October 29, 2010
– “Always vote for principle, though you may vote alone, and you may cherish the sweetest reflection that your vote is never lost.” – John Quincy Adams
– “Perhaps the fact that we have seen millions voting themselves into complete dependence on a tyrant has made our generation understand that to choose one’s government is not necessarily to secure freedom.” – Friedrich August Hayek
What’s happening at the Foundation
– Register now: Saturday, Nov. 13, is the Georgia Legislative Policy Briefing, a daylong event featuring national and statewide experts on the top issues facing the state’s elected officials. Don’t miss a day of dynamic speakers and innovative ideas, sponsored by the Georgia Public Policy Foundation and the Conservative Policy Leadership Institute. Reserve your spot now to get the early registration discount. Keynote speakers include former West Virginia Governor Bob Wise on, “The Power of Digital Learning for Georgia and the Country.” and the Wall Street Journal’s Stephen Moore on, “How to Make Georgia the Most Economically Competitive State in the Nation.”
– Mark your calendar: Senate Majority Leader Chip Rogers, recently named to the Digital Learning Council, will keynote “ABCs+D = The Virtual Success of Digital Learning,” a Georgia Public Policy Foundation Policy Briefing Luncheon at noon on Tuesday, December 7, at the Georgian Club in Cobb County. For information and to register, click on this link: http://www.gppf.org/default.asp?pt=eventdescr&EI=74
– It’s good, it’s fresh, it’s free! Have you joined the Foundation’s new Forum yet? Join a community of Georgians discussing the issues of greatest concern with the Foundation’s experts, register at http://forum.georgiapolicy.org/.
– Are we going green or saving green? Your choice! The Georgia Policy Review, the Foundation’s newsletter, has been relaunched as a digital version. Read the fall 2010 edition at www.gppf.org/pub/Newsletter/Fall2010.pdf.
Taxes and spending
– Show me the money: Toombs Judicial Circuit Judge Harold A. Hinesley ruled this week that the city of Washington, Ga., cannot go forward with an $8.1 million municipal revenue bond sale to finance construction of a city-owned hotel near its underperforming Pope Center. The ruling is a victory for residents who want to stop the project in the city of 4,295. Attorneys for Concerned People of Washington argued that the city did not demonstrate that revenue in the city would be sufficient to pay off more than $17 million in principal and interest payments over 30 years. Hinesley agreed. The Foundation’s editor Mike Klein, was first to report on the controversy and reveal on theFoundation’s Forum. Read more here: http://tinyurl.com/2wqjtur.
– The latest numbers from the IRS – based on 2008 tax returns – show that the top 1 percent of income earners paid 38.02 percent of individual income taxes paid, down from 40.42 percent in 2007. The richest 1 percent of Americans made 20 percent of all the adjusted gross income reported for 2008, almost twice the 12.75 percent of total income earned collectively by the lowest-earning 50 percent of workers. Yes, 1.4 million taxpayers earn 20 percent of all income reported while 70 million share just 12.75 percent. When it comes to taxes paid, an even wider discrepancy shows itself – in reverse. Compared with that 38 percent of taxes paid by the top 1 percent of earners, the bottom 50 percent pay just 2.7 percent of the taxes collected. How does your income stack up? Go to www.kiplinger.com/tools/income_rank/ . Source: Kiplinger’s
– End of the tunnel: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has again terminated the over-budget Hudson River commuter train tunnel between New Jersey and Manhattan after his advisers projected overruns of $2.3 billion to $5.3 billion beyond the $8.7 billion price tag. The two-decade-old plan would have been America’s largest public works project. “It’s a dollars and sense issue. I cannot place, upon the citizens of the state of New Jersey, an open-ended letter of credit,” Christie said. Christie has said he didn’t want the New Jersey version of Boston’s “Big Dig” — a tunnel mega-project that saw the final tally climb to nearly 10 times the initial $2.8 billion estimate. Source: The Star-Ledger
– The second annual Economics of Education Conference, which targets Southwest Georgia educators and business and industry leaders, takes place on Nov. 4 from 10 a.m. to noon in Blakely. Sponsored by the Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education and Bainbridge College Early County, it will emphasize the role of quality education in building a strong economic climate and supporting Georgia’s capacity to compete globally. To register, go to www.bainbridge.edu or call 229-724-2100.
– It’s the economy, stupid! The economy, health care and the size of government are the top three issues for registered voters, according to a Gallup poll released this week. Forty-three percent of voters say economic conditions are the most important to their vote for Congress this year; 23 percent cite health care and 18 percent cite the size and power of the federal government. Interestingly, 87 percent of respondents who said the size of government was their biggest concern said they were voting Republican, 9 percent said they were voting Democrat. Source: Gallup.com
– Visit www.gppf.org to read the Foundation’s latest commentary, “Yes, No and Maybe All Covered in New Federal Health Law,” by Ronald E. Bachman.
Have a great weekend. Remember to vote.
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“I am here today to thank the Georgia Public Policy Foundation for your role in building a fiscally conservative, pro-growth state. Not only did you help pave the way for a new generation of leadership, you continue to provide key policy advice and to hold us accountable to the principles we ran on. In short, you have had a transforming influence on this state. We are healthier, stronger, and better managed because of your efforts.