Quotes of Note
“The fundamental premise upon which the Great Society vision for America was conceived is the idea of political paternalism. Good men, with enough political power, authority, and financial resources can successfully solve the problems of society. The dilemma, however, is that for government to do anything for us, it must at the same time have the police power do things to us.” – Richard Ebeling
“In selecting men for office, let principle be your guide. Regard not the particular sect or denomination of the candidate – look to his character as a man of known principle, of tried integrity, and undoubted ability for the office.” – Noah Webster
“It is important also to consider, that the surest means of avoiding war is to be prepared for it in peace.” – Joseph Story
May 20: Georgia’s primary elections take place. If you haven’t yet voted, don’t forget to do so!
Taxes and spending
It’s off to work: The average U.S. household owes about $107,000 in consumer debt, while the federal debt is about $143,000 per household. Source: Just Facts Daily
Who pays corporate taxes? Almost 60 percent of the corporate tax burden falls on workers, according to a report from the Adam Smith Institute. While the corporation technically “pays” the tax, those costs are passed on to others.
Who cares? Even as ObamaCare promotes Medicaid expansion in the states, less than half of doctors won’t accept new Medicaid patients, according to a survey of physicians’ across five specialties in 15 metropolitan markets. The average of 45.7 percent was down from 55.4 percent in 2009 and 49.9 percent in 2004. Source: Heritage Foundation
Cost to care: The total spent on all the health care exchanges so far is $7.394 billion, according to an analysis by Jay Angoff, a former Health and Human Services employee. Additionally, the average cost-per-enrollee for all 50 states plus the District of Columbia was $922. Costs ranged from a low of $76 per enrollee in Florida, to $23,899 in Hawaii. The cost in Georgia was $240 per enrollee.
Energy and environment
Shrinking footprint: The amount of federal acres leased for oil and gas exploration has dropped 24 percent since 2008. While the United States leased 131 million federal acres in 1984, it leased only 36 million acres last year. Source: Real Clear Energy
Tilting at windmills: Eliminating all the nation’s greenhouse gas emissions forever would impact temperatures by less than two-tenths of one degree by 2100, research indicates. Source: Cato Institute
At what price renewables? Germany set a record Sunday, generating 74 percent of its energy needs from renewables. Along with cutting out fossil fuel-generated energy to a large extent, Germany’s goal is to transition to 80 percent renewables. The liberal blog ThinkProgress acknowledges, however, “The goals are only achievable in combination with greatly reduced energy demand. Instead, coal imports are increasing in order to meet the country’s baseload power demands and retail electricity rates are high and rising, putting pressure on lower income individuals in particular.” Source: Real Clear Energy
Costs of congestion: Congestion on the nation’s Interstate highways added over $9.2 billion in operational costs to the trucking industry in 2013, according to the American Transportation Research Institute. Delay totaled over 141 million hours of lost productivity, which equated to over 51,000 truck drivers sitting idle for a working year. Costs to Georgia were eighth-highest in the nation, at $304,113,197.
Squeaky wheel: Recent news reports have zeroed in on Washington’s next “cliff,” the “transportation cliff” that is expected to happen when the federal Highway Trust Fund runs out of money sometime this summer, Randal O’Toole of the Cato Institute notes. “Most of those articles have a hidden agenda: to increase spending for transit even though transit now gets 20 percent of federal surface transport dollars but carries little more than 1 percent of the travel carried by automobiles (about 55 billion passenger miles by transit vs. 4.3 trillion passenger miles in cars and light trucks).”
Web site of the week: At http://research.columbian.gwu.edu/regulatorystudies/, the Regulatory Studies Center of George Washington University shares studies, statistics and stories on the impacts of government regulation on Americans and businesses. This week’s research: The center asks why the Environmental Protection Agency is pursuing proposed carbon dioxide emissions performance standards for power plants that it expects will not change CO2 emissions.
YouTube: Find out how the state will implement its prisoner reentry initiative in this YouTube video.
Social media:The Foundation has almost 2,250 “likes” on Facebook and almost 1,200 Twitter followers!
The Forum: In the Forum this week, Foundation Editor Mike Klein, who covered the first Criminal Justice Reform Council meeting of 2014 this week, writes that Georgia is seeking federal grants to implement its new prisoner reentry initiative. Michael Horn, co-founder of the Clayton Christensen Institute, writes about what he found in South Korea and Vietnam classrooms during his recent visit. a recent monthlong visit to the two countries. University of Georgia economist Jeffrey Dorfman used “Harry Potter” author J.K. Rowling as an example of the best of what capitalism is all about. Benita Dodd appeared on ChoiceMedia.TV to discuss education issues. Read these and other recent posts at georgiapolicy.org/category/the-forum/.
Visit www.georgiapolicy.org to read the latest commentary, “Taxes Do Matter to Migration,” by Jonathan Williams, Will Freeland and Ben Wilterdink.
Saturday is Armed Forces Day. Take the opportunity to honor those in our military and show your appreciation for the people who make the sacrifice so that we can live free.
Have a great weekend!
Kelly McCutchen and Benita Dodd
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When I served four terms in the state Senate, one of the few places where you could go to always and get concrete information about real solutions was the Georgia Public Policy Foundation. That hasn’t changed. [The Foundation] is really right up there at the top of the state think tanks, so you should be very proud of the work that they are doing!