Category: Commentaries

Climate Change Déjà Vu

By Harold Brown Harold Brown, Senior Fellow, Georgia Public Policy Foundation This week in the U.S. Senate, Democrats took to the floor to attack national and state organizations that oppose their climate policies in what they called a “Web of Denial.” The Georgia Public Policy Foundation was among 22 signatories to a letter that denounced Democrats’ attack on free speech.   But what about the so-called Web of Denial?   Global warming is not new. In the middle of the 20th century, climate predictions, patterns and clues were similar to what we hear today, though not as loud and frequent. A Saturday Evening Post headline asked in 1950, “Is the World Getting Warmer? The article reported the first January melting… View Article

Georgia Must Correct Dental Care Disparities

By Nicoleta Serban  More than 58 percent of Georgia’s children – about 1.5 million youngsters –  qualify for public dental benefits through the state’s Medicaid and PeachCare for Kids programs, according to a new Georgia Tech study. Unfortunately, of the 3,872 licensed dentists providing provide preventive services in Georgia, just 337 – 8.7 percent – accept public insurance for children, according to InsureKidsNow.gov. Research conducted by scientists in the Health Analytics Group at Georgia Tech details the extreme oral health care disparities between children eligible for public insurance and those whose families can afford care through other financial means.    Considering common access barriers, there are roughly 865,000 Medicaid- or PeachCare-eligible children in Georgia who need to travel to reach a… View Article

Expand Access to Care, Not Medicaid

By Kelly McCutchen KELLY McCUTCHEN Those addressing Georgia’s uninsured and failing hospitals seem stuck between two options: expanding a government program (Medicaid) with its own long list of challenges, or doing nothing. It’s a false choice. Expanding Medicaid is undoubtedly the worst option for providing more Georgians access. For providers – even with more money from the federal government – Medicaid still pays less than their cost. It’s a bad deal for taxpayers: Expansion is estimated to cost more than $7,000 for able-bodied adults; the current Medicaid program spends $3,022. If Georgia’s more than 200,000 low-income adults who already have private insurance opt for the “free” program, the cost will be even higher. It’s also a bad deal for recipients.… View Article

Rome’s Free Clinic: Community Taking Charge

By Benita M. Dodd Dr. Leonard Reeves, president of the Faith and Deeds Community Health free clinic in Rome, oversees medical student volunteers from the Northwest Campus of the Medical College of Georgia. Dr. Leonard Reeves shares an experience that epitomizes his role as president of the Faith and Deeds Community Health free clinic in Rome, Ga. A forklift operator visited the emergency room a few years ago. “By the time I got to him he was already admitted,” recalls Reeves, a family practice physician. “He was diabetic and in renal failure. His kidneys were gone – in his 30s!” The man knew he had been diabetic since he was a teenager but did nothing about it. “A man who… View Article

Rethinking Mandatory Minimum Sentences

By John G. Malcolm and John-Michael Seibler President Obama has publicly opined that mandatory minimum sentences ranging from 20 years to life in prison for drug offenses do not “fit the crime.” He has acted on that belief by commuting dozens of drug offenders’ sentences as Congress debates reform to various aspects of mandatory minimum sentencing laws. Sherman Chester is built like an NFL cornerback. His size belies a calm, respectful demeanor and a soft-spoken wit. On politics, he says he registered to vote as a Republican in 1984 because “Ronald Reagan was in office” and “America was doing it!” And when asked how he felt when he received a mandatory life sentence without parole for selling cocaine and heroin,… View Article

Don’t Train Kids to be Felons in Adult Jails

By Newt Gingrich and Pat Nolan The noted “tough on crime” criminologist John Dilulio once commented that “jailing youth with adult felons under Spartan conditions will merely produce more street gladiators.” Louisiana should heed Dilulio’s caution against locking up young petty criminals alongside violent adult criminals. The Bayou State is one of only nine states that prosecutes 17-year-olds as adults, often for the most minor of crimes (stealing a bag of potato chips, for instance). We all can agree that breaking the law is wrong and that these teens deserve to face consequences for their actions. But tossing them into adult jails with hardened criminals just makes those bad situations worse. The research and data are clear: Adult jails are… View Article

Urban Farms: Unlikely Oases in Food Deserts

By Harold Brown Harold Brown “Food desert” is the modern urban description of a supposed area of hunger amid plenty. But one would expect emaciation in a food desert, not obesity, which is caused by overconsumption and bad choices. The modern urban version is a social-cultural food desert. When these occur, they are likely caused by economic, social or regulatory rules. Food vendors go where the demand is, if local regulations allow.  Walmart withdrew its 2011 application for a store, including a supermarket, in downtown Athens, Ga., because of protests against this “urban curse”. The property is now being developed as mostly apartment/condominium units – no supermarket. This week, the Jackson (Ga.) Herald website reported Walmart has withdrawn its rezoning… View Article
By Benita M. Dodd BENITA DODD Memorial Day is observed on the last Monday in May. Most Americans take a moment from picnics on the unofficial start of the summer to honor those in the armed forces who have died. Some families grieve every day for those lost in action; some return and grieve for fallen comrades they couldn’t save. For others, it’s even more personal: They return from military action alive but with lasting physical and emotional scars. That’s where Scott Rigsby comes in. Rigsby was 18 and about to start college in 1986 when he was in a wreck involving a tractor-trailer. Both legs were amputated and his struggle to recovery, physical and psychological, was long, difficult and… View Article
By Mike Dobbins The pace quickens for putting out some information for citizens to consider as they decide how to vote on the transit referendum. Yet major issues remain about how people will be able to make an informed decision on this most important opportunity. I shared in the Saporta Report recently the process by which rational and effective transit planning should go forward. Regrettably, Atlanta lacks a comprehensive transit plan and has not considered most of the technical and commonsense steps to create one, instead pinning its faith on a 52-mile streetcar plan. My concern here was well captured by John Kay of the Financial Times (4/27) under the headline, “Grand projects are worthless if they don’t work.” Itstates:… View Article
By Geoff Duncan For generations, government has tried to solve the issues surrounding poverty by adding new programs or growing existing ones.  Much to the surprise of bureaucrats, the outcomes from this approach are uninspiring. Michael Tanner of the Cato Institute found the federal government spent $1 trillion on 126 different anti-poverty programs in 2013 without making a dent in any of the key metrics around poverty. Government has led us to believe if we simply pay our taxes on time each year it will take care of the needy and we can move on with our busy lives. Remind me again: What is the definition of insanity? This past legislative session, Georgia launched an innovative approach to tackle issues… View Article

The Georgia Public Policy Foundation has been doing important work for the free enterprise movement for the past 20 years.  I can assure you from the vantage of a non-profit think tank in Washington, D.C. with much the same principles as GPPF that the work we do simply would not be possible if it were not for the important work that GPPF does.  We see it, we understand it, it is an inspiration to us, it is the kind of thing that will translate into the important work that we can do in Washington, D.C.  We thank you very much for that.

Arthur Brooks, President, American Enterprise Institute (2011) more quotes