November 2, 2012
As you take time to consider the organizations you will support before year’s end, we hope you’ll include us. Your support will help us grow our membership and continue the Friday Facts, the commentaries, the great events and our commitment to a better Georgia based on free markets, individual responsibility and the rule of law. The Foundation is supported by Georgians who, like you, want to see us, “Changing Georgia Policy, Changing Georgians’ Lives.” Your contribution is tax-deductible and greatly appreciated. To donate, please go to georgiapolicy.org/get-involved/donate/.
Quotes of Note
“Human beings will generally exercise power when they can get it, and they will exercise it most undoubtedly in popular governments under pretense of public safety.” – Daniel Webster
“Until you’ve been in politics, you’ve never really been alive. It’s rough and sometimes it’s dirty and it’s always hard work and tedious detail. But it’s the only sport for Grown-ups. All other games are for kids.” – Robert Heinlein
“Let each citizen remember at the moment he is offering his vote that he is not making a present or a compliment to please an individual – or at least that he ought not so to do; but that he is executing one of the most solemn trusts in human society for which he is accountable to God and his country.” – Samuel Adams
As you prepare to vote on Nov. 6, get educated about the two constitutional amendments on the Georgia ballot. Read the Foundation’s two commentaries, “Charters, Choice and the Children” and “State Property Leases Could Get a New Lease on Life.” Both are on the Web site at www.georgiapolicy.org.
Curious about what’s going on with education-related election issues around the nation? Education Week has a wrap-up at http://tinyurl.com/ceequev.
Sandy’s effect: Reports showed retail sales up 4.4 percent for October compared to a year ago, and speculation is that Americans preparing for Hurricane Sandy were responsible for the shopping boost. Meanwhile, an economist at Mississippi State University who estimated an immediate economic loss from Hurricane Sandy to be about $20 billion in property damage – or $60 billion when considering lost work time, lost tax revenue on wages, a loss of spending effect and loss of commerce during business closures – added that the rebuilding efforts could boost the construction industry. But does all this this cause economic growth? Read Henry Hazlitt’s explanation of the fallacy of the broken window here: http://tinyurl.com/bc452xb.
School choice I: Interested in learning about public charter schools? The Center for an Educated Georgia has published “Freedom to Innovate, Freedom to Educate,” which explores innovations at three state-chartered public schools: Pataula Charter Academy in South Georgia, Atlanta Heights Charter School in Atlanta and Ivy Preparatory Academy in Gwinnett County.
School choice II: Louisiana’s board of education received 49 charter school applications in 2012, of which 26 were for startups (new schools instead of conversions from traditional public schools), more than five times the 2011 number. This follows passage of a law in the spring that allows people in failing school districts who wish to start a charter school to apply directly to the state school board, bypassing local school board approval. A streamlined approval process, announced in August, is expected to further expand charter school options.
Catch 22: Employers in states that do not establish health exchanges may not be subject to ObamaCare’s employer-mandate penalty, according to the Cato Institute. The law only authorizes a tax penalty on employers if their employee receives a tax credit; however, tax credits may only be issued by state exchanges. Thus states without exchanges could not issue tax credits to trigger the penalty. In a move that may be illegal, the IRS will issue tax credits to those who buy from a federal exchange.
Foundation in the news
Foundation Senior Fellow Ron Bachman was quoted in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution on the state insurance exchanges required under ObamaCare. He said states can get federal money to set up exchanges, but it isn’t clear how they could be made financially self-sustaining and not a burden on state treasuries once they’re up and running. Bachman said private exchanges should be implemented instead, adding he’s unsure the federal government has enough resources and the capability to run the exchanges. “It’s an enormous expense,” he said. “You’re talking about establishing a really large business.”
Foundation Vice President Benita Dodd’s op-ed in the Atlanta Journal Constitution on Tuesday proposed that MARTA’s deficit be reduced through managed competition, including privatization and outsourcing at the transit agency.
January 24, 2013: Just one week after attending the national Transportation Research Board’s annual meeting, Robert W. Poole will keynote, “Moving Georgia Ahead: What’s Coming Down the Pike,” an 8 a.m. Leadership Breakfast hosted by the Georgia Public Policy Foundation at Cobb County’s Georgian Club. Poole, a Senior Fellow at the Georgia Public Policy Foundation, is a co-founder of the Reason Foundation and its director of transportation policy and Searle Freedom Trust Transportation Fellow. He will provide an update on the outlook for transportation policy, funding and innovation amid fiscal constraints and partisan politics, and outline Georgia’s options for mobility and congestion relief. Registration for this event is $25; register here: http://tinyurl.com/y27h3dk.
The Forum: In Benita Dodd’s “Checking Up On Health” blog, find out what are the odds you’re getting the right treatment for pink eye, what’s happening with maggots, who’s being wormy with Congress about ObamaCare and the pediatricians’ take on organic foods. Read submissions to the Foundation from parents around the state who found an education solution through school choice. Read them and other recent Foundation articles and posts on The Forum at http://forum.georgiapolicy.org/category/the-forum/.
Join the Foundation’s nearly 1,760 Facebook fans: “Like” us at www.facebook.com/GeorgiaPolicy for timely policy news, daily views, quotes and photos from recent events. Then join the 780-plus followers of the Foundation on Twitter at twitter.com/gppf.
Visit www.georgiapolicy.org to read the Foundation’s latest commentary, “No Matter the Election Winner, Only Leadership Will Restore America.”
Have a great weekend. On Monday, thank a U.S. veteran for serving.
FRIDAY FACTS is made possible by the generosity of the Georgia Public Policy Foundation’s donors. If you enjoy the FRIDAY FACTS, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to help advance our important mission by clicking here. Visit our Web site at www.georgiapolicy.org. Join The Forum at http://forum.georgiapolicy.org/. Become a fan of the Foundation on Facebook and follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/gppf.
The Georgia Public Policy Foundation has been doing important work for the free enterprise movement for the past 20 years. I can assure you from the vantage of a non-profit think tank in Washington, D.C. with much the same principles as GPPF that the work we do simply would not be possible if it were not for the important work that GPPF does. We see it, we understand it, it is an inspiration to us, it is the kind of thing that will translate into the important work that we can do in Washington, D.C. We thank you very much for that.