Quotes of Note
“Sometimes I think my papa is an accordion. When he looks at me and smiles and breathes, I hear the notes.” – Markus Zusak, “The Book Thief”
“Over and over again courts have said that there is nothing sinister in so arranging one’s affairs as to keep taxes as low as possible. Everybody does so, rich or poor; and all do right, for nobody owes any public duty to pay more than the law demands: taxes are enforced exactions, not voluntary contributions. To demand more in the name of morals is mere cant.” – Judge Learned Hand
“We may as well face the fact, and face it squarely, that we are too much governed. The agencies of government have multiplied, their ramifications extended, their powers enlarged, and their sphere widened, until the whole system is top-heavy. We are drifting into dangerous and insidious paternalism, submerging the self-reliance of the citizen, and weakening the responsibility and stifling the initiative of the individual. We suffer not from too little legislation but from too much. We need fewer enactments and more repeals.” – Roland H. Hartley (Washington State governor, 1925)
July 10:If you live in Macon or environs, mark your calendar. The Foundation’s Friedman Legacy for Freedom Day is on the road again! The annual international celebration marks the birthday of the late Milton Friedman, winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics and a champion of free market causes and school choice. The noon luncheon event, keynoted by Dr. Ben Scafidi, is open to the public and takes place at Macon’s Idle Hour Country Club. Registration $30.
Sept. 19: Mark your calendar for the 2014 Georgia Legislative Policy Forum. The theme this year is, “Tearing Down Walls,” in recognition of the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.
Sept. 22: Mark your calendar for the showing of “Rockin’ The Wall” – about the impact of music on the fall of the Berlin Wall – sponsored by the Foundation at the Earl Strand Theatre in Marietta.
Skin of our teeth: It’s a good thing Georgia declined to build its own health care exchange under the Affordable Care Act. Already, five states of the 14 states chose to build their own are looking at spending up to $240 million to fix their exchange Web sites or switching to the federal marketplace. Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada and Oregon have been plagued with problems, The Wall Street Journal reported this week.
Big picture from the Longhorn State: The federally run health exchange in Texas has failed to attract a significant portion of the state’s uninsured, according to a new analysis by the Texas Public Policy Foundation. It blames the high cost of premiums on the exchange for discouraging many uninsured Texans. Most of the exchange enrollees in Texas and nationwide were previously insured: Total exchange enrollment was only 23 percent of the estimated number of potential enrollees – 733,757 out of more than 3.1 million. Of the more than 1.3 million Texans who actually completed an application, only 53 percent went on to select a plan and complete enrollment.
Woodwork effect: Georgia’s Medicaid enrollment increase was by far the largest among the non-expansion states in sheer numbers and third in percentage of growth behind Montana and New Hampshire, the Atlanta Business Journal reports.
Signs of the times: Writing in the Marietta Daily Journal about his trip to the 70th anniversary commemoration of D-Day in France, Ken Kirk of Marietta criticizes the political opportunists who gave veterans a back seat – or no seat at all – and kept the “Greatest Generation” waiting in the sun for hours.
Energy and environment
A watershed moment: You’ve heard of POTUS, FLOTUS and SCOTUS. Now there’s WOTUS, the latest regulatory overreach by the federal Environmental Protection Agency titled, “Definition of ‘Waters of the United States’ Under the Clean Water Act.” It would remove “navigable” from U.S. water law and redefine nearly everything wet as “waters of the United States,” or WOTUS, potentially subjecting us all to permits and fines. “In my view this is a power grab, nothing more,” said U.S. Rep. Bob Gibbs (R-Ohio) chairman of the House Water Resources and Environment Subcommittee. Source: CFact.org
Listen to recent interviews of Benita Dodd on the Foundation’s issues by program host Patrick Malone of, “This Week in Blairsville,” on WJRB-AM at www.georgiapolicy.org/?p=13396.
Web site of the Week: Visit Intellectual Takeout, a non-partisan organization whose posts deliver what as promised: to “feed minds, foster discussion, and inspire action based on the principles and virtues necessary for human flourishing.” One example: “Tragedy of the Commons: Why Do Shared Resources Get Misused?“
Social media:The Foundation has almost 2,250 “likes” on Facebook and almost 1,200 Twitter followers!
The Forum: In Benita Dodd’s Checking Up On Health, find out about mosquito magnets, measles, what happens when doctors do “Frozen” and more. Foundation Editor Mike Klein writes that President Obama has signed legislation that will enable the Savannah Harbor deepening project to proceed. Watch for Mike’s article today on changes at the Division of Family and Children Services. Read these and other recent posts at georgiapolicy.org/category/the-forum/.
YouTube: The Foundation’s YouTube channel has passed 50,000 views!
Visit www.georgiapolicy.org to read the latest commentary, “Saving our Scalp(er)s,” by Tom Giovanetti.
Have a great weekend and a Happy Fathers’ Day!
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!