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Georgia Needs an Earnest Effort at Tax Reform

By Benita M. Dodd Nearly a decade ago, Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue created the Georgia Special Council on Tax Reform and Fairness, “to examine the tax code of Georgia, review it for fairness, and then recommend a new tax structure that would be as growth-friendly and as job-friendly as we could make it.” Among the guiding principles was “a shift in emphasis from taxing income and investments to an emphasis in taxing consumption, where a wide range of personal choices can be made,” wrote the council chairman, A.D. Frazier. The goal was to lower the rate to 4 percent by 2014 and broaden the tax base. Among the council’s 2011 recommendations were that the state reduce and sunset numerous… View Article

Friday Facts: April 12, 2019

It’s Friday!  Events  The registration deadline is MONDAY for Second Chances 2019,” an 8 a.m. Leadership Breakfast with Georgia Congressman Doug Collins, sponsor of the FIRST STEP Act, on Wednesday, April 17. This event marks Second Chance Month, an annual Prison Fellowship commemoration. Georgian Club. $30. Information and registration here. May 23: “You Can Say That: How Courage Can Defeat Political Correctness,” a noon Policy Briefing Luncheon with David French of the National Review Institute, on Thursday, May 23. Georgian Club. $35. Information and registration here. Quotes of note  “Small business in the United States is literally being suffocated by red tape. We like to think that we live in ‘the land of… View Article

Friday Facts: April 5, 2019

It’s Friday! Events April 10: “Education Choice: A Case Study in Policy and Politics,” a Foundation Happy Hour Policy Discussion in Athens at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, April 10, in partnership with The Arch Conservative. Speakers are Kyle Wingfield, president and CEO of the Georgia Public Policy Foundation, and Jeffrey Dorfman, professor of Economics at the University of Georgia. Hilton Garden Inn Magnolia Ballroom. $10. Information and registration here. April 17: “Second Chances 2019,” an 8 a.m. Leadership Breakfast with Georgia Congressman Doug Collins, sponsor of the FIRST STEP Act, to celebrate Second Chance Month, on Wednesday, April 17. Georgian Club. $30. Information and registration here. May 23: “You Can View Article
By Kyle Wingfield The 2019 legislative session started as something of a blank slate: a new governor, new lieutenant governor and lots of fresh faces in both the House and the Senate. While that kind of turnover always breeds uncertainty, it’s also an opportunity. On some issues, legislators seized the moment. On others, less so – although thanks to the General Assembly’s two-year terms, hope lives on until next year. Let’s start with what did get done. Of all the bills sent to Gov. Brian Kemp for his signature, perhaps none has more potential to change Georgia for the good than Senate Bill 106. The “Patients First Act” gives Kemp the authority to seek more flexibility from the federal government… View Article
By Matt Ladner In “The Aviator,” director Martin Scorsese tells the story of Howard Hughes. Hughes is portrayed by Leonardo DiCaprio as obsessively pushing the envelope forward in aviation, breaking both technical and legal barriers to progress. Pan American Airways serves as the film’s antagonist, attempting to preserve a legal monopoly on trans-Atlantic flight. Hughes sees this as “un-American.” He overcomes the Pan Am monopoly within a couple of hours of screen time. District near-monopoly on K-12 education has greater staying power. K-12 has been slowly evolving to become more diverse, pluralistic and dynamic. Education scholarship accounts (ESAs, also known as education savings accounts) represent the next step for Georgia to modernize K-12. The first K-12 education savings account program… View Article

The Truth About Education Scholarship Accounts

By Jeffrey H. Dorfman The Georgia Legislature is wrapping up the 2019 session and one item still being debated is a bill (HB 68) that would create an educational scholarship account program in Georgia. Educational scholarship accounts (ESAs, also referred to as educational savings accounts) provide parents who remove their children from public schools with money each year that can be used to pay private school tuition, buy materials for home schooling, pay tutors, or cover a variety of other educational expenses. The good news is that a new study I conducted for the Georgia Public Policy Foundation shows Georgia could implement such a program with no additional state spending while also financially strengthening public schools. The main finding: Public… View Article

Friday Facts: March 29, 2019

It’s Friday!  Events  April 10: “Education Choice: A Case Study in Policy and Politics,” a Foundation Happy Hour Policy Discussion in Athens at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, April 10, in partnership with The Arch Conservative. Speakers are Kyle Wingfield, president and CEO of the Georgia Public Policy Foundation, and Jeffrey Dorfman, professor of Economics at the University of Georgia. Hilton Garden Inn Magnolia Ballroom. $10. Information and registration here. April 17: “Second Chances 2019,” an 8 a.m. Leadership Breakfast with Georgia Congressman Doug Collins, sponsor of the FIRST STEP Act, to celebrate Second Chance Month, on Wednesday, April 17, at the Georgian Club. $30. Information and registration here. May 23: “… View Article

Friday Facts: March 22, 2019

It’s Friday! Quotes of note “One of the great mistakes is to judge policies and programs by their intentions rather than their results.” – Milton Friedman “The more the state ‘plans’ the more difficult planning becomes for the individual.” – Friedrich Hayek “Life is made up of constant calls to action, and we seldom have time for more than hastily contrived answers.” – Learned Hand   We’re hiring! The Georgia Public Policy Foundation is on the lookout for an entry-level development associate. Find out more at https://talentmarket.org/devo-assoc-gppf/. Events April 10: “Education Choice: A Case Study in Policy and Politics,” a Foundation Happy Hour Policy Discussion in Athens at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, April 10, in partnership… View Article

Gwinnett Has Time to Do Transit Right

By Benita M. Dodd and Dave Emanuel Advocates of transit expansion in Gwinnett County blame timing for the failure of the March 19 transit referendum, which voters rejected 54-46 percent. The proponents, who say their well-funded advocacy plan got off to a late start and the special election date hurt turnout, vow they will be back again and again until transit expansion is approved. Make no mistake: Changing demographics and the money behind advocates practically guarantee transit expansion will come to pass in the growing county. The questions are how it will work and what the county needs. On that, referendum opponents won the day, despite a lack of organized opposition or funding for their effort. Timing did indeed play… View Article

The Georgia Public Policy Foundation bases its findings on fact, and maintains the standard of truth.

U.S. Attorney General Griffin Bell more quotes