Category: The Forum

Friday Facts: September 16th, 2011

It’s Friday!   Quotations – “The fatal attraction of government is that it allows busybodies to impose decisions on others without paying any price themselves. That enables them to act as if there were no price, even when there are ruinous prices – paid by others.” – Thomas Sowell – “Man is not free unless government is limited. … As government expands, liberty contracts.” – Ronald Reagan   Events – September 30: Don’t miss the Foundation’s second annual Georgia Legislative Policy Briefing on Friday, Sept. 30, at the Cobb Energy Centre. Keynote speakers include Bernie Marcus, co-founder of Home Depot, on entrepreneurial leadership in Georgia and John Goodman, founder and president of the National Center for Policy Analysis, on health care… View Article
Golfers love being on the leader board.  Corrections officials, not so much as there is nothing to celebrate about Georgia being the national leader with the highest percentage of its adults under corrections system supervision.  The ratio is 1-in-13 and it is the worst in the country. Not only does it cost lots of money – more than $1 billion per year in state dollars to run prisons – but lofty incarceration, probation and parole statistics send the wrong message nationally and internationally when Georgia tries to market itself as a leading edge economy and destination. Over the next several months you will hear extensive discussion about adult corrections system reform.  A commission created by the 2011 General Assembly was… View Article

Realigning Georgia’s Fiscal Priorities

By Kelly McCutchen Fifteen years ago it was almost impossible to drive by a public school in Georgia without seeing at least one classroom trailer in the parking lot. Parents viewed those trailers as a threat to their children’s education, so in 1996 voters approved E-SPLOST – the special purpose local option sales tax for education that has funded hundreds of new schools and improvements to existing schools. Today, Georgia is in a much different landscape than in 1996. The migration of new residents to the state has slowed and, with few exceptions, school facilities are now more on par with needs. Today, the challenge is to get to the new and improved schools on time: We’re stuck in traffic.… View Article

Friday Facts: September 9th, 2011

It’s Friday! Events – September 30: Don’t miss the Foundation’s second annual Legislative Policy Briefing on Friday, Sept. 30, at the Cobb Energy Centre. Keynote speakers include Bernie Marcus, co-founder of Home Depot, on entrepreneurial leadership in Georgia and John Goodman, founder and president of the National Center for Policy Analysis, on health care reform. Last year, more than 250 people attended to hear nearly three dozen state and national experts discuss Georgia public policy. Topics this year include education, transportation, tax reform, criminal justice and health care. Information and registration are online at http://tinyurl.com/3kqlfck. – October 24: Invitations will be mailed soon for the Foundation’s 20th anniversary celebration and Freedom Award dinner, scheduled for the evening of Monday,… View Article

Friday Facts: August 26th, 2011

It’s Friday! Quotations – “We are fast verging to anarchy & confusion! … They are determined to annihilate all debts public & private, and have Agrarian Laws, which are easily effected by the means of unfunded paper money which shall be a tender in all cases whatever.” – George Washington – “As to the assumed authority of any assembly in making paper money, or paper of any kind, a legal tender, or in other language, a compulsive payment, it is a most presumptuous attempt at arbitrary power. There can be no such power in a republican government: the people have no freedom – and property no security – where this practice can be acted: and the committee who shall bring… View Article

Friday Facts: August 19th, 2011

It’s Friday! Quotations – “The more the state ‘plans’ the more difficult planning becomes for the individual.” – F.A. Hayek – “Civilizations in decline are consistently characterized by a tendency towards standardization and uniformity.” – Arnold Toynbee – “In both England and in the United States, whole generations have been fed a steady diet of grievances and resentment against society, and especially against others who are more prosperous than they are. They get this in their schools, on television, on campuses and in the movies. Nothing is their own fault. It is all ‘society’s’ fault.” – Thomas Sowell Events – September 1: “Celebration of Service and Sacrifice:” Ten years after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001,… View Article
There are two big cats in the national college admission test industry – the SAT which is familiar in Georgia because that is what most high school students here take, and the ACT which is taken by fewer Georgia students, but like the SAT, it also has a significant national college admissions testing footprint. Increasingly, southern states students are taking the ACT.  This week the Southern Regional Education Board said at least 50% of 2011 high school seniors took the ACT in 10 of SREB’s 16 member states.  Georgia is not among those states, but it is trending in that direction.  Last year 44 percent of Georgia seniors took the ACT.  The ratio grew to 47 percent this year. Here… View Article
Georgia’s governor and attorney general said Friday’s decision by the federal appeals court in Atlanta that strikes down the federal health care reform individual mandate is “a huge step toward victory” but ultimately, ObamaCare will be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court. Governor Nathan Deal and Attorney General Sam Olens issued a statement about two hours after the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta released its 2-to-1 opinion: “We applaud today’s ruling from the United States Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit striking down the individual mandate as ‘a wholly novel and potentially unbounded assertion of congressional authority.’ Today’s ruling recognizes the core principles of our federalist system and reminds an over-reaching federal government that the Constitution applies… View Article

Friday Facts: August 12th, 2011

It’s Friday! Government – It’s that time again: Redistricting discussions start Monday in Georgia’s special legislative session. As we noted in 2004, redistricting is an inherently political process and this will not change. But we held up states such as Iowa and Arizona for successfully limited the partisanship by passing laws requiring political districts to meet clear, measurable criteria. For example, Iowa requires contiguous districts, unity of counties and cities and compactness. Although the Iowa legislature has the final responsibility for enacting both congressional and state legislative district plans, a nonpartisan advisory commission has initial responsibility. And Iowa law states, “A district shall not be drawn for the purpose of favoring a political party, incumbent legislator, or member of Congress… View Article

Turning up and transportation policy

The Civic League held “Get a Move On,” a 10-county regional round table on transportation, growth and metro Atlanta region’s future on a recent Saturday morning in downtown Atlanta. Transportation was the major focus, of course, given next year’s penny transportation sales tax referendum and the selection of projects currently under way. It was a clear warning that when it comes to how to divvy up the projected $7 billion in sales tax revenue, the squeaky wheel could get the grease. First order of business: If you ask people to press button No. 10, be sure you have a N0. 10 button on your poll clicker. There WAS someone in the room from Rockdale County, the 10th county on the… View Article

Thank you for what you are doing to lead the nation. The Georgia Public Policy Foundation is leading the way. This is truly one of the leading lights in the state think tank movement. Excellent ideas. It’s well run. For those of you who are donors I congratulate you on your wisdom and I encourage you to do it and do it more.

Arthur Brooks, President, American Enterprise Institute (2015) more quotes