Tag: Taxes

The Bitter Battle Over Bogus Butter

By Harold Brown Harold Brown, Senior Fellow, Georgia Public Policy Foundation Government regulations have unintended consequences. Winners are protected, losers are punished, perhaps. Effects are often unpredictable and change with time and conditions. Nothing illustrates the vagaries of government management better than the protection of butter. Most Americans believe the oleomargarine-butter controversy to be a mild competition between two ordinary foods that began in mid-20th century, but it’s much older and more significant. Mark Twain (“Life on the Mississippi,” 1874) overheard a conversation between two salesmen on a Mississippi steamboat that included, “… look at it – smell of it – taste it. Put any test on it you want to. Take your own time – no hurry – make… View Article

Friday Facts: April 3, 2015

It’s Friday! Quotes of Note “There is a rank due to the United States, among nations, which will be withheld, if not absolutely lost, by the reputation of weakness. If we desire to avoid insult, we must be able to repel it; if we desire to secure peace, one of the most powerful instruments of our rising prosperity, it must be known that we are at all times ready for war.” – George Washington “He who receives an idea from me, receives instruction himself without lessening mine; as he who lights his taper at mine, receives light without darkening me.” – Thomas Jefferson “Our freedom of choice in a competitive society rests on the fact that, if one person refuses… View Article

UPDATED: Transportation Funding Update

How did we get here? The portion of Georgia’s motor fuel tax that is dedicated to transportation funding is among the lowest in the nation. Over the last decade, state leaders have diverted funds for maintenance into sorely needed new projects. Today, not only do we have a backup of needed maintenance (not unlike the years of neglected maintenance of the Atlanta sewer system) and additional debt to service, but we also need added investment to relieve some of the nation’s worst traffic congestion in Metro Atlanta and other bottlenecks throughout the state. What is the need? In our lengthy study, we determined Georgia needs $1 billion a year of new revenue to meet ongoing maintenance needs as well… View Article

Friday Facts: March 20, 2015

It’s Friday! Events March 26: Foundation President Kelly McCutchen is a panelist at an Atlanta discussion on criminal justice reform in Georgia, hosted by the Charles Koch Institute. Find out more about, “From State in Crisis to Reform Leader: How Georgia’s Approach to Criminal Justice Is Impacting Well-Being,” at http://bit.ly/1b5eNTQ. Watch this space: The keynote speaker at the Foundation’s next event is Secretary of State Brian Kemp. Topic: “License to Work,” a focus on jobs, licensing and the role of government. Quotes of Note “Our major obligation is not to mistake slogans for solutions.” – Edward R. Murrow The advancement and diffusion of knowledge is the only guardian of true liberty.” – James Madison Legislative update View Article

Checking Up On Health: March 17, 2015

Health Policy News and Views Compiled by Benita M. Dodd BENITA DODD I made the dreaded annual appointment with the dentist yesterday, and the scheduler asked me if I had a preference for a particular hygienist. “I can’t remember the name of the lady who did it last. Could you check for me?” “Please hold while I check. … It was ‘Suzie.'” “Thank you for checking. Anybody but her.” ObamaCare Confused? Make it work for you! Just in case you thought deadlines and suggested guidelines are, you know, different, you get a do-over! A special enrollment period for coverage under the Affordable Care Act will take place from March 15 to  April 30 for people who owe the ObamaCare tax/fee/penalty… View Article
Everyone loves rankings. While it’s very helpful to understand where you rank compared to your peers, it’s also important to make sure the comparisons are valid. When comparing state taxing and spending it’s important to account for two factors: cost of living and differences in state and local government roles. The cost of living in California, for example, is higher than in Georgia, so the salary for a similar government job will usually be higher in California. Therefore, comparing per capita spending between states can be misleading. This is why economists often prefer to compare spending as a percentage of state personal income. Combining state and local data is also important because some states, like Georgia, are very decentralized, with… View Article
GEORGIA PUBLIC POLICY FOUNDATION NEWS RELEASE For Immediate Release March 13, 2015 Contact Kelly McCutchen at 404-256-4050 or kmccutchen@georgiapolicy.org Foundation Highlights Solar Energy and Sunshine Week Atlanta – Two years ago this week, Dublin High School in Laurens County broke ground on a solar panel array that was described as a trailblazer funding model and a moneysaver for the school. As she gathered information for an article marking the March 11 anniversary of the groundbreaking, Foundation Vice President Benita Dodd gained a renewed appreciation for Sunshine Week, the annual celebration of the national initiative for open government and freedom of information that takes place next week (March 15-21). This screen shot shows that Laurens County’s court Web site for the… View Article

Friday Facts: March 13, 2015

It’s Friday! Events March 18: The deadline is MONDAY to register for, “Federalism, The Rule of Law and Regulatory Excess,” the Foundation’s Leadership Breakfast on Wednesday with Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens. $30. Find out more here. Register online here. March 26: Foundation President Kelly McCutchen is a panelist at an Atlanta discussion on criminal justice reform in Georgia, hosted by the Charles Koch Institute. Find out more about, “From State in Crisis to Reform Leader: How Georgia’s Approach to Criminal Justice Is Impacting Well-Being,” at http://bit.ly/1b5eNTQ. Quotes of Note “The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppose.” – Frederick Douglass “The welfare state is the… View Article
Solar panels are lined up outside Dublin High School, where the groundbreaking ceremony took place two years ago this week for the 4,000-panel solar array on the high school campus in Middle Georgia. By Benita M. Dodd Solyndra was a visible black eye for the Obama administration in 2011, when the solar panel manufacturer went bankrupt after taking in more than $500 million from taxpayers and private investors. Closer to home, the silence is deafening: Few even know of the failure of Mage, a solar company that set up shop in Middle Georgia with great fanfare in 2011. What started out as a Georgia Public Policy Foundation commentary to mark Sunshine Week (March 15-21) and the two-year anniversary of Dublin… View Article

Friday Facts: March 6, 2015

It’s Friday! Events March 18: “Federalism, The Rule of Law and Regulatory Excess,” is the topic of the Foundation’s Leadership Breakfast with Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens. $30. Find out more here. Register online by Monday, March 16, here. Quotes of Note “Answer me in principle. I mean, is it not the case that if the only reasonable interpretation of a particular provision produces disastrous consequences in the rest of the statute, it nonetheless means what it says. Is that true or not?” – Justice Antonin Scalia, King v. Burwell “Unlike government bureaucracies, private firms in a competitive environment are eager to maximize the net returns of projects, so they find new ways View Article

…One of the best things about the Georgia Public Policy Foundation is that it has such a broad membership base.

Dr. Wendy L. Gramm, Former Chairwoman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission more quotes