well, i agree with the first half of your analysis: obama mistakenly adopted the supply side (republican) views of people like geithner and summers. i also agree that the stimulus worked but was too small (paul krugman has been generally correct in his observations).
but your suggestion that right now we cut the payroll tax again rather then raise the minimum wage is simply off-base.
first, cutting the payroll tax will worsen the deficit, as it did a few years ago.
in fact, we shouldn't have cut the payroll tax back when we did; we should have used that money to fund job creation directly, re-building infrastructure, etc., and even subsidizing local government hiring of teachers, police, etc, and in greater numbers, a la the wpa program.
second, a payroll tax reduction will not truly address our problem of income inequality. now, if we reduce the payroll tax and at the same time pay for it by increasing the wage cap on which that tax is imposed--maybe even eliminating that cap--that is certainly worth looking at carefully.
and, finally, raising the minimum wage has the benefit of not directly involving the government taking in or paying out money directly--ie, the perception of "the market" working.
doing so not only would increase demand for products, it would amount to a "trickle up" policy, increasing the income of many working class people so that more could support a family without government assistance.
i think it's generally important to maintain the connection between the payroll tax and the funding of social security payments--so that social security continues to be popularly supported and regarded not as a "welfare" program like food stamps but rather as an earned retirement program.
those people who recognize the importance of increasing demand and reducing income and wealth inequality should unanimously get behind a raise in the minimum wage--which of course has not kept up with inflation.posted @ Thursday, March 13, 2014 - 16:29
will the national establishment republicans "allow" broun to get the nomination, or will they pour millions into the state in favor of another "more acceptable" candidate? i think the latter will happen.
and, second, will voters who tend to vote republican but who are not ideologues vote to allow "the pits of hell" tape to be a national amusement, re-run over and over, like the "i am not a witch" tape of several years ago? sure, some people might hold their nose and vote for broun, but how many would rather just not vote for a senate candidate (or even vote for the progeny of sam nunn)?
i could ask a third question i suppose: would morris communications allow abh to endorse nunn? or order it to endorse broun? probably neither of those.posted @ Wednesday, March 12, 2014 - 18:05
he was a great pitcher for madison county back in the mid-90's. i remember my son was happy just to hit the ball in fair territory, no matter how weakly, when he faced jake (who was a year older). i hope "the rest of his life" is as successful as the first half. cedar shoals and clarke central might do well to contact him.posted @ Wednesday, March 12, 2014 - 17:53
some good news, anyway.posted @ Wednesday, March 12, 2014 - 17:47
not only are there the "well known" excellent restaurants, including "the national", "five and ten", "the last resort", and many others, there are lesser known places, such as "tlaloc", for visitors to explore.
back in 2012, when a film production company spent the summer in athens, with quite a large cast and crew, everyone found "favorite" restaurants and spoke about them at length. yes, believe it or not, athens restaurants were being compared to those in los angeles.
chains are certainly here, both larger and smaller chains, but many of them are decent as well. i agree, however, that it's important to patronize the "community oriented" restaurants and spread the word.posted @ Wednesday, March 12, 2014 - 13:13
it's good to learn that uga law school is headed back in the right direction, toward its prior ranking "BA" (before adams). a few more years and it hopefully will get there--overtaking, finally, the university of alabama. credit should be noted for the faculty, staff, and students.posted @ Tuesday, March 11, 2014 - 14:42
i read spencer's piece and was motivated to respond to it but then gave up: where to begin? why respond to a concrete post?
the problem with people like spencer is that they're obviously ideologues, rendered incompetent by the ceaseless talk radio and fox news ranting.
the bottom line is that spencer essentially is advocating harming georgians, especially georgia children, simply to "defeat" obama and obamacare. as some have written, his "policy" for those who need medical care is to "die more quickly". this blind antagonism surely comes "from the pits of hell" (to re-use a phrase).
my question: do the people who voted for spencer understand what he's trying to do? and why?posted @ Tuesday, March 11, 2014 - 14:32
the owners of drug testing companies approve, i'm sure. one way or another, taxpayers will pay for the testing.posted @ Tuesday, March 11, 2014 - 14:18
democrats should not attack broun. leave that to republicans.
if broun is nominated, there should be a lot of common sense, intelligent republican voters, especially chamber of commerce members who don't reside in the "pits of hell" and don't want to see national attention focusing on georgia as it did on missouri and delaware during past elections, with a real quandary for the general election.
but i suspect that even if broun is the "leader" in the republican primary, he would not win a runoff. the republican national establishment has pledged to intervene to prevent that kind of result.posted @ Tuesday, March 11, 2014 - 14:11
good cartoon! another cost of our invasion of iraq based upon lies is that we have lost the moral authority when other countries (russia in this case) do the same thing. at least russia has an historical connection with crimea and its people, in addition to its largest naval base. what connection did we have with iraq--besides a lust for its oil?
for the u.s. to cite "international law" is beyond hypocritical. putin may have "lost touch with reality", but if russia stops its "annexation" at crimea, or even at the russian naval base in crimea, we should find a way to back off. russia "gave" crimea to ukraine in the first place, 60 years ago, angering the crimean people. how important is "self-determination" of and by the people, anyway?posted @ Friday, March 7, 2014 - 16:38
most progressives realize that bureaucracies, public or private, are no better than "necessary evils". so a program of government support that dispenses with a bureaucracy to "police it" generally would be a good thing. in fact, the earned income tax credit (albeit part of our tax code) shares some principles with those programs.
when i was young i considered myself a libertarian (until understanding the holes in that pseudo-philosophy), but one issue that stays with me over the intervening 50 years is the distinction between ideologically driven libertarians (who would oppose any government involvement in social welfare) and pragmatic libertarians, who simply want to minimize government interference in the private sector, to the extent reasonably possible.
it would be interesting to see what establishment republicans today (of course, now fairly right wing), if allowed to think independently, would conclude.
i'm a krugman admirer, and to the extent he recognizes what social security essentially is and of course supports it, i do, to. in fact, those who simply want to reduce government spending will actually support this anti-bureaucratic social welfare program, divorced from a bureaucracy-based means testing, whereas the "industrial policy" types will condemn it: stereotypes turned on their head.
like nixon going to china, however, i think this is an idea republicans will have to propose; democrats likely never would, for fear of the campaign ads that would be run against them.posted @ Thursday, March 6, 2014 - 15:54
legalize it and tax it--georgia will gain revenue.
criminalize it--georgia will spend revenue on prison space, etc.
among other things.
why aren't the libertarians among the republican party speaking out in full force on this issue?posted @ Monday, March 3, 2014 - 18:18
i hope the rumor about the change to a 4-3 defense is true. at the college level, a 4-3 begins with "more weight" in the front seven, 50-60 pounds, which should help against power running teams like alabama.posted @ Monday, March 3, 2014 - 18:13
thanks for running this editorial, especially in the same issue as the article about snake handlers.
what do georgia republicans--at least this georgia republican--have in common with snake handlers? blind faith and ignorance. plus, they not only create damage for themselves, they harm their children as well.
here's hoping enough rational republican voters read spencer's piece and realize how asinine and cruel his "policy" proposal is.
remember, in view of repubs' lock-step voting mandates (witness most recently what happened in arizona), a vote for any republican is a vote for this guy: he obviously doesn't want working class georgians and their children to have the same health care that he has--or to have georgia hospitals get paid for the indigent care they provide. he might as well be asking for everyone to be handling poisonous snakes.
and, jim, if you can get sen. candidate paul broun to write an op-ed piece for abh, please do it--republican office holders should be the voters' "best teachers".posted @ Friday, February 28, 2014 - 16:06
study after study reveals that handgun ownership winds up killing or wounding far more friends and family members (whether by negligence, momentary anger, or suicide) than it protects. a shotgun should give homeowners all the protection they need.
even the marshall of 19th century tombstone, arizona knew enough to enforce a law requiring people to leave their guns outside of town. i wonder if anyone challenged him, citing second amendment rights.
this is just another example of ideology without thought triumphing over common sense. and of course the ideology is fed by the weapons industry, whose sales increased by 30% last year.
i'd think our wonderful and fearless legislators had more integrity if they specifically authorized, as a permitted place, handgun possession in the state capitol building. why don't they? don't they trust the citizens?posted @ Tuesday, February 25, 2014 - 16:29
the two issues confronting us that should be non-partisan (and no-brainers) are increasing the minimum wage and expanding medicaid. both would not only help individuals directly but help the economy by putting more money into local economies (increasing demand for goods and services).
because local hospitals and other providers would get paid for providing indigent health care, and those payments would circulate through the economy and defray local taxes, ultimately expanding medicaid would "pay for itself".
but, even though individual voters in both parties support both ideas (when framed in objective, non-prejudicial terms), republican party leadership opposes both. why?
the answer is: ideology. when too much ideology controls governing, and thinking, our officials will not objectively review the pros and cons of potential legislation.
why the ideology? unfortunately, the answer seems to be a combination of greedy billionaires with too much money to spend and conservative talk radio that tells listeners (and therefore elected officials) what they should believe.
both decisions constitute the kind of stimulus program (minimum wage would not involve direct government spending) that would increase jobs. as i said, these ideas, at this time, should be "no-brainers" supported by everyone.posted @ Tuesday, February 25, 2014 - 16:17
i give sam moore "credit" for being honest. i suspect he is the product of the current version of the republican party--especially its libertarian wing--and that many of his supporters privately agree with absurd views like this one--this proposal is no more daft than some of the gun proposals we see regularly.
moore's surprise that the media might be interested in legislation he proposes--of course is laughable, but . . . what is not funny is the media's failure to explain to the public the impact of many other pieces of legislation that is being proposed and enacted, albeit in a more "subtle" form.
actually, moore reminds me most of current members of congress from texas--and of the republican candidates for u.s. senate from georgia. we have a continuing clown show, and we have to rely upon an objective media to point that out.posted @ Tuesday, February 25, 2014 - 15:57
the confederate battle flag may represent "southern heritage" to some. but to many others, it represents what is being portrayed in the very powerful film, "twelve years a slave".
so, the question is: exactly what does "southern heritage" mean? i remember asking my grandparents (born and landowners in south and north carolina, respectively, whose families lived there for over 200 years) that question, or something close to it, on many occasions as i was growing up. they never could answer the question, referring merely to, maybe, their respective families.
the "confederacy", itself, they both said, meant "secession" or "separation" from the union, and was dead and gone, except in the minds of a declining number of people who lived in the past. these conversations occurred in the 1950's and '60's.posted @ Thursday, February 20, 2014 - 15:26
we voters should demand that every legislator who initiates plainly unconstitutional legislation--which when challenged will result in attorneys' fees owed to the challenger--should be personally liable to pay those attorneys' fees.
ignorance should have a price.posted @ Tuesday, February 18, 2014 - 14:13
before our "legislators" loosen gun carry laws even more, they should specifically permit guns in the capitol building and governor's office. rather there than bars, etc. i'm surprised we haven't heard from the nra on this issue.posted @ Tuesday, February 18, 2014 - 14:09
why does abh publish purcell's columns? they add nothing and usually are not funny, just misleading. of course, i ask the same thing about many of the syndicated columns abh publishes.posted @ Thursday, February 13, 2014 - 13:40
"the media has been in the bag for obama". another false right wing talking point. i assume you watch fox news and listen to talk radio, including our local fox radio outlet. have they "been in the bag" for obama? how about morris newspapers?
fox news is the republican network. roger ailes is its guru. talk radio specializes in "the big lie" and is directing republican members of congress to go along with and repeat those lies as "policy". never mind that among their goals is to destroy public education and to make taxes (especially georgia income taxes) as regressive as possible, favoring the financially well-off.
when we look at the wire service stuff the abh publishes, it's virtually all right wing nonsense if it has any political content. i've occasionally taken peeks at other morris newspapers--in augusta and savannah, for example, and they are far worse. if "objectivity" were a goal, fifth graders would do a better job.
seriously, do readers of abh have any idea what the cbo report actually said and what it's implications are? do they care? are they aware how regressive georgia's tax system is and how destructive republicans have been toward public schools? do conservative retired republicans really get upset about obamacare taking away their madicare? right wing talking points are creating an increasingly large pool of angry white (mostly) men (mostly) who are dangerously unaware of reality.posted @ Monday, February 10, 2014 - 16:21
once again, conservative crackpots reveal themselves to be ignorant idiots. we need more republican public officials to start shouting, out loud, to their supporters: we want to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony. an ideal maybe, but worth repeating.posted @ Thursday, February 6, 2014 - 16:09
the lyndon house is a municipal treasure. my two kids benefitted greatly from classes they took there as children, which, as they frequently mention, positively influenced their growth and future in the arts.
to suggest we should not simply "trust" our bureaucracy to preserve the lyndon house is an understatement. i agree with jim's sentiment: we should remain vigilant and in communication with our elected officials. short-term revenue enhancing "fixes" could easily destroy the lyndon house.
on the other hand, there may well be ways to increase pubic use of the facility without undermining its primary purpose of being a community arts center. so, we really do need to hear from the mayor and commission on this, long before any changes are planned.posted @ Thursday, February 6, 2014 - 16:04
deal is not only "wrong" on denying medicaid expansion in georgia, he is overtly harming georgia taxpayers and hospitals (as well as those individuals, including children, being denied health insurance).
what is the source of this obviously irrational and destructive decision? ideology and lock-step conformity to oppose anything/everything related to obama and obamacare.
we can't afford ideologues and the spineless in public service. gov. deal should stand up to republican "leadership" and the real party leaders--conservative talk show hosts and fox news--and serve the state of georgia as he took an oath to do.posted @ Thursday, February 6, 2014 - 15:56
Summary: Fun facts: The first-ever Oscar ceremony, held in 1929, ran a brisk 15 minutes. By contrast, the longest was in 2002, clocking in at a monstrous 4 hours and change. As usual, there are things I loved about it and things I didn't. Rather than be snarky or complain, I'll offer a few suggestions on how the organizers might bring the show into the 21st century. Fun facts: The first-ever Oscar ceremony, held in 1929, ran a brisk 15 minutes. By contrast, the longest was in 2002, clocking in at a monstrous 4 hours and change. As usual, there are things I loved about it and things I didn't. Rather than be snarky or complain, I'll offer a few suggestions on how the organizers might bring the show into the 21st century. First, a few thoughts on the winners: read more
Athens-Clarke County police officers responded to Pinewood Estates North on a 911 call concerning a heated domestic dispute. it reportedly was an argument over the lack of heat and food in a family's trailer and a woman was threatening to stab anyone who tried to take away her 7-month-old child. State patrol responded also, from their post nearby on U.S. Highway 29 North. The situation apparently was resolved. An officer reported he was driving the woman and infant to another home in Athens. read more