Archive for April, 2011

Arizona court ruling boosts Georgia law’s prospects

And no, I am not talking about proposed immigration legislation. Rather, I refer to the tax-credit scholarship program that has been growing in Georgia; a similar law in Arizona was upheld in a decision of the U.S. Supreme Court released today.

Andrew Coulson at the libertarian Cato Institute explains why this ruling is great news for fans of school choice:

Ruling in ACSTO v. Winn today, the United States Supreme upheld Arizona’s k-12 scholarship tax credit program. Under this program, individuals receive a tax cut if they donate to a non-profit scholarship fund that gives out private school tuition aid.

Today’s decision, a reversal of an earlier ruling by the 9th Circuit, found that the respondents had no right to sue to stop the AZ program because they have not been harmed by it. …

Respondents alleged that cutting a person’s taxes is equivalent to spending government money — and since taxpayers are receiving credits for donations to religious organizations, that was …

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Obama 2012: Same hope, just don’t ask about the change

News from Nov. 5, 2008, Jan. 21, 2009, April 4, 2011: Barack Obama has launched his re-election bid.

It starts with a web video, a sign of the times.

It very clearly is aimed at Obama’s base — the people who, if he were to pull a huge surprise and not run for re-election, would write his name on the ballot anyway. So, it’s not surprising that the video is more of a get-fired-up production than a first-term retrospective or potential-second-term campaign platform.

That said, isn’t it a little bit odd that even a get-fired-up video doesn’t mention a single, solitary thing that Obama has done — other than get elected?

Right there at the 20-second mark, you have the perfect set-up, courtesy of “Katherine, Colorado,” who says, presumably of the re-election campaign,

I think it needs to reflect the changes that we’ve seen in the last two and a half years.

OK, here it comes: health-care reform that six previous Democratic presidents couldn’t accomplish, an economy that saved or …

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Earth to Gold Dome: Time for some leadership

The man from Mars landed in Atlanta late last week. This being his first visit to the city, he consulted his aPid supercomputer to learn about it.

He learned Atlanta was the seat of government for an entire state — a relatively large and prosperous state, albeit one that faced a range of challenges. This government, he read on, was led by a political party that preached fiscal discipline and bureaucratic reform. Months earlier, this party had increased its overwhelming control of the executive and legislative branches.

Interesting, the Martian thought to himself. This party must be well-positioned to enact its principles in a way that would help solve the state’s problems. I will go to the “Gold Dome” and observe its leadership.

When the man from Mars arrived (hidden by a cloak that rendered him invisible to humans), he noticed a number of well-dressed natives moving hurriedly and speaking nervously. Such agitation was reminiscent of the halls of government back on Mars, …

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PSA / shameless plug / programming note

You can catch me, the AJC’s Political Insider Jim Galloway, and Tom Crawford of the Georgia Report on GPB’s “Prime Time Politics” tonight at 7. We’ll be discussing the federal debt and deficit, along with some state-related budgetary matters.

The first half of the 30-minute show is on the same topic, but will feature a panel of budgetary experts: Robert Bixby of the Concord Coalition, Alice Rivlin of the Brookings Institute and David Walker of the Comeback America Initiative.

(And…I think I just set a record for hyperlinks per word in a blog post…)

– By Kyle Wingfield

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The crushing imbalance between public and private employment

Writing in The Wall Street Journal, Stephen Moore identifies a reason for our persistent public budget problems: “We’ve become a nation of takers, not makers”:

If you want to understand better why so many states — from New York to Wisconsin to California — are teetering on the brink of bankruptcy, consider this depressing statistic: Today in America there are nearly twice as many people working for the government (22.5 million) than in all of manufacturing (11.5 million). This is an almost exact reversal of the situation in 1960, when there were 15 million workers in manufacturing and 8.7 million collecting a paycheck from the government.

It gets worse. More Americans work for the government than work in construction, farming, fishing, forestry, manufacturing, mining and utilities combined. We have moved decisively from a nation of makers to a nation of takers. Nearly half of the $2.2 trillion cost of state and local governments is the $1 trillion-a-year tab for pay and …

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