Friday Facts: January 15, 2021

It’s Friday!  As the Georgia Public Policy Foundation celebrates its 30th anniversary in 2021, each Friday Facts will include a little trip down Memory Lane from our three decades of “Changing Georgia Policy, Changing Georgians’ Lives.” It’s a testament to this policy research organization’s credibility and integrity that the media have quoted, interviewed, cited and published the Foundation thousands of times across Georgia through the years. Here’s one from 1991. We’re hiring! The Foundation is adding an external affairs manager to the team. Find out more and apply here. Quotes … Continue Reading →

A Purple State Under the Gold Dome

Georgia may be a purple state now in national politics, or even a blue one given the trifecta Democrats Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock completed in this past week’s U.S. Senate runoffs. But it remains solidly red under the Gold Dome in Atlanta. As members of the General Assembly return to the state Capitol this week to begin their annual legislative session, it bears watching how the still-in-charge Republicans react to their sudden political mortality – and how they signal their intentions to stave it off. The events since the … Continue Reading →

Checking Up On Health: January 11, 2021

Medical Monday: A weekly post of healthcare- and technology-related policy news, views and commentaries. Mutating virus: The first case of the U.K. coronavirus variant has been reported in Georgia, an 18-year-old man with no travel history, the Georgia Department of Public Health reported January 5. The state became the fifth to report a case of the variant, following New York, California, Florida and Colorado.   Resistant COVID-19: The lead researcher in Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine trials in South Africa told CBS that country has seen more than 13 coronavirus variants since the start of the … Continue Reading →


Friday Facts: January 08, 2021

It’s Friday!  Happy New Year! Welcome to the first issue of the Georgia Public Policy Foundation’s Friday Facts for 2021. This is a special year for the Foundation: We’re celebrating our 30th anniversary!  Through the years of ‘policy over politics’ the Foundation has published hundreds of commentaries, scores of Issue Analyses and thousands of Friday Facts. Did you know? The Friday Facts started out as the Friday Fax, a weekly, members-only newsletter of tidbits shared exclusively via fax machine. This year, each Friday Facts will include a little trip down … Continue Reading →

The Changing Terrain of Electoral Votes

By Kyle Wingfield Demography isn’t destiny, no matter how many people insist otherwise. Two recent reports underscored that reality. First let’s look at the big picture. This past week, the U.S. Census Bureau released its annual population estimates. These estimates aren’t the same as the actual census, on which such important – and, to today’s exercise, relevant – decisions as reapportionment are based. But they are a pretty good preview of the real thing. A quick refresher: Reapportionment is how the U.S. House of Representatives’ 435 members are reallocated every … Continue Reading →

New Year’s Resolutions and Priorities for Georgia

By Kyle Wingfield Has there ever been a year that better informed what the next year’s work ought to be? Perhaps, but the to-do list for Georgia in 2021 clearly takes its cues from the mercifully ending 2020. Our students should be first in line to have this year’s wrongs set right. Too many education leaders waited too long to recognize that the dangers of keeping schools closed outweighed the dangers of reopening them with proper precautions. Still more sought to use the pandemic as an excuse to shirk accountability … Continue Reading →

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas

By Kyle Wingfield This looks to be a different kind of Christmas. Many will carry on as before, but some will choose a socially distanced Yule. Some will be forced to keep away from family or friends who have fallen ill, and others will spend their first Christmas since losing a loved one. Even the usual heart-tugging holiday ads on TV have caught on, some of them depicting a Christmas morning video call instead of a Christmas Eve embrace. Traveling recently with one of those 24/7 Christmas-song stations on the … Continue Reading →

12 Good Tidings from the Georgia Public Policy Foundation!

Count down to Christmas 2020, Georgia Public Policy Foundation style! 12 Months of Insightful Commentary  We’re committed to bringing you the best, most thought-provoking commentary on the issues affecting Georgians. Read through 2020’s publications here. 11 Committed Board Members 2020 saw the Foundation add two new, valued members to our Board of Trustees. Welcome, Jay Neely and Jeb Stewart! Learn more here. 10 million (plus!) Georgians Georgia’s population is on the rise! We added lots of new friends and neighbors this year. 9th Most Populated Metro Area Atlanta is growing … Continue Reading →

Foundation Adds 2 New Board Members

Atlanta –  The Georgia Public Policy Foundation is pleased to announce the addition of Jay Neely and Jeb Stewart to the Board of Trustees, bringing the total number of board members to 11. John J. “Jay” Neely III is vice president for Law & Public Affairs at Gulfstream Aerospace Corp., where he manages the company’s Legal Department, state and local government affairs, and community relations. Before joining Gulfstream in 1999, Neely was an attorney in the Atlanta office of Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker, LLP. Neely is chairman of the … Continue Reading →

A Big Dose of Optimism for Christmas

 By Kyle Wingfield I don’t know what you’ve asked of Santa Claus for Christmas, but one thing ought to be on everyone’s wish list: a big dose of optimism. After the year we’ve had, a belief that brighter days lie ahead would be welcome for all. Fortunately, we needn’t wait for Dec. 25 – or for a COVID-19 vaccine. I see three big reasons to believe 2021 will be a more prosperous year for all Georgians. 1. More and more Georgians are back to work: As recently as four years … Continue Reading →

Taking Stock of Georgia’s Economic Ranking

By Kyle Wingfield Americans love rankings, love to see where we stand compared to our rivals. The AP college football poll, to name one famous ranking, exists ostensibly to determine the best team – but also to sell newspapers, because Americans eat that kind of thing up. There are all kinds of rankings. But what could be more important to rank than our freedom? There are a variety of indices for that, and one of them recently showed Georgians are experiencing a golden age of economic freedom. The Fraser Institute … Continue Reading →

Friday Facts: December 4 2020

It’s Friday!  Thanks to the generosity of supporters, the Foundation’s Giving Tuesday campaign raised more than $10,000 this week! Your contributions are “Changing Georgia Policy, Changing Georgians’ Lives!” Quotes of Note “Here’s Williams’ roadmap out of poverty: Complete high school; get a job, any kind of a job; get married before having children; and be a law-abiding citizen. Among both black and white Americans so described, the poverty rate is in the single digits.” – Walter Williams, economist and columnist, who died December 2, 2020, at the age of 84 … Continue Reading →

The Classroom is a Marketplace, too.

By: Kyle Wingfield The recent news that fall enrollment in Georgia’s public schools was down more than 2% this year was a reminder that markets exist everywhere, even where you least expect them. The October student count was the first done since the pandemic hit. Schoolhouses across the state were shuttered in March and in some places have yet to reopen. The traditional model of education was replaced by an emergency, remote learning model that most districts were poorly equipped to run. It didn’t take families long to figure out … Continue Reading →

Study Finds Fiscal, Economic Benefits in Ga. Tax Credit Scholarships

Atlanta – Georgia’s tax credit scholarship program saves state taxpayers millions of dollars and enhances educational attainment among scholarship students, according to a study released today by the Education Economics Center at Kennesaw State University and the Georgia Public Policy Foundation. Georgia’s Legislature enacted the Qualified Education Expense (QEE) Tax Credit Scholarship Program in 2008. Taxpayers receive a state income tax credit when they donate to nonprofit student scholarship organizations (SSOs), which provide scholarships that allow students to attend a private school of their family’s choice. Georgia law that expanded the program … Continue Reading →

Friday Facts: November 20, 2020

It’s Friday!  Quotes of Note “Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favour; and Whereas both Houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me ‘to recommend to the people of the United States a DAY OF PUBLICK THANKSGIVING and PRAYER, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably … Continue Reading →

Georgia’s Political Fault Line

By Kyle Wingfield Everyone knows by now that Georgia’s political fault line runs between its urban and suburban counties on one side, and its exurban and rural ones on the other. But the sheer depth of that chasm – and how it might be bridged – are worth exploring. For one example, look to the presidential election. Joe Biden, projected to win the state pending a manual “re-tally” of the ballots, cleaned up in the most-populated counties, taking seven of the 10 largest. But he won just 13 of the … Continue Reading →

The ‘In-Between’ Election, the ‘In-Between’ Year

By Kyle Wingfield Merriam-Webster will surely pick a pandemic-related term as 2020’s “word of the year.” Coronavirus, social distancing or quarantine would be apt. My choice is “liminal,” which that dictionary defines as “of, relating to, or being (in) an intermediate state, phase, or condition: in-between, transitional.” That not only describes the way we’ve been living since March, but – I believe – explains this election. Vote counting was still underway as I wrote, and there will be recounts and lawsuits. But the time required to determine a winner is … Continue Reading →

Rejecting Nonstop Politics

By Kyle Wingfield By the time you read this, the 2020 election will be nearly over. Some votes may be still uncounted, the outcome still unclear, the lawyers just getting warmed up, and some races – including in Georgia – set for a runoff. But in the main, it’ll finally be over. Then what? It’s become cliché to bemoan our polarized politics. The truth is, it’s always been polarized. If you don’t believe me, go watch the rap-battle scenes from the musical “Hamilton.” Or better yet, read the history of … Continue Reading →

It’s Time to Get Serious About the National Debt

By Kyle Wingfield Among the things that may have changed forever in 2020 is Americans’ willingness to get serious about the national debt. During the final presidential debate, President Donald Trump was asked why he hasn’t secured further emergency funding for the pandemic. His response: “Because Nancy Pelosi doesn’t want to approve it. I do.” His opponent, Joe Biden, pointed to the HEROES Act the Democrat-controlled House passed earlier this year, which he supports. While Trump rightly replied that he has signed multiple relief bills, and that the HEROES Act … Continue Reading →

Do You Know What’s on Your Georgia Ballot?

By Kyle Wingfield Don’t you hate it when you get to the end of your ballot, and suddenly you’re faced with an unfamiliar constitutional amendment or referendum? These ballot questions usually don’t spawn millions of dollars in TV ads about what’s at stake. And the questions themselves often seem written intentionally vaguely. So let’s walk through the three statewide questions appearing on this year’s ballots. Amendment 1: For years, the General Assembly has passed various types of taxes or user fees. Also for years, the General Assembly has proclaimed that … Continue Reading →