Thinking Right’s weekend free-for-all. Pick a topic:
● With health care, the Left has taken this country where the center-right majority ain’t. There will be a price to pay on Election Day in November and in 2012. Then repeal.
● With or without Georgia Attorney General Thurbert Baker, a candidate for governor, the state should join states in challenging the just-passed mandate that people be forced to buy health insurance. The feds’ constitutional authority to regulate interstate commerce does not extend to forcing individuals to buy specific products, state AGs contend.
● Yes, ethics reform in Georgia is vital. But it does feel kind of silly to be freaking out over who buys a politician lunch when the dishonesties inherent in the just-passed health care bill — the phony numbers, the tricks to hide taxes, the double-counting of higher Medicare taxes — are so profoundly dishonest that they’d be prosecutable in the private sector. There’s such a despicable double standard between what politicians do and what they rail about and prosecute in the private sector.
● When gender trumps, you get the results that we saw in the Georgia State Senate’s odd-duck pairing of State Sens. Renee Unterman (R-Buford) and Nan Orrock (D-Atlanta) to table SB 407, which would allow Georgians to cross state lines to buy health insurance — an essential element of any conservative health care reform. By shopping across state lines, consumers can buy the coverage they want, rather than the coverage mandated by politicians. House and Senate women argued that would be detrimental to their gender.
● Good grief, man, don’t be telling people that the 1.45 percent tax on hospital revenues that Gov. Sonny Perdue has proposed and that the Legislature is about to accept won’t be added to the pills and bills of paying patients. The tax — politicians call it a fee — “has to come through the efficiencies of the hospitals” and “cannot be passed on to patients,” said the good conservative Republican, state Rep. Jimmy Pruett of Eastman. Yes and those hidden $20 billion in taxes on medical equipment contained in the Washington health care bill are gonna be eaten by goblins before they get passed through to the rest of us.
● The Market Bulletin published by the state Department of Agriculture for 93 years is a Georgia treasure. Though its content does occasionally promote the boss, it’s largely nonpolitical. Cost to produce is $774,000 annually. It goes twice monthly to 130,000 people who request it. Cost-cutting conservatives are proposing a $10 subscription charge, which is expected to cut circulation in half. I’d pay the $10 and can’t in good conscience argue against it. It’s a legitimate user fee. But I’d rather pay $20 and have it sent free to those whose income is less than $35,000 per year.
● James Kau, a real estate professor at UGA’s Terry College of Business, makes a compelling argument in last Sunday’s AJC that government bailouts “reward negative outcomes and mediocre choices” in home buying and lead to “further mortgage defaults and cries for more bailouts. Bailouts are nothing more than a politically-based catastrophic solution to a market correction.” Man, we’ve got to make this guy’s teachings mandatory. He’s a jewel.
● Mandate, too, that students and aspiring politicians read the AJC guest commentary Thursday by another distinguished professor, Scott Beaulier of Mercer University in Macon, entitled “Taxing and spending is going from bad to worse.” He makes marvelous points: Businesses and therefore jobs flee high-tax states for lower ones. Politicians should make “significant cuts in the size and scope of government in Georgia.” And, “spending rules [should be] adopted to prevent future crises from developing.” Now if we can just get some of those professors in the social sciences schooled by this Distinguished Professor of Capitalism.
● AJC.com headline: “Can schools stop obesity?” Sure, in the less than 10 percent of a child’s day that they have, schools can stop obesity, be a daddy, teach social skills, stop bullying, build self-esteem and train them to be little greenies and peaceniks. And, oh yes, teach them to read and write.