Newspaper Archive of
The Monroe County Reporter
Forsyth, Georgia
November 13, 2019     The Monroe County Reporter
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November 13, 2019

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"Declare among the nations, and publish, and set up a standard; ON THE PORCH by Will Davis Governments the problem at yourselves on the backs, Monroe County voters. By rejecting an increase in the sales tax last Tuesday, you took a stand for common-sense, conservative small government As a reward, you will continue to pay a 7 percent tax on goods at local stores instead of the 8 percent that our county commissioners wanted us to pay. Three times in seven years, you have told them no, you don t want to pay more in taxes. Will they come for it again? Eventually. Government at all levels has an insatiable appetite for revenue. Government of cials gain their power and in u- ence by being able to spend our money. Will county of cials follow through on veiled threats to raise property taxes next year in retaliation? Doubtful, as it s an election year. But self- government requires constant watchfulness. As the wise old Founding Father Ben Franklin (a newspaper editor by the way) left the Constitutional Convention in the late 18th century, a woman called out to him: Mr. Franklin! What have you given us? A Republic, replied the aged sage, if you can keep it. Keeping it means keeping them out of our pocketbooks. This tax vote was the closest to I passing of all of them. Don t give up. Fight for freedom. Families come rst in Monroe County, snags. and freedom. That government which governs least, Thomas Jefferson said, governs best. Indeed. Monroe County is growing, but it s coming at a cost. It s a cost to developers that may make future development less enticing. I m talking about the huge land-prep costs that government regulations are putting on developers. Observant locals may have noticed it rst at the Zaxby s site where workers have spent years preparing land for the popular chicken chain, as well as a gas station, Papa John s and Huddle House. The developer had to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on a giant retaining wall around the property, and that was only the beginning. Federal soil and land erosion rules have not only slowed the project, they ve also made it much more expensive, which means it ll take the developer longer to realize a pro t and make him and others less likely to pursue other developments. Then there s the more re cent Valero project just across I-75 from the Zaxby s site. That de veloper has also had to expend hundreds of thou sands of dollars digging a giant hole and erecting concrete walls for a detention pond, all for alleged water runoff and erosion issues. David Hemdon, the city re chief and soil ero sion enforcement of cer, says it s all required by federal rules governing such things. We cannot fault the city for enforcing the law. The fault lies with the Congress and bloated federal agencies that impose onerous, dumb rules on developers. I m betting some of these rules have never even been approved by our elected representatives in Congress. Instead, Congress just authorizes some agency to come up with the rules. Watching how these rules have turned local projects into laborious, slow and expensive nightmares right here in little Forsyth, locals are getting a look at how our federal govern- ment affects people at all levels of life. To his credit, President Trump has lifted hundreds of burdensome regul Workers have spent months digging and building concrete walls for a detention pond at the site of a new Valero store. ations from federal agencies. But watching these two projects bog down in Forsyth s swamp makes me think Trump has more work to do in The Swamp. the Monroe C(me porter is published every week by The Monroe County Reporter Inc. Will Davis, President- Robert M. Williams Jr Vice President Cheryl S. Williams, Secretary-Treasurer OUR STAFF Will Davis Publisher/Editor Trellis Grant . Business Manager " Diane Glidewell Community Editor Richard Dumas News Editor forsyth mymcrnet Carolyn Martel Advertising Manager Amy Haisten Creative Director Of cial 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 itlhx SUBSCRIPTION RATE: In County: $40 - Out of County: $48 - Single (opy: $1 Deadlines noon on Friday priorto issue. Comments featured on opinion pages are the creation of the writers, the do not necessarily reflect the opinions otTne Reporter management. Publication No. USPS 997-840 oaaaoooctw e 31" . .I P11110113 EDITORIALS PEACH STATE POLITICS by Kyle Wingtield Kemp reforms will lower costs ov. Brian Kemp Medicaid expansion. They they would cost an ad- unveiled part claim full expansion would ditional $135.4 million 2 of his health cover far more people for a in federal tax dollars and reform plan this similar amount of money, $216.7 million in state past week. Consider it just but their math is wrong. tax dollars, and reduce that: a piece that comple- Let s get something the number of uninsured ments the rst part. straight at the outset: While by almost 80,000. That s Last week r proponents of $4,41 1 per newly insured I described Medicaid expan- Georgian less than two- the rst sion ignore thirds the per capita cost of reform, federal spend- Medicaid expansion, and which ad- ing and focus almost $3 billion per year dresses the on state costs, less total spending. Affordable Georgians are But even those gures Care Act federal taxpay- understate the cost-effec- by lowering ers, too. That tiveness of the Kemp plans, prices and money counts. for two reasons. First, the increasing What s more, state s of cial estimate for choices with the de cit the Medicaid reform is for those approaching $1 almost certainly too large: bu ' ( w-v trillion, an new States are on the hook for insyulflagnce I W federal spelfid- any cost overruns from on their ing would be these reforms, so they tend own. Now borrowed. We to aim high. It s hard to " let s turn to the second one, are not, as critics put it, al know exactly, but Georgia which adds a new way for ready paying for Medicaid may have overestimated impoverished Georgians to expansion while forgoing the cost by as much as $50 get Medicaid coverage. the bene t. We will pay for million. This second reform it later, with interest. Second, the only new cost would open Medicaid eligi- Now consider an estimate associated with the ACA bility to the working poor: from the left-leaning Ur- reform concerns the state s Georgians who work, train ban Institute that Medicaid reinsurance program, for a job or volunteer at expansion in Georgia in which would pick up the least 80 hours a month but 2019 would require an healthcare costs of those are below the poverty line. additional $3 billion in with the largest expenses. This year s poverty line is federal tax dollars and $246 That means $149 million in $12,490 for a single person, million in state tax dol- state funding in 2022; the or $25,750 for a family of lars to reduce the ranks of federal portion is already four. the uninsured by 473,000. being spent and would be Rewarding work is not The annual cost per newly redirected to reinsurance. new, But Georgia s plan insured Georgian, then, But that $149 million also allows the state to pay would be about $6,894. doesn t only help people an employee s share of the Kemp s Medicaid and gaining insurance through insurance premium if his ACA reforms would ad- the ACA reform. In fact, employer offers coverage. dress the same population. the biggest bene ciaries are Critics compare this In 2022, the rst year of likely to be Georgians who second reform to the ACA s both being operational, earn too much money to , 20I9, 2018, 20", 20I6 winner: Editorial Page excellence 20I9, 2018 winner: Best Headline Writmg 10W winner: Best Commumry Semce 20I9 winner: Best Layout and Design 10I9 winner: Best Serious Column Don Daniel publish, and conceal not." Jeremiah 50:2 receive insurance subsidies but are stuck paying the ACA s higher premiums. Even if we distribute that $149 million evenly across all affected Georgians, the amount directly bene ting the newly insured would come out tojust $11.5 million. Seen that way, the fed- eral cost for new enrollees under Kemp s twin plans would still be $135.4 million, but the state cost might be a mere $79.2 mil- lion. That s a cost per newly insured of just $2,689 about 60% below the per capita cost of expanding Medicaid. If the Medicaid cost is indeed overstated by $50 million, the per capita cost falls to just $2,063 per year. There are a couple of key takeaways beyond the lower costs. Unlike Medic- aid expansion which pro- ponents merely describe as helping the working poor these reforms actually target working Georgians. Unlike Medicaid expan- sion, these reforms help not only those who earn little but also middle-income workers. Unlike Medicaid expan sion, these reforms have a chance of working for Georgia. The president and CEO of the Georgia Public Policy Foundation, Kyle Wing- eld s column runs in papers around the state of Georgia. BACK 'N' FORTH by bill Weaver Thank oUr veterans, and ne day last week I went to Forsyth s Na- tional Guard Armory to inquire about when members of the 48th Infantry Brigade Combat Team would return from their deploy- ment to Afghanistan. They left last November on what was reported to be a one-year deploy- ment, so they must be coming home soon, right? Wrong. It was a six-month deployment and the unit which has more than 2,000 members from armories all over Georgia had returned in Tune and July. Oops. That news coverage, which was in newspapers and on Macon TV, had escaped me. So, I was more than a little embarrassed for not having that information while I chatted with the executive remote outposts in Afghanistan. Veterans stand as their branch of service was recognized on Monday. say, in the same breath as thanks, to officer on duty at the Armory, a man in uniform working at a computer. Red-faced, I changed the subject and looked for a graceful way to leave. There was this urge within me to leave him with some expression of gratitude, but I simply He s also a pretty thoughtful guy, so I asked him about how he feels when people tell him, Thank you for your serv1ce. Any veteran worth their salt, he said, should understand the altru- istic meaning behind the could not bring myself words -- as long as It s to say, Thank you for not done in a sarcastic or your service? backhanded manner. I While it s a phrase thiIlldecilth SOme vetS, me we hear man peo 1e Inc 11 e,expressmn use when speyaking to a 0f thanks by fneflds or member of the m j- a stranger may trigger tary, to my ear it s 11th thoughts of regrets, survi- more than a platitude vor s guilt, loss, buddies/ something used too friends/teammates who often to be thoughtful. f gave 501116, thOSe Who It often lacks sincerity. gave eVerythlng. Some That s certainly not sacri ced their bodles, to say it s meaning- {heir minds, their fami- 1es. less it s often better than saying nothing -- but according to what many have written elsewhere, what we say may not be received as the compliment we intended. A relative of mine is an Army Ranger and served in one of those Of course, we civilians don t know by merely looking at a vet what he or she experienced, but it s the element of sacri ce that truly deserves our thanks. A more meaningful way of speak- ing to a vet, this Ranger suggested, could be to nd a way to somehow perhaps add and the sacri ces you and your family made. That might mean the difference between what some might think is a platitude and a heart-felt, true expression of grati- tude to a veteran. Monday was Veterans Day, when we honored the service of people who have worn the uniforms of the armed forces, and we will celebrate Thanksgiving in less than three weeks. We will see veterans current and former military men and wom- en who we may want to thank for their willingness to serve in a job that may take them away from home for' months or weeks at a time. Thanking them with sincerity for their service, as well as for the sacri ces they and their family made, would be a meaningful way to begin this holiday season. By all means, say whatever s in your heart. But if it s just thank you for your service, then please, please, please say it like you mean it. Bill Weaver lives in rural Monroe County. He can be reached via email at billweaver8l 1 @gmail. com. I