Phipps has a free-market Santa
Thinking Right’s weekend free-for-all. Pick a topic:
- Rodney King more deserved the Nobel Peace Prize. Who among us doesn’t remember where he was when we first heard King’s stirring plea for world peace: “Can’t we all just get along?” The Prize is trivialized.
- Headline: “Should Atlanta City Council be smaller?” than its present 15 members. Certainly. Seven’s plenty. While at it, halve the 56-member State Senate and the 180-member House of Representatives, too. Single-commissioner county governance got a bad rap, but there’s something to be said for having an honest and decisive visionary in a fast-growing county.
- Going forward, when my band of right-wingers takes over, use of the phrase “going forward” will be banned. Me fears, however, that politicians, bureaucrats and business executives attempting to appear visionary will be rendered speechless.
- Just curious: Has anybody seen Jane Fonda lately? This week, I mean. Have the King children quit squabbling or found real jobs? Did anybody really think we needed to know, at $1,300 a whack, that roads here and there were “funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act”? They’re all built with our money.
- When the Phipps Plaza Santa was available for free because an unseen benefactor paid his wages, users gamed and abused the system, making multiple appointments and not bothering to show up. To minimize abuse, a $15 per visit charge was levied. All slots have been taken. A value was assigned to the service and the marketplace responded, more efficiently allocating Santa’s time and use of his employer’s financial resources. Government should try that with all abused programs and services.
- The state’s collected $33 million in a 5 percent tax levied on traffic fines (they call them fees). The money goes to the state’s general fund. When the tax was levied in 2005, its declared purpose was to fund driver’s education grants to schools. Advocates now complain that of the $33 million collected, only 26 percent has been spent on the grants.
- Memo to current and future legislators: Never, ever create programs that dedicate — or even promise — how public revenues will be spent. Levy taxes as necessary; spend where there’s the greatest need, especially in a down economy.
“Is this bill all that I would want?” asks Sen. Snowe, the only Republican in Congress so far to vote for the coming health care financing debacle. “Far from it,” she replies. “Is it all that it can be? No. But when history calls, history calls.” That won’t be history on the line, senator. That was Michael Moore. He wishes to make our health care system more like Cuba’s.
- Hold on to your pocketbooks in DeKalb. The county has apparently agreed to “partner” with a private-sector company to develop the former General Motors property into a “true urban center.” Said county CEO Burrell Ellis: “I have a responsibility to restore the 4,000 jobs lost as a result of the closing of that plant.” Government creates jobs one way: by putting people on its payroll.
- It will be an outrage if National Football League owners reject a group’s bid to buy the St. Louis Rams football team because commentator Rush Limbaugh is among those making the offer. “I, myself, couldn’t even consider voting for him,” said Baltimore Colts owner Jim Irsay. “When there are comments that are inappropriate, incendiary and insensitive … it’s something that we don’t need.” As with political endorsements, that declaration tells us more about Irsay’s politics than about Limbaugh.