Category: The Forum

Friday Facts: June 29, 2018

It’s Friday! Quotes of note “Trade unions up to a certain point have been recognized now as organs for good. They are the only means by which workmen can protect themselves from the tyranny of those who employ them. But the moment that trade unions become tyrants in their turn, they are engines for evil: they have no right to prevent people from working on any terms that they choose.” – Nathaniel Lindley (1896) “It has long, however, been my opinion, and I have never shrunk from its expression … that the germ of dissolution of our federal government is in the constitution of the federal Judiciary; working like gravity by night and by day, gaining a little today and… View Article

New Rule Creates New Opportunities for Health Insurance

By Joey Costa A new rule from the U.S. Department of Labor will allow more small employers and self-employed individuals to join forces to create Association Health Plans, providing consumers more choice and even some control over their insurance. According to U.S. Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta, the rule will help “level the playing field” for small businesses, allowing these associations to use economies of scale to lower the cost of insurance. Under the current Affordable Care Act (ACA) regulations, small employers and individuals purchasing coverage have no bargaining power, leaving them with what the insurance companies offer. Consumers have no voice into what their plan covers, and ACA regulations prohibit pricing advantages to groups of consumers. The new rule… View Article

Georgia Laws Taking Effect July 1, 2018

By Sophia Strickland A summary of Georgia laws taking effect July 1, 2018: TRANSPORTATION Hands-Free Georgia Act: Motorists will be prohibited from talking on cell phones without using a speaker or Bluetooth device while the car is not lawfully parked. People may touch their phone to use navigation or accept a call if the phone is attached to a mount or in a storage spot. There are exceptions to this law for report a traffic accident, medical emergency, criminal activity, or a immediate and serious traffic or safety hazard. House Bill 930: This law creates the ATL (Atlanta-region Transit Link) Authority to oversee the development of new transit options; it also provides the 13 metro Atlanta counties the… View Article
News Release | For Immediate Release June 27, 2018 Contact: Benita Dodd  benitadodd@georgiapolicy.org  (404-256-4050) Foundation ‘Disappointed’ in Supreme Court Ruling on Water Dispute Atlanta – Kyle Wingfield, president of the Georgia Public Policy Foundation, issued this statement in response to today’s ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court in the water dispute between Florida and Georgia: The Georgia Public Policy Foundation is disappointed the Court today declined the opportunity to end this misguided legal assault on Georgia and remanded the case to the Special Master for further proceedings. We agree with Justice Clarence Thomas, in his dissent, that the Court already had all the facts it needed to make the central determination in the case: that the meager, speculative benefits Florida… View Article
A Savannah Morning News editorial published on June 22, 2018 warns that teacher pension reform is crucial for teachers and taxpayers. The editorial can be accessed online here and is reprinted in full below. Editorial: Reform teacher pension fund to control school taxes  The tax villains ran roughshod this week, passing increases that will appear across several columns in our fall property tax bills. As is always the case, the public is assigning blame. And, as always, they point to the easy targets, the men and women who hold titles such as manager or superintendent; mayor, chairman or president; or alderman, commissioner or school board rep. The one true scoundrel in our tax chaos, who goes by the initials TRS,… View Article

So What Does a Think Tank Do?

By Rick Larsen Since joining the Sutherland Institute, I am often asked: what exactly is a think tank? A fair question. But more important, perhaps, is this: Are think tanks of benefit to you? Can they assist you in deciding what you think? The Economist explains a think tank best: “Think-tanks aim to fill the gap between academia and policymaking. Academics grind out authoritative studies, but at a snail’s pace. Journalists’ first drafts of history are speedy but thin. A good think-tank helps the policymaking process by publishing reports that are as rigorous as academic research and as accessible as journalism. (Bad ones have a knack of doing just the opposite.)” Think tanks sometimes inform legislators, and sometimes they inform… View Article
By Paul Blair Over the past 18 months, President Trump has taken great strides to fulfill a number of major campaign promises. One major promise was the commitment to help communities harmed by the decline of coal and nuclear energy. To that end, the president recently directed Energy Secretary Rick Perry to prevent retiring coal and nuclear plants from shutting down prematurely. Shortly afterward, a leaked policy document from the National Security Council outlined a number of policy tools that the Department of Energy (DOE) could use to keep the plants afloat. In response, groups across the political spectrum and throughout the energy sector have criticized the administration for “putting its thumb on the scale” for coal and nuclear. Many… View Article

Friday Facts: June 22, 2018

It’s Friday! Quotes of note “These days, the individual market is like a game of musical chairs, where no plan wants to be the last one standing – with the sickest, costliest enrollees. This has created a race to the bottom, in which each plan wants to be less attractive than the others to patients who need a lot of expensive care.” – John C. Goodman “The real goal should be reduced government spending, rather than balanced budgets achieved by ever rising tax rates to cover ever rising spending.” – Thomas Sowell “If emotion is to supersede law, then just about any law can be circumvented if the emotional level is high enough.” – Cal Thomas Subscribe to the… View Article

Governor Announces BRT Funding for SR 400

On June 19, 2018, Georgia Governor Nathan Deal announced $100 million in General Obligation bonds for Bus Rapid Transit infrastructure, part of the SR 400 Express Lanes project. The plan includes four BRT interchanges as part of a $1.8 billion project for express toll lanes up the highway. The Georgia Public Policy Foundation has long promoted BRT as a cost-effective alternative to rail. In the Foundation’s Agenda 2002: Guide to the Issues, for example, the Transportation section noted: Traditional train-type transit can be very effective in the downtown ares of certain cities. London, Paris, Tokyo and New York City fit this description. In these densely pupulated cities, rail-based transit provides a high-capacity, convenient transit solution that makes… View Article

Friday Facts: June 15, 2018

It’s Friday! Quotes of note “The road to democracy is not a freeway. It is a toll road on which we pay by accepting and carrying out our civic responsibilities.” – Lucius D. Clay  “To those peoples in the huts and villages of half the globe struggling to break the bonds of mass misery, we pledge our best efforts to help them help themselves, for whatever period is required – not because the communists may be doing it, not because we seek their votes, but because it is right. If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich.” – John F. Kennedy  “What makes you a man isn’t the ability… View Article

To have an organization dedicated to the study of the problems that face Georgia in a bipartisan way….is absolutely one of the finest things that’s happened to our state.

The late W. H. Flowers, Jr., Chairman, Flowers industries, Inc. more quotes