Thinking Right’s weekend free-for-all. Pick a topic:
● Gov. Sonny Perdue is absolutely correct in declining to invite the Georgia Association of Educators, a union that represents 43,000 school personnel, to help design Georgia’s proposed reforms in its bid for federal funds under the $4 billion Race to the Top giveaway. The GAE is the state affiliate of the National Education Association union, which vehemently opposes merit pay, school vouchers and other conservative ideas. Its money and endorsements go to Democrats about 90 percent of the time. It’s never endorsed a Republican for president. When the GAE endorses a Republican, that’s a pretty good indicator to primary voters that on education reform, the endorsee is clueless.
● Please, don’t tell President Barack Obama how much former Gov. Roy Barnes is worth. He hates Those People. But wait! It’s OK. He’s a Democrat, a trial lawyer and he doesn’t hold a corporate job. (Both Barnes and Obama made in excess of $5 million last year.)
● Even a goofy amateur terrorist, who the Times Square bomber appears to have been, came close to pulling it off and getting away, despite the no-fly list. Between the die-hards, like those who launched the 9/11 attack on America, and the impressionable goofballs who find sudden purpose to their aimless and meaningless lives in the exhortations of extremists, there’s real terrorism danger on the home front. U.S. Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) is on to something: He proposes legislation to strip citizenship from American citizens who join foreign terrorist organizations, allowing them to be tried by military tribunals.
● Sure the federal deficit will be less this year. The Bush tax cuts are expiring. Pay now or pay more later. The Associated Press attributes the projected drop in this year’s deficit to $1.56 trillion from $1.786 trillion, to a stronger economy and lower “emergency spending needed to stabilize the financial system and invigorate the recovery.” Assuming, of course, that federal spending did “invigorate the recovery.” The national unemployment rate in March was 9.7 percent. Where are the jobs?
● Frightening Monday headline: “Adult activity fees likely will increase.” But just in Roswell.
● The future is now: Greece, Spain and Portugal. Soon: the USA. Too much public debt. Too many politicians creating entitlements and jobs, and thus buying political support, with the next generation’s money.
● Georgia may be “sold” on the sales tax, but voters should be awfully careful in choosing which ones to approve, since there is a limit to their tolerance. After running up the sales tax pennies, the next step is to expand the base of taxables. Next up: A sales tax on services. As more people drop off the income tax rolls, a tax on consumption is desirable. But an expanded sales tax should, absolutely, be coupled with repeal of the state income tax. Tax consumption, not work. You get what tax policies favor.
● Why is it a surprise that the census counts prisoners where they are rather than where they permanently reside? We do the same for illegals.
● Remember the television commercial originally from the ’60s that was resurrected in the ’90s? The girl, helping mommy in the kitchen, declares: “It’s Shake ’n Bake and I helped.” As I read the post-mortem encomiums on the General Assembly, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed gets the credit for doing the shaking and the baking on the statewide transportation bill. But Sonny helped.
● Dang it. I just knew that if a whole week went by without a Jane sighting reported in Atlanta, she’d be gone. And she is. Jane Fonda’s moving to L.A., leaving metro Atlanta with nobody Really Big to star-gaze. No Jane, but we’ll always have The Loft.