Transportation Tuesday: Gwinnett Transit Referendum Postmortem

Transportation Tuesday, December 1, 2020:  Policy, news and views driving transportation. Gwinnett Transit Referendum Postmortem By Dave Emanuel When Gwinnett County voters defeated the county’s 2019 transit referendum, proponents blamed their loss on the referendum being on the ballot of a special election, which typically has low voter turnout. When a referendum for a revised plan was placed on the ballot for the November 2020 general election, however, the results were the same: defeat. The relatively narrow margin of defeat – 1,013 votes – does not tell the whole story. … Continue Reading →

Checking Up On Health: November 30, 2020

Medical Monday: A weekly post of healthcare- and technology-related policy news, views and commentaries. Many Thanksgiving family gatherings were canceled because of COVID-19. Many relatives avoided gatherings to minimize the risk of infection. Some who attended social gatherings over the holiday are now in quarantine or worse – infected – because someone turned up asymptomatic but infected or now suspect they might be. Expect another surge in infections beginning this week. It hit close to home for us: My son and his family were unable to join us because a … 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 →

Tax and Spend Tuesday: November 17, 2020

Tax and Spend Tuesday, a roundup of news, views and policy proposals affecting your paycheck and pocketbook! The election: The Center for State Fiscal Reform at the American Legislative Exchange Council analyzed November 3 ballot measure results in the states, noting that “Many of these ballot measures will impact their pocketbooks – and state economies – for years to come.” Among them: California voters rejected Proposition 15, which would have seen commercial property owners’ property tax bills increase by as much as $12.5 billion annually. California voters also approved Proposition 22, … Continue Reading →

Checking Up On Health: November 16, 2020

Medical Monday: A weekly post of healthcare- and technology-related policy news, views and commentaries. You can expect a lot of pushback as COVID-19 numbers climb around the nation. Before you panic, today Becker’s Hospital Review ranked the states where the novel coronavirus is spreading fastest and those where it’s spreading slowest. Do you know where Georgia ranks? Find out here. What are the odds? Assess your risk of contracting COVID-19 at an event this holiday season using a tool created by Georgia Tech researchers. The COVID-19 Event Risk Assessment Planning Tool examines … Continue Reading →

Friday Facts: November 13, 2020

It’s Friday!  Quotes of Note “Government outlays on antipoverty programs are almost entirely unaffected by which party is in power: It has inexorably risen under Republicans and Democrats alike — from just one-half of 1% of GDP in the early 1960s to 4% of GDP today. Indeed, antipoverty spending has continued to skyrocket at a far faster rate than the population of people with incomes below the poverty line.” – Jeff Jacoby “The closeness of this election, and the multitude of legal challenges which have followed in its wake, have … 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 →

Friday Facts: November 6, 2020

It’s Friday!  Quotes of Note “I would relate to the crowds how I called on a certain rural constituent and was shocked to hear him say he was thinking of voting for my opponent. I reminded him of the many things I had done for him as prosecuting attorney, as county judge, as congressman, and senator. I recalled how I had helped get an access road built to his farm, how I had visited him in a military hospital in France when he was wounded in World War I, how … 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 →

Tax and Spend Tuesday: November 3, 2020

Tax and Spend Tuesday is a roundup of news, views and policy proposals affecting your paycheck and pocketbook! The election: It’s going to be a while before today’s election ballots are tallied and results are official. There will be a president, but the tax and spending plans, of course, depend on whether the president is a Democrat or a Republican. It’s like the old joke: “I told my friend that my brother is having a baby and he is asked if I knew whether I was going to be an … Continue Reading →

Checking Up On Health: November 2, 2020

Medical Monday: A weekly post of healthcare- and technology-related policy news, views and commentaries. COVID-19 has affected everything this year, including the election. To avoid the long lines and waits caused by pandemic precautions and a shortage of poll workers, many voters chose to vote absentee or early in-person. Georgia’s Secretary of State predicted the surge of early voting will ease lines on Tuesday. As of October 31, Georgia reported 3,902,961 voters had cast their ballots early in-person, while 1,215,438 absentee ballots had been returned. Georgia has 7.6 million registered … Continue Reading →

Friday Facts: October 30, 2020

It’s Friday!  Quotes of Note “Perhaps the most tragic aspect of today’s division is that much of it is a byproduct of our education system where young people are taught to hate our nation’s founders and founding principles. However, it is these principles, though practiced imperfectly, that have created the freest and richest nation in mankind’s history.” – Walter Williams “This year has brought unprecedented challenges to all aspects of our lives, and there is no amount of training or experience that we or our leaders could have had to … 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 →

Transportation Tuesday: October 27, 2020

Transportation Tuesday is the newest in a series of  Georgia Public Policy Foundation policy briefs. Others are Medical Monday’s Checking Up On Health and Tax and Spend Tuesday. PPPs: An article in Cato Institute’s Regulation magazine serves as a cautionary tale about public-private partnerships, also called P3s, PPPs and concessions. PPPs have seen massive infrastructure spending in over the last 30 years – 203 billion euros ($240 billion) in Europe and $535 billion in developing countries. While interest has been minimal in the United States, you can expect growing interest … Continue Reading →

Checking Up On Health: October 26, 2020

Checking Up On Health: October 26, 2020 Compiled by Benita M. Dodd A Medical Monday post of healthcare- and technology-related policy news, views and commentaries. Prevention vs. cure. As someone who lives with vitiligo and must avoid the sun, Vitamin D3 is an essential daily supplement for me. For all others, exposure to about 15 minutes a day of sunlight synthesizes D3 – “the sunshine vitamin” –  naturally. But there has been a growing deficiency, especially in the developed world, among those who are older, those spend most of their time … Continue Reading →


Friday Facts: October 23, 2020

It’s Friday! Quotes of Note “Confidence is contagious. So is lack of confidence.” – Vince Lombardi “Not voting is not a protest. It is a surrender.” – Keith Ellison “If a faction consists of less than a majority, relief is supplied by the republican principle, which enables the majority to defeat its sinister views by regular vote. It may clog the administration, it may convulse the society; but it will be unable to execute and mask its violence under the forms of the Constitution.” – James Madison Economy Ranking the … 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 →

Tax and Spend Tuesday: What’s in Store for YOUR Wallet?

Tax and Spend Tuesday: October 20, 2020 Welcome to the inaugural edition of Tax and Spend Tuesday, a roundup of news, views and policy proposals affecting your paycheck and pocketbook! The candidates: Our friends at the Tax Foundation have analyzed the tax plans of the presidential candidates. Democrat Joe Biden promises to cut taxes for Americans earning less than $400,000. Those making more, however will face double-digit tax increases, including higher taxes on individual income, capital gains and payroll. He would also raise the 21% corporate income tax rate to … Continue Reading →