Category: The Forum

Georgia Ranks 41st Nationally in Gross Domestic Product Annual Growth

Georgia likes to describe itself as an economic growth engine. Real gross domestic product growth data released this week by the federal Bureau of Economic Analysis confirmed progress but there is a long road ahead before anyone can declare recession recovery has happened. The state turned 4.9 percent negative results two years ago into 1.4 percent positive growth last year. That upside trend was among the best nationally but overall, Georgia still performed well below the national average and below nine of its geographic neighbors in the 12-state Southeast region. The Bureau compared 2009 and 2010 real gross domestic product growth. The Bureau, which is an office within the U.S. Department of Commerce, said 2010 real GDP growth calendar year… View Article

One Step Forward and A Long Road Ahead for Commission Schools

Get ready. Get set. Go back to (your favorite charter) school. Now that they’ve been thrown a parachute, what’s next for a handful of former state commission charter schools and nearly 16,000 students? The search for that answer leads to other questions: Do you mean sooner or later? And, would Georgia voters be inclined to embrace the idea charter schools might help the state overcome its mediocre education reputation? “I’ve been called a lot of things in life. This is the first time I’ve been called unconstitutional,” Mark Peevy said during his testimony at Friday morning’s Senate education sub-committee hearing. Peevy is executive director of the Georgia Charter Schools Commission, which the state Supreme Court threw out in a decision… View Article

Friday Facts: June 3rd, 2011

It’s Friday! – Your donations to support the Georgia Public Policy Foundation’s campaign for limited government, individual accountability and market-oriented solutions are life-changing for Georgians. Please help celebrate the 20th anniversary of this state’s only free-market public policy organization with a tax-deductible contribution to the Foundation. Donate at Quotations – “Legislators of both parties allow bureaucrats to report a budget shortfall as the difference between what the governor wants to spend (not the current budget) vs. the revenue forecast.  We have not found any state that reports a shortfall as the difference between the current level of spending and the revenue forecast. Thus, most shortfalls are highly inflated and in most cases are the results of overspending in… View Article

Friday Facts: May 27th, 2011

It’s Friday! Quotations – “The greatest glory of a free-born people is to transmit that freedom to their children.” -William Havard – “Perform, then, this one act of remembrance before this Day passes – Remember there is an army of defense and advance that never dies and never surrenders, but is increasingly recruited from the eternal sources of the American spirit and from the generations of American youth.”  – W.J. Cameron Energy and environment – Climategate update: The University of Virginia was hauled into court this week and ordered to produce communications involving Dr. Michael Mann stored on a backup computer, more than four months after the American Tradition Institute’s Environmental Law Center requested the emails and other files.… View Article

Attorney General Olens Asks Supreme Court to Reconsider Charter Schools Decision

Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens has asked the state Supreme Court to reconsider its recent decision that declared the state charter schools commission is unconstitutional. “Today we filed a motion for reconsideration in an effort to protect the rights of Georgia students to have a say in their education and be placed in a school that meets their needs,” Olens said. “I hope the Court will accept the arguments presented in our brief and reconsider their decision.” The two-part filing included a motion asking the Court to stay its decision announced May 16. The Court’s 4-3 opinion immediately impacts 16 brick-and-mortar and online learning charter schools that expected to enroll at least 15,000 students when classes resume in August. State… View Article

Making The Moral Case … Not the Money Case … For Economic Policy

Has national economic policy become a moral issue?  When he addressed the University of Colorado at Denver business school last Thursday evening, JPMorgan Chase CEO Jaime Dimon said a United States default on its debts and payment obligations would be a “moral disaster.” The big bank was among many financial institutions who received government funds known as TARP. The big bank boss might well have been channeling the innermost thoughts of American Enterprise Institute president Arthur Brooks who spoke about making the moral case for economic change when he addressed Georgia Public Policy Foundation members this month in Atlanta. Brooks noted off the top, “If you love free enterprise, you need to start talking about morality.” His blunt description of… View Article

Friday Facts: May 20th, 2011

It’s Friday! Health care – Up, up and away: U.S. employers can expect an 8.5 percent increase in their medical costs next year due in some part to the health care reform law, the consulting firm PwC said in its annual report. The report points to three main drivers of health care costs, two of which are exacerbated by the new law: Consolidation among hospitals and physicians because of the law is predicted to reduce competition and increase rates; increased cost-shifting to private plans as Medicare and Medicaid rates fall further behind the rates private plans pay to providers; and stress-induced illnesses following the recession. – Georgia’s sole proprietors and self-employed will be able to buy out-of-state health insurance policies… View Article

Friday Facts: May 13th, 2011

It’s Friday! Events – Save the date: The Foundation’s 20th anniversary celebration is scheduled for the evening of Monday, October 24. Details to follow. – Save the date: The Foundation’s second annual Legislative Policy Briefing is scheduled for Friday, September 30. Last year, more than 250 people attended to hear nearly three dozen experts discuss Georgia public policy. Details to follow. – If you’ve attended a Foundation event recently, don’t forget to follow up with a visit to the Foundation’s Facebook page and view the photographs! Go to Quotations – “We who live in free market societies believe that growth, prosperity and ultimately human fulfillment, are created from the bottom up, not the government down. Only when… View Article

Friday Facts: May 6th, 2011

It’s Friday! Events – Tuesday is the deadline to register for the “The Battle,” the Foundation’s noon Policy Briefing Luncheon on Thursday, May 12, at the Georgian Club in Cobb County. The keynote speaker is Arthur C. Brooks, president of the American Enterprise Institute. The cost to attend this event is $35. To find out more and register, go to – Thursday, May 19: The 2011 National Manufacturing Summit takes place at the Northwest Georgia Trade and Convention Center in Dalton. Based on the idea that manufacturing is the lifeblood of the U.S. economy and a driving factor behind its position as a dominant force in the global marketplace, the summit features prominent speakers sharing their views… View Article

Friday Facts: April 29th, 2011

It’s Friday! Quotations – “The fact is higher tax rates could increase total revenue or they could decrease it. Conversely, lower tax rates could decrease total revenue or they could increase it. It all depends on the specific tax and the size of the increase or decrease. And whether there are viable options (e.g., tax shelters) to avoid the higher tax rates. The president’s deficit commission seemed to understand this principle. And until the president does, we will make very little progress solving the federal debt problem.” – Dr. Merrill Matthews, resident scholar, Institute for Policy Innovation Events – Thursday, May 12: Noon Policy Briefing Luncheon, “The Battle,” at the Georgian Club in Cobb County, hosted by the… View Article

The best way to make a lasting impact on public policy is to change public opinion. When you change the beliefs of the people; the politicians and political parties change with them.

Senator Herman E. Talmadge more quotes