As I learn my way around the halls of power under the dome, I am coming to realize there is a name spoken with reverence by legislators and policy analysts. That name is Alan Essig. Mr. Essig is the founding Executive Director of the Georgia Budget and Policy Institute, a non-partisan, non-profit organization which performs reseach and analysis of budget and fiscal issues in Georgia. Their website states that they work closely with "advocates for at-risk populations," so despite Republicans' insistence that God-fearing-tax-paying-patriots are *at risk* in liberal America, go figure whose side they are on.
What do they do for the cause? Basically, they cut to the chase about who really stands to lose and who stands to win in matters of finance and budget. They help us project the real costs and anticipate real outcomes of policy proposals. In short, they are our very own Georgia policy wonks. Recent papers include: "Georgia's Aging Population: What to Expect and How to Cope," "Don’t Tax and They Will Come? The Questionable Link between State Corporate Income Taxes and Economic Development," and "Show Us the Money: Full Disclosure Needed on Tax Breaks."
Their report on the Governor's proposed 2007 budget should be required reading for Young Dems: