Generosity I: Georgia ranks second only to Utah in the percentage of income given to charity, according to the latest “Generosity Index” report of U.S. states and Canadian provinces from the Fraser Institute.
Generosity II: In light of the previous post … Do you enjoy the Friday Facts? If so, we’d like you to remind you of the fine print at the bottom of every edition of the Friday Facts: “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.” Please contribute. It’s quick, it’s easy and you’ll help us promote limited government, free enterprise and the ability for YOU to decide where your hard-earned dollars should go.
April 24: Matt Candler, founder and CEO of 4.0 Schools, keynotes, “School Choice: Big Gains in The Big Easy,” the Foundation’s 8 a.m. Leadership Breakfast at Cobb County’s Georgian Club. This event is open to the public and is $25 to attend. Find out more at http://www.georgiapolicy.org/?p=12626. Register at http://bit.ly/1lmETV5.
Health Care Forum May 7: At its May 7-9 Forum at the Galleria Centre, the Institute for Healthcare Consumerism hosts the first face-to-face “Great Debate” between two of the nation’s most influential health care experts on the future of health reform in the United States: John Goodman, a key thought leader for free market solutions and Dr. Kenneth Thorpe, who worked in the Clinton administration on “HillaryCare” and has been key resource to most every Democratic presidential nominee during the last 20 years. For a special price of $159, Foundation members can attend the events of Wednesday, May 7. This includes a four-hour pre-conference presentation, “Physicians Report on State of Health Care in America,” by Docs 4 Patient Care; the Great Debate and the Opening Night Reception. Find out more at http://www.theihccforum.com/2014-ihc-forum-and-expo/
Quotes of Note
“The ideal use of a subsidy should be when we want to stimulate action that would not have otherwise been undertaken. Regardless of how profitable a company is, they are not going to intentionally make unprofitable business decisions unless an incentive such as a regulation or a subsidy is applied. If we subsidize an action that would have been undertaken in any case – business as usual – then that would not ordinarily be a good usage of tax dollars.” – Robert Rapier
“As a former union leader, I made maintaining union influence and power a greater priority than meeting the educational needs of parents and students. But seeing firsthand the positive impact that D.C.’s federally funded voucher program had on many families – especially those of color and limited means – compelled me to rethink my position.” – George Parker, former president, Washington Teachers Union
Taxes and spending
Voters want tax reform: Ahead of Tax Day on April 15, the National Association of Manufacturers released a poll showing voters want policy-makers to work together to enact a simpler, fairer tax code. Of particular interest, American taxpayers are taking a big picture look at tax reform, offering strong support for pro-growth policies even if their personal tax burden is unaffected, the poll found.
Keep it simple: A simpler, more efficient, more growth-oriented tax system is feasible if lawmakers are willing to remove or restructure the current array of distortionary tax breaks, according to Alex Brill, of the American Enterprise Institute. He describes House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp’s reform proposal as “irrefutably bold” and says it “embraces the two pillars of a painstakingly simpler and fairer income tax system: lower statutory tax rates and a broader tax base.”
Piling on the rules: Congress may be mired in gridlock, but the federal bureaucracy is busier than ever, The Wall Street Journal reports. Washington set a new record in 2013 by issuing final rules consuming 26,417 pages in the Federal Register. That’s 3,659 “final” rules, which means they now must be obeyed, and 2,594 proposed rules on their way to becoming orders. The Federal Register finished 2013 at 79,311 pages, the fourth highest total in history. President Obama’s all-time record was 81,405 pages in 2010; four of the highest page counts have been on his watch. The other was 79,435 pages under President George W. Bush in 2008.
Why Georgia needs tax reform: Rich States, Poor States, a report released by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) ranks Georgia ninth in the nation in its economic outlook, beaten in the Southeast only by North Carolina (No. 6), whose legislative reforms of 2013 distinguished it as one of the “biggest winners in economic outlook for 2014.” New York was ruled the poorest; Texas was No. 1.
GPPF in the news: Kelly McCutchen’s op-ed on alternatives to Medicaid expansion was featured in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Sunday, along with Benita Dodd’s quotes on why buses are the best option for public transportation expansion in metro Atlanta. The Atlanta Business Chronicle also quoted Benita on the Atlanta Streetcar. On radio, Benita talked transportation on, “This Week in Blairsville,” with Patrick Malone on WJRB-FM, (Talk of the Mountains) and Kelly tackled taxes on April 15 on Rome’s WRGA 1470 AM, 98.5 FM with John Druckenmiller. Kelly was also quoted in the AJC on April 15 on the tax breaks signed into law: “This haphazard way of doing tax reform is not very effective. I certainly would rather us undertake comprehensive tax reform so we didn’t have to resort to special tax breaks.” And Benita was quoted in the Marietta Daily Journal opposing the practice of awarding government grants to private companies.
Web site of the week: Georgia Politics Unfiltered, at www.georgiaunfiltered.com, shares some of the stories behind the stories in Georgia. It’s worth signing up for the e-mails.
YouTube: Thanks for watching the videos of Foundation events, which are available online within a couple of days of each event. You’ve taken the site to more than 46,000 views! Visit the Foundation’s YouTube channel!
Social media: The Foundation has more than 2,200 “likes” on Facebook and 1,176 Twitter followers!
The Forum: Georgia’s rainy day fund could approach $1 billion this year, a significant improvement from just a few years ago when it dipped to about $100 million during the recession, Editor Mike Klein writes. In Benita Dodd’s Checking Up on Health, she shares news about ObamaCare moving the goalposts, more allergy options and a Georgia woman accused of faking patients’ mammogram results. Read these and other recent posts at georgiapolicy.org/category/the-forum/.
Visit www.georgiapolicy.org to read recent commentaries.
Have a blessed Easter 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.