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Forsyth, Georgia
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August 22, 2018     The Monroe County Reporter
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& EDITORIALS Declare among the nations, and publish, and set up a standard; publish, and conceal not, Jeremiah 50:2 2018, 2017, 2016 winner: EditoriaF Page excellence ~,~"~.~AA ~-~. 2018 winner, Best Headline Writing 2OI8, 2Oi7 wilnnen Best News Photography 2OI8 w|nner: Best Sports Pages 2OI8 ~nn~. Best Serious Column- On the Porch 2OI8, 20!7 winn~, Best Humorous Column- On lhe Porch ON THE PORCH by Wilt Davis W!ehaVe lots of friends and readers in Butts ounty and I really dont want to offend em. OK, so maybe I do a little bit--this ek at least. Every year the Reporter highlights two Mary Per- sons seniors in our Back To School edition to remind students what they can and cannot wear to school. For several years we had our seniors barefooted and reminded students: "You must wear shoes. This is not Butts County:' It was just a harmless jab, but some humorless school board members here were so offended they put a letter of apology to the community in the Jackson newspaper. Yes, we like to tease our friends from Butts County, and after five straight wins, we're feeling quite entitled to do so. But we also find time to get serious around here, and this is serious: Jackson needs to do something about its football stadium. No really. Now I realize most schools who play at Jackson don't bring as many fans as Mary Persons. We're crazy about our football, and we travel well. Since Jackson started the season with a 42-6 loss to Locust Grove, I wouldn't be surprised ifMP has more fans than Jackson at the game. It happens a lot. Unfortunately, the visitors stands at Red Devil Hill, the home of Jackson's football team, were not made for large crowds. The only way to access the visitors stands is to enter on the home side and take the nar- row sidewalk that wraps around the chain link fence that surrounds the field. On the outside of the sidewalk: Cinderblock bathrooms and a concession stand, both of which draw long lines that usually block that side- walk for most of the game, Your best bet at halftime is to stay where you are. Perhaps the Reporter should have given away personal potties with the Reporter logo to subscribers this fall for fans to use in their seats during their trip to Red Devil Hill. What's worse, Jackson and MP usually renew their rivalry in August, when it seems as hot as, fittingly enough, the real devil's home. Thus if you have to make that trip to the concessions or the bathroom, you are given the chance to rub your sweaty self against other sweaty selves who are trying to make their way back from the concessions or the bathroom. On one trip to Jackson, I think I watched the whole third quarter waiting to move standing in front of the boiled peanuts. Meanwhile, the bottleneck means that the large crowds of people trying to leave their seats for a trip to the conces- sions or bathroom must start making aline on the walkway in front of the metal bleach- ers. That, in turn, means that the first three rows of MP fans will only see other sweaty, irritated fans rather than the game for most of Friday. I heard that the Butts County school board is consid- ering whether it can move Jackson's football stadium to its new sports complex next to the new high school. Short of that, I heard they may make renovations at the current field, including not more room for fans, but artificial turf for the playing surface. I hate artificial turf with every fiber (excuse the pun) of my being, so I ex- pect that's what they'll do. God meant for football to be played on real grass with real dirt, so if your knee starts to buckle, there's something that will give way. They say heaven is paved with streets of gold (and black). I suspect that hell is paved with artificial turf, and surrounded by a narrow sidewalk ribboned by tall chain link fences and concrete blocks. I'm glad that Friday game's will merely be a two-hour visit, followed, surely, by a happy trip home, knowing it will be two more years before we have to do that again. www. MyMCR.net 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 ~ -3 WillDavis ~ ~!!:l~ J~i~ TrelUsGrant Publisher/Editor Business Manager I~, ~!!~ ~/f~ business@mymcr.net publisher@mymcr'net ~ ~- ~~ Diane Glidewell R ic h a~de~l~sl~ii~10$r CnO2smg2 i) tYm Ed ,nt:tr ,ors h mymcrnet I CarolynMartel ~:~ BrandonPark Advertising Manager~ ~ CreativeDirect0r ads@myrncr.net graphics@rnymcr.net Official Organ of Monroe County and the City of Forsyth 50 N. Jackson St. - Forsyth, GA 31029 Periodicals Postage Paid at Forsythr GA 31029 POSTMASTER: Send address changes to: THE MONROE COUNTY REPORTER P.O. Box 795, Forsyth, GA 31029 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 efThe Reporter management. Publication No. USPS 997-840 PEACH STATE POLITICS by Kyle Wingfield II funny thing about living in the Information Age: Strikingly few people to be truly well- informed. Opinionated, yes- just scroll through your social media feed at any time of But these opinions are often based on, at best, an incomplete set of facts. At worst, they're formed in willful ignorance of the facts, because living in an agreeable echo chamber can feel much more comfortable. Enter the election season, when the truth is often greeted like an uninvited guest at apart. Against that backdrop, I am begin- ning an occasional series to lay out some basic facts on prominent topics in the 2018 campaign. We'll start with taxes since, in a state that can't run a budget deficit or borrow excessively, everything else the politicians promise us flows from how much or how little they're willing to raise in taxes and fc;~o. First, Georgia's overall tax burden is relatively low. Earlier this year, the nonpartisan Tax Foundation reported that Georgia's state and local govern- ments collected $3,515 per person in taxes, which ranked 43rd in the nation. Inthe broader category of revenue - which indudes not only taxes but fees and licenses - we were 50th, at $6,579. The latter revenue figure represents 15.6 percent of Georgia's per capita income; that compares to a national average of 18.4 percent. To hit that 18.4 percent based on Georgia's income level, revenues would have to rise by almost $1,180 - or nearly $5,000 per family of four. Curiously, even though tax col- lections and revenue per person are toward the bottom of the nation, Georgi business-tax climate (as measured by the Tax Foundation) does not rank near the top. That's because our tax structure isn't as com- petitive as one might think. Yes, Georgia has been lauded as a top place to do business. But taxes are only one consideration in such rankings, alongside in- frastructure, work force, regulatory climate, qual- ity of life and others. On taxes alone, our business climate ranked only 36th. That's right with Alabama (35th) and South Carolina (37th) but well below Florida (fourth), North Carolina (llth) and Ten- ne~cc (14th). Why? The biggest factor is the income tax. Compared to other states, and viewed through the lens of business, Georgia's individual income tax was a lackluster 42nd. That's not only because the top rate is higher than many of our peers at 6 percent, but because it starts at very low levels of income. However, there is good news. The 2018 tax reform that the General As- sembly passed, and Gov. Nathan Deal signed, not only doubles the standard deduction this year but lowers the top rate to 5.75 percent next year. It also sets the stage for the top rate to fall to 5.5 percent in 2020. Those changes should push Georgi ranking in the right direction. It's also worth reviewing the facts behind those changes. They were spurred by the federal reforms en- acted late last year. Because Georgia largely follows federal law on deduc- tions and exemptions - many of which Congress eliminated or limited - state revenues from the income tax between 2018 and 2023 were to rise by $5.2 bil- lion for individuals and $1.3 billion for corpora- tions. Anyone who supports reversing the 2018 state reforms, then, is really talking about raising taxes by more than $1 billion per year. What's more, the first two steps of the reforms (doubling the standard deduction and lower- ing the top rate to 5.75 percent) primarily ben- efitted taxpayers in the lower income brackets. Only when the rate falls to 5.5 percent do taxpay- ers at all levels benefit. A reversal of the tax reforms would mean a tax hike up and down the income scale. The right conclusion to draw from these facts is that while Georgia doesn't overly burden its taxpayers, it could become more effident and competitive in its tax structure - and happily, we are already moving in that direction. The CEO of the Georgia Public Policy Foundation, Kyle Wingfield's column runs in newspapers around the state. JUST THE WAY IT IS by Sloan Oliver Recently I wrote, "Every week the leftist cabal finds omething new that out- ages them. The latest thing that has sent the Jibs into a tizzy is President Trump revoked the security clearance of former CIA Director John Brennan. OMG - libs are as angry as Hillary at a Trump rally. The liberal media and the Dems (I repeat myself) are screaming, "It's a Constitutional crisis': "Tnnnp is act- ing like a dictator", and ' anerica's democracy is at risk" are some of the moronic accusa- tions made in the past few days. Brennan's security dearance should have been re- voked months ago. Director - thanks Obama. LAST WEEK, Senator Grassley (R- IA) announced that Supreme Court (SC) confirmation hearings for Judge Brett Kavanaugh will be held from September 4-7, giving the full Senate ample time to confirm him prior to the court's annual ses- sion. To use a sports term, "Game on" The game will be between Senate Dems and Republicans. It will be a vicious battle as the Dems try to destroy Kava- naugh and the Repubs will feebly defend him. BRENNAN HAS been one of the primary conspiracy theorists of"Trump-Russian col- lusion" in the 2016 election. Under oath, he lied about the Russian in- vestigation. And if we didn't have an AWOL Attomey General, Brennan would have been indicted for perju . A couple of other points, just like a driver's license, a security dearance is a privilege (not a right.) When I was in the Army, I had a Top Secret security clearance. When I left gov- ernment service, I lost my clearance. The same applies to everyone else who holds a dearance, you leave and you lose your clearance. Secondly, his clearance in the "I know something that you don't" mode. In regards to the Rus- sian investigation, Brennan didn't know anything more than you or I, though he hinted that he did. Proof that he didn't know anything is when asked for proof about his accusation that Trump colluded with Russia - he said he didn't have any. He's a liar and rightfully lost his clearance. Third, this has nothing to do with free speech. Brennan lost his clearance, not his free speech. Finally, think about this, Brennan actually voted for the Communist Party USA back in. the 1970'S. At the very height of the Cold War, he supported communism - an ideology that has killed millions. If anyone colluded with the Russians, most likely, it would be someone who has supported communism for 40 years. And to think, Obama ap- pointed a communist to be the CIKs "BORKING" IS the game that Democrats will play against Judge Kavanaugh. If you're unfamiliar with the term "borking" or "to bork" - it's how the me- dia and Democrats (I repeat myself) destroy nominees they don't want appointed as a judge or to a cabinet position. The term origi- nated in 1987 when President Reagan nominated Judge Robert Bork to the SC. Bork was imminently qualified to r be a SC justice, having been a solicitor general during Nixon's administra- tion and an appellate court judge. Judge Bork was an "originalist" when it came to interpreting the Consti- tution. In other words, he would attempt to determine the Founding Fathers' and the Constitution's origi- nal intent when making a judicial decision. BORK'S "ORIGINAL INTENT" position put him on the liberal's hate list. They decided to destroy him via slander. Reason being is that liber- als think the Constitution is a "fluid" document that should change with the whims of whatever liberal judge is hearing the case, and not wait years for a 'billy" amendment to change the Constitution. So, immediately after Reagan nominated Judge Bork, Sena- tor Edward Kennedy made a speech in which he said, "Robert Bork's America is a land in which women would be forced into back-alley abor- tions, blacks would sit at segregated lunch counters, rogue police could break down citizens' doors in mid- night raids, and schoolchildren could not be taught about evolution." FOR THE next several months the Democrats lied about and slandered Robert Bork to the point where his nomination failed by a 58-42 vote. The Dems "borked" Judge Bork. Now, "to bork" has become a word in the Oxford English Dictionary. To bork someone means, "To defame or vilify a person systematically." The slander directed at Judge Bork was the beginning of political incivility in America - "thanks Democrats." Expect and fully anticipate that Dems will try to "bork" Judge Kavanaugh. THERE IS a stark contrast between the views that conservatives have of America and the views that liberals have of America. The differences can be found in the words of Ronald Rea- gan, Donald Trump, Barack Obama, and N.Y. Gov. Andrew Cuomo. In Reagan's famous 1989 farewell speech, he called America a "shin- ing city upon a hill after 200 years she still stands strong and true and her glow has held steady no matter the storm:' Both Reagan and Trump knew that America is a great nation, founded on the greatest documents ever written by man. So, after eight years of an Obama presidency, Don- aid Trumps slogan was "Make Amer- ica Great Again." Reagan and Trump love the United States, and so do their supporters. Contrast Reagan's and Trumps words with those of Obama and Cuomo. Once Obama was sworn in to the presidency, he began a global "apology" tour in which he went around the world and actually apologized for America being an evil country. It's almost impossible to fath- om the loathing Obama must have for the United States. Obama does not see America as great - he views America as "evil" As much as Obama disliked the country, his supporters agreed with him as they re-elected him in 2012. Now, just last week, Andrew Cuomo said, "We (referring to Democrats) are not going to make America great again; it never was that great" Cuomo's words, ' nerica never was that great" should surprise no one; he's merely echoing the views of tens of millions of liberals who truly believe that America "never was that great." WEEKLY Quote: "Man is not free unless government is limited" Presi- dent Ronald Reagan. Sloan Oliver is a retired Army officer. He lives in Bolingbroke with his wife Sandra. Email him at sloanoliver@ earthlink.net. i !