Taxing the unborn is unjust

Thinking Right’s weekend free-for-all. Pick a topic:

● This President and his acolytes: “We inherited a mess.” Next President: “We inherited a mess made worse.”

● Back when Republicans were nobodies in the Georgia House of Representatives, I listened to Rep. John Linder extemporaneously argue free trade. It was a coherent philosophical framework for the alternative party in a competitive two-party system — one of many he made. I discovered much to my surprise when Republicans claimed the majority in Georgia, that few had listened. Linder, who is leaving Congress this year, is a steady, principled conservative who helped define that movement in this state.

● The “humble little” homes averaging 1,500 square feet in the Northwoods subdivision in Doraville may get historic designation as Georgia’s first large-scale planned suburban community. Some of my favorite neighborhoods in all of metro Atlanta are those composed of little brick houses built by the returning vets of World War II and Korea and off-the-farm families working at Ford, GM, Lockheed, Mead, Delta and Eastern. Today they’re called “starter homes.” Then they were lifetime-achievement homes. Historic? Absolutely.

● Raising fees to cover the cost of providing a state service to individuals, which is in the works, reports the AJC’s James Salzer, is something that should be done, budget crisis or not. But keep in mind, a fee is a levy charged to sole beneficiaries of a public service. If it’s levied on one service to fund another, it’s a tax. Salzer points out that the state charges $10, unchanged since 1978, for an airport inspection that costs the Department of Transportation $400. Undercharges could amount to $100 million.

● There oughta be a law that no tax could be extended any earlier than three years before its expiration. The Georgia House just voted to extend Atlanta’s 7 percent hotel-motel tax ($44.6 million in fiscal 2008) by 30 years, from 2020 to 2050. It’s an effort to keep the Atlanta Falcons downtown. Levying taxes on those who aren’t present to voice objection is immoral and, at the least, should be constitutionally limited. All tax money collected, furthermore, should go to the general fund — Atlanta’s or the state’s — to address the most pressing problems (pensions, for example, in Atlanta).

● If the CRCT cheating suspected in 58 Atlanta system schools is found to be true, its superintendent and school board need to be canned. Cheating in anything approaching two-thirds of the system’s elementary and middle schools would constitute a culture of corruption.

● Chief Justice John Roberts told students at the University of Alabama that the State of the Union speech has “degenerated to a political pep rally” and questioned whether members of the U.S. Supreme Court should attend in the future. The January episode where the justices sat for camera shots while President Barack Obama formally criticized their corporate speech opinion was “very troubling,” he said. He’s right. The justices and the military chiefs should absent themselves. They’re props in a campaign event.

● The AJC news staff has amazing sources. Our first granddaughter was barely home from Northside Hospital when ajc.com ran the headline: “Could the most beautiful baby be in Georgia?” My guess is that nursery staff leaked the news.

● Toyota is about to discover the true cost of doing business in America. The gas pedal problem has sparked at least 89 class-action lawsuits. Daytime TV will find trial lawyers soliciting clients for a thousand more.

● Hiking the cigarette tax $1 per pack, as interest groups and state Rep. Ron Stephens (R-Savannah) propose, means that Republicans, like the Democrats before them, still legislate from lobbyists’ agendas.

36 comments Add your comment

retiredds

March 11th, 2010
8:08 pm

Jim, if Chief Justice Roberts didn’t resurrect the subject of President Obama’s State of the Union, the whole episode would fade into history. After all, Jim, while the State of the Union speech sets out the President’s agenda it is also a political pep rally of sorts. If you would review tapes of these events over the last several decades each party whoops and hollers for their candidate sort of like football and basketball rallies.

And I hate to break this news to you, but the economy is rebounding and a little known economic phenomenon is occurring that I am sure you and your conservative friends don’t want to mention, Americans wealth is coming back. See below from the Associated Press.

WASHINGTON — Americans are recovering their shrunken wealth — gradually. Household net worth rose last quarter, mainly because the healing economy boosted stock portfolios. But the gain was slight. And it was less than in the previous two quarters.

The Federal Reserve said Thursday that net worth rose 1.3 percent in the fourth quarter to $54.2 trillion. It marked the third straight quarter of gains. But economists say consumers would need a stronger and more prolonged increase in their wealth to persuade them to ratchet up spending.

Net worth had risen by a more robust 4.5 percent in the second quarter of 2009 and an even faster 5.5 percent in the third quarter. Net worth is the value of assets such as homes, checking accounts and investments minus debts like mortgages and credit cards.

Good night Jim, and I hope you have a good weekend.

Marcus Graham

March 11th, 2010
9:33 pm

Me, Jim, Maria and Mark are going away for a couples weekend. We know it’s wrong but hey as long as we don’t get caught, we’ll pretend that we are holier than thou and drum up/exaggerate issues.

Bill

March 11th, 2010
10:07 pm

Jim, I always read your Friday column (some sort of wierd therapy I guess!!). You usually are full or sterotypes and hatered for our “leftist friends”. That is missing today. Are you softening or are you finally realizing that that type of hatred has no business in our wonderful country? Maybe, just maybe, we can all find a way to work together!!

Regards,

InheritAMess

March 11th, 2010
10:17 pm

Jim says “This President and his acolytes: “We inherited a mess.” Next President: “We inherited a mess made worse.” Jim, can you just give the President some time to clean up the mess he inherited? He’s one year into cleaning it up, and the mess he inherited will certainly take 4 to 8 years to clean up. How about trying to open your mind to the necessity to clean it up, instead of the usual negative crap. Pathic.

The Ghost of Harry S. Truman

March 11th, 2010
10:52 pm

I regret to say that the marketing gimick of “starter home” has been applied to politics, Jim.

Consider the advent of the “starter politician”.

The higher the office they seek/win, the more of a meglomanic they are. (That big word means “stuck on themself” for you Obama voters).

The “starter politician” morphs past that stage, due to the lobbyists, the money, the ego trips, the sexual opportunities with groupies, etc.

The “starter politician” always wants that one committee apppointment, that one plum assignment, that one devoted intern, that one moment in the sun that seems just out of reach.

When the “starter” politician ‘matures’ into full bloom, it’s only a precursor to the disease within the vine.

One day, perhaps, we shall see the politician who is neither a “starter” nor institutionalized and tamed (by lobbyists).

Perhaps, one day, Sadly, she or he would be a one-term wonder, given the collective mindset of today’s electorate that expects government to solve every issue and smooth out every bump in life’s road.

96 SC

March 12th, 2010
3:00 am

The CRCT Commission aka the Can’t Read Can’t Talk Commission will find no wrong doing by the 58 Day Care Centers operated by the APS and its Henchpersons. The Consultant Check and Investigation Summary can be picked up by Commission Members at 0830, 12-Mar-2010. Simple Summary = “No Wrong Doing Was Evidenced By APS Staff; but the students behavior maybe suspect.”

Mid-South Philosopher

March 12th, 2010
6:45 am

Good morning, Jim.

Just a couple of observations this morning.

Of course the State of the Union Speech has turned into a political pep rally, complete with a quasi- “Punch and Judy” show (Joe and Nancy) going on behind the President while he speaks! However, I take just a little different view that many of my conservative friends have taken regarding the President’s comments about the Supreme Court.

Just as Presidents (not just this one) have used the State of the Union to criticize actions and inactions of the Congress, I see know reason why the nation’s Chief Executive cannot use it to give the Justices a symbolic cuff to the ears from time to time!

I wonder if my conservative friends would have viewed the President’s remarks as inappropriate had he been chastising the Court about their stupid ruling in Kelo v. the City of New London…you know the case in which the Court held it was OK for government to steal your property to generate more revenue for the government!

Don’t reelect anyone!

Road Scholar

March 12th, 2010
7:43 am

“We inherited a mess.” Next President: “We inherited a mess made worse.”

Bush’s presidency just keeps on giving!

Tall

March 12th, 2010
7:44 am

To “Inheritamess”: President Obama knew what he was getting himself into. He is an adult, isn’t he? The policies he is persuing will indeed make things worse for the next administration.

on0mrbill

March 12th, 2010
8:09 am

ATTENTION AMERICA
Without “change we can belive in” we will NEVER recover from this administration!
Bring the Fair Tax, vote in a new HOUSE and SENATE, and press ignore for the PRESIDENT.

Will

March 12th, 2010
8:19 am

Mr. Wooten:

Republican senators, who used the reconcilation process in the Senate when they were the mjaority party, have declared the possible very end to the structure and function of Congress if democrats use the same measure to move forward President Obama’s health care legislation.

It appears that republicans may very well regain majority status in the Senate after the November elections.

If this happens, how about me and you agreeing to meet back here the first time republicans once again use this legislative process and see if they will own up to their “sky is falling” rhetoric regarding reconcilation.

While we are at it, let’s also see if the democrats will acknowledge reconcilation being a legitimate tool if the republicans use it against them.

On second thought, never mind. We both already know the answers don’t we?

The Black Knight

March 12th, 2010
8:48 am

Roberts vs Obama? We’ll call it a draw.

Aquagirl

March 12th, 2010
8:56 am

Congrats on the grandchild, Jim. She’ll be able to watch multi-millionaires playing in that grand stadium while stuck in traffic and sipping the last glass of water available in Atlanta.

Casey D

March 12th, 2010
9:11 am

Do you remember Susan Rene Hensley? (imho, I think that was her name and spelling), the Walton High School girls volleyball coach who won the state championship the year prior to getting caught? She was a middle school teacher where she seduced and sexually abused a sixth grade girl, and continued to do so till the girl was in 10th grade. When the girl went to Walton High School, Rene transfered to that high school as the volleyball coach and teacher, where she continued her abuse of this child. She was only stopped when the child’s mother found a love note from teacher to student in the child’s bed room, a note that went into sexual details. This teacher was a graduate of a church connected school, Berry College and active in her church, above reproach. Surely some of the other teachers noticed something not right, but they kept silent (what did they have to hide?). Rene got ~8 years in State Prison for her crimes, and gets out real soon. Just look at all the recent stories in the ajc about teachers doing stuff to students. Think before you put teachers up as hero’s, because they sometimes use that position to abuse students. Never trust the overly religious people, they are hiding something ugly. So now we are supposed to pay higher property taxes to support pervert teachers like this physical education teacher? No, fire ALL the physical education teachers and coaches, they are just a burden on the taxpayer, and a danger to our children.

Cutty

March 12th, 2010
9:26 am

Wooten finally admits Bush left a mess.

Haywood Jablome

March 12th, 2010
9:37 am

This President and his acolytes: “We inherited a mess.” Next President: “We inherited a mess made worse.”

Wooten, as if your litany of complaints weren’t sufficient, thanks for confirming conservative’s intractable cynicism.

Nostril Damus

March 12th, 2010
9:40 am

Nov. 2012

The Dem’s will say, “It’s still Bush’s fault”

I’m amazing!

-yawn

Jess

March 12th, 2010
10:35 am

Retiredds,

Robert’s resurrescted it…….This is the first time he ever spoke to the issue and it was in response to a direct question. It was Obama who made this a topic in his state of the union address. To watch the media and their lapdogs such as yourself, Roberts started the whole thing, and is solely responsible for keeping it going.

Ragnar Danneskjöld

March 12th, 2010
11:06 am

Surely all will agree that the democrats are true believers in taking advantage of economic distress. If a recession triggered by leftist legislative intemperance creates a political opportunity, their logic must go, then surely a depression created with a co-conspirator chief executive will create a political bonanza.

I am a constituent in Mr. Linder’s district, and generally appreciate his consistency. He has disappointed me only once, on the new government-mandated expenses for radio stations. I dislike seeing any use government force for economic advantage, and Mr. Linder sided with the music labels against the mom and pop radio stations.

I respectfully dissent – nothing is historic unless something historic happened there. My wife always insists that Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage was “historic” – nothing ever happened there, that’s just where he died. You want historic? How about the drug store in Dayton, Tennessee where three guys plotted the farce that came to be the worldwide phenomenon of the “Scopes Monkey Trial.” That’s historic. Maybe frivolous too, but historic.

I am sold on our host’s distinction between “tax” and “fee.” My only question is, “why the heck does the department of transportation inspect an airport?” Useless government intervention into the private relationship between the airport and the aircraft owners.

If a tax can be “extended” by legislative fiat, it can surely be repealed the same way. This issue does not excite me.

As to corrupt administrators of government-schools, count me as one who is shocked, shocked to see such activity going on.

Agree on the idea of nine empty chairs for the next SotU speech. If Republicans take the House in November, I hope enlightened leadership makes that a potentiality.

Friends on this blog will be pleased to learn that I bought a 2010 Toyota RAV 4 three weeks ago, at least partially as a response to the foolish fears.

NoTaxesAtAll

March 12th, 2010
1:09 pm

Jim says “Levying taxes on those who aren’t present to voice objection is immoral and, at the least, should be constitutionally limited.” Interesting concept Jim. All of use were not “present to voice objection” before we were born, yet we pay taxes nonetheless. By this convoluted logic nobody at any time should ever pay taxes. AJC, is Jim the best you can do for rational thought stimulation? Pathetic.

Cutty

March 12th, 2010
2:24 pm

Taxing the unborn is unjust. Unless a republican does it in the name of Freedom– for Iraqis. I won’t go into Medicare Part D and all the other things Bush never funded, while Wooten praised him.

Peadawg

March 12th, 2010
2:57 pm

“Hiking the cigarette tax $1 per pack” -> is a GREAT idea! PERIOD! Tax those cancer-stick suckers!!!!!

RobertNAtl

March 12th, 2010
8:19 pm

Interesting how John Roberts and Jim Wooten only noticed that the State Of The Union address had “degenerated into a political pep rally” after a Democrat was elected President.

Michael H. Smith

March 12th, 2010
8:40 pm

All is forgiven by thy BIG GUB’MENT, my son.

If “sin taxes” are so acceptable among the liberal and overtly zealous religious crowds then why all the crying over “separation of church and state”, as it is so-called? It should be obvious that social engineering by proxy of taxation is Government “respecting the establishment of a religion”.

It is akin to paying the Priest!

Michael H. Smith

March 12th, 2010
9:12 pm

There is a time and place to express one’s redress and discontent with the actions of government and those within it. Twice, this Un-Presidential President has publically violated acceptable protocol: Condemning America’s actions “on foreign soil” as a sitting President and rebuking in “no generality” the Supreme Court to the face, by name, in front of Congress and before the eyes of all Americans.

As memory serves no other President ever committed such flagrant violations of acceptable conduct becoming of a President.

david wayne osedach

March 13th, 2010
8:41 am

I pick: “We inherited a mess!” It is ALWAYS the other guy’s fault when politicians come on baord. Always.

Captain USA

March 13th, 2010
9:14 am

“This President and his acolytes: “We inherited a mess.” Next President: “We inherited a mess made worse.””

Just curious, did you write some thing similar to this during Reagan’s second year when the economy was still slipping?

The Tar and Feathers Party

March 13th, 2010
9:21 am

Tax the Un Dead, the politicians at the Capital and the lobbyist who own them.

Not so casual observer

March 13th, 2010
10:45 am

“Separation of church and State” is not found in the Constitution or any court ruling to my knowledge. The theory does not exist in US heritage and is simply another catch phrase created by those who wish to extend an unpopular sentiment.

The Constitution only asserts there shall be “no state sponsored religion”. Expanding this verbage to exclude public prayer, open displays of religion during national holidays and other extraneous events is nonsense.

When all of these anti-religious zealots decide to skip the day off on the religious holidays I will begin to take them seriously. The “Separation” crowd seems to have no problem recognizing a religious holiday when there is benefit for them.

Michael H. Smith

March 13th, 2010
11:21 am

“Separation of church and State” is not found in the Constitution or any court ruling to my knowledge.

Notice yours truly said “Separation of church and State” as it so-called?

The Constitution does not assert, it declares the following: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…

Liberals are no less guilty than the overtly religious zealots in abusing individual liberty religiously when it benefits them and their agenda.

Michael H. Smith

March 13th, 2010
11:33 am

The brain dead socialist liberal politicians in defense of their BIG SOCIALIST GUB”MENT would tax hell itself, if they ever seriously thought for a moment that they could actually collect those taxes from the devil.

Here’s some bait for you BIG GUB’MENT “sin tax” social engineering loving socialists: How about an Abortion Tax?

Smiles for Miles

The Tar and Feathers Party

March 14th, 2010
7:48 am

The un Dead are walking in South Carolina: Zombies. The body of James Brown has reportedly disappeared from its grave! MichelleO reportedly seen sprinkling dust over said grave, and mumbling in VooDoo, Economic voodoo that is.

Bryce

March 14th, 2010
8:46 am

Obama inherited a temporary mess and he has worked very hard to make it permanent.

peter

March 15th, 2010
10:56 am

Unfortunately LInder was no better than the rest in congress.Once when queried per the pork laden republican highway bill his response was “well, that’s just the way it’s done up here!” Not exactly the champion of fiscal conservatism!

Mike

March 16th, 2010
3:56 pm

See HB 1283. Section 50-1-9 (d). States: “…all user fees shall be remitted to the state treasury.” I agree … that’s a tax. If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck …

Gator Joe

March 17th, 2010
7:49 am

Wooten:
You, most conservatives, and the Republicans woke up the day President was (legally) elected and suddenly discovered fiscal responsibility. Where were you, and the tea bag party types when the Bush administration was engaging in an illegal, immoral war, handing out no-bid contracts to cronies, all of which was unpaid for. There are plenty of other examples of how your beloved Bush and the Republicans did more than their share of running up the deficit. Republicans and most conservatives never intended to work with President Obama and have behaved like three year olds who are asked to share toys.