In two previous columns, we have looked at the close-by example of a separate education budget, the state of Alabama's two-budget system.
I have one of the most interesting jobs in the world. One day I am advising world leaders on the nuances of international monetary policy. The next day I am consoling a distraught reader who thinks I need to "look within myself spiritually." The last time I looked within myself, I saw my navel. It was full of lint. Never again.
Over the past 10 years, Georgia has served as the location for a wide-ranging experiment in economic theory.
On Wednesday of last week, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H. J. Res 124, a continuing resolution (CR) for fiscal year 2015 that will fund the federal government until Dec. 11.
I met Truett Cathy at a Rotary Club meeting where I received a certificate for my high school leadership achievements. I was just 17 years old. Little did I know the impact that meeting would have on my life.
Not long ago, the national philosophy behind criminal justice policy was to lock offenders away and teach them a lesson. This was popular with politicians who found that it played well before crowds and it was popular in communities where prisons and jails created jobs. Some folks even seemed to celebrate the idea that prisons were real hellholes.
In our system of government where citizens elect those who will make the decisions for them, voter registration and the casting of ballots are the fundamental elements of democracy - the blocking and tackling, to use a football analogy.
The Woman Who Shares My Name instructed me that this week's column was to be about positive things. She says she is tired of bad news and thought you felt the same way. "Surely, you can find some positive things to write about," she said, "and temporarily take people's minds off all the terrible things going on in the world. I think your readers would appreciate that."
August state revenues gained 3.5 percent, following July's gain of 5.5 percent, resulting in a two-month gain of 4.5 percent. August revenues totaled $1.39 billion, with a gain of $47 million. Revenues needed to grow $43 million for the month to meet budget, so there's about a 10 percent overage.
For the fifth year in a row, the Georgia Public Policy Foundation and the Conservative Policy Leadership Institute will bring game-changing, market-oriented, limited-government reforms ideas to the state at the Georgia Legislative Policy Forum in Atlanta on Sept. 19.
President Ronald Reagan, January 30, 1984: "Exports create and sustain jobs for millions of American workers and contribute to the growth and strength of the United States economy. The Export-Import Bank contributes in a significant way to our nation's export sales."
When George Orwell first coined the phrase "Big Brother is watching you," he knew what he was talking about.
Remember the story of "The Little Engine That Could"? That could well describe the city of Dalton, a town of some 34,000 nestled in the corner of Northwest Georgia not far from the Tennessee line.
There are some benefits to having Alabama's two budget earmarked revenue model, including the certainty of the amount of revenue that can be used to fund education and only education. However, this also presents a drawback to the two-budget structure: if multiple revenue streams decrease, as occurred in the recession, the education budget will have to undergo cuts and, by design, cannot utilize revenue earmarked for the general budget.
History is fickle with heroic humans, even when they loom over their generation in service to humanity. Even presidents suffer the fickle hand of history, especially when events in their administrations overshadow them. It happened to Herbert Hoover.
Gallup did a survey this summer. It asked people how much confidence they had in various institutions.
I have too many clothes.
The death of former governor Carl Sanders is a reminder of how much the times and the state he ran during the 1960s have changed.
On my "to do" list last week was a reminder to call former Gov. Carl Sanders and see if he had any thoughts on how to get the field at Sanford Stadium named for the University of Georgia's former coach and athletic director Vince Dooley. I knew he would like the idea and perhaps could jerk a few chains I seem to have been unable to rattle thus far.
The revenue shortfall reserve, or the "rainy day fund," serves important purposes in the state government. It is a contributing factor in Georgia being able to maintain its perfect triple AAA bond rating, and it also has helped the state ride out declines in revenues from time to time.
Wednesday, Nov. 12: After a primary, runoff, general election and more than 19 months of campaigning, I am finally in Washington, D.C., for orientation for representatives-elect of the 114th Congress. I actually came up late in the afternoon the day before after participating in Savannah's Veterans Day Parade at the invitation of the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank whose mission is to formulate and promote conservative public policies.
Early in January, Richard Woods will be sworn in as the duly elected superintendent of state schools. He could very well be the last person ever elected to this statewide constitutional office.
I was on St. Simons Island last week scarfing down massive amounts of corn-fried shrimp at the exquisite little Georgia Sea Grill when someone came to the table to inquire if Junior E. Lee had finished his analysis of the recent election. That really puffed Junior up when I told him that.
The solid 5 percent growth being reported right now is good news and, with four months completed of the fiscal year, a strong revenue growth year appears very possible. Obviously this fact has been noticed by state departments and while they were instructed by the governor to submit "flat" budget requests, there are already meetings being held where new slides mysteriously appear with new initiatives that could happen "with new funding."
The mid-term elections are in the rearview mirror, but Congress still has a lot of important work to take care of before lawmakers go home at year's end and the newly-elected are sworn in next January. At the top of the "lame duck" to-do list: Congress must address urgent problems with Medicare - the most costly federal program and largest driver of national debt - or there will be harsh ramifications for seniors and caregivers in Georgia.
She settles down for a meal but it's obvious her mind is elsewhere. She picks at her food and pushes it around on her plate as she makes small talk. Soon, what is weighing on her mind comes out.
This was an election for people who enjoy watching reruns on TV.
This is a story I shared with some of you a couple of years ago, but given the well-deserved tributes this week to our veterans, it seems an appropriate time to share it with all of you. It is about a terrorist; an honest-to-God terrorist. Not only does he not deny the appellation, he's proud of it.
As a lady in my district said one time, "There's been a lot of water under the dam since then." Well, since last month's revenue report, there has definitely been a lot of activity "under the bridge" or in some cases "over the dam" and maybe, just maybe "under the dam."
I called Junior E. Lee and asked when he would have some post-election analysis to share with you. Junior, as you know, is general manager of the Yarbrough Worldwide Media and Pest Control Company, located in Greater Garfield, home of Round-or-Square Polls, whose motto is, "You supply the dough and we will cook the results." Junior E. Lee is also a certified pest control professional. That is a rare combination these days and I am very proud of him as are the citizens of Greater Garfield.