his family after his sister was murdered inspired his mission to protect victims. A student at the University of California, Santa Barbara, Marsalee “Marsy” Nicholas died after being shot in 1983 by her ex-boyfriend, Kerry Conley. Marsy’s brother told The Los Angeles Times: “After the funeral service, we were driving home and stopped at a market so my mother could just run in and get a loaf of bread. And there in the checkout line was my sister’s murderer, glowering at her.” He said the family was not told the killer… View Article
By Benita M. Dodd Tim Huelskamp, speaking at the 2017 Georgia Legislative Policy Forum, told attendees, “I spent six years in Washington and it’s still the same today: The real action, the real opportunities for growth and actually reinvigorating a freedom movement in this country actually is here in Georgia, in every state in this Union.” (Third in a series on the speakers at the 2017 Georgia Legislative Policy Forum held in Atlanta on October 13, 2017) When the Georgia Public Policy Foundation invited Tim Huelskamp to be the lunch keynote speaker for the 2017 Georgia Legislative Policy Forum in Atlanta, the former Kansas Congressman readily agreed, with one caveat: He had to get back home to Illinois that day… View Article

New Report Lauds Transit Contracting

By Baruch Feigenbaum In late September, the Eno Center for Transportation released “A Bid for Better Transit,” a report focused on improving transit service via contracted operations. I recommend reading this well-written report, which provides a snapshot of contracting throughout the world. U.S. transit service has long been among the worst in the developed world. One of the biggest differences between U.S. and European agencies is the prevalence of contracting for services. In Europe contracting out is a normal procedure. But in this country, contracting is bitterly fought by unions, urban Democrats and some transit rider groups as inherently inferior to directly operated service. The Eno report starts by providing a history of U.S. transit operations. It reminds… View Article

Despite the Hype, Changes in Sea Level Turn on a Dime

By Harold Brown Harold Brown, Senior Fellow, Georgia Public Policy Foundation Anybody paying attention to 2017’s hurricanes and, even more recently, the Paris Agreement, is aware that political posturing amplifies how complicated and controversial is the science of climate change and, with it, sea level rise. Environmentalist activists see sea level rise as a catastrophe in the making – the simple result of melting glaciers and ice caps and warming of the oceans. But the complications mire this in controversy ever since global warming became popular. According to the International Panel on Climate Change, the global sea level rose at the “very likely” rate of 1.7 millimeters per year from 1901-2010. Therein lies one of the complexities. Imagine the difficulty… View Article

2017 Forum Delivers on Education Innovation

By Benita M. Dodd Vicki Davis (left) and Gordon Rogers shared their thoughts on education transformation at the 2017 Georgia Legislative Policy Forum in October. Ask around the Gold Dome whether Georgians can expect significant reform in education in 2018 and you’ll probably hear, “It’s an election year; nobody wants to rock the boat.” Ask those who heard Vicki Davis and Gordon Rogers outline opportunities in Georgia education during their talks at the 2017 Georgia Legislative Policy Forum and you’ll hear optimism: Change can still happen, for students, teachers and classrooms. Davis’ infectious enthusiasm reflects why the teacher from the tiny town of Camilla, Ga. – blogger “Cool Cat Teacher” – has 138,000 Twitter followers, hosts two iTunes chart-topping podcasts… View Article
By Benita M. Dodd With politics and the weather in unusual and untimely states of flux in 2017, the 2017 Georgia Legislative Policy Forum was undoubtedly one of the most difficult to organize since the Georgia Public Policy Foundation established the event in 2010. Happily, the annual Forum produced some remarkable, practical solutions to policy challenges in Georgia. About 150 attendees attended the daylong session October 13 in Atlanta, learning from speakers about tax, health care and education reforms specific to Georgia. The morning keynote speaker, chief economist Jonathan Williams of the American Legislative Exchange Council, shared his optimism about the GOP framework proposed for federal tax reform, noting that it has been more than 30 years since President Reagan… View Article

Rate Cuts, Not Tax Cuts

By Jeffrey Dorfman Economists all agree that tax reform is pro-growth if it broadens the base (such as by eliminating deductions) while reducing marginal tax rates. There is less agreement on other aspects of the issue, such as which types of households should see tax cuts, whether a lower corporate rate would benefit workers or shareholders the most, and whether it would be a good idea for the government to bring in less tax revenue overall. Given all this, what type of tax reform should be our highest priority? In our current situation of low economic growth, the answer appears to be lower rates. Your marginal income-tax rate is the percentage you pay in taxes on your last (or next)… View Article

Feeding on Problems: From World Hunger to Abundance

By Harold Brown Harold Brown, Senior Fellow, Georgia Public Policy Foundation Remember when India was a poster-country for overpopulation and starvation? In just one sign, The New York Times carried more than 100 articles per year from 1965 to 1980 that linked India’s name and population. How times have changed. In August 2017, an article in The Times of India proclaimed, “Govt raises foodgrain output to record 275.68 tonnes” (metric). In 1961, the harvest was less than 100 metric tons. This tripling of cereal grain production occurred with almost no change of the land area used for these crops. (See attached chart.) India’s food supply per person has increased over 20 percent since 1970, even as the population more than… View Article

Thank you for the great work that the Public Policy Foundation is doing across our state setting a wonderful example. I first ran for the Senate in 1994, and the Foundation was that resource I called upon to be a great help to me as we were articulating positions and formulating public policy initiatives. We appreciate very much your leadership and all that you stand for.

Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle more quotes