Finally, the AJC application asked for a set of sample column topics, five local and five national. Here are mine:
• Politicians in Atlanta and Georgia, like their counterparts across the country, over-promised lavish pension plans to buy the votes of government employees. Now the bills are due, and the rest of us are expected to meekly pay up, regardless of our own financial situations. Good luck with that.
• Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport is a magnet for corruption and graft. The airport should be privatized and taken out of the hands of a political class that has proven itself incapable of running it in an effective and ethical manner.
• Education in Georgia can’t be fixed by continuing to throw more money, bureaucracy and unions at our problems. Education is broken because of social pathologies and misplaced egalitarianism, and those things can’t be repaired by legislation.
• Georgia Power wants to build new nuclear power plants. It’s about time we got over being scared of a bad Jane Fonda movie, but the power company and regulatory bodies are too tied to old, expensive technology. Why not bring in the new generation of cheaper, smaller reactors instead of huge, billion-dollar complexes?
• “Commuter rail” is nothing more than a pork project. It’s a “service” that would go unused, and a fiscal burden we don’t need. [Congressman] David Scott says, “We have $119 million sitting there in the bank.” Here’s a radical idea: why not give it back to the taxpayers?
• The idea that an elite in Washington can “run the economy” is a dangerous myth, and particularly dangerous in times of economic crisis. The government has proven that it can wreck our economy, but it’s not capable of fixing it.
• “Campaign finance reform” was a fetish of the legacy media while Republicans were winning elections, but unsurprisingly, the press has fallen silent on the subject since Barack Obama’s fundraising made a mockery of it.
• Forgiving corruption or misfeasance out of ethnic solidarity or political correctness must stop. David Scott, Barney Frank and Charley Rangel don’t deserve the cover their supporters are giving them. (This could easily be a “local” column as well.)
• First Washington told us they needed $700 billion because of bad mortgages. Then they decided it was really for banks and bankrupt car companies. Now they’re telling us they need a trillion more for “stimulus,” which amounts to little more than a huge payoff to the Democratic Party’s campaign contributors. All they’re really accomplishing is making taxpayers a lot more broke.
• Iran has been waging war on the United States for thirty years. It’s long past time for America to accept that fact—and act accordingly.