Friday Facts: September 21, 2012

Friday Facts
September 21st, 2012 by Leave a Comment

It’s Friday!

The Foundation unveils, “Getting Georgia Moving: Plan B for Transportation,” today at 3 p.m. during the third annual Georgia Legislative Policy Forum at the W Atlanta Midtown (188 14th Street). The conservative Policy Leadership Institute Foundation are joint hosts of the Georgia Legislative Policy Forum which, in addition to the transportation proposals, the daylong event will feature national experts and policy leaders spotlighting health care reform, options in education and the innovation economy. Access the agenda at http://www.georgiapolicy.org/additional-links/legislative-policy-forum/. 

Tweet today from the Georgia Legislative Policy Forum using #gapolicyforum. Follow the Foundation on Twitter at www.twitter.com/gppf. 

Quotes of Note 

“Repeal that [welfare] law, and you will soon see a change in their manners. [I]ndustry will increase, and with it plenty among the lower people; their circumstances will mend, and more will be done for their happiness by inuring them to provide for themselves, than could be done by dividing all your estates among them.” – Benjamin Franklin

“We have all heard the old saying that giving a man a fish feeds him only for a day, while teaching him to fish feeds him for a lifetime. Redistributionists give him a fish and leave him dependent on the government for more fish in the future.” – Thomas Sowell

“You see my kind of loyalty was loyalty to one’s country, not to its institutions, or its office holders. The country is the real thing, the substantial thing, the eternal thing; it is the thing to watch over, and care for, and be loyal to; institutions are extraneous, they are its mere clothing, and clothing can wear out, become ragged, cease to be comfortable, cease to protect the body from winter, disease, and death.” – Mark Twain

Taxes and regulation 

But for Mississippi: About 1.95 million Georgians out of 4,589,611 Georgians (42.5 percent) who filed returns didn’t pay federal taxes in 2010, ranking the state second in the nation in nonpayers, according to the Tax Foundation. That’s two out of every five Georgia filers. Leading the nation was Mississippi, at 44.5 percent of filers not paying taxes.

Tax cuts: Last week Sweden’s Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt announced that the government intends to cut its corporate tax rate, which he called “probably the most damaging tax of all,” down to 22 percent. “That’s welfare state, high tax, big spending Sweden,” points out Tom Giovanetti, president of the Institute for Policy Innovation. “Cutting their corporate tax rate to 22 percent – 13 percentage points lower than the U.S. rate of 35 percent, which is now the highest in the developed world.” This follows a previous cut in Sweden’s corporate rate from 28 percent down to 26.3 percent in 2009.  

Meanwhile, back at the ranch: The United States, long considered a champion of economic freedom among large industrial nations, dropped to its lowest position ever in to the Fraser Institute’s 2012 Economic Freedom of the World report. This year, the United States plunged to 18th, a sharp decline from the No. 2 rank it held in 2000. Much of this decline is a result of high spending on the part of the U.S. government, the Fraser Institute reported this week. Hong Kong again topped the rankings, followed by Singapore, New Zealand and Switzerland. Australia and Canada tied for fifth overall among the144 countries and territories. “The United States, like many nations, embraced heavy-handed regulation and extensive over-spending in response to the global recession and debt crises. Consequently, its level of economic freedom has dropped,” the Institute noted.

Education

Today the Foundation will present new education videos at the third annual Georgia Legislative Policy Forum. Discussing access to public charter schools are teachers, students and others who have helped to push for more education options in Georgia. Watch, download and share these videos from our Georgia Public Policy Foundation YouTube channel:  Charter Schools Change Lives   What is a Public Charter School?  Mary Goes to Charter School

Stay informed: In November, Georgia voters will decide whether the state will share the responsibility of charter school authorization. The Foundation has a series of short educational articles focusing on voters’ questions: The Financial Impact of Charter Schools. What Are Charter Schools?Charter Schools and Local Control.How do Charter Schools Impact Minorities?

Transportation 

Ramp tolls: With the rapid emergence of all-electronic tolling, the simplest and fairest way to implement tolling to finance Interstate reconstruction and modernization is to equip only the on-ramps and off-ramps, says transportation expert Bob Poole of the Reason Foundation. “That way, customers of the Interstate would pay for exactly the number of miles they drive – no more and no less. That model was first introduced way back in 1997 on Highway 407ETR near Toronto, and has worked well ever since. This would be a great way to pioneer mileage-based user fees on America’s most important highway system.”  

Events

October 16: Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher turns 87 on October 13. The Foundation marks the birthday of this remarkable leader with a Policy Briefing Luncheon and Book Forum with Thatcher advisor and longtime friend John Blundell, who is author of, “Margaret Thatcher: A Portrait of The Iron Lady.” This event is at the Georgian Club. Registration is $60 and includes a copy of Blundell’s book. Register by Friday, October 12, at http://tinyurl.com/7ldaqnk. Seating is limited; register early!

September 25: The Georgia Chamber hosts the 2012 Health Care Forum, “The Future of Health Care & Impact on Your Business.” Now that the U.S. Supreme Court has upheld the new federal health care law – and the November elections are looming – join national experts, policy-makers and business leaders at the Hyatt Regency Atlanta to learn what’s next for health care in Georgia. Speakers include Thomas Frieden, Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Ken Thorpe, Health Policy & Management Chair at Emory University and a former Clinton advisor, and Cindy Gillespie, managing director of McKenna Long & Aldridge and a former advisor to Governor Mitt Romney. Click on http://tinyurl.com/96qlvuu to learn more and purchase tickets. 

Social media This Week in The Forum: The Foundation’s Benita Dodd shares what health care professionals blame for the high cost of U.S. health care in Checking Up On Health. Read this and other recent Foundation articles and posts on The Forum at http://forum.georgiapolicy.org/.

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Visit www.georgiapolicy.org to read the Foundation’s latest commentary, “Medical Malpractice Reform Can End Insult to the Injured,” by Joanna Shepherd-Bailey.

Have a great weekend. 

Kelly McCutchen  

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The Foundation should take a lot of pride in your influence on Georgia governmental policy over the past several years. If you look back on several things that you were crying in the wilderness about several years ago, you will find that Governor Miller adopted them…your influence and your pressure on that process has been a major factor in governmental policy in Georgia. You should be congratulated.

Governor Sonny Perdue more quotes