Three cheers for reducing costs

Thinking Right’s weekend free-for-all. Pick a topic:

● Atlanta City Council starts the new year right, declining (for now at least) to rename two downtown streets — Cone and Harris — for architect John Portman and broadcaster Xernona Clayton. Legislators are as guilty as any other politicians in tacking new names on old roadways, but state law should require government to compensate those who incur expense because road names are changed, businesses especially. An established address is a business asset.

● I can never be a true Georgian until I get more caught up in where high school football players intend to perform in college. But as a starter, I note that the state’s highest-ranked recruit, Carver-Columbus High running back Isaiah Crowell, has an attitude that all of us should embrace when pursuing sports, a new job, a family, a profession or most anything else worthwhile in life. He’s not sure where he’ll play, but “I feel like I’ll be a difference-maker wherever I go.”

● No question money’s wasted in a war zone, as government auditors report, citing a water park in Baghdad that lies in ruin two years after opening. I’m not defending waste. An army of auditors should be dispatched as a part of every new government spending program, especially those related to health care and jobs training.

● If HOPE is a scholarship, it should reward honestly deserved academic achievement. If it’s an entitlement, it’s a policy mistake that does two things government shouldn’t. One, it sends a message to families that they don’t have to save for college. Two, it encourages teachers and students to game the system by giving and receiving unearned grades, thus putting some kids in college who probably shouldn’t be there. Government should never cultivate dependency or dishonesty.

● For goodness sakes, don’t jail governors and ex-governors for pursuing policies in office that benefit their home counties. We’d have to build new facilities to hold them all — and, no doubt, that facility would now be built in Hall County.

● One of the most useful assertions of PolitiFact Georgia is the finding that Standard & Poor’s chief economist David Wyss was speaking truth when he declared that state governments have little ability to stimulate job growth in the short run. Spending to “create” jobs comes from spending elsewhere. It’s a wash. Long-term, however, public policies favorable to business — like, for example, sensible and limited regulation and taxes — create a climate conducive to growth. On economic development and on public education, politicians should stop looking at four-year cycles and work, instead, to build a state that provides quality of life to the next generation.

● A weakness of truth-squading, demonstrated by the AJC’s pro-con op-eds on whether Obamacare represents a government takeover of health care, is that truth-police efforts tend to rely on the literal language of the law, without allowing for honest interpretations of consequence. The president says that if you like your insurance plan, you can keep it. But other factors at work may cause employers to drop coverage, forcing individuals into government-structured plans. Takeover? Literally no, but likely yes.

● Fulton County judges, reacting to the killing of State Trooper Chadwick LeCroy by a career criminal, intend to change the so-called rocket docket that had unelected magistrates prematurely releasing those who should have remained behind bars. The sad lesson here is that all public officials who make decisions with consequential public impact should be elected. Public safety. Transportation. Zoning. Development. Taxation and regulation.

● No question, cost-cutting should be the top priority of the new Congress.

47 comments Add your comment

Mr. Dithers

January 6th, 2011
10:47 pm

JIm, it’s only likely that individuals will be forced into government structured plans in your head and the heads of the naysayers. You have no proof, just a hope that the plan won’t work so you can say “Told you so”. You and your band of conservatives are pathetic in this regard. Wishing for failure is a sad way to live. CBO says the plan will reduce the deficit. But not a word about that finding, except to disparage it. Sad. Pathetic. Disgusting.

Loran, Whatayagot?

January 7th, 2011
1:13 am

Guess we’ll never know for sure whether or not Obamacare and the life denial boards will take over the flawed and tweaking-needed healthcare system because OBAMACARE IS GONNA BE REVERSED! Now we have a chance to do it right.

Mr. Dithers

January 7th, 2011
5:28 am

Loran, you need to get more sleep. The House can’t reverse it by themselves and they will just waste time trying to do it. You just keep throwing out those fun terms like “life denial boards” and “job-killing”. And you had a chance to do right for years and just didn’t do it. It’s only an issue now because the Democrats actually got it done.


January 7th, 2011
5:35 am

Mr Dithers-Obamacare doesn’t matter because the Supreme Court is going slap it down like an ugly red headed stepchild. It’ only a matter of time.

Ragnar Danneskjöld

January 7th, 2011
7:24 am

Good morning all. I have minimal distress with the idea of honoring job producers by renaming roads; what gets in my craw is when they name one after a politician, someone who spent his life on the public dole. Here in the swamps of South Florida they have a quaint custom of having two names (and sometimes three) for practically every road. Not really applicable to the Atlanta case, as the city is lain on a perfect grid and one of the names is always a numbered “road” if north/south or numbered “street” if east/west. But the other honors a community contributor. Every town on the Atlantic coast of Florida has one named after Henry Flagler, and for good reason. Right, the same one for whom the UNC-CH business school is named.

My 92 year old father in law tells everyone who will listen that his happiest discovery on moving to Gwinnett was that they send so many players to Vanderbilt. That is supposed to sound like a good thing.

Re auditors in war zones, I have an idea to stimulate the American economy – let’s move all regulators – SEC, FDA, FTC, etc – to their new location in Kandahar, make that their base of operation, do all of their work there. And don’t replace casualties.

HOPE neither rewards scholarship nor functions as an entitlement. It is mostly a subsidy to indolent leftists that control universities.

Any competent economist would realize that depriving the productive economy of its capital, in order to fund pet projects of politicians, is an economic loser. “Economic inefficiency” is a given in that transaction. The surprise there is that a journalist-body was sufficiently literate in economics to understand same. On the other hand, the defective “static economic analysis” applied to ObamaCare is an intellectual deficiency shared by journalists and left-leaning economists.


January 7th, 2011
8:19 am

If the Atlanta City Council had it’s way, every street in the city would have an African-American name. Or did you really think integration is a reality now in America? Birds of a feather flock together. They always have and they always will.

Save the Children. Save the Seals.

January 7th, 2011
8:55 am

Wooten is a long winded break of hot air. His leeched mindset is the worst part of the 21st century: that no socially-conscious growth in the zietgeist has occurred for generations and generations is discouraging.

A house divided against itself cannot withstand an elephant in the living room nor a bull in the china closet.

Conservativism is dead. Long live justice.


January 7th, 2011
9:02 am

The unelected magistrates are not responsible for the war on drugs. They turn dangerous criminals loose for the same reason cops overlook some drunk drivers on the road on New Years eve—there are so many, they’re faced with the unenviable task of choosing which ones to select, and hoping ones they overlook don’t kill someone. There is no possible way they can handle them all.

Prison overcrowding is inevitable as long as we continue drug prohibition. Apparently conservatives like to lecture everyone about actions having consequences, as long as they don’t apply the same standards to themselves.


January 7th, 2011
9:12 am

“on economic development and public education . . .” Do you really think there is a snowball’s chance that any politician of any stripe would even try to actually make decisions or promote policy that is focused on the next generation? Our “esteemed” elected officials cannot think beyond the next election and the electorate has the attention span of a gnat. Why, Jim, do you bother to blather about such topics-do you enjoy fantasizing or are you just looking for words to fill column space?


January 7th, 2011
9:14 am

Jim, You have failed to talk about the on costs of Sonny Perdue now he is leaving office.

The wasted monies on Fish Farms, and the wasted money on over spending for land acquired by the state for new public lands. These bills means the state will be paying for these items for years.

Say did you house go up in value lately ?

Then why would the land purchased by the state go up in value ?

Republican’s really are liar’s and corrupt when it comes to spending our tax dollars.


January 7th, 2011
9:25 am

This is a perfect example of why hyper-partisan politicians and newspaper writers have marginalized themselves.

Unemployment figures released this morning show the most significant drop in unemployment (9.8 to 9.4) since the beginning of the recession.

So….how is this very positive news received? Republicans are falling all over themselves to spin this as a non-newsworthy event and have declared this drop in unemployment meaningless. In other words, republicans will not applaud good economic news because good economic news is bad political news for republicans.

What’s that you say? Democrats do the same thing? Of course they do – for example, democrats could not bring themselves to applaud the postive effects of the troop “surge” in Irag because good news in Iraq was bad news for democrats.

It is becoming more and more difficult to find newspaper writers and tv commentators that report the news without partisan slant.

I will not watch the republican television station anymore than I will watch the democrat televsion


January 7th, 2011
9:26 am

“No question, cost-cutting should be the top priority of the new Congress.”

I agree, so why do Republicans want to repeal the Health Care Law and add $230 billion to the deficit? If Republicans really believe it will not add to the deficit, then why did they exempt it from their “cutgo” policy?

Bryan G.

January 7th, 2011
9:32 am

Obviously you didn’t read your own paper. The alleged shooter of tropper LeCroy was out of jail not because of the “rocket docket”, but because the police did not get a warrant to hold him nor did the DA indict him. Thus, the law required he be given a bond.

I guess facts are overrated though?

Road Scholar

January 7th, 2011
10:29 am

I agree with you Jim on the renaming of streets; the affected property owners should be paid for their expenses unless the property owners asked for it. But why does Atlanta have a constant desire to change street names? They are already “historical” unless they have been changed recently. I do agree that Portman should have a street named after him. And I propose Peachtree Center Way one block off P’tree to be renamed for him since it services his development. Also, this might actually get the COA to get rid of the metal plates, potholes, uneven pavement etc along this route!

When was the insurance companies and employers dubbed “Government”. They have to compete on the open market (isn’t that the conservative mantra?)

Two Cents

January 7th, 2011
3:30 pm

It says something that Wooten’s blogs get so few comments — though probably double the number of his readers. Excerpts from the GOP talking points and other banalities? What a weak excuse for a column. When is this guy going to retire?


January 7th, 2011
4:21 pm

Jim…The Republican’s want to TAX Food in Georgia…….They are cutting costs where ?

Budgetary Concerns

January 7th, 2011
8:59 pm

“cost cutting” is a stupid way to put it. There’s no such thing as “cost Cutting” no sir.

You have to name the programs you would cut, and then face all the uproar, and then resign your position. Nobody will let you be yourself if you name one program that you would cut.

Cost cutting is stupid, and so is anyone who sez, “Cut costs”.

morons. true morons. You must think the american people are stupid. It’s so upsetting to read tripe like Clyde Wingnuts when he wrote his treatise about how he’d improve america and the focus was on “cutting spending”.

what a true, self-actualized idiot he is, honestly folks. A total nitwit from hell.

Cut costs!! (Hey, I’m a political force now that I said Cut Costs!!!)



January 7th, 2011
10:31 pm

I guess I am weird..I love my health insurance. It pays what it says it will pay..and has a large group of doctors and hospitals and drug stores..I want to keep it and it is ok expense wise…still under %300 a month…


January 8th, 2011
4:20 am

No, you’re not “weird”, “old-timer”, exept that you’re a gasbag licensed by the Paper to drive off earnest people with posts such as this one at 10:31 pm by a certain familiarlrly unpleasant “old timer” this time. If Jim wants to boost his retirement moues or for whatever reason he wants to kill off his following for some fiduciary or literary or metaphysical end, still you’re the unforgivable anvil and he’s cheap to spark chips off you.

It all would be so touching were it not how far more touching that a late-night, bereft artist battles anonymously. Really, when you feel like it you should surface your name. Just anywhere. And by “surface your name” I presume to mean, as it were, the disambiguation of yourself.

Dare to decency. Think Will Rogers–a project that wouldn’t tax you in particular–or else to Mr. Clemens/Twain/Clemens/Twain. Was either of them untrue? We all know that each grew to regret the personas he’d perfected. But that’s a prescription for iconoclasm. Ergo for Rock ‘n’ Roll…

Still, you should stop magpieing and miscreanting and mock-plagiarizing. Several reasons why.

Hey, was I right about Margaret Newkirk, or what? She remains my favorite print journalist, only now, with bells on, in her honor. Whatever happens, happens. The News is the News. (”Depending on how you do it.”)


January 8th, 2011
4:33 am

That’s very gamey and surprisingly decent, given you for whom not much. You first censored my punctiliously proper refutations o one of Mr. Wooten’s more controversial assertions, then abused your trust by banishing me from commentary in the Wooten realm, and finally you resort to jacking my name so as to publish spurious nonsense. Why, you petty, My little petty?

Do you suppose that I ever competed with or threatened you? No. Didn’t.

Knock it off. Listen, style is coming back, short of Gonzo…


January 8th, 2011
5:45 am

Somehow Wooten didn’t mention that the Republican appointed commission just recommended that taxes be raised on the things that the elderly and poor need, like groceries, so they can cut the income tax rate for highest earners. “As ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.”


January 8th, 2011
7:55 am


Could you repeat that?

The Forgotten Messiah

January 8th, 2011
8:48 am

Where did christianity fail? It started on the cross. “Father forgive THEM, for THEY know not what THEY do.” Christ should have said, “Father forgive US, for we know not what WE do”. The whole point of God becoming Man was to save Man, and the only way to do that was to fully embrace Man.

By separating Himself from Man, Christ made us all feel like the no good, lyin’, thieving, yellow pieces of lucifer trash we truly are.

And that wasn’t very nice.

All I’m sayin’


January 8th, 2011
10:16 am

Hope Crowell cuts those damn dreadlocks if he goes to UGA.
Am tired of the thug look in football.. Enough is enough. Lte his momma wear the things under her helmet.


Arrogant B@st@rd

January 8th, 2011
11:06 am

JB Cracker, isn’t there a lynching you should be at?


January 8th, 2011
1:25 pm

To carlosgvv and the table at large:

Yesterday I formally petitioned the AJC to remove the silly first comment posted by Jim’s troll in my name. As you see, the result is an explosion of insipid name jacking at my expense and that of readers. Some of you remaining denizens know that several of Jim’s stalwart and stimulating correspondents were driven away by such sophomoric tactics. All I can say is that from now on, anything posted here in my name didn’t come from me (for that matter, neither did anything on this string do). I’ve never attacked Jim Wooten, whom I respect greatly. And I’m a bit distressed that such shenanigans should be perpetrated just when the Paper is once again turning out journalism of the highest order. Jim’s columns are running like classic Shelbys…Newkirk is hell on wheels…even Luckovich has ignited the afterburners. So no, that dreck ain’t comin’ from me. I’m just sorry about it.

Melvin B.

January 8th, 2011
1:43 pm

The obvious problem here is that the AJC is as self-policing as Cobb EMC. Foxes and henhouses. Hands awashing. Peter and Paul in the same fiduciary person.

That sort of thing. Journalists are trained to eschew cliche. Too often they live it instead. Especially when real journalists thrive amidst them.


January 8th, 2011
3:19 pm

The Republican economic and fiscal policy is based upon the failed theory of supply-side economics. Therefore, their “cost cutting” mantra is another in the long line of lies to the American people. It is impossible to turn the U.S. budget deficit around without cutting Medicare, Defense, and Social Security spending and raising some taxes. If you want an example of failed economic policy at the state level watch what happens in Texas (about as conservative as it gets) as they grapple with their budget this year (predicted to be about $25 billion). It is a state that won’t raise taxes for anything and now they claim they will get themselves out of the hole by cutting expenses. It will be fun to watch the circus as it plays out.


January 8th, 2011
3:21 pm

Note to above: the Texas budget is predicted to be a $25 billion DEFICIT.

Willie B.

January 8th, 2011
9:05 pm

Why hell that’s chump change. When it starts gettin’ double-digitty, bug me then, otherwise smoke this stuff, enjoy Miss Pleasure, and let my indentured sevant do the driving to your next political appearance before the actual public-style hired people. Oh well, anyway, make up as though someone remembers you, and greet thie unwashed strangers as though you do! There’s a good girl!


January 9th, 2011
10:30 am

arrogant besterd……………

what a proper name for you.

three cheers 4 cutting costs

January 10th, 2011
7:42 am

Hip Hip….HOORAY!

Hip Hip….HOORAY!

Hip Hip….HOORAY!!

There, now we’re all morons.


January 10th, 2011
10:25 am

Anyone heard of Van Jones………………..

Watch Glenn Beck today at 5pm ….
”Bottom up, top down, inside out”……………..

WATCH OUT AMERICA …………………………….

Dr. Stan (The Black One)

January 11th, 2011
10:16 am

The New World Order integrationist crowd and their devilish black minions have completely desensitized the vast majority of Americans and left many hypocritical.

By commission or omission, the vast majority of Americans are responsible for murdering via abortion over 50 million innocent babies in our country.

Integrationist African American women have murdered via abortion over half the innocent babies they should have birthed since 1973, Roe vs. Wade.

That awful reality has left Americans desensitized and or hypocritical when confronted with extremely sensitive issues regarding life and death.



January 11th, 2011
11:26 am


Go out and play in the snow.

Come back inside at 5 pm. and watch Glenn Beck.

He’s on Fox News.


TODAY. get back to me……………..

Dr. Stan (The Black One)

January 11th, 2011
11:49 am


Glenn Beck is a good person for many Americans to consider, education and all. But please don’t forget, my name is Dr. Stan, the black one.

We all like to play. But I prefer playing in the sun, and you like playing in the snow.

Don’t be alarmed because it’s separate. As some in the new generation would say, “it’s all good.”

Dr. Stan (The Black One)

January 11th, 2011
12:23 pm


If I were a mongrel, half of me would prefer playing in the snow, and the other half would not.

That’s why adults should think twice when considering interracial sex love. Children of such relationships often struggle with competing internal preferences etc.

Dr. Stan (The Black One)

January 11th, 2011
3:09 pm

There isn’t anything more hideous than a minister of the gospel of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ who tells a pregnant woman, saint or sinner, that she has a right to choose whether her baby should die or be brought to term. It’s obvious the baby has chosen to live.

If there is something more hideous than that, I pray ye tell.

Dr. Stan (The Black One)

January 11th, 2011
3:35 pm

Al Sharpton should minister up and tell the female caller that it is not the responsibility of white people to feed, clothe, shelter, educate, employ, etc African Americans. Stop blaming white people for not acting as mothers and fathers to black men and women!

The responsibility to feed, clothe, shelter, educate, employ, etc African Americans belongs to leading “educated” African Americans and African Americans in general.



January 11th, 2011
5:47 pm

Jim’s a LIAR..Republican’s don’t cut costs…they want to tax the food you eat !

Dr. Stan (The Black One)

January 11th, 2011
6:10 pm


Glenn Beck wasn’t bad at all…in fact, he was pretty darn good.

If they believe the founding fathers got it wrong and want to limit free speech, the New World Order integrationist crowd and their devilish black minions need to cowboy up man. They need to cowboy up.

Now let’s move on to Dr. Stan @

Dr. Stan (The Black One)

January 12th, 2011
9:35 am

The New World Order integrationist crowd had one of their devilish black minions in the person of Spike Lee on the Today Show. He said the United States is the most violent nation in history…

If I said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times. It’s not a good thing to give resources to a person of a people that never produced anything substantial, and allow them to speak before large groups of people. A million times out of a millions, they have nothing to offer but sheer ignorance.

Human beings are not angels. The United States may well be the most violent nation in history, but it is the only nation in history that provides the most prosperity, security, and liberty for the average person.

Tyrants want to remove guns from the general population, thereby depriving the average person of free speech and liberty. If tyrants are successful, they substantially reduce violence.


January 12th, 2011
10:05 am

Dr. Stan –

Glad to see you educated yourself yesterday..

Glenn will return today (5 pm). FOX NEWS.

Make this a habit.

Dr. Stan (The Black One)

January 12th, 2011
10:06 am

“God forbid we should ever be twenty years without such a rebellion.
The people cannot be all, and always, well informed. The part which is
wrong will be discontented, in proportion to the importance of the facts
they misconceive.

If they remain quiet under such misconceptions,
it is lethargy, the forerunner of death to the public liberty. …
And what country can preserve its liberties, if its rulers are not
warned from time to time, that this people preserve the spirit of

Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them right as
to the facts, pardon and pacify them. What signify a few lives lost
in a century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed from
time to time, with the blood of patriots and tyrants.
It is its natural manure.”

Thomas Jefferson

Dr. Stan (The Black One)

January 12th, 2011
10:10 am

Would you consider the words of Thomas Jefferson, or people like spike lee?

Dr. Stan (The Black One)

January 12th, 2011
12:37 pm

People are calling and asking me of my opinion of Pastor Fred Phelps and members of the Westboro Baptist church tentative decision to protest at the funeral of the child murdered by Jared Loughner.

My opinion is similar to the one I had of Muslims decision to build a Mosque at or near the site of the Twin Towers’ destruction.

Certainly the Constitution of the United States grants Pastor Phelps and members of the Westboro Baptist church the right to protest at the funeral, but a protest at the funeral of Christina Taylor Green is extremely insensitive and un-American.

Dr. Stan (The Black One)

January 13th, 2011
11:15 am

Gayle “sho you right” King is not only into that, but she is a hypocrite too. She said she experienced goose bumps when she heard President Obama say at the Tucson Memorial that Americans should live up to the expectations of Christina Taylor Green…, the child murdered by Jared Loughner.

I would have taken President Obama seriously if he had said to the audience and the nation, “not only do Americans need to live up to the expectations of Christina Taylor Green, but Americans need to live up to the expectations of American babies in the womb, yet unborn. We need to rethink the idea of aborting our children. Over 50 million babies have been murdered in our country due to abortion, and African American women have murdered over half the babies they should have birthed since 1973 Roe vs. Wade. As I speak, it’s likely hundreds are being aborted. The consequences are far and wide. We need to rethink the idea of aborting American babies.”

Goose bumps would have covered Dr. Stan, the black one’s body and that of all reasonable Americans. It would have left no doubt in the minds of all civilized people that the President of the United States is genuinely concerned about the death of Americans, especially our children.