Category: The Forum

Friday Facts: August 20th, 2010

August 20, 2010 It’s Friday!   Quotable “At times I am happy when Congress does nothing. But in this case, doing nothing will increase taxes and damage the economy.” — Lee E. Ohanian, professor of economics at UCLA, on the federal tax increases scheduled to take effect in 2011. Taxes and spending – U.S. Debt Load Among World’s Worst. This year, U.S. public debt is projected to reach 62 percent of the economy — up from 40 percent in 2008 and nearly double the historical average, according to recent Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates. By 2030, the CBO projects that debt will more than double to 146 percent of gross domestic product.   – Taxes are at unsustainably low View Article

Friday Facts: August 13th, 2010

It’s Friday!   Quotable “The U.S. Postal Service reported a $3.5 billion loss in the last quarter, which established it as the federal government’s most successful enterprise.” – Jay Leno   Notable – From the outrageous regulations department: In Florida, it is illegal to work as an interior designer without proper government licensing; even if the designer has a college degree in the field, performing interior design services without a license is punishable by up to a year in jail or $1,000 in fines. In Texas, every computer repair technician must obtain a degree in criminal justice or have a three-year apprenticeship under a licensed private investigator to legally fix computers. On July 29, 7-year-old Julie Murphy committed the “crime” of View Article

Friday Facts: August 6th, 2010

It’s Friday!     Quotable – “The great variable in the federal balance sheet has been spending, not revenue. Debt comes from spending more than you have, not from having too little. Does anyone really believe that the feds (or the states, who have similarly overspent for years) have been frugal or wise or cheap in their spending decisions since the Truman administration?” – Nick Gillespie, Reason Foundation   Health – Foundation unveils new health care tool: If you’re wondering what the new federal health care law has in store for you or your employees, you are not alone. Few have read the 2,700-page Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and even fewer are able to absorb its full… View Article

Friday Facts: July 30th, 2010

It’s Friday!     Quotable – “Facebook now has more than 500 million users, which may help explain why unemployment is around 10 percent.” – Jimmy Kimmel – “Would it not be better to simplify the system of taxation rather than to spread it over such a variety of subjects and pass through so many new hands.” â€“ Thomas Jefferson   Health – Experience keeps a dear school … Britain’s National Health Service, is rethinking the importance of the doctor-patient relationship just as the USA is taking a sharp left turn toward more centralized government control over health care, Grace Marie Turner writes in the National Review Online. Responding to consumerism, Britain is proposing more power to local doctors and… View Article

Friday Facts: July 23rd, 2010

It’s Friday!   Quotable – “The king’s cheese is half wasted in parings; but no matter, ’tis made of the people’s milk.” –  Benjamin Franklin – “According to a study by the Brookings Institution, Washington, D.C., has the highest concentration of smart people in the United States. Let’s see: We have a mess in the Gulf, we have a dysfunctional Homeland Security, and we are $13 trillion in debt. Imagine how bad it would be if these people weren’t geniuses.” –  Jay Leno   Education – Back to school: Georgia’s new retirement opportunity has some teachers considering a classroom return, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. Some Georgia charter schools will offer a new perk –  a 401(k) retirement plan with immediate coverage â€“… View Article

Letter to the Editor on the Falcons Stadium

Dear Editor: As a life-long fan I am thrilled to see the Atlanta Falcons succeed on the football field, but that is no reason for taxpayers to subsidize a new stadium. Most importantly, study after study finds that sports stadiums rarely offer taxpayers a positive return on investment in terms of economic impact. If anything, entertainment spending is simply shifted from other activities. They have been playing football in the same stadium at Georgia Tech since 1913 and at the University of Georgia since 1929 thanks to continuous renovations. The Georgia Dome was completed in 1992. What does it say to the taxpayers who subsidized the $214 million investment in the Dome if it is demolished and another $300… View Article
By Benita M. Dodd For years, Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International and Chicago’s O’Hare airports have competed for the title of nation’s busiest airport. Last year, Atlanta won. As the official temperature stations for their respective cities, however, it seems the two airports tie – for the dubious honor of distorted data. And they’re not the only ones. In 2008, meteorologist Anthony Watts wrote in the Illinois-based Heartland Institute’s Environment and Climate News: “The community around O’Hare was much smaller during World War II, when the airport was built, than it is now. The area had a significantly less-urban population and lacked the acres of concrete and asphalt that exist there today.” You could replace “O’Hare” with “Hartsfield-Jackson,” and the same would… View Article

The Needless Burden of Local Assistance Grants

By Kevin Schmidt When Governor Sonny Perdue signed Georgia’s $21.1 billion budget for fiscal 2009, it contained $6 million for Local Assistance Grants (LAG), funds appropriated and allocated to a specific recipient or local government for a specific purpose. Lawmakers try to use the fact that these handouts are a relatively small part of the state budget – about 0.03 percent the ’09 budget – to defend the spending.  The size notwithstanding, taxpayers need to question these appropriations. Does the specified program constitute a legitimate function of government? Is this program a local, rather than state, responsibility? Does it pose an undue burden on the local government’s budget?  The evidence shows that a vast majority of these special projects to… View Article
By Benita M. Dodd  Internet-savvy bank customers in Georgia can go online and check and balance their accounts from the comfort of their home, even at 2 in the morning.  But let that same taxpayer be curious at 10 a.m. about how his taxes are being spent in Georgia, and he’d have a tough time finding out. Transparency legislation that passed the Georgia House and Senate unanimously could soon help. The Transparency in Government Act will establish a free, searchable Web site that contains state expenditures, financial and performance audits, contracts, payments to vendors and data on personnel. The personnel data will include boards, commissions, every state authority, every university or college in the University System of Georgia and every… View Article

I thank you for what you do. For 15 years you’ve been researching and writing on issues that matter. You take on tough questions, you apply innovative thinking, you push for action, and you do it all without regard to politics.

President George W. Bush more quotes