Newspaper Archive of
The Monroe County Reporter
Forsyth, Georgia
August 21, 2019     The Monroe County Reporter
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August 21, 2019

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& EDITORIALS "Declare among the nations, and publish, and set up a standard; publish, and conceal not." - Jeremiah 50:2 A 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016 winner: Editorial Page excellence~ 2Oi9, 2018 winner: Best Headline Writ,ng /O~',i~1~A 20. wlnneoBe C it, Serv,ce I, d 6 (t -gl 2019 winner: Best Lay0ut and Design ~'~. ~p.A~e "i 2019 winner. Best Serious Column - Don Daniel ILy~----'~,~J ON THE PORCH by Will Davis ne of my favorite episodes of TV's best show ever, "The Andy Griflith Show", is when a comes to Mayberry for the first time and already knows everyone. Why? Because he somehow was a subscriber to The Mayberry Gazette news- paper. Good newspapers have long been a vital way to build community. Of course many people these days try to find community through social media. How's that working? One day I posted to the Reporter Facebook page a cute photo of two dogs in the back of a pickup truck on the court- house square in downtown Forsyth. It was the picture of small-town America. Surely no one could find anything divisive about that. Wrong! "That's illegal!" one commenter posted (it's not). "Those poor dogs could get hurt!" another chimed in. Social media sometimes causes more division than harmony, more alienation than connection. There are not just a few Facebook divorces. And it causes sadness too. We were talking in church the other day about how Facebook can leave you feel- ing like you're the only one who has problems. A friend confessed, and he's not alone, that he posted beautiful vacation pictures with his family, but never posts the ones of his children having a meltdown. Social media isolates because you're not getting the truth there. In fact, that's why, to go against the current here, newspapers are more critical than social media. Any newspaper worth the paper it's printed on, OK mostly just the Reporter, should be dedicated to printing the truth. We cover government because people are NOT angels and do not volunteer the truth. And it's the rare person, indeed the rare government, that will post its failings and shenanigans on social media for all the world to see. "Were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers, or newspapers without a government," wrote Thomas Jefferson, "I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter." Jefferson was rightfully skeptical of people in power. In fact our country is unique in that it was founded on skepticism of people in power. That is part of what's made us so successful. Self government is almost impossible without a media watchdog, and, breaking news here, social media ain't gonna do it. And newspapers aren't just valuable for uncovering corruption and crime. There's also the good stuff, which means a heck of a lot more when a third party, a news- paper, is telling it than if YOU tell it. "Let someone else praise you, not your own mouth-- a stranger, not your own lips," says Proverbs 27:2. An independent newspaper aims to verify things, the good and bad, about our community, so people know the truth. Technology changes. Communication changes. But human nature doesn't change. We still need someone to tell the truth. And it probably won't happen a whole lot on Facebook. the Monroe Gmuty www. is published every week by The Monroe County Reporter Inc. Will Davis, President. Robert M. Williams Jr.Vice President Cheryl S. Williams, Secretary-Treasurer STAFF Will Davis Publisher/Editor Richard Dumas News Editor Trellis Grant Business Manager Diane Glidewell Community Editor Carolyn Martel Advertising Manager Amy Haisten Creative Director Official Organ of Monroe County and the City of Forsyth 50 N. Jackson St PO Box 795 Forsyth, GA 31029 Periodicals Postage Paid at Forsyth, GA 31029 POSTMASTER: Send address changes to: THE MONROE COUNTY REPORTER 478-994-2358 SUBSCRIPTION RATE: in County: $40 Out of County:. $48 Single Copy:, $1 Deadlines noon on Friday prior to Issue. Comments featured on opinion pages are the creation of the writers, the do not necessarily reflect the opinions of~e Reporter management Publication No. USPS 997-840 PEACH STATE POLITICS by Kyle Wingfield e Ifit's novel to see any level of government cut spending dur- ing good times - the subject of my column last week - this week we return to a more familiar tune: If gov- emment anywhere is cutting taxes, it must be to benefit "the rich:' That's an old stan- dard for those who think more spending is always the answer, but this partic- ular occasion concerns the tax cuts state legislators set in motion in 2018. Those cuts were the right answer to a unique circumstance. It's worth remembering just what happened then, and why. Recall that in the final days of 2017, Congress passed and President Don- aid Trump signed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Along with lowering the indus- trialized world's highest corporate income tax rate, the law also eliminated or capped a number of de- ductions and lowered rates for the individual income tax. The law stood to have a ripple effect on Geor- gia, and not a good one. Because our state adopts most federal deductions, a number of Georgia taxpay- ers stood to see their taxable income increase substantially. But because our state sets its own income tax rates, there would be no correspond- ing rate cut un- less the General Assembly acted. "ff'V f" According to a February 2018 analysis by economists at Georgia State University, the upshot was a $5.2 billion surge in state tax revenues between 2018 and 2023. Now, higher-income earners are more likely than lower-income earners to itemize their deduc- tions- not to mention that they pay the largest tax bills. So, naturally, they stood to bear a larger share of this surge. While about three-quarters of Georgia taxpayers would have seen a tax hike of $200 or less, those at the very top of the income scale were pro- jected to pay over $3,800 more. The Legislature's remedy was House Bill 918, which had three steps. Step one, which took effect for 2018, was to double the standard deduction for all tilers who don't itemize. Step two, which took effect this year, was to lower the state's top income-tax rate for the very first time - from 6% to 5.75%. The third step, slated for next year, is what's causing the commotion now. HB 918 called for the top income-tax rate to fall to 5.5% in 2020. Now, some observers are decrying the movo ho~,oo ~o c:. benefits would go to "the rich:' But remember what I said about the highest earners paying the larg- est tax increases if state lawmakers hadn't done anything? It is also true that taking steps one and two alone would leave the highest earners - and only the highest earners - still paying more than before. Step three ensures all Georgia taxpayers get a cut, not a tax increase. The tax cut will be larger for some than others for the same reason their tax increase would have been larger: They make more mone) so any change in rates will have a larger ef- fect for them. That is not, however, the reason to ensure the rate falls to 5.5%. The better reason is that our neigh- bors have been out-ma- neuvering us on this front, and we need to adapt to remain competitive. Florida has long had zero income tax. Tennessee is phasing out its tax on income from interest and dividends and in 2021 will have no individual income tax. North Carolina has been lowering its rate in recent years, from a high of 7.75% to this year's 5.25%. v,each of these states has other taxes. But income tax is arguably the most important one when busi- nesses look at where they want to expand or relocate. With even some modest spending restraint, and es- pecially if paired with some further closing of tax ex- emptions and deductions, Georgia can afford to take this next step and lower its top tax rate. In fact, it can't afford not to do that. The president and CEO of the Georgia Public Policy Foundation, Kyle Wing- field's column runs in papers around the state of Georgia. TAKING A LIKENS TO YOU by Dale Likens The other day my wife and I received a letter from Alli- ance for Defending Free- dom asking us to support them in their fight against bigotry against women, or more specifically young girls. The problem, so they explain, is that young men who are certainly faster and stronger than young females are now free to claim they have suddenly become women because they wish to be women and by law may compete in young women's sports competition. Connecticut, so they claim, is one of 18 states that autho- rizes schools to allow boys who believe themselves to be girls to compete in girls' sports, such as, track and field, softball, basketball, etc. One boy who could not compete well as a boy in track and field is now claiming to be a girl and is the state champion in Division I1400-meter hurdles in the girls' division. His victories and other male victories in girls' sports have suddenly lowered young girls' chances of gaining scholarships in colleges. Even famous women who once gained fame and fortune in their particular sport, such as Martina Navratilova, the great tennis cham- pion of many years ago, are now fighting this cause for young women. What is Martina's reward for taking such a stand? The LGBT has now exiled her from their organization. * Just my opinion, but this could be the best news she has heard in many years! If it weren't for the fact that this complaint is vastly true I might find myself laughing. It seems our judicial system may very well have opened a Pandora's Box that they can't quite put a lid on, even if they wanted to. I must admit there have been so many new laws passed pertaining to women's rights that I'm getting confused and can't keep up with them. The other day I saw a video where some young lady was being married to her dogt Some women wish to be men so they marry other women and take the role of a man. I'm suddenly reminded of a situation where a young lady married an- other young lady and be- came the husband of the other. Since she wanted her genes and DNA to be passed on to their child she decided to ask her brothers and father to offer their family seed to her new wife. When the child was born he truly came from her blood line. Trust me, I'm certainly not taking the role that men are right in their decisions of becoming transgenders and wanting to compete in girls' sports. I'm from the old school! I still believe the Bible. One man for one woman; not one man for one man or one woman for one woman! I sometimes wake up in the morn- ing and wonder if I'm still dreaming when I hear that a young boy may become a young girl if he feels like a girl. If I'm correct his parents have no control over this child's decision. After all what do parents know about their own children? My question may be, "What in the world were they teaching this child that he suddenly decides he wants to be a girl?" Let me get this straight now. If a young man feels like a girl today he may use the girls' restroom today. If tomorrow he feels like a boy he may return to the boys' restroom. Ifa young man feels like a girl today he many join the girls' track or bas- ketball team, or softball team, etc. When he becomes satisfied with all his trophies he just might feel more like a boy and return to his true identity. Is there anyone out there who might care about my thoughts? Probably not. Anyhow, let me tell you what they are. God is right! He always is! If God made you a male be proud of that fact. Do what you can to become the best male you can be. Girls listen up! God made you as a girl! Be proud to be a girl God knows what He's doing! I believe He has great plans for you as a girl! Besides that, daddies and mommies sure enjoy hugging their little daugh- ters and kissing them goodnight after a good prayer. Trust me! A word to mommies and daddies: Let your daughters and sons know you love them as the little girls and little boys they are! Show them you love them each day with sweet little words and loving hugs! Pray with them! Let them know how much God loves them as they are! It works! Girls, go ahead and become the best you can be in sports! It's fun! God has great plans for you. You deserve it! Boys, stay out of the girls' rest- rooms! You don't belong there! You're a man! Enjoy it! It's tim! Trust me! God has great plans for you as a man[ A message to our judges who make these rules. Grow up! Start making correct decisions! Quit being politi- cally correct! Read your Bibles and make your decisions based upon God's word! It's as simple as that! God bless. Dale Likens is an author who lives in Monroe County. Back in June, Monroe County taxpayers paid $2,765 for an investigative report into a county emptoyee~ allega- tion that commissioner Larry Evans harassed her for not hiring his "niece". But commissioners have refused to let the taxpayers, who paid for the report, see it. They've kept it hidden from public view. Only District 3 commis- sioner John Ambrose supports letting the public see it. If you think you have the right to see the report, tell your commissioner or call the office at 994-7000 and let them know. Meanwhile, we will count the days they've kept their constituents in the dark until it~ released.