Category: Commentaries

SENATE FINANCE SUB-COMMITTEE ON TAX REFORM MONDAY, NOVEMBER 9, 2015 Testimony of Kelly McCutchen, President of the Georgia Public Policy Foundation My remarks will focus on tax policy principles, analysis of two recent state tax reforms, myths associated with tax reform and suggestions for a way forward for Georgia. Tax revenue is necessary to fund core government functions. The goal of tax policy is to raise those necessary funds while minimizing the impact on economic decision making. Surprisingly, there is broad agreement from economists across the political spectrum on what constitutes good tax policy. This can be very simply stated as: 1) broadening the tax base and lowering rates, 2) not applying the sales tax to business inputs and 3)… View Article

Innovation is the True Health Care Solution

By Josh Daniels Political support for Medicaid expansion in Georgia is on life support and the prognosis may be terminal. This doesn’t mean, however, there isn’t a pathway forward for those looking for health care solutions. It’s the same pathway that has solved many of our problems: innovation. Each Medicaid expansion proposal has been a reaction to the failure of federal policy in attempting to address the “coverage gap.” But the gap is only a symptom of the underlying disease. The Affordable Care Act did little to actually make care affordable. In fact, it aggravated the very conditions that have driven health care costs up: regulation and government intervention. ObamaCare put more patients into the system with no corresponding increase… View Article

Halloween, ‘Sugar’ and The Right To Try

Are you ready for Halloween? I’m looking forward to good weather and good times with the hordes of trick-or-treaters this evening! Whenever Halloween and the predictions of “sugar highs” come around, I’m reminded of my mother. She had what she called “sugar.” When she died in 2012, having spent more than a painful decade as a bedridden amputee, she had battled Type 2 Diabetes for more than 40 years. The memories are mostly happy thoughts, though, because we were fortunate to have my mother in our lives nearly 75 years. I never did get to meet my grandmother: My mother was just 15 when her 45-year-old mother succumbed to the same insidious disease. It’s one of the reasons I monitor… View Article

Opportunity’s Knocking Hard at Georgia’s Door

By Benita M. Dodd BENITA DODD Six years after the economic downturn, the job market for able-bodied adults in Georgia remains one of the worst in the nation, according to recent figures. The challenge is not insurmountable, but strengthening the job market and Georgia’s economy requires the buy-in of this state’s policy-makers. Georgia has experienced the second-largest decline in the nation in the employment rate for 25- to 54-year-olds – the prime working years – the Pew Center reports. Today, there are 5.4 fewer working 25- to 54-year-olds out of every 100 than there were in 2007. Only New Mexico beat out Georgia for last place. Add to that the startling numbers that led to Georgia’s slate of criminal… View Article

Municipal Broadband Puts Taxpayers’ Wallets at Risk

By Kelly McCutchen For centuries, too-good-to-be-true deals have snagged investors with promises that they can ignore past failures because “this time it will be different.” Peachtree City’s leaders appear to have been told a similar story. The Peachtree City city council approved a resolution last month to build out a government-owned broadband Internet network for municipal buildings and local businesses. The project will require a 10-year, $3.2 million bond issue to pay for the cost of laying fiber optic lines along the right-of-way of the city’s many golf cart paths. For those who don’t know their Georgia geography, Peachtree City is not a small, rural hamlet in the-middle-of-nowhere Georgia with limited broadband Internet access. It is located just 30 miles… View Article

How I Grew to Appreciate Entrepreneurs: I Met Some

By Jim Walker Oxford, Michigan, was a small farming community when I lived there during my childhood. After a Burger King arrived and we got our second stoplight, I thought we had hit the big time. My stay-at-home mom and schoolteacher dad had seven children; I was the third oldest. Our family had an abundance of love, and enough money to not be poor. But our finances were limited, and that created some stress. My dad scrounged for wood to heat the home, and drove used cars that were always in need of repair from the abuse they received on our dirt road. We bought bread from a bulk clearinghouse. The bread was past its expiration date, but it cost… View Article

What It Takes to be Free, In the Long Run

By Joseph Lehman Lithuania was the first Soviet republic to declare its independence from brutal Communist overlords. Perhaps it should not be a surprise that the country also was home to the people who had the guts to establish a free-market think tank even before the Soviets left. The Lithuanian Free Market Institute was established during the last year of Soviet occupation. Given this history, I wasn’t about to refuse an invitation from those indomitable people to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the institute’s founding. LFMI asked me to briefly address “future policy challenges.” Dr. Charles Murray of the American Enterprise Institute, the only other American on the program, spoke at greater length on his pioneering social science research. I… View Article
By Kevin Glass Government Internet is coming to a city near you. The only question is if anything can be done to stop the politicians scheming to bring it. Across the country, there’s been an explosion in what are euphemistically called “municipal broadband” projects – government-funded and operated broadband services that are competing with community service providers that have been operating for years. All across the country, from Newark, Delaware, to Seattle, Washington, government officials are exploring the possibility of sinking hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars into these projects. This isn’t a new fad: Government broadband networks have been pursued by officials since the late ’90s, when smaller locales like Ashland, Ore., and Marietta, Ga., built out their own… View Article
The Hill ran an article this week criticizing Georgia’s efforts to encourage cross-state selling of health insurance. There are different forms of cross-state selling proposals. While Georgia’s single state one-way process hasn’t led to any changes in the market, it at least allows Georgia is willing to partner with other states and insurers in developing a successful cross-state program. Some reasons for Georgia’s lack of success: The bill was passed during the ObamaCare debate when insurers were focused on national health reform Insurers are not going to be responsive to a solitary state allowing plans and benefit designs from other states. It would take at least a regional coalition of states to get the attention and efforts of insurance, legal… View Article

Web-based Tool Helps Educate Parents on Great Schools

By Benita M. Dodd BENITA DODD One of the paternalistic charges leveled by opponents of education choice is that many parents don’t have the information to make decisions about an education path or a school for their child. For parents in the five counties that hold the vast majority of metro Atlanta residents, a new interactive Web-based tool could finally squelch that argument. About 500 people watched a live demonstration of the tool, GreatSchoolsAtlanta.org, when it was officially launched September 26 at the 2015 Neighborhood Summit organized by the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta. The interactive, collaborative and mobile-friendly tool allows parents to compare up to four schools at a time – public or private – and provides parents,… View Article

The Georgia Public Policy Foundation is the best source of the rarest and most valuable commodity in public policy debate: facts.

State Representative Bob Irvin more quotes