Thinking Right’s weekend free-for-all. Pick a topic:
Drop Sonny a note and thank him for managing the small cuts that keep Georgia from being California, where budget “solutions” are mostly just gimmicks that hide the problem and roll it over into another year. Thank goodness for a constitutional prohibition on deficit spending – and for a governor who started managing the nickels early in the downturn. The gimmee crowd – the teachers’ union, for example – really should shut up. It could be far worse.
Fifteen Georgia counties have unemployment rates above 13 percent. State financial incentives for businesses to locate here should be limited to those with high unemployment caused by plant closings. Once skilled and disciplined workers leave to find jobs in metro Atlanta or elsewhere, they’re not going back, worsening those counties’ predicament. Kelly McCutcheon, executive VP of the Georgia Public Policy Foundation, notes that “hundreds of scholarly studies and decades of real-world experience reveal no clear benefits in state tax incentives” and are “particularly questionable” in a business-friendly state like Georgia. Use them sparingly. And target ‘em.
Murray County schools are free to go to a 160-day school year, rather than the required 180 days. It’ll make up the time by extending the school day one hour. Schools this legislative year got authority to exercise more local control. The end destination for all education-related decisions is results, outcomes, performance. Inputs should be left to parents and their chosen school leaders.
Georgia is among 17 states with the lowest graduation rates, according to an advocacy group. Blacks and Hispanics are more likely to be in schools with low graduation rates. Blacks and Hispanics are also more likely to be born without a married mother and father in the home. There is a correlation. It’s not the schools’ fault. We can’t fix education’s problems until we fix the family – or as an inadequate alternative, change the school model.
Once again the Georgia Division of Family and Children Services wasn’t omnipotent in preventing the death of a child, which authorities say occurred at the hands of the mother’s boyfriend. It doesn’t take a village; social workers won’t always render perfect judgment. It’s the mother and father thing, again. Government can’t raise healthy children or protect them.
Atlanta may have to return $30 million in federal empowerment zone money that it couldn’t spend productively. Too much “red tape” say some critics. Shoot fire, your red tape is my accountability for public money. It wasn’t spent because it was too much money chasing too little real opportunity for productive use. The last thing in the world that should happen now is that politicians and bureaucrats start pushing money out the door.
From a news story: “Olympia Snowe (R-Maine), a member of the Finance Committee, is seen as a potential defector from her party on…” You complete the sentence: a) health care legislation b) the Sonia Sotomayor nomination c) the $787 billion “stimulus” porker d) anything Harry Reid wants e) all of the above.
Is the war against terrorism up or global warming down? In India, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton gives an impassioned speech demanding that the country and others do more to confront terrorism and global warming. Global warming won’t kill us; terrorists will. She also joined a television discussion of what’s wrong with education in the U.S. and India. One world, one solution.
Which is more important — the F-22 or paid jobs among the non-profits? The one is cut, the other funded through the $787 billion “stimulus” bill. The arts are important, sure, and donors are strapped. But to metro Atlanta and to the nation, the F-22 jobs and the fighters they produce, when abandoned, leave us less secure. The “stimulus” will funnel another $342,000 to Georgia’s arts-related nonprofits.