- Associated Press - Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Recent editorials from Georgia newspapers:

Feb. 7

Albany (Ga.) Herald, Gainesville, Ga., on some hits and misses under Gold Dome:

The nation is once again reaching the point where the federal government needs its debt ceiling raised to continue doing business. House Republicans this week again were negotiating over concessions they want in return for the approving the additional debt.

The difference is this time the GOP lawmakers were whittling down their demands in negotiations within their own party as they looked for face-saving attachments to the bill that would authorize the government to borrow more money.

Thoughts of adding big item provisions calling for approval of the Keystone XL pipeline that would transport oil from Canada to Texas or for defunding parts of the Affordable Care Act were ditched by GOP leadership. That was a wise decision because both the Democratic-run Senate and White House have said there will be no “ransom” accepted in legislation funding the government’s operations.

Even if Republican representatives add some smaller “conditions” to the bill, the likelihood is the Senate will reject them all and ship back clean legislation, which could set up another of those “who blinks first” stalemates that have frequently paralyzed Congress over the past few years.

While we’re not fans of increasing the $17 trillion federal debt, the fact is Congress has passed a spending plan and representatives and senators knew full well - or should have known, if they’re doing their jobs - what was required to fund that budget. Lawmakers have written the checks. Now it is incumbent on them to do what they have to in order to ensure the checks clear the bank.

The best avenue here is to live with what’s been done and move ahead. The spending levels for government through September 2015 have been set and approved. Do what is necessary to meet those obligations.




Feb. 9

The Telegraph, Macon, Ga., on state Senate wants to further inject itself in a private organization:

The role of government has come under fire lately. Should local, state and federal legislative bodies control every aspect of our lives? Just when you shake your head saying “no,” the Georgia Legislature, which already believes it is all-powerful anyway, wants to reach into the admittedly flawed Georgia High School Association and make some changes. Lawmakers think they have that right because the General Assembly controls the purse strings to all 180 school systems in the state.

Instead of lawmakers dealing with the health and welfare of the state’s population, such as finding more funding for the state’s schools, they want to dabble in a private-membership sports organization. Senate Rules Committee Chairman Jeff Mullis, R-Chickamauga, said the GHSA was like a “members only club.” Well, that’s what it is. He’s concerned about “how they conduct business.” Translated, that means he’s not getting what he wants for the schools in his district and he’s willing, along with like-minded lawmakers, to bully the GHSA. One of the most difficult tasks the GHSA does is the classification of schools and in what region they will play. While the GHSA controls all competition between schools, from debate to baseball, make no mistake — this is about football.

Lawmakers want to control who sits on the GHSA Executive Committee, how much it charges for tournament events, the diversity of committee members and how many years they can serve. Granted, the GHSA is not the warm and fuzzy interscholastic organization we all hope it could be. It has ruled with an iron fist when it comes to rights for broadcasting events — many times pricing small rural stations out of the action. Regularly there are fights over classifications and regions. But that’s not the point. The point is that it’s up to the member schools of the GHSA to make the necessary changes, not the General Assembly. And for those legislators who preach they want to get government out of our lives and private businesses, this is no way to act.




Feb. 7

The Augusta (Ga.) Chronicle on taking Obamacare out for a spin:

Last September, physicists in Scotland reported creating the world’s fastest-spinning man-made object. A tiny sphere of atoms briefly accelerated to 600 million revolutions per minute.

That still isn’t as fast as the latest spin engineered by liberal media to defend the latest Obamacare debacle.

The Congressional Budget Office reported Tuesday that the president’s Affordable Care Act will reduce America’s number of full-time workers by more than 2 million over 10 years. Virtually anyone confronted with that fact could correctly surmise that this a horrible turn of economic events.

But no sooner was this news released that media outlets unveiled their fun-house mirrors to show people their distorted interpretation of the announcement.

Typical was a headline from a Los Angeles Times blog: “Why the new CBO report on Obamacare is good news.”

Or this headline from MSNBC: “CBO delivers welcome news to Obamacare backers.”

Or this headline from a defensive New York Times editorial: “Freeing workers from the insurance trap.”

Obamacare’s disingenuous defenders assert that we’re not losing jobs; these are just 2 million people who will choose not to pursue full-time jobs - because, notably, they will ascertain that it won’t pay to work harder.

That’s better? Discouraging diligence and industry? Lowering the labor supply to lower economic growth? At a time when we desperately need economic growth?

Liberals held out hope that CBO head Douglas Elmendorf would vindicate their viewpoint when he testified before the House Budget Committee. In The Washington Post’s left-leaning “Plum Line” blog Tuesday, Greg Sargent wrote expectantly that “this doesn’t have to be a partisan argument. Tomorrow we can find out what the CBO’s own director has to say about it.”

By all means. Here’s what Elmendorf had to say about it Wednesday, verbatim: “The act creates a disincentive for people to work.”

Could it be made any clearer?



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