Thinking Right’s weekend free-for-all. Pick a topic:
● The federal government is borrowing 37 cents of every dollar from the unborn to fund a streetcar project in Atlanta that’s likely to go broke long before the taxes get levied to repay the Chinese for carrying our debt. Surprisingly, and quite commendably, the Macon newspaper, The Telegraph, calls a federal subsidy of $509 per passenger for air service there “cruel and unusual punishment on the nation’s taxpayers” and asks that it be ended. We really must discipline ourselves to stop asking the feds to tax the unborn to pony up for things we wouldn’t finance with our own money.
● A marvelous program that gets too little of the positive attention it deserves is the Georgia Tax Credit Scholarship Program. It offers tax credits to those whose financial gifts enable children in public school to transfer to private and parochial alternatives. The sum is fixed at $50 million per year statewide. But the donations are expected to reach no more than $40 million this year. It’s a near crime to hold children hostages in public schools when parents believe they aren’t getting a solid education.
● A debate rages in Tennessee about whether firefighters should have allowed a mobile home to burn because the family had chosen not to pay the $75 yearly fee for service. The answer, alas, is yes. People do have choices, choices that have consequences — and they make them every day with health and other forms of insurance. Those who decline to pay for protection should arrange alternatives.
● Roger Vinson, the 70-year-old judge hearing the lawsuit filed against ObamaCare by 20 states including Georgia, is wise beyond his years. He’s on to the politicians’ game. Congress was intentionally vague in identifying the penalties against those ordered to buy insurance as taxes, he wrote. “One could reasonably infer that Congress proceeded as it did specifically because it did not want the penalty to be ‘scrutinized’ as a $4 billion annual tax increase,” he wrote. This one’s headed for the U.S. Supreme Court.
● Georgia Supreme Court Justice David Nahmias is a real blue-chipper — a prime candidate, I think, for the U.S. Supreme Court. He was the state’s STAR student while at Briarcliff High School in 1982, excelled at Duke and at Harvard Law, before clerking for two superior judges, Laurence H. Silberman of D.C. Circuit, and U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. He was appointed by Gov. Sonny Perdue and faces a challenger in November. On merit, he should be a shoo-in.
● Gov. Sonny Perdue, in Statesboro for a Great Dane plant groundbreaking, was asked about the promise by the two gubernatorial candidates to create jobs. His reply should define Georgia’s economic development policy for the next 100 years. Said Perdue: “Not being on the ballot today I can say with all humility governors nor governments don’t create jobs. Our responsibility is to provide a fertile ground where good companies, good entrepreneurs and good investors want to come and feel like they’ve got a fair shot at being successful.”
● It wouldn’t be a major surprise this year if Republicans pick up the Middle Georgia district represented by U.S. Rep. Jim Marshall of Macon, but if U.S. Rep. Sanford Bishop of Albany loses in southwest Georgia — a possibility — the night will end with Nancy Pelosi ousted as speaker. Bishop’s district is 47 percent black. His defeat would be a good indication that Republicans will sweep statewide races in Georgia. His defeat, too, would be an ominous sign for the Democratic Party in the South. All federal, statewide and legislative elections this year are about whether voters want to continue the Pelosi-Reid-Obama course — or to bolster resistance to it.