Category: Government Reform

By Congressman Max Cleland The following article originally appeared in the September 1998 Issue of the Georgia Policy Review. On August 2, 1998, Senator Cleland, Senator Paul Coverdell and Congressman Bob Barr, with the support of Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, joined Veterans Affairs Commissioner Pete Wheeler in launching a project that will hopefully lead to a new veterans cemetary in the metropolitan Atlanta area. One of the greatest honors our country provides for a veteran’s service is the opportunity to be buried in a national cemetery. It is logical that just like everyone else, a veteran’s family wants to have the grave site of their loved one close by. They want to be able to visit as frequently… View Article
Dudley C. Rochelle and Hans von Spakovsky1   In 1988, the United States Supreme Court ruled in Communication Workers of America v. Beck2 that workers required to pay union dues by the terms of a collective bargaining agreement were only required to pay those union dues necessary for the performance of the union’s duties in collective bargaining, contract administration, and grievance adjustment. Workers cannot be forced to pay dues used for political, social, or charitable contributions made by their union. Workers are also entitled to a financial accounting of how their union spends its funds. Unfortunately, not only are most workers unaware of their rights under Beck, but federal enforcement of Beck3 has been almost nonexistent. One of… View Article

Should Georgia Adopt Early Voting?

Hans A. von Spakovsky1 In Georgia, as in other states, we are concerned over the continuing decline in voter turnout. On a national level, the 49% turnout in the presidential election of 1996 was the lowest turnout in a presidential election since Calvin Coolidge was elected in 1924 and the second lowest since 1824. The national turnout of 36%2 of the eligible electorate in the 1998 mid-term election was the lowest turnout in congressional elections since 1942, when America was deeply involved in World War II and millions of American servicemen were overseas. The turnout in Georgia was even lower: in 1996 it was 42.6% and in 1998 it was 31.6%. Early voting, the ability to vote a ballot… View Article
Election officials who have come to the United States from other countries to observe our elections are often amazed and chagrined to learn that no identification is required to register to vote or to cast a ballot. Many of these visitors are from countries plagued by extensive voter fraud. The biggest lesson they often learn from the United States is how not to structure a voting system. The irony is that the greatest democracy in the history of the world is so cavalierly undermining the integrity of the most fundamental right its citizens have – their right to vote in fair elections.… View Article

Should Georgia Adopt Vote-By-Mail?

Charles S. Bullock III Despite rising affluence, improving education levels and highly competitive partisan politics, Geor- gians continue to be among the nation’s least likely voters. Just over 51 percent of the state’s registered voters went to the polls in November and only half as many participated in the July primary. Georgians stay away from the polls in droves.… View Article

Making Transition to Privatized Social Security

By Mike Tanner Social security is in serious financial trouble. Only by privatizing the system can we avoid the huge tax hikes and benefit cuts required to keep the system solvent — tax hikes and benefit cuts that will worsen an already bad deal for today’s young workers. However, any proposal for privatizing Social Security must deal with the difficult question of financing the transition to a new privatized system. Put quite simply, regardless of what system we choose for the future, we have a moral obligation to continue benefits to today’s recipients. But if current workers divert their payroll taxes to a private system, those monies will no longer be available to pay current benefits; the government will have… View Article
By Sunny Park Sunny Park was born in 1942 in Seoul, South Korea. After coming to the United States in 1967 and gaining full citizenship in 1974, he became a successful businessman and an active member of his community. As a relative newcomer to this country, he is concerned that America’s youth are not being taught, and consequently do not fully appreciate, the principles their forbearers fought for in creating the freest nation on Earth and how fortunate they are to be Americans.  As an immigrant, I have personally learned and benefitted from the tremendous value of this great country, the United States of America. I think it can be summarized as follows: • Freedom — A people willing to… View Article
Daniel Bloom and Lynda Carter Cajoleas As the stigma of out-of-wedlock pregnancies and indiscriminate sexual behaviors seems to have been eliminated from society’s value system, many children in Georgia are growing up in situations almost unimaginable thirty years ago.  Born with crack cocaine and heroin addictions, or with fetal alcohol syndrome, to drug and alcohol addicted mothers in fatherless homes, unprotected from violence and neglect, these children are a part of what the U.S. Advisory Board on Child Abuse and Neglect terms a “national emergency.”  According to the Board, in the early 1960s there were 60 thousand annual reports of abuse and neglect compared to 3 million today.  Between l980 and l991 alone, reports of child abuse and neglect tripled. … View Article

Term Limits: The Lousiana Experience

By Rense Johnson [Of the 20 states that have passed term limits for state legislators, Louisiana is the only state without a ballot initiative process to have done so. Ballot initiatives, which are unavailable to the citizens of Georgia, allow voters to effectively by-pass their legislature and enact popular laws. Since the Georgia General Assembly has failed to enact term limits or a ballot initiative process, Louisiana provides a good example of how a grassroots term limits campaign can be successful.] The State of Louisiana is not noted for its good government. Good food, perhaps, and hunting and fishing, and jazz for sure, but not good government. Its constitution has been drafted for the benefit of the politicians, not the… View Article

If Government Doesn’t Relieve Distress, Who Will?

By Leonard E. Read President Grover Cleveland, vetoing a congressional appropriation of $10,000 to buy seed grain for drought stricken Texans may have given us all the answer we need to this cliche: The friendliness and charity of our countrymen can always be relied upon to relieve their fellow citizens in misfortune…. Federal aid in such cases encourages the expectation of paternal care on the part of the government and weakens the sturdiness of our national character, while it prevents the indulgence among our people of that kindly sentiment and conduct which strengthens the bonds of a common brotherhood. Thus, the cliche maker wins his implied point without a struggle–unless one lays claim to clairvoyance or exposes the fakery of… View Article

“I am here today to thank the Georgia Public Policy Foundation for your role in building a fiscally conservative, pro-growth state. Not only did you help pave the way for a new generation of leadership, you continue to provide key policy advice and to hold us accountable to the principles we ran on. In short, you have had a transforming influence on this state. We are healthier, stronger, and better managed because of your efforts.

State Senator Eric Johnson, President pro tempore, Georgia State Senate more quotes