Thinking Right’s weekend free-for-all. Pick a topic:
● Here’s an alternative to prison that will really save Georgia a bundle: Create a culture where the boys and girls come into the world after the adults marry and make a commitment to parent their children. You can’t create this many broken pieces and expect government — either the schools or the criminal justice system — to make them whole. As with the new ways for government to get in debt, there’s no new model for the family that works better for amateurs than the old mom-and-dad structure.
● Ominous news for children: a Centers for Disease Control survey finds that 70 percent of teen girls and 64 percent of teen boys think it’s OK for unmarrieds to have children, up from 65 percent of girls and 50 percent of boys in 2002.
● Al Gore gets on our nerves, too.
● AJC reporter Russell Grantham’s account of local governments, hospitals and universities losing hundreds of millions of dollars in “interest rate swaps” — debt that will show up on your tabs — was worth the price of the Sunday paper. One of America’s most lucrative businesses is processing the paperwork to get government in debt. A rule of thumb: If your granddaddy can’t understand the transaction and wouldn’t do it with his own money, don’t let debt merchants sell it to your elected officials, who tend to think short-term and grab at anything that smacks of “free” money.
● Deceitful use of the word “free,” incidentally, should be legislated out of commerce. Storefront medical clinics around town routinely post signs offering “free” tests. Free, yes, if they can be billed to an insurance company. It’s an invitation to over-use.
● Atlanta city officials propose to hike the fee for ambulance service from Hartsfield to $1,300 per trip, up from the current $50. It’s OK, though. Only $100 will be billed to the patient, explains the head ambulance guy, with the rest billed to insurance companies. And we wonder why premiums increase and health care costs soar.
● This administration, with the consent of the American Left, will throw Israel under the bus. The question is when. Yesterday’s friends, Great Britain and Israel, are no longer special.
● Local laws that enable seniors to stop paying for schools at some point in their ’60s — in Cobb it’s 62 — are said to “cost” the county $50 million per year. Though I’ve not heard the “rumblings” from the masses demanding reconsideration, nor have I met nor heard tell of members of the county’s Democratic Party who are said to lament that they’re not allowed to “voluntarily” pay school taxes, my suspicion is that the whole of the rumblers and volunteers could gather and be seated at a Waffle House counter. This notion that taxes not levied are a cost to government suggests that it’s entitled to a particular sum of your money. It’s not.
● Former State Sen. Steen Miles, a self-described optimist, wrote this in The Champion Free Press: “If things aren’t reversed in DeKalb, in less than a decade this county will be a bankrupt, crime-ridden wasteland with a plethora of poorly performing schools, churning out a bumper crop for the state’s prison system.” If penned by an optimist, DeKalb’s pessimists must be suicidal. (Al Gore asks all DeKalb residents to settle down and please consider that the problems could be caused by global warming.)
The root cause of the oil disaster, like the financial disaster before it, has now been found. It’s George Bush. Ask Obama. Too little regulation.