Category: Issue Analyses

Guide to the Issues: Transportation

Principles: Traffic congestion, while inconvenient, is a sign of a thriving economy. Transportation policy must focus on improving mobility and relieving congestion. To the extent possible, users should pay. Use objective criteria when weighing transportation options. Recommendations: Embrace funding alternatives Plan for a future of transportation innovations Include Georgia’s research universities in solutions. Expand the metro Atlanta express toll lanes into a seamless network. Improve arterial mobility Adopt transit solutions that are flexible and adaptable Enhance alternative freight routes around Atlanta Develop last-mile solutions Facts: Between 1982 and 2014, according to the Texas Transportation Institute[1]: In the Atlanta urban area, which is home to about 60 percent of Georgia’s population, the population grew 105 percent but the commuter… View Article

Guide to the Issues: Welfare Reform

Principles: Helping people move from dependency to self-sufficiency should be the primary focus of the safety net. Making work pay is essential. Working more hours or getting a pay raise should not set families back financially Programs should target benefits to the most needy. Enrollment should be coordinated to eliminate fraud and abuse and enhance efficiency. Programs should be temporary rather than permanent, with few exceptions. Recommendations: Increase public education on the availability of the Earned Income Tax Credit Strengthen work requirements Implement a cash diversion program Integrate public and private services to improve efficiency and accountability Implement commonsense welfare fraud prevention practices Facts: The federal government spent $799 billion on 129 programs for lower-income Americans in 2012.[1]Together… View Article

Guide to the Issues: Tax Reform

Principles: Minimize the impact of taxes on economic growth. Taxes are necessary to fund core government services, but every additional dollar of taxes is a discretionary dollar taken away from a family. A decision to raise taxes is an explicit decision that a government program has a higher priority and importance than individual decisions. The private sector is the source of all wealth, and is what drives improvements in the standard of living in a market-based economy. Taxes should consume as small a portion of income as possible, should not interfere with economic growth and investment and should not place the state at a competitive disadvantage. Limit exemptions to encourage a broad tax base and low rates. Exemptions shift the… View Article

NCPA on Higher Education and Online Courses

A July 2016 Issue Brief by Christian Yiu of the National Center for Policy Analysis proposes accreditation reforms to allow for increases in the quality and quantity of online learning in higher education. The Issue Brief is below; for a PDF version that includes references, go to http://www.ncpa.org/pdfs/ib197.pdf. Higher Education and Accrediting Online Courses By Christian Yiu Traditional higher education is not meeting the needs of employers. For example, a survey by the data provider PayScale and the executive development firm Future Workplace found that 87 percent of graduates feel they are ready for the workforce, but only 50 percent of managers feel recent graduates are prepared for a full-time job. In addition, the cost of higher education is… View Article
A PDF version of this Issue Analysis is available here. By Baruch Feigenbaum (This Issue Analysis is published by the Georgia Public Policy Foundation in response to a legislative request for an update of the Foundation’s August 2013 transportation study published jointly with the Reason Foundation.) Several Georgia legislators and members of the business community are supporting a sales tax increase to fund an 11.9-mile MARTA rail expansion from North Springs Station in Sandy Springs to Windward Parkway in Alpharetta. Given the high cost of expansion of rail and the corridor’s low population and employment densities, a bus rapid transit/express bus line using SR 400’s soon-to-be-constructed express lanes would be a much better option.   The Georgia General Assembly passed… View Article
Anonymous political speech has been essential to democratic discourse since the founding of our republic.  Ratification of the U.S. Constitution was primarily debated through a series of anonymous papers.  Yet in recent years, anonymous political speech has been under attack by so-called “dark money” critics, who demand that government expose the identities of individuals, businesses, labor unions and nonprofits that spend money to participate in political dialogue.  Couched as “transparency” measures, “dark money” disclosure mandates are often used as excuses to silence disfavored speech.  Troublingly, disclosure mandates are sweeping the country in the form of vague and overbroad regulations reaching the activities of 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations – groups that operate in nearly every sector and industry in the United States… View Article
Abstract Despite civil asset forfeiture’s noble intentions, the many stories of innocent victims and law enforcement abuses prove that the pendulum has swung too far in favor of law enforcement. In reforming forfeiture laws, however, we must be careful not to swing the pendulum too far in the opposite direction. The process should be made fairer and more transparent, the profit incentive of forfeiture should be abolished or severely constrained, and there should be greater oversight. Civil asset forfeiture should be returned to its original purpose: penalizing those who seek to profit from their illegal activities. If such funds were deposited into the general treasury, nothing would preclude law enforcement authorities from going to Congress or their state legislatures and… View Article
GEORGIA PUBLIC POLICY FOUNDATION NEWS RELEASE For Immediate Release January 9, 2015 Contact Benita Dodd at 404-256-4050 or benitadodd@georgiapolicy.org Foundation Study Identifies Telehealth as the Cutting-Edge Future of Health Care Atlanta – Georgia’s leadership in telehealth offers an excellent opportunity to address a number of health care challenges, according to a new study released today by the Georgia Public Policy Foundation. The study, “Telehealth & Patient-Centered Care,” by Ron Bachman, a Senior Fellow at the Foundation, is a comprehensive analysis of the potential of telehealth and how policies in Georgia can accelerate, or inhibit, its benefits. “It is impossible to stop a mega-trend,” says Bachman. “Telehealth is the cutting-edge future of health care worldwide. Telehealth, in its various… View Article

Fiscal Research Center Analysis Needs to be Fixed

By Benjamin Scafidi  The Fiscal Research Center (FRC) at Georgia State University produced a fiscal analysis of Georgia’s tuition tax credit scholarship program. I had a long list of specific critiques of their report. The authors of the FRC report have written a reply. Below is my response. I stand by every word I wrote in the critique of the FRC’s original report. Nothing in their reply convinced me otherwise. The FRC’s reply to my critique ignored most of my concerns about their original report. Other concerns I raised were not seriously considered. I will leave it to state policymakers to carefully consider my concerns of the FRC’s original report. For their benefit I address three issues here:… View Article
GEORGIA PUBLIC POLICY FOUNDATION NEWS RELEASE For Immediate Release December 18, 2014 Contact Benita Dodd at 404-256-4050 or benitadodd@georgiapolicy.org Foundation Study Finds Benefits in Education Savings Accounts Georgians could enjoy individualized education options, potential college savings Atlanta – Georgia taxpayers could save nearly $20 million annually by implementing a new school choice option, education savings accounts, already in place in Arizona and Florida, according to a new study released today by the Georgia Public Policy Foundation. The study, “Opportunity for All: Education Savings Accounts in Georgia,” by Dr. Eric Wearne, a Senior Fellow at the Foundation, is the first to examine the benefits to the state of Education Savings Accounts (ESAs), a mechanism that puts parents directly in… View Article

The Georgia Public Policy Foundation is our state’s leading organization promoting government transparency. The Secretary of State’s office shares the Foundation’s commitment to transparency and responsible stewardship of taxpayer dollars, which is why our agency was the first in Georgia to publish its budget and spending data on a public transparency website.

Karen Handel, Georgia Secretary of State more quotes