February 28, 2014
Please join us at the Georgia Public Policy Foundation’s Annual Reception and Dinner on Wednesday, March 5 as we celebrate 23 years of promoting liberty in Georgia! The event is at the Cobb Galleria Centre, with keynote speaker Daniel Garza, a first-generation American who is the inspiring executive director of the LIBRE Initiative. Find out more about Garza and the event here. See Kelly McCutchen explain the significance of the event here.
Quotes of Note
“Dependence begets subservience and venality, suffocates the germ of virtue, and prepares fit tools for the designs of ambition.” – Thomas Jefferson
“It is the highest impertinence and presumption, therefore, in kings and ministers to pretend to watch over the economy of private people, and to restrain their expense. … They are themselves always, and without any exception, the greatest spendthrifts in society. Let them look well after their own expense, and they may safely trust private people with theirs.” – Adam Smith
“When the people find they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic.” – Benjamin Franklin
Up, up and away: First it was to cost $72 million, $47.6 million of it from the federal government. In April 2013, the estimated cost of Atlanta’s 2.6-mile streetcar rose to $99 million. The official Streetcar site still estimates that operating the Streetcar will cost $1.7 million annually in 2013 dollars. (It also lists the capital costs at $92.6 million.) But back in 2012, the federal government put the annual operating cost at $2.6 million. Now, WSB-TV in Atlanta reports that operations are expected to cost $4.4 million a year. Read Benita Dodd’s January op-ed on the Streetcar in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Taxes and spending
It’s enough to drive you to liquor: Georgia’s tax on beer is fourth highest in the nation, its tax on wine is seventh highest, while its tax on distilled spirits is 34th highest. Source: Tax Foundation
We’re doing our job: Sixty-one percent of Americans favor smaller government with fewer services and lower taxes, according to a Rasmussen Reports Survey released this week.
About taxes: Georgia is among 41 states that have an income tax. Most income taxes are progressive. A new Mercatus Center report on the various taxes – income, consumption, corporate and property taxes – notes that increasing an income tax rate doesn’t necessarily lead to more revenue; workers are free to move to other jurisdictions. Broad income tax increases usually increase revenue collections, while tax hikes targeted toward smaller, more mobile populations are less effective.
Better care: The cost of the average emergency room visit is $969. Cost of primary care for a year under a new model: $600 to $720 a year for adults, with lower fees for children, according a New York Times report.
Fewer hours: It’s not just company employees whose hours are being cut because of the unaffordability of the Affordable Care Act. Cities, counties and other public sector institutions like community colleges are reducing the working hours of part-time employees to avoid having to provide them with health insurance. Source: New York Times
Other options: Despite its encroaching mandates and rules, ObamaCare is not the only option for states when it comes to their population in need of affordable coverage. States have the opportunity to create patient-centered solutions that would give people a much better value. Source: Heritage Foundation
Media and Social Media
Web site of the week: www.statebudgetsolutions.org provides data and analysis on state and federal budget issues. For example: Did you know that state governments combined received 31.6 percent of their general revenue from the federal government in 2012? Georgia ranked seventh, receiving 38.06 percent. Click here to learn about other states.
Social media sites: More than 2,200 “likes” on Facebook; more than 1,140 Twitter followers and more than 40,000 views on the Foundation’s YouTube channel. Be sure you join us!
YouTube: Watch Nick Dranias of the Goldwater Institute discuss the Compact for a Balanced Budget Amendment at the Foundation’s February 26 Leadership Breakfast here. View photographs of the event here.
The Forum: In Benita Dodd’s Checking Up On Health this week, find out about the ObamaCare numbers, medical malpractice payouts, the pseudoscience of Whole and more. Find these and more posts at georgiapolicy.org/category/the-forum/.
Visit www.georgiapolicy.org to read our latest commentary, “Don’t Let the Law Get Away With Georgians’ Goods,” by Benita M. Dodd.
Have a great weekend!
Kelly McCutchen and Benita Dodd
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 best way to make a lasting impact on public policy is to change public opinion. When you change the beliefs of the people; the politicians and political parties change with them.