No harm done on tax deal’s end

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

● President Barack Obama’s speech on deficit reduction calls to mind an expression routinely employed by troops in Vietnam to quickly dismiss the unimportant: “It don’t mean nuthin’.” Indeed, it doesn’t. The Observer in Chief stacks words that have no particular relevance to yesterday or tomorrow. In serious times, he’s an unserious man.

● Time’s run out on tax revision for this legislative session. No harm’s done. Republicans, in fact, should be cheered that House Speaker David Ralston pulled the effort to rush through something consequential that, as with the Obamacare debacle, legislators and the public hadn’t absorbed.

● During the tax code rewrite State House Majority Leader Larry O’Neal, R-Bonaire, the driving force behind tax revision, touched on something that conservatives will encounter time and again as they rock the status quo. O’Neal told the AJC that doubt existed as to whether the numbers data legislators were getting from Georgia State University Fiscal Research Center economists were influenced by their philosophical objections to the plan — something their director denied. While I’ve no way of knowing in this instance, it’s no secret that bureaucrats and the policy wonks who control information can and do shape legislation. How? By the way they define problems and options and frame information. Legislators always need experts who understand philosophically what they’re trying to do and who help them achieve those goals.

● This power proposed for Gov. Nathan Deal to remove school boards — Atlanta’s in particular — should be used once in a generation. Clayton County’s may have qualified because the whole county was in turmoil, fueled by a confrontational union and a rapidly transitioning population. Atlanta’s doesn’t. Courts and higher governments should overturn the will of the people with great reluctance, with compelling cause and then only to avoid immediate and uncorrectable harm.

● Good show. Legislators approve a bill to require local school systems to use performance, rather than seniority, as the primary factor when layoffs are necessary. Competence is not necessarily the reason workers survive for years in the public or private sector. Sometimes the worst employees burrow in because they can’t find a better job elsewhere.

● This tell-all first sentence from an Ernie Suggs story in the AJC heralds the onset of the 2012 presidential campaign. Writes Suggs: “Two officials from the White House were in Atlanta on Wednesday night for a rousing town hall meeting that at times resembled a campaign rally for President Barack Obama.” Do tell. Coincidences can sometimes amaze.

● Demonizing a business or an industry — energy producers, for example – is the prelude to a shakedown. BP got thoroughly fleeced by con artists and gougers, including local governments, in the aftermath of the Gulf oil spill (to say nothing of the federal government, which coerced BP to set up a $20 billion payoff fund.) Ripoff details were provided to The Washington Post, and carried in the AJC, by ProPublica.

● The new Republican majority moves and shakes. Sunday liquor sales, blocked for decades of Democratic rule, await only the governor’s signature and local approval. A favor, please, from those who voted yes. Declare, honestly, that you favored Sunday sales, not that you favored “local control.” While that’s a traditional dodge for politicians, it’s unbecoming and at least slightly dishonest to think the locals need control over Sunday liquor sales, but not the authority to, for example, decide whether to allow the sale of firecrackers or marijuana. The difference is, of course, that there’s no business lobby pushing the latter.

66 comments Add your comment

Glenn

April 14th, 2011
7:58 pm

Mr. Wooten,

That’s beautifully stated, your opening bullet about our President. It expresses my feelings, and those of my friends both sides of the aisle, so succinctly. I’m seriously afraid that he’s out of his depth. I no longer take pride in our having elected a black president. That novelty–that healing gesture, really–has worn off. It’s crunch time now, and meanwhile that young man is acting like the J. Crew boy with the painted toenails. Clearly he sees in our sufferings nothing but political opportunity. Gross! Some of this was presaged in his campaign, when people like Plouffe billed him as a Professor of law. He never was a professor; was briefly an untenured lecturer like me. I know what I am and am not, but who’s he, really? I’d compare him to President Carter except that I have too much respect for Jimmy Carter. Amongst acquaintances I’ve taken to calling him “Smokey”, not because of race but because he’s a silver-tongued trader in smoke. I never thought I’d hear an American president boast of cutting expenditures uncontemplated so as to justify an expedient tax hike. Yet that’s what Smokey tried last night. The piglet.

L

April 14th, 2011
8:44 pm

WRONG. Tax deal has done harm: more apathy from those who have seen no reason to care because there is no expectation that it will matter; and from those of us who still care, more anger. When Congress cuts its own salary and expense accounts and benefits and budget, THEN, I’ll believe they’re serious. The GOP is failing again to make meaningful impact on tax cuts or tax fairness, so, expect Democrats to get another chance in 2012 elections When Congress gives its staff bonuses –for a job as poorly done as Congress has been doing –rather than return the unspent money to the treasury, the idea that its members are serious about protecting the taxpayer is laughable.

Glenn

April 14th, 2011
9:10 pm

Why the anger? I dig what you’re saying about partisan selfishness. All I’m expressing is the deep and broad disappointment that Smokey is so feeble. While I’d like to believe that he’s for us, obviously he’s instead, like most pols, out for himself. In his case this is heavily deflating, honestly.

We all still care, my friend. But he’s no Jack Kennedy. Not even a Jimmy Carter. Even Reagan deliberately presented himself as a new FDR. And strangely enough, he pulled it off. See?

While I understand what Smokey is up against, still I fear that he’s not equal to it. Would that he were so.

Glenn

April 14th, 2011
9:12 pm

L.,

We’ve got to fire him and hire someone else. Admittely I have no idea who else instead, and neither do I care about parties.

MiltonMan

April 14th, 2011
9:14 pm

It’s about time that the crappy laws passed by & protected by the moronic Demorats in this state are being shot down. So long GA Demorats. Hopefully, we will never see you in charge in this state again.

MiltonMan

April 14th, 2011
9:17 pm

Obozo and his retarded comments about Republicans getting on the back of the bus. I guess the clown-in-chief has not learned anything in the past 2 years.

Glenn

April 14th, 2011
9:19 pm

BTW,

I agree with you about congressional house-cleaning but you know better than I that several of those people are dead serious. Thank the Lord.

Glenn

April 14th, 2011
9:23 pm

Three years, MiltonMan. Three. He’s long past his audition. That’s the point.

Ragnar Danneskjöld

April 14th, 2011
9:56 pm

Good evening all. While all of our host’s topics are meritorious, I suspect the ongoing Federal budget debate will claim the most commentary. And indeed that is the issue for the generation. There is little question that republicans would cut more from the budget but for the presence of democrats, and that democrats would spend more but for the presence of republicans. The electorate will have a pretty clear choice next year.

I subscribe to the Friedman view, (1) that Federal “investments” are always less efficient than private investment, and (2) that Federal “investments” always diminish private investments dollar for dollar, because they are funded either (a) through taxes confiscated from private investors, or (b) via borrowings that raise costs for other private investors. That we have a gravely-underperforming economy today is wholly attributable to the decisions made during the first weeks of the Obama administration.

Ragnar Danneskjöld

April 14th, 2011
10:09 pm

Good evening Glenn and Milton-Man. Re the performance of our president, you may enjoy Peggy Noonan’s essay for April 16 publication, “Obama is likely to lose.” I know Peggy is something less than your favorite writer, Glenn, but it is a reasonably-measured piece.

And I tell my friends that while Jimmy was perhaps the worst president of the century, he got three and one half things right: (a) deregulation of airline prices, (b) abolition of the ICC, (c) effective abolition of FRS Reg Q, and (d) a half point for the Camp David accords (no direct value to the US, but a benefit to the world generally.)

The current occupant of the oval office – I call him “Chauncey” in remembrance of “Being There” = has one half point for his initiatives (for the slow decision on the no-brainer to surge in Afghanistan) and we have a point pending for the outcome in Egypt. If the military retains control of whoever becomes the new president of Egypt, Chauncey will lack only two points to tie as the worst president since Pierce.

Evelyn

April 14th, 2011
10:18 pm

A comprehensive approach to tax reform, and simplification was welcomed by taxpayers of Georgia (from both parties). What happened today was a sad; on it’s last day, the state legislature made sure Gulfstream and Delta got theirs. They just continued to perpetuate the problem with our tax laws: Those with the most powerful lobbyst, get special treatment.

Hurst

April 14th, 2011
11:14 pm

Jim, any deficit reduction plan that calls for the elimination of the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest 1% is infinitely more serious than what Paul Ryan, yourself, or any other Republican can ever hope to come up with.

And you, Jim, should be the last person to talk about being serious. Let’s see, two wars (plus a “kinetic military action”), uprisings across the Middle East, slow economic growth, a nuclear catastrophe, etc. etc., and you’re apoplectic about paying a few extra shekels.

In conclusion, tomorrow night, I hope all you ultra-selfish Republicans enjoy the movie premiere tomorrow night that glorifies selfishness, rape, and perpetual motion machines.

Glenn

April 14th, 2011
11:57 pm

Greetings, Ragnar. I agree with you point by point, but regret avenge given the impression that I dislike Noonan. I knew her briefly when she worked for the Office of Presidential Speechwriting, but long ago lost contact with her. Just two days ago I remarked to a relative that I wish we had some of Peggy’s kindness and decency in our public discourse. Admittedly Sorensen is more my cup of tea, but still I do miss Noonan. I’m ever attentive to her more recent stuff. She’s better in print than she was when she vied for Reagan’s attn.

Hildago

April 14th, 2011
11:59 pm

Wow. Seems there’s no middle ground on any of this stuff. Oh well, I believe we need to cut our military budget by 50% first. Then restore tax levels to the Clinton era days. We all lived pretty damn good back then I’d say. Try that stuff first and see what happens. After that make lobbying illegal like it was prior to 1970; that’d make a definite change for the good. Oh Gosh! Would would old corrupt politicians like Sonny Perdue do for a living then?

Glenn

April 15th, 2011
12:00 am

Contrary to her claims she did more work for GHWB than for the Great Communicator.

Glenn

April 15th, 2011
12:06 am

That’s a respectable start, Hidalgo, but why 50 percent? Why not 40, or 60? And why is the tax structure that was acceptable in Clinton’s time commendable in the present environment? Are we short-cutting here? Isn’t short-cutting what got into this mess?

captguitarman

April 15th, 2011
1:36 am

No reason to keep on bashing the Georgia legislature that couldn’t shoot straight. Amateur hour on steriods. But, how in the world do you think that a real decision on a real issue would have come out of this legislature? The only way possible for this to have been decided was to push it on down to the local government entities and allow a vote. Pontius Pilate in action – from a legislative standpoint, that is. What Georgia legislature does not pray daily for the opportunity to look as though he or she is doing something without really doing something or being held accountable for it later on? If an up or down decision by the House and Senate had been required, this bill, favored by a majority of Georgia citizens would have never made it out of committee. It was not a decision. It was a vote to allow a vote by the people. Every politician’s dream is to appear to be a leader without being held accountable for leadership decisons. It is hard to accept, but this crowd is not one tiny bit different than the crowd that was in power in the King Roy years . . . not one little bit. Sad but true. The Dems will be back one day. The people figure these things out. It takes time, but in this case, these guys or so bad, it could be a really short time frame.

Michael H. Smith

April 15th, 2011
2:29 am

That we have a gravely-underperforming economy today is wholly attributable to the decisions made during the first weeks of the Obama administration.

Some may think it the political arrogance of a ideological zealot to predict the longevity of a newly elected President only weeks into a Presidency, Ragnar. Howbeit, Obama sealed his fate as a one term wonder during those first few weeks. No more evidence was required thereafter to make a political wager four years in advance. When betting against the asinine it really isn’t gambling, though now we both could face criminal indictment for trading on insider information.

Michael H. Smith

April 15th, 2011
3:09 am

The military, our military, could truly stand paring back with a presence in over 100 foreign countries. However, as to Clinton and those years, this question begs an answer: What was the spending levels during those bygone days? The size and scope of government, wasn’t it less then than now? Wasn’t there an economic bubble in the making back then that was fraudulently borrowing on a false premiss, similar to Enron economics, that later proved untrue and collapsed the economy?

There can be no common ground until there is a common understanding: The federal government has a spending addiction.

Obama and the Democrats on asking for more taxation on anyone at the present time is like the proverbial town drunk asking for a brewery so he can get sober and drink responsibly in the future.

VietVet

April 15th, 2011
5:58 am

“Legislators always need experts who understand philosophically what they’re trying to do and who help them achieve those goals.” No, Jim, politicians and the general public need experts who tell the truth. Period. No matter how inconvenient it is to the politicians. Truth isn’t political, or religious, or philosophical. It is truth. Deal with it. Today’s Republicans aren’t conservative, they’re crazy.

UNaffiliated VOTER

April 15th, 2011
6:01 am

Until WE the PEOPLE rise up and OUTLAW the TWO MOST EVIL FORCES that control us, democrat ‘party’ and the republican ‘party’, then we and our government shall continue to suffer their wrath. NEITHER ‘party’ is a Constitutional requirement and therefore, should be SHUT down for their criminality against America.

seabeau

April 15th, 2011
7:01 am

I say Cut out ALL Foreign Aid, Cut spending in all Federal Departments 10% for each of the next 5 years. If thats not enough cut deeper and more frequently. Try the FLAT TAX.

WHY? RNC is Y

April 15th, 2011
7:28 am

” Legislators always need experts who understand philosophically what they’re trying to do and who help them achieve those goals.”

People of Atlanta: Wooten is quite clear here. After he opens this paragraph by exposing liberal bias in data mining, he insists that conservatives find their own conspirators. Doesn’t anyone read this nonsense? What are you people in Atlanta? ill-informed illiterates? Wooten is the enemy of Georgia’s Heart. He is plaque. The bad cholesterol. The lard missing from the now-bland Mickey D’s fries.

If you people want to improve your lives, learn to read, (and try wendy’s fries).

WHY? RNC is Y

April 15th, 2011
7:43 am

“Courts and higher governments should overturn the will of the people with great reluctance, with compelling cause and then only to avoid immediate and uncorrectable harm.”

This sentence’s meaning is like the communists’ “to each/from each” iron clad guarantee of economic catastrophe. It doesn’t have any scale. The words are poorly sketched. “The will of the people?” WTF does that mean? “Compelling cause”? please. ” immediate and uncorrectable harm” is so nondescript that it gives any tyrant the language to justify any arbitrary brutality. I have long suspected that Wooten steals verbatim from Hitler’s “Mein Pet Kampf”, which his hero, W, was reading on 911. Now I have proved it to one and all.

Wooten is a hack.

School Teacher

April 15th, 2011
7:49 am

I support President Obama and he will get reelected.

WHY? RNC is Y

April 15th, 2011
7:53 am

“While that’s a traditional dodge for politicians, it’s unbecoming and at least slightly dishonest to think the locals need control over Sunday liquor sales, but not the authority to, for example, decide whether to allow the sale of firecrackers or marijuana. ”

Does anyone realize how funny this is? Firecrackers, pot, and liquor? It’s like he’s watched one too many Girls Gone Wild videos. Come on, folks. This man is not serially unserious. It’s like he trying to see how much sheet we’ll read.

BTW: the girls gone wild franchise has new material that films on the Island of Lesbos. It’s better that the Paris Hilton thing. Check it out and lose your souls today.

WHY? RNC is Y

April 15th, 2011
7:55 am

“This new Repudlickan majority moves and shakes.”

Yes, they shake, but they do not stir patriotism, or confidence in our institution, or the least amount of civic pride. They are scoundrels and all of them belong behind bars.

Southern by the grace of God

April 15th, 2011
7:56 am

Jim: Hey, Hoss, you forgot to mention the huge victory in this state’s and this nation’s fight against illegal immigration and foreign invaders. How could you leave out such a massive groundbreaking legislative and national security event?

WHY? RNC is Y

April 15th, 2011
7:58 am

“Sometimes the worst employees burrow in because they can’t find a better job elsewhere.”

Too easy.

Buzz G

April 15th, 2011
7:59 am

Jim has not even commented on the most important thing that happened in Georgia this week. I guess that is because it only happened late yesterday and missed his deadline.

The Georgia legislature finally passed a great piece of legislation. This milestone legislation will help the state control its out of control illegal immigrant population. It will also open up a bunch of summer jobs for Georgia college students. The Pew Hispanic center has estimated that Georgia harbors more illegal aliens than even Arizona. And now HB 87 creates Arizona style controls on Illegal aliens and awaits the Governor’s signature.

You can tell this is a great piece of legislation in so far as liberals are spending the money necessary to fight it in court. If it were insignificant, they would criticize but otherwise ignore it.

Remember, illegal alien labor is cheap only to the employer. Many of the costs are passed on to society via higher taxes, poorer schools, stressed hospital emergency rooms and higher medical insurance.

What Proposals

April 15th, 2011
8:21 am

The most telling part of the President’s speech was his proposal that Congress’ inability to cut deficit spending by 2014 or 2015 would result in an automatic tax increase. This akin to telling your teenage daughter that if she can’t stop running up her credit card that you’ll have to punish her by increasing her allowance. The resultant behavior is both inevitable and counter to the desired outcome.

More importantly it reveals both the President’s real philosophy and the stark choices that the public has to make soon. The government’s share of GNP has grown by 25% on the last couple of years. Congress has passed some truly comprehensive legislation that will increase the power and scope of government dramatically. Spending versus revenues are out of control. Coincidentally, or because of this depending on your philosophy, our economy is weakening and far out of balance. At some point this becomes less of an economics problem and more of a physics problem. We are spending more than we take in and financing it by borrowing from our rivals. We are putting resources in the most inefficient and least productive sector of our economy — government, pensions, entitlements, military, tax subsidies. And our collective long-term investments — education, infrastructure, the Fed — are little more than pork barrel projects for powerful constituencies. The prognosis, if I can use the physics analogy, is that we are about to come under the inevitable force of gravity and fall to our doom. Doesn’t matter what our opinions are or who we support; gravity doesn’t care.

Like Jimmy Carter’s boycott of the Olympics to protest the USSR’s invasion of Afghanistan, the President is choosing rhetoric over substance. He can either engage in a meaningful fashion or he should just step out of the way. I doubt he will do either and we will all be diminished because of it.

carlosgvv

April 15th, 2011
8:54 am

You are absolutely correct to say that Obama’s speech “don’t mean
nuthin”. This is because the number one goal of the Republicans is to defeat him in 2012 no matter what he says.

jm

April 15th, 2011
9:16 am

“No harm done on tax deal’s end”

Your ignorance is overwhelming. There was real harm done in not getting some legitimate tax reform enacted in this state.

Peter

April 15th, 2011
9:22 am

The the Republican’s are movers and shakers..HA HA HA…….being that Sunday liquor sales is the only thing they accomplished.

WOW Jim….. You busted the Balls of those that had to stock up via Saturday in the past, now the bill is going to local vote…….the Republican’s WOW they really did something !

HA HA HA…..that is truly getting something done !

Gee of course un-employment getting no where in Georgia, schools in the toilet compared to the rest of the country, Lobbyists able to do all kinds of secret stuff, Georgia running in the red after 10 plus years of Republican leadership…….But hey they got possibly liquor sales on Sunday.

Yes Republican’s moving and shaking……… HA HA HA…… what a total lack of leadership, if that is what you are proud of !

Sick Of The Liars

April 15th, 2011
9:25 am

OK, let’s take this a bit further.
Considering the recent 2.5 past years – and looking at the established behavior of the political parties….
If the current administration is defeated in 2012, and a new occupant takes the executive branch..
Do you think the Democrats are going to sit idly by and cooperate?
They probably will work as hard as the GOP did last year. Yes, a year of compromise and constructive participation wasn’t it? It’s easy to say ‘No’, but takes work to contribute in the resolution of very serious national issues. When your only goal is to make the sitting party look bad – it’s all so simple: don’t cooperate at all – just complain. The sheep will understand and play along.
We don’t have any statesmen in DC anymore – they are only interested in power and personal wealth of themselves and their direct financial supporters.
‘Let them eat cake’ really fits here. That’s the way our political elite views the public. Unfortunately, some of us know how well that ended. History rhymes.

joe

April 15th, 2011
9:29 am

Well at least the legislature passed immigration reform and a huge new jobs program. Employers should start to hire legal americans by the thousands now. Oh wait, i’m confused, no jobs program, no immigration reform, what did happen over the last few months in the GA legislature???? So glad Georgia voted in all those republicans who are going to run the state like a business.

jconservative

April 15th, 2011
9:40 am

Jim I believe local control over firecrackers and marijuana is a wonderful idea. Bully for you!

The more we control things locally the less State and Federal government we will need.

BW

April 15th, 2011
9:42 am

Where’s my comment?

Fletch

April 15th, 2011
10:31 am

You know? He talks about not “giving” the top 5% tax breaks – when in all actuality, he wouldn’t be “giving” us anything? It would be raising our taxes AND it’s our money to begin with. We already support the other 70% of the population and I think that is enough. Please keep in mind, we don’t use 90% of the services and programs we fund almost fully.

Boehner said it best “Washington doesn’t have a revenue problem, Washington has a spending problem.”

Fletch

April 15th, 2011
10:35 am

jconservative: well said. Plus, it gives people more controll of their lives at a granular level. Instead of trying to shoehorn everyone into one shape, it allows better fit for the intended constituency. Dems don’t want it that way because it would reduce power and revenue at the state and fed level – and that makes it harder to spread wealth.

Richard

April 15th, 2011
10:43 am

“Sunday liquor sales, blocked for decades of Democratic rule, await only the governor’s signature and local approval.”

How about a little bit of honesty Mr. Wooten?

DawgDad

April 15th, 2011
11:23 am

I can personally attest to the Georgia State issue. Taxpayers are funding the education of a leftist-leaning class of “political science experts”. Nutty stuff.

captguitarman

April 15th, 2011
11:32 am

Hey Jim. I always look forward to reading your Friday column, but your skirt is showing today. Bookman’s column about the tax increase . . . er, I mean the tax reform bill (I guess we can call it the tax reform fiasco now), hit the bullseye, and it left your lame comments eating its dust. First, the no harm, no foul thing is obvious wishful thinking and way off the mark. Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me. When this thing comes back, it will be scrutinized and examined with proctoscopes from day one. The exclusive double-secret meetings and negotiations conducted by the Pubs (shades of Obamacare in the Pelosi-run House of Representatives) will be under enormous scrutiny from the start. There is a total and complete lack of trust now on this issues, because as Bookman pointed out, they did everything wrong with the recommendations from the get go. A general tax increase in disguise with all the “right people” getting the breaks (winers, diners, lobbyists, influence buyers, golf and European vacation providers, etc) is not going to make it through the next time either. Also, the sales taxes on services door will not magically open in exchange for a 1.5% income tax reduction because it will provide tax increases (death by a thousand cuts) in the future for as far as the eye can see. I know they think the people are all stupid, but see November elections, 2010. Also the jib-jab about academics and others providing data was lame. The last thing we need is MAI (made as instructed) data to smooth the way for good old boy tax reform. Read Bookman’s column on that one. Much better than yours. So next time around there will be mega scrutiny because they botched it up so badly, along with other things, and p.s. we don’t trust them. Oh yeah, the Sunday alcohol sales thing. You must have forgotten that What Me Worry? Sonny Perdue held it up the last time around during the Pub Lost Years when he was the Guv, and decreed that you must buy on Saturday, or go dry on Sunday. And I know that you know that there was not a snowball’s chance in hell of that bill getting through if the Pub leadership would have had to allow an up or down vote on the issue — Sunday sales. It got passed precisely because they could push the decision on down the line to the locals while sounding very noble and demcratic about it — the only way it could ever be passed — and even that almost didn’t make it through. Yep, the Pubs are proving to be a huge disapointment – not performing anything close to their self aggrandizing propaganda during their campaigns. No leadership, squabbling leadership, clear signals being sent that the Dome is open for bidness as usual, etc. Please tell me what is different than when King Roy and the Dems ran things. They had better do better next time around. In this political climate, things can change very quickly. I’m a Republican and have been for years, and I would send Ralston and his hacks in the House on a permanent European vacation, and throw that cabal of squabbling, do-nothing Pub Senators (the Keystone Cops) out tomorrow in a heartbeat. This time we got Sunday sales, an immigration law that deals with mostly imaginary problems, and a hoophole in the weak ethics laws passed – IF the Real Deal signs the bill today. Not much. They need to cut out the Jes’ Good Ol’ Boys Doin’ Bidness culture and shape up, or they will be gone too.

UIC

April 15th, 2011
2:41 pm

Brilliant column Jim. The only reasonable line you wrote was, “While I’ve no way of knowing,” when you write the next column, that should be your first line. I will agree with you that politicians try to influence legislation, “By the way they define problems and options and frame information.” Words that come to mind are “yellow cake” and “mushroom clouds.” If you do not agree with the data from Georgia State University Fiscal Research Center, at least be happy that it didn’t cost $1T of our money and the lives of 4400 kids.

DawgDad

April 15th, 2011
3:15 pm

Regarding Atlanta schools, Jim, it is clear the system in place is crushing the will of the few sane people left in the District. This is a great microcosm of where we are headed as a nation when the non-contributors outnumber the contributors and the racketeers and power brokers have free reign to manipulate the political system and our institutions. The school system rightly belongs to the people; it is up to the people to engage and fix the problems, live with them, or move.

UIC

April 15th, 2011
3:45 pm

Quit looking at the teachers and the schools and look directly at the parents. Can an OUTSTANDING teacher take a group of kids that have parents who don’t care about them, don’t require them to do their homework, don’t ensure they get adequate sleep, don’t ensure they are well nourished, etc and turn them into excellent students? Sure it can happen. But these teachers are the Spud Webb’s of teaching; they’re the great exception not the rule. And whether you’re in APS, Cobb or Forsyth, there are kids who have parents that every single day send their kids to school unprepared; there are just a greater percentage in APS. Are their bad teachers? Sure there are bad people in all occupations. But the problem we forget that teachers have is that unlike managers in the business world who can fire bad employees, teachers cannot fire their bad employees (students).

Voice of Republican Reason

April 15th, 2011
3:52 pm

It’s so obvious what needs to be done to put our fiscal house back in order: 1) defund NPR; 2) defund Planned Parenthood; 3) more tax cuts for the highest earners, and 4) more tax cuts for corporations. For no. 4, in a situation like we encounter with GE, let’s just guarantee them a 25% of profits as a tax rebate. That way, they’ll be sure to never have to pay taxes, no matter what the rate is. It would seem to follow that we should pay all corporations some annual fee to thank them for doing busines in the USA. Nothing else needs to be done to fix all our problems.

Unserious man

April 15th, 2011
3:58 pm

Is it really Obama that is unserious, when he at least attempts to put everything on the table — spending cuts, military cuts, and tax revenue increases — whereas Ryan only proposes spending cuts and tax decreases? Isn’t Obama at least floating out the idea of compromise, while Ryan floats a purely ideological plan with zero compromise? Seems to me Ryan is the one being unserious.

VietVet

April 16th, 2011
5:53 am

“Republican leaders scuttled the first attempt to move the plan forward when House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams, D-Atlanta, produced a spreadsheet showing the changes would boost income taxes for most of the middle class.” If Wooten had access to this article I’m sure he would have praised Democrat Abrams for averting a Republican plan to increase taxes on the middle class. Unfortunately, it was written in an obscure little rag called the Atlanta Journal Constitution.

Eagle's Eye

April 16th, 2011
9:53 am

Sorry to receive news of the passing of ‘Dr. Stan, a stalwart to these threads. He always shot straight from the hip, had his say. RIP, Dr. Stan.

AMEN.