Thinking Right’s weekend free-for-all. Pick a topic:
U.S. Rep. Tom Price (R-Roswell) drafts the national health care plan that Congress should consider. Tax credits and deductions give consumers money to purchase medical coverage in the private sector, shopping across state lines. State high-risk pools would cover those with existing medical problems. One vital feature, missing from the Democrats’ plans, are provisions to curtail excessive medical malpractice awards. It is a national policy calamity that a more open and honest congressional debate didn’t occur.
Don’t know Glenn Thomas, a candidate for mayor of Atlanta, but he offers a profound insight into taxes collected by one government and handed over to another to spend, specifically Atlanta’s spending of federal largesse. Said Thomas: “It’s not that we don’t have the money. We don’t know how to spend it.” He was speaking of the wasted $100 million Empowerment Zone money that the Clinton administration shoveled to Atlanta.
Same topic, different point. The Empowerment, now called Renewal Community, has about $37 million remaining and may have to return about $30 million to the feds at year’s end if it’s not spent. “The goal of the [Renewal Community] board is not to send any money back,” said Peggy Harper, board chairman. “We’re going to look for the most expedient way to spend the money.” In two sentences, Harper has just explained the failure of 99 percent of federal social programs – and how people end up in jail, though far less often than they should if federal programs were properly monitored.
You be the judge: The honesty of John Thompson, a 29-year state employee is so startling – “I do nothing” – that a) Diogenes works for Georgia or b) he’s really angry with superiors and wants somebody fired. You gotta admit, though, that moving him to a “do-nothing” job from “chief of operations” and giving him a 22 percent pay increase is the way that large corporations and big governments with too much money deal with their personnel problems.
East Point officials appear to be doing a commendable job of managing the city out of its recurring financial troubles, prompting the question of why City Council would now invite future financial trouble by recognizing a union, East Point Professional Firefighters Local 4717, to represent its fire department.
Other than newspapers, the single company I’d like most to see succeed is Ford Motor Co., which just posted second-quarter profits of $2.3 million. Executives there took the risk to borrow $23.5 billion in 2006 and 2007, putting the entire corporation on the line, to prepare for the downturn. No government bailout. That kind of free-enterprise risk-taking should be rewarded in the marketplace.
Fulton County’s new elections chief, Barry Garner, makes an outlandish promise. “We are not going to be the laughingstock of the election community anymore” by always being the last to get ballots counted,” said the brash young newcomer. He’d just as soon promise to end traffic congestion.
Oh, car hijackee and Atlanta City Councilman Ceasar Mitchell, was not the victim of crime; he was the victim of perception of crime. According to the mayor, the city’s “safer now than it has been in decades.” But people like Mitchell and Council President Lisa Borders seem to be noticing crime more.
The whole world knew when the shakedown of Big Tobacco succeeded that they’d be coming for the soft-drink and snack-food industries at the earliest opportunity. Answer the door, Maggie. They’ve come. The liberals at the Urban Institute, allegedly alarmed by increases in obesity, think a 10 percent tax on “fattening food” would “reduce consumption while raising more than $500 billion over 10 years.”