February 26: Tired of Washington’s out-of-control spending? The Foundation’s February 26 Leadership Breakfast focuses on the “The Case for the Compact for a Balanced Budget,” keynoted by Nick Dranias of the Goldwater Institute. The 8 a.m. event at the Galleria Centre in Cobb County is open to the public; registration is $25 per person. Find out more here; register online by Monday, February 24, at http://bit.ly/LewuTz. (Please note: This event is NOT at the Georgian Club.)
March 5: You are invited to join the Foundation’s celebration of 23 years of promoting liberty in Georgia at its Annual Dinner at the Cobb Galleria Centre. The keynote speaker is 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.
Here is more events information from our YouTube Channel:
Quotes of Note
“I wish it were possible to obtain a single amendment to our constitution; I would be willing to depend on that alone for the reduction of the administration of our government to the genuine principles of its constitution. I mean an additional article taking from the federal government the power of borrowing.” – Thomas Jefferson
“A decent and manly examination of the acts of the Government should be not only tolerated, but encouraged.” – William Henry Harrison
“A government program that makes it better for people to work less or not work at all is a government program that is terribly flawed.” – Rich Galen
Uber the top: Chicago’s mayor wants to impose fees and regulations on the ride-sharing industry, currently dominated by Uber and Lyft and giving taxis, limousines and transit a run for their money. Unfortunately Georgia, too, is getting in on the act with legislation to regulate – through licensing, fees and oversight – these increasingly popular services.
Technology: The number of multiple-vehicle crashes increased on the nation’s roadways this winter, according to USA today. If you were on Atlanta’s roads on January 28, you probably saw some of the more than 1,200 weather-related wrecks. Automated – “self-driving” – vehicles have the potential to reduce both car crashes and traffic congestion. Georgia needs to embrace the technology and focus on liability solutions.
HOT lanes are hot: How popular are Georgia’s toll lanes on I-85? The Georgia State Road and Tollway Authority (SRTA) tells myfoxatlanta.com it is still issuing 600 new Peach Passes per week.
Charitable acts: Regardless of Georgia’s decision on Medicaid expansion, hundreds of thousands of Georgians will remain uninsured. One immediate way to help the uninsured (and save money) is to provide access to primary care clinics instead of expensive and unnecessary trips to emergency rooms. Thanks to leadership and private support, Georgia is a national leader in charity care.
Medicaid Expansion: The proponents of Medicaid expansion sound like the radio ads for refinancing your mortgage, arguing it’s “the biggest no brainer in the history of the world!” We beg to differ: Here are “Nine Reasons to Question Medicaid Expansion.”
Depressed? Read these articles to make you feel better: America’s Glass Half-Empty or Half-Full? and 50 Reasons We’re Living Through the Greatest Period in World History.
More good news: The U.S. now ranks seventh in the world in higher-speed broadband network usage, up from 28th in 2008, and America’s mobile networks now lead the world in deploying and using the fastest wireless standard, 4G/LTE. Industry and local governments working to expedite cell phone tower siting is the latest example of Georgia’s successful telecom policy.
Energy and environment
Dodging a renewable bullet: Robert Bryce of the Manhattan Institute writes in The Wall Street Journal that for years, many on the political left insisted renewable energy would create jobs and stimulate the economy. Now, both the European Union and the German government have announced rollbacks of subsidies and mandates for renewable energy, citing the huge costs. In 2011, when Germany peddled solar energy at the State Capitol, the Foundation’s Benita Dodd warned, “The temptation is great, but legislators must focus on commonsense policy that promotes cost-effective, clean energy.”
Keystone cop-out: The State Department’s latest report on the proposed Keystone Pipeline finds that construction would create almost 2,000 jobs that last for two years, the project would support more than 40,000 jobs and would not harm the environment. Professor Jeffrey Dorman of the University of Georgia writes in Forbes that it’s still unlikely to see approval. Georgia is among the states that would benefit from the jobs and economic boost.
School choice: The $58 million donation cap for Georgia’s tax-credit scholarship program was reached just 22 days into the new tax year. As a result of this overwhelming demand to help Georgia parents choose private education, legislation has been introduced (HB759) to increase the cap to $100 million. By comparison, Florida’s tax-credit scholarship program, the nation’s largest, is capped at $286.25 million.
Media and Social Media
Web site of the week: The Foundation for Economic Education, www.fee.org, is one of the nation’s oldest think tanks. Based in Atlanta, FEE focuses on educating young people about free market economics and its foundations. It holds seminars around the nation for high school and college students.
YouTube: The Foundation’s YouTube channel views are now over 40,000! This week the Georgia House Judiciary Committed considered legislation that would enable Georgia to join with other states to call for a constitutional convention to force the federal government to operate with a balanced budget. Compact for America chairman Chip DeMoss testified; view his presentation here. Foundation Editor Mike Klein also covered civil asset forfeiture reform legislation: Prosecutors proposed several possible amendments at a House Judiciary Committee hearing Wednesday, and one amendment focused on who should investigate law enforcement agencies that knowingly file false civil forfeiture reform reports.
Facebook: The Foundation’s Facebook page has 2,212 “likes.” Join us at facebook.com/GeorgiaPolicy to view daily policy news, views, updates, Quotes of Note and event photos. Ask your high school or college student to like the Foundation’s Student Outreach Scholarship page on Facebook at facebook.com/GeorgiaPolicySOSProgram. See our School Choice Week 2014 event photos here.
Twitter: The Foundation has 1,135 followers! Get your Foundation news at twitter.com/gppf.
The Forum: In Checking Up On Health, Benita Dodd asks whether you’re washing your hands properly this flu season. Foundation Editor Mike Klein writes about legislation to involve the community and nonprofits in foster care in Georgia and about civil forfeiture reform hearings in the House. Find these and more posts at georgiapolicy.org/category/the-forum/.
Visit www.georgiapolicy.org to read our latest commentary, “Fostering Better Care of Georgia’s Children,” by Tarren Bragdon and Benita M. Dodd.
Have a great weekend!
Kelly McCutchen and Benita Dodd
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As an employer, and a parent and a graduate of Georgia public schools, I am pleased that the Foundation has undertaken this project. (The report card) provides an excellent tool for parents and educators to objectively evaluate our public high schools. It will further serve a useful purpose as a benchmark for the future to measure our schools’ progress.