Category: Issues

Case for Incentives Strikes Out

This commentary by John Hood, chairman of the John Locke Foundation, appeared in the Carolina Journal’s August 2018 edition. Read it online here. Case for Incentives Strikes Out By John Hood North Carolina politicians and policy analysts have been arguing for decades about targeted economic incentives. I have my own view on the subject, which I’ll share later in this column, but I think it would be helpful first to describe four very different takes on the issue. The central question is whether North Carolina’s state and local governments ought to try to compete with other jurisdictions across the country in offering targeted tax or cash incentives, either to lure new businesses or to entice current employers to stay… View Article
By Kyle Wingfield Bureaucratic arcana from Washington, D.C., hit Georgia’s headlines this week. Governor Brian Kemp announced he will seek federal “waivers” to improve health care in the state. But what exactly is a “waiver”? In short, it’s a way for the state to escape stifling federal regulations and provide Georgians with meaningful access to health care that’s affordable – and tailored to the needs and opportunities found all across Georgia. To understand why this is true, and how it would work, it’s worth learning a bit about waivers. First of all, what’s being “waived” are some of the strings Washington attaches to the money it sends states to help pay for some people’s health care. In theory, having some… View Article
By Baruch Feigenbaum A recent study, “Access Across America: Transit 2017,” by Andrew Owen and Brendan Murphy of the University of Minnesota, claims that accessibility to jobs by transit increased between 2016 and 2017. The study, which has been conducted for the past three years, has found increasing accessibility to jobs each year. Given declining transit ridership across the country, the study’s results seem surprising. But a closer look at the methodology shows that “accessibility to jobs” has little connection with actual transit ridership. The study estimates accessibility to jobs by transit and walking for each of the United States’ 11 million census blocks in 49 of the 50 largest metro areas (Memphis is excluded due to a… View Article

2019: Continue a Course of Bold Policies

By Kyle Wingfield A new governor, a new lieutenant governor, a host of new committee chairs – there are numerous reasons the 2019 legislative session is full of intrigue. Add to them Georgia’s growing political competitiveness, the possibility of a national recession sooner rather than later, and some truly important challenges, and there should be plenty of urgency, too. Start with health care. The federal government is stuck: Obamacare clearly isn’t working, but Congress has proved unable to repeal or even improve it. The siren song of Medicaid expansion is back for another chorus, but that’s the wrong answer. It costs too much, would shift a quarter-million Georgians off their private insurance plans, delivers less access to care than beneficiaries… View Article
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution of January 25, 2019, published an op-ed by Kyle Wingfield on what should be the Georgia General Assembly’s focus in 2019. The op-ed, “Ga. should continue its bold, thoughtful course,” is accessible online on the newspaper’s website here and is published in full below.  Ga. should continue its bold, thoughtful course By Kyle Wingfield A new governor, a new lieutenant governor, a host of new committee chairs – there are numerous reasons the 2019 legislative session is full of intrigue. Add to them Georgia’s growing political competitiveness, the possibility of a national recession sooner rather than later, and some truly important challenges, and there should be plenty of urgency, too. Start with health care. The federal government… View Article
By Peter Suderman A new poll shows that a clear majority of Americans support Medicare for All – until they are told what it is and how it would work. The survey was conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation, which regularly asks Americans about health policy issues as part of its Health Tracking Poll series. It finds that 56 percent of the country supports a “national health plan, sometimes called Medicare for All” and an even larger percentage – 71 percent – supports the idea when told that it would “guarantee health insurance as a right for all Americans.” When told that such a plan would eliminate health insurance premiums, 67 percent say they’re in favor. One way to look… View Article
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution of January 18, 2019, published an op-ed by Benita Dodd in response to MARTA CEO Jeffrey Parker’s proposal for a $100 billion “moonshot for transit.” The op-ed, “A successful MARTA’s future shouldn’t look like the past,” is accessible online on the newspaper’s website here and is published in full below.  Opinion: A successful MARTA’s future shouldn’t look like the past By Benita Dodd Forty-five years ago, Congress was told the Apollo program – landing a manned spacecraft on the moon – had cost the United States $25.4 billion. With inflation, that would be $143.7 billion in today’s dollars. Ten years ago, an updated NASA estimate put that cost at about $200 billion in 2005 dollars.… View Article
By Benita M. Dodd More than 40,000 activities and events around the nation will celebrate National School Choice Week 2019, held from January 20-26. (One is the Georgia Public Policy Foundation’s annual event on Tuesday at the Sloppy Floyd Towers, opposite the State Capitol. Find out more here.) The events and activities underscore the need for choice in children’s education: No two children are alike. They learn in different ways, in different environments and at different paces, and their opportunity to achieve shouldn’t be limited by ZIP code or their parents’ paycheck. The events showcase the options. These include public charter schools, which contract with their district or state authorizing agency, promising better results in exchange for greater flexibility… View Article

Medicaid Work Requirements Could Help the Poor

By Doug Badger More than 12 million nondisabled, working-age Americans are enrolled in Medicaid. They receive medical care that is virtually free, and in most states they are under no obligation to work or seek work. Sounds like a great deal. Until you consider how much these “free” benefits may cost a recipient over the course of a lifetime. That could total more than $323,000 in forgone wages for men and over $212,000 for women, according to a study by the Buckeye Institute, an Ohio-based free-market think tank. Using Census Bureau data, the study’s authors estimated that nondisabled men on Medicaid work an average of 13 hours per week, compared with 12 hours for women. Some Medicaid recipients, however, already… View Article

Make Civility and Civics a Winning Combo in 2019

By Benita M. Dodd A good man passed away on January 2nd. Bob Hanner, 73, had served 38 years in the Georgia General Assembly, transitioning from South Georgia Democrat to South Georgia Republican before leaving the Legislature in 2013. Most people have forgotten why he left. A census-based reapportionment, coupled with a declining Southwest Georgia population, meant Hanner, representative from the 148th District (Parrott), and Gerald Greene, who had served the 149th District (Cuthbert) for 30 years, would have to face each other in the newly drawn 151st House District. “We talked about it – knew it was coming – and I told Bob I wouldn’t run if he decided to,” Greene told The Albany Herald in 2012. “Of course,… View Article

Finally, a one volume resource from an independent source that gives those of us in public life a new view on which to make public policy.

Governor Roy Barnes more quotes