Category: The Forum

Excellent article by Walter Russell Mead

Please take a couple of minutes and read this outstanding article on the political and economic impact of charter schools (much less their impact on actual education!) by Walter Russell Mead. It is perhaps the best written article I have read about the multiple ways charters can and will change our country. Let me know what you think!… View Article

State Spending Limit Proposed

One of the biggest challenges of Georgia's proposed tax reform is avoiding 1) a tax increase or 2) a shortfall in taxes when your rainy day fund is almost empty. Taxpayers are rightly skeptical that elected officials will reduce taxes if revenues come in higher than expected. Of course, one of the reasons we are in this mess is we spent too much money during the good times. Looking at total funds, spending increased by $4 billion from 2006 to 2008. From 2009 to 2011, spending still increased $650 million. The solution? A reasonable spending limit that would limit the high spending during good times and prevent dramatic cuts during recessions. This would also provide taxpayers a sense of security… View Article

Rome Editorial: Prison and Mental Health Reforms Desperately Needed

Good op-ed in Sunday's Rome News-Tribune: Flying over prison walls From the Rome News-Tribune, Jan. 30, 2011 — EASIER SAID than done is a saying that state leaders need to start becoming familiar with very quickly indeed. Nonetheless, it shows considerable bravery on the part of Georgia’s new governor, Nathan Deal, to allow almost the first words out of his mouth (in his inaugural address) to be: prison reform. And he’s far from alone in assigning this topic some overdue priority for attention. Indeed, there is a loud and clear message being sent to a traditionally “hang ’em high” electorate that in times such as these the state can no longer afford a rope. That hardly means Georgia plans… View Article

AJC: State could become a national model

As printed in Sunday's AJC: Atlanta Forward / Another View: State could become a national model By Kelly McCutchen Some may quibble with details, and adjustments will certainly be made, but enacting the Tax Council’s pro-growth tax reforms will make Georgia a national model and could not come at a better time. The proposals would create a true flat tax on income and modestly shift revenues to a broader retail sales tax. Both income and consumption would be taxed at a low rate of 4 percent and the tax code would be greatly simplified. Targeted tax credits would protect low-income senior citizens and families. Gov. Nathan Deal’s balanced budget requires no tax increase, clearing the way for the tax… View Article

Friday Facts: January 28th, 2011

It’s Friday!   What can you do to help the Foundation celebrate its 20th birthday in 2011? E-mail to share how you can highlight the Foundation’s “20 For 20,” campaign. Will you recommend us to 20 of your Facebook friends? Will you commit to $20 a month for our 20th anniversary? If so, go to … And let us know!   Education  Twenty-five years ago today, teacher Christa McAuliffe was to become the first teacher in space. The space Shuttle Challenger exploded soon after liftoff, killing all seven on board. Her tragic death inspired a generation of educators and hundreds of thousands of students to follow and learn about space exploration efforts. Read more here:… View Article

Georgia Needs a Lone Star State of Mind

Georgia Needs a Lone Star State of Mind  By Kelly McCutchen Jobs, jobs, jobs. That's the mantra from nearly every elected official these days, from President Obama to Governor Deal. But do government policies really have on impact job creation? And if so, what should states like Georgia be doing? Can government create jobs? Certainly, but every dollar spent by government is a dollar taken out of the private economy, where it most likely could be put to better use. "More focus should be on incentives for people and businesses to invest, produce and work," says Harvard economist Robert Barro. "On the tax side, we should avoid programs that throw money at people and emphasize instead reductions in marginal… View Article

A Federal Spending Freeze is Not Enough

According to the US Debt Clock web site, our unfunded liabilities are now well over $100 trillion, which dwarfs the "official" national debt of $14 trillion. President Obama called for a spending freeze last night, and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution touched on some of the reaction this morning. This past election should have sent a clear message that we want a smaller government. We’ve been fiscally irresponsible for too long, we have built up a debt that threatens to crush our economic growth and national security and simply frreezing spending isn't enough. In many ways, Georgia would be better off if the federal government reduced spending. We are a net loser in transportation funding, getting back much less than we… View Article

Georgia Department of Corrections Commended for Forward Thinking on Telemedicine Solutions

The Georgia Department of Corrections understands the impact that telemedicine has on the correctional system and has incorporated the concept into its FY’03 Annual Report ( identified the use of five specialty telemedicine clinics: Dermatology, Podiatry, Gastrointestinal, Infectious Disease, and General Medicine. According to the 8-10-2010 Georgia Department of Corrections FY ’09 Annual Report ( healthcare costs will comprise up to 20% of a prisons budget. The strategic plan in the report identified Decreasing Revenues and Budget Cuts as well as Increasing Need for Mental Health Services as challenges. Leveraging technology is a stated goal. The strategic plan identifies an Expansion of Telepsychiatry as one of the processes to achieve the stated goals. Benefits of telemedicine include:… View Article

Friday Facts: January 21st, 2011

It’s Friday! Join our Forum! – If you like the Friday Facts, you’ll love the Forum. This interactive community is a series of issue-oriented blogs where you can find breaking stories and analysis from Foundation experts. This week, Mike Klein provided daily stories on the budget hearings and we started analyzing various parts of the Tax Reform Council’s plan. Each issue area has its own RSS feed; join the discussion today! Quotations – “‘Public Education’ should mean public funds to educate children – not to support specific school systems. We need to let all parents decide where they send their children to school.” – “Reach for the Stars: A Proposal for Education Reform in Georgia,” Georgia Public Policy Foundation,… View Article

Foundation’s Role Pivotal in Georgia’s Lessons in School Choice

Commentary By Benita M. Dodd National School Choice Week is Jan. 23-29. The Georgia Public Policy Foundation, which celebrates its 20th anniversary this year and was a pioneer in the push to expand education choices for all Georgia’s children, joins a dozen organizations at the state Capitol on Tuesday for a School Choice Celebration and Rally. Long before the Obama administration’s Race to the Top grants, long before the Bush Administration’s No Child Left Behind law, the Foundation was championing the right of parents to have a greater say and choice in how best to educate their children. In 1991, when the Foundation was established, school choice became one of its first priorities. Its first major publication was, “Reach… View Article

I wanted to publicly say how much I appreciate Georgia Public Policy Foundation.  For those of you that will be entering the Legislature or are relatively new you may not quite yet appreciate how much we rely on Georgia Public Policy Foundation’s research and work.  As you know we’re a citizen’s legislature.  We have very little staff. They have been an invaluable, invaluable resource to us.  To put this [Forum] on and the regular programs that they do throughout the year make us better at what we do. (At the 2012 Georgia Legislative Policy Forum.)

Speaker Pro Tem Jan Jones more quotes