Government Regulation in the Price of a New Home: Georgia

Executive Summary Housing affordability is a pressing concern for state and local policymakers as existing inventory is unable to fulfill historic demand for housing across Georgia. The purpose of this study is to determine one factor contributing to rising home prices: the cost of regulation to build a new single-family home.  This study, like its national counterpart, does not argue that all regulation is bad or should be eliminated. Some costs included in the study would have to be borne by taxpayers who derive no direct benefit, if they were … Continue Reading →


Friday Facts: January 21, 2022

It’s Friday!  Quotes of note “If you want to see the poor remain poor, generation after generation, just keep the standards low in their schools and make excuses for their academic shortcomings and personal misbehavior. But please don’t congratulate yourself on your compassion.” – Thomas Sowell “Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it.”  – Mark Twain “Give me the liberty to know, to utter, and to argue freely according to conscience, above all liberties.” – John Milton On Our Desks We’re hiring! … Continue Reading →

What to Do With Revenue?

By Kyle Wingfield You’ve heard the saying “follow the money.” What happens when the money follows you? No, I’m not revealing myself as a lottery jackpot winner. I refer to the task Georgia lawmakers face in dealing with an unexpected and seemingly unwelcome budget surplus. It’ll be the overarching theme of the legislative session that began this past week. You’ve heard the numbers before, but they’re worth repeating because they’re so staggering: The fiscal year that ended June 30, 2021, yielded $3.7 billion more than expected in revenues. Even after … Continue Reading →


Friday Facts: January 14, 2022

It’s Friday!  Quotes of note “Just because you do not take an interest in politics, does not mean politics won’t take an interest in you.” –  Pericles “The Bill of Rights wasn’t enacted to give us any rights. It was enacted so the Government could not take away from us any rights that we already had.”  – Kenneth G. Eade, author “There’s going to be some property destroyed in Indy tonight, baby!” – UGA football coach Kirby Smart, channeling longtime broadcaster Larry Munson after the Bulldogs won the College Football … Continue Reading →

Heartfelt Thanks

By Kyle Wingfield Hello, again. When you last heard from me, I was preparing for open-heart surgery. It was planned and non-emergent, but getting your chest cut open is just as unnerving no matter how long you know it’s coming. Maybe more so, the longer you know. The short version of this story is that the operation was a success, my recovery was easier than expected, and I’m mostly back to “normal,” whatever that means anymore. The longer version goes like this: Traveling for a major surgery is no light … Continue Reading →


Friday Facts: January 07, 2022

It’s Friday!  Quotes of note “All my life, no one has ever told me not to put glue in my hair. Yet, somehow, I knew.” – Betty White, 1922-2021 “Not all readers become leaders. But all leaders must be readers.”  – Harry S. Truman “When you are a Bear of Very Little Brain, and you Think of Things, you find sometimes that a Thing which seemed very Thingish inside you is quite different when it gets out into the open and has other people looking at it.” – A. A. … Continue Reading →


Friday Facts: December 31, 2021

It’s Friday!  Did you miss a commentary in 2021? Find them all in one place on the Georgia Public Policy Foundation’s website. Click here.  Memory Lane  In celebration of the Foundation’s 30th anniversary in 2021, the Friday Facts included “a trip down Memory Lane,” with photographs, news clips and articles through the past three decades. Through the years: When Georgia political titan and former U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson passed away on December 19, the state lost a champion and the Georgia Public Policy Foundation lost a longtime friend and cheerleader. … Continue Reading →

Foundation Mourns Passing of Johnny Isakson

The Georgia Public Policy Foundation is saddened to hear of the December 19 passing of Johnny Isakson, who was not only a national political titan but a longtime personal friend of the Foundation and champion of its ideas. 


Friday Facts: December 17, 2021

It’s Friday!  Memory Lane The more things change … Limited government and fiscal responsibility have been mainstays of the Georgia Public Policy Foundation since its founding in 1991. As this 1996 letter to the editor from Foundation President Griff Doyle shows, the Foundation has long warned about the consequences of unrestrained federal spending. As the Foundation’s yearlong 30th anniversary celebration draws to a close, Washington’s clearly not listening: This week, Democratic majorities in both chambers voted to send a $2.5 trillion increase in the nation’s borrowing authority (debt limit) to … Continue Reading →

In Building Back Better, Treat Safety Nets with Care

By Chris Denson On November 19, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Build Back Better Act on a near party-line vote, after months of negotiations on a bill predicted to cost $2.2 trillion. One contentious “pay-for” in the bill is severe cuts (12.5%) to the Disproportionate Share Hospital (DSH) program. Created in the early 1980s, the program reimburses “safety-net” hospitals, which provide a large percentage of uncompensated care and are often located in urban centers or rural areas. Notably, these DSH cuts specifically targeted the 12 states that have … Continue Reading →

Friday Facts: December 10, 2021

It’s Friday!  Memory Lane Not the think tank of ‘no’: Through the years, critics have accused the Georgia Public Policy Foundation and its transportation analysts of being “anti-transit.” The Foundation, which celebrates its 30th anniversary in 2021, has prided itself on being an organization of practical solutions, and this list of our recommendations, the focus of a March 1999 article in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (link here), demonstrates our commitment to viable alternatives in transit. The Foundation continues to insist that state transportation agendas be focused on needs, not inefficient approaches … Continue Reading →


Friday Facts: December 03, 2021

It’s Friday!  Memory Lane In the early days of the Georgia Public Policy Foundation, even public charter school choice was needlessly limited in Georgia, as this 1996 article demonstrates. The Foundation enthusiastically embraced a role as school choice champion. In 2021, as the Foundation celebrates its 30th anniversary, Georgians, too, can celebrate the hard-won public education options available for students: startup charter schools, state-commissioned charter schools and online charter schools. Legislators have also approved tuition tax credit scholarships and special-needs scholarships. And the Foundation continues its campaign to expand and … Continue Reading →


Friday Facts: November 26, 2021

 It’s Friday! Memory Lane All the president’s men: At the Georgia Public Policy Foundation’s 30th anniversary dinner in September, our photographer captured the attending presidents who have led the organization and championed “Policy Over Politics” through the decades. Below, from left are Griff Doyle, Kelly McCutchen, Kyle Wingfield and Rogers Wade.  Quotes of note “Whether looking at raw standardized test scores, statistical comparisons of states’ test scores with the Educational Freedom Index, or research on the competitive effects of school choice, the overwhelming conclusion is that educational choice has a … Continue Reading →

Friday Facts: November 19, 2021

It’s Friday! Memory Lane Welfare reform and championing the dignity of work have been longtime, linked goals at the Georgia Public Policy Foundation since its founding in 1991, as this 1992 article demonstrates. Sadly, while policies may improve, bureaucracies continue to grow. This year, as the Foundation marks 30 years of “Changing Georgia Policy, Changing Georgians’ Lives,” the war on poverty continues, and government is often on the wrong side. Quotes of note “I like people who buck the system. Individualists. I often warn people ‘Somewhere along the way, someone … Continue Reading →

Study on Mileage-Based User Fees for Georgia Debuts at State Capitol

GEORGIA PUBLIC POLICY FOUNDATION MEDIA ADVISORY Monday, November 15, 2021 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact Keara Vickers at 404-256-4050 or Transportation Expert to Testify on Mileage-Based User Fees for Georgia Atlanta – Robert Poole, director of transportation policy at Reason Foundation and a Senior Fellow at the Georgia Public Policy Foundation, will testify on mileage-based user fees today at 2 p.m. before a Georgia Legislature Joint Study Committee, the Georgia Commission on E-Commerce & Freight Infrastructure Funding. Poole is the lead author of “Driving Change: The Promise of Per-Mile Charges for Georgia … Continue Reading →

Friday Facts: November 12, 2021

It’s Friday!    Memory Lane In 2010, the Georgia Public Policy Foundation held its first legislative policy forum. The issues tackled have changed through the years; the first event helped pave the way for criminal justice reform in Georgia. This year, as the Foundation marks 30 years of “Changing Georgia Policy, Changing Georgians’ Lives,” the focus of the 2021 Georgia Legislative Policy Forum being held this week is on the pocketbook issues of education, energy and tax reform. Foundation Vice President Benita Dodd joined criminal justice reform champions Jerry Madden … Continue Reading →

Stepping away for a while…

By Kyle Wingfield I still remember the voicemail, four years later: I have some bad news. You need surgery. I’m scheduling appointments for you with two surgeons first thing next week … Four years later, I still haven’t had surgery. Next week, that changes. Next week, I’ll travel to New York City for open-heart surgery. The prognosis is great. But the recovery won’t be easy, and I’ll be away from work, and thus column-writing, through year’s end. Besides letting you know someone else will occupy this space for several weeks … Continue Reading →

Friday Facts: November 05, 2021

It’s Friday!  Memory Lane Honorable mention: Noel Khalil, founder and CEO of Columbia Residential and Columbia Ventures, died October 25 after a long illness. He was 70. Khalil founded Atlanta-based Columbia Residential 30 years ago to provide high-quality, affordable housing where people would be proud to live. His work created nearly 10,000 homes for families from very low-income to market-rate, a spokesman said. He spoke at the Georgia Public Policy Foundation’s annual dinner in 2014, discussing his family’s journey from Jamaica to the United States. This year, as we mark … Continue Reading →

Propane Prices Hit the Gas, the Wallets

By Benita Dodd Propane is an odorless by-product of natural gas processing and petroleum refining, but soaring prices for the fuel are set to cause a big stink. Georgians need to prepare now for the ramifications over the winter months. Propane is a clean-burning liquefied petroleum gas (LPG). For the occasional user with a barbecue grill tank or camping or RV stove, a price increase is a brief irritation. But the surge in prices will hurt budgets and bottom lines for many homeowners, farmers, transit agencies, school districts, restaurant owners, … Continue Reading →

Tiny Houses, Big Hurdles

By Kyle Wingfield Most communities in Georgia are dealing with a common problem: housing affordability. The problem looks different in different places, but the commonality is having too many people who can’t find a home that fits their budget. So why do so many cities and counties insist on making housing more expensive? This, too, can appear slightly different depending on where you look. Architectural ordinances, dictating certain design or material requirements unrelated to health and safety, have proliferated in many areas, particularly suburbs. Some ban the use of vinyl … Continue Reading →