Quotes of Note
“[T]he great security against a gradual concentration of the several powers in the same department consists in giving to those who administer each department the necessary constitutional means and personal motives to resist encroachment of the others.” – James Madison, Federalist No. 51, 1788
“It is often asserted that the world has made a great deal of progress since 1776, that we have had new thoughts and experiences which have given us a great advance over the people of that day, and that we may therefore very well discard their conclusions for something more modern. But that reasoning cannot be applied to this great charter. If all men are created equal, that is final. If they are endowed with inalienable rights, that is final. If governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed, that is final. No advance, no progress can be made beyond these propositions.” – Calvin Coolidge
July 10:If you live in Macon or environs, join the Foundation’s Friedman Legacy for Freedom Day event at Macon’s Idle Hour Country Club. 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. Registration is $30; register online at http://bit.ly/1hGJkJX.
September 19: Mark your calendar for the 2014 Georgia Legislative Policy Forum. The theme this year is, “Tearing Down Walls,” in recognition of this year’s 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.
Foundation members get around! Congratulations to Carl Parks of Athens, whose son, Adam Parks (shown in the picture below), is one of the special agents honored for their extraordinary effort to rescue children from sexual predators. View the video about their effort, Operation Cross Bolt, here. Meanwhile, John Williamson of Ellijay had his letter to the editor about health care premiums under ObamaCare published in The Wall Street Journal this week. Williamson pointed out, “It’s only the higher-income families that will have to pay the actual premiums which are escalating to $15,000 or more. Doesn’t this seem like another wealth redistribution program?”
Taxes and spending
Depends on the meaning of ‘dead broke’: On television to publicize her new book, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the family had been “dead broke.” That’s a questionable claim. Further, while the Clintons have long supported an estate tax, that doesn’t mean they want to pay it, a Bloomberg article points out. To reduce the tax pinch, the Clintons are using financial planning strategies befitting the top 1 percent of U.S. households in wealth that will help shield some of their estate from the tax that now tops out at 40 percent of assets upon death. Sadly, such expertise is rarely available to the average citizen. That’s why the Foundation champions tax reform that simplifies and reduces the burden for all Georgians.
Income inequality: Contrary to claims by left-leaning economists, individual inequality hasn’t changed at all since 1960, an Investor’s Business Daily editorial notes. But there has been an increase in household inequality, and the changing composition and size of households are the reason. Since 1960, the average size has plunged from more than 3.4 persons to about 2.55; one-person households have nearly quintupled since 1960 and today make up nearly 30 percent of all households. Put simply, households are smaller, with fewer earners.
Transit vs. cars: While tracking households that had participated in two federal housing voucher programs, the Urban Institute found that car owners were twice as likely as transit users to find jobs and four times likelier to retain them. Car-owning households were also able to locate near better neighborhoods and schools. This reaffirmed previous work by the Progressive Policy Institute arguing that car ownership plants the seeds for upward mobility. Source: DailyBeast.com
Derailed agenda: The willingness of many rail advocates to support high-cost, low-capacity rail lines calls into question the entire rail agenda, according to Randal O’Toole of the Cato Institute. “Supporters of low-capacity lines are not truly interested in transportation; supporters of high-cost lines are not truly interested in urban efficiencies. If they are not willing to draw the line against such projects, then there is little reason to believe their claims about the benefits of other rail projects.” Read his full analysis here: http://object.cato.org/sites/cato.org/files/pubs/pdf/pa750_web.pdf.
Uber reaction: Jerry Brito of the Reason Foundation declares the Virginia government’s response to Uber and Lyft is behind the times and a disservice to residents. It’s a warning Georgia should heed: “[E]ven though anyone who’s ever used these services in Virginia can tell you that Uber and Lyft are quicker, safer, cleaner and cheaper than taxis, the DMV wants to ban the services until they can develop a study and have the legislature give its consent. Here’s a radical idea: how about allowing the innovation to continue apace while the government studies it and gets its regulatory house in order?”
Web site of the Week: The Property and Environment Research Center, http://perc.org, is the nation’s first and largest institute dedicated to improving environmental quality through property rights and markets. An exciting recent paper: How Property Rights Save the Environment.
Social media: The Foundation has almost 2,250 “likes” on Facebook and more than 1,200 Twitter followers!
The Forum: In Benita Dodd’s Checking Up On Health, find out about ObamaCare questions, health care options, immunization challenges and the health care questions you should know to ask. Foundation editor Mike Klein writes that a new Pew Charitable Trusts study finds Georgia is one of the best states at reporting juvenile recidivism data. Klein also reports on new federal funds for Georgia juvenile justice strategies and Crystal Williams, who grew up in foster care and has become a powerful advocate for foster care youth. 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, “Education Excellence Can’t Be Achieved From Above,” by Jason Bedrick.
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!