Thinking Right’s weekend free-for-all. Pick a topic:
● The extremist band seizing bank-owned homes around metro Atlanta, along with the scattering of radicals who join or aid al-Qaida, is a reminder that the nation harbors those who enjoy its freedom and liberty while hating us. Constantly preach to people that they are victims of the majority, of the rich, of Wall Street, of banks, or of greedy corporate executives forcing high-interest loans on subprime borrowers — and those chickens come home to roost.
● Cheers for Gov. Sonny Perdue. The investigation of CRCT cheating in Atlanta public schools is now where it belongs — at the state level. The problem before was that everybody in an oversight role, ranging from administrators to the school board to the local chamber of commerce, had a stake in containing the system’s bad press.
● Shhhh! Don’t ask where the vanished students went. As the AJC reports, in another in-depth analysis of a problem in the Atlanta school system, there may be a link between a dramatically improved high school graduation rate and disappeared “transfers” who aren’t counted as dropouts. Don’t ask, don’t tell.
● Scholar Peter Ferrara, an entitlement and budget policy expert, has taken the bait — that is, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s advice to pass ObamaCare so we can all find out what’s in it. Writes Ferrara in The American Spectator: “The bottom line is that you will lose your health care under this legislation, if not your job, your country as they bankrupt America, and maybe ultimately your life or the life of a loved one. All that to make dreamy, emotionalized, liberals happy, even though many of them are not happy because the socialism in the bill is not overt enough. Moreover, the promises made to the American people to pass the bill are shown in the study [he has done for the Heartland Institute] to be thoroughly false.” For the old folks, cuts in Medicare reimbursements will ultimately drop to a third of that provided by private insurance and half that provided by Medicaid, the government pay plan for the poor. Conservatives’ every health care policy-framing hour should be spent devising ways to dismantle it and to eliminate the 159 bureaucracies and programs it creates.
● Headline: “Companies hold on to cash.” Subhead: “Despite profits resulting from cutbacks, hiring is not skyrocketing.” Be honest. If you owned a business, would you add permanent employees now, uncertain as we all are about what this administration and this Congress will do next? Me neither. Another headline, same page: “Deflation is the worry; inflation looms, too.”
● Elected officials in Fulton and DeKalb say they’ll fight the proposed 1-cent sales tax increase unless Cobb, Gwinnett, Cherokee and others in the proposed metro Atlanta sales tax region kick in extra money for transit. Look, years ago voters in Fulton and DeKalb made a free-will choice to spend 1 cent, much of which they thought came from “outsiders,” on transit — and for decades they have enjoyed two-county transit service. Other counties chose to impose a 1-cent sales tax for roads, their preferred approach to congestion relief. Neither is morally superior and neither gives any county the right or authority to dictate what others should do. Get off your high horse.
● On this, Bubba Barnes is closer to right than is Real Deal. With the lottery and investments in this economy, Georgia has gambling aplenty. It continues to fascinate that whether Democrats or Republicans are in power, some proposals — casino gambling, horse racing or a sales tax on services, for example — never go away.