Archive for March, 2011

Tax bill a rush to future taxes

Thinking Right’s weekend free-for-all:

● The real flaw in the tax revision proposal that’s moving much too quickly through the Georgia General Assembly is that it does something small-government conservatives should never allow. It opens the door to a widespread service-by-service sales tax without actually eliminating the income tax. Sure the top rate is reduced from 6 to 4.5 percent on the income tax. But the grow-government crowd to rule Georgia in the next decade or so can do what they do best: agonize about “tough-choices” and “profile-in-courage votes” — and then raise the rates back. Meanwhile, the proposed legislation is salted with the word “services” in opening the door too new sales taxes. Future legislatures will penny-ante us to death on implementing them, one or two services at a time. Today, it’ll be a tax on auto repairs and next year it’ll be the services utilized by “the rich.” On and on. Democrats have wanted this opening for …

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Meddling in boards goes too far

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

● After playing President Undecider through the turmoil in Egypt, Libya, Yemen and elsewhere, President Barack Obama did his best George W. imitation, practically stealing his words, while teaming up with the Europeans to launch cruise missiles and drop bombs under U.N. direction on a nation that has no strategic importance to the United States, thus advantaging a group whose commitment to democracy is unknown. Though American lives were put on the line, the war that is being led
 by us, the French — or some committee of nations — did not rise to the importance that would warrant the interruption of Obama’s tour of South America.

● Since my first days in metro Atlanta decades ago, commissioners and legislators have been fighting about how to structure county government. Legislation introduced by state Rep. Kathy Ashe of Atlanta would make the Fulton County chairman full time with authority to hire and fire the …

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The flight of political courage

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

● Republicans, with full control over redistricting and the state budget, have power under the Gold Dome to run roughshod over the opposition on issues important to them, even to the extent of passing proposed constitutional amendments. Not to worry, though. Georgia has no conservative majority, no rock-the-boat majority, and no majority that should cause old-line Democrats to fear power sharing. Latest example: A proposed change in education law that would have given school choice to parents who serve in the military, to those with children with mild to moderate disabilities and to those who take in foster children, failed to come up for a vote. It was tabled for the year by Senate Majority Leader Chip Rogers.

● Political courage to these alleged right-wingers is to take out the legislative trash left by Democrats. While failing to give parents choice in public education, the state Senate did pass a bill to allow …

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State spending cap a good idea

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

● Help me think. Excluding anything to do with the personal lives of celebrity athletes and entertainers, has more ink been spilled needlessly on any issue more frivolous than voter ID? The Georgia Supreme Court this week joined others in smacking down the whiners who kept arguing that somebody somewhere would be kept from voting because of the requirement — but could never produce a living soul. Or, heck, even a dead one.

● A cap on state spending, as proposed by State Sen. Chip Rogers, R-Woodstock, would be an admirable addition to the state Constitution. The proposal is so flexible that only the most partisan proponents of big government can find objection. Spending is limited to the highest previous budget or to the previous year’s, plus population growth and the rate of government inflation. Collections above that will go to pay for increased school enrollment, retire debt and build the state’s “rainy day …

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No rush to deal on health care

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

● The 94 Republicans who signed on to a bill that would keep candidates off the ballot who won’t — or can’t — produce evidence of their eligibility is being interpreted as a “birther” bill directed at President Barack Obama. This president should be defeated in 2012 on the basis of his record. Chances are good that he will. Win or lose nationally, he won’t carry Georgia. There’s no need, therefore, for state Republicans to gin up distractions now with legislation such as this. Bring it back in 2013. The state will survive in the meantime.

● Republicans should consider health care deals like the one embraced by Obama this week after three things happen. One is that the U.S. Supreme Court affirms that the Constitution’s commerce clause gives the federal government the power to force individuals to buy a product designated by Congress. Two is that Obama is re-elected in 2012 and has the votes in Congress …

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