Quotes of Note
“The bottom line is that spending is not our basic problem. We’ve become an immoral people demanding that Congress forcibly use one American to serve the purposes of another. Deficits and runaway national debt are merely symptoms of that larger problem.” – Walter Williams
“A major problem is that many people in our entitlement society see nothing wrong with forcing others to provide for their desires. In a free and open society, anyone should be able to purchase anything he or she wants that is legal. It really should be no one else’s business. Common sense dictates, however, that it immediately becomes my business if I’m being forced to pay for it.” – Dr. Ben Carson
“When one of our interviews was over, [President] Reagan drew me to the side of the Oval Office and confided, ‘You know, just between us, one of the hardest things in a government this size … no matter what our people way on top are trying to do … is to know that down there underneath is that permanent structure that is resisting everything you’re doing.’” – Donald Lambro
School choice and Georgians: A large majority of Georgians support school choice, and nearly all of those support choice for all Georgia students regardless of family income, according to a survey unveiled Thursday at a Georgia Public Policy Foundation event in Macon. The 2014 Georgia Education Survey for the Economics of Education Policy Center at Georgia College & State University and unveiled by the center’s director, Dr. Ben Scafidi, at the Foundation’s Friedman Legacy for Freedom celebration.
While you were sleeping: Writing in The Wall Street Journal, Eric A. Hanushek warns that amid the kerfluffle over Common Core, education reform is being undermined. “This year’s battle over the introduction of Common Core standards in public schools has diverted attention from a more important but quieter battle led by teachers unions to eliminate school accountability and teacher evaluations. These two measures are the real engines that will drive educational improvement, and it’s critical that attempts to do away with them be blocked,” Hanushek writes.
Affordable solutions for the uninsured: The Georgia Center for Opportunity has released a new report, “Increasing Access to Quality Healthcare for Low-Income Uninsured Georgians,” proposing a series of reforms that would improve access to health care in Georgia, at a fraction of the long-term costs associated with expanding Medicaid.
Independence Day? What independence? ObamaCare has pushed America over the entitlements tipping point, Merrill Matthews of the Institute for Policy Innovation writes in Forbes magazine. “In 2011 some 49.2 percent of U.S. households received benefits from one or more government,” according to the Census Bureau. With ObamaCare in place, “perhaps 52 percent of U.S. households – more than half – now receive benefits from the government, thanks to President Obama.”
Professional licensing: In the 1950s, only one in 20 U.S. workers needed the government’s permission to pursue their chosen occupation. Today, it’s almost one in three.A nationwide study found that while Georgia licenses 33 out of 102 moderate-income occupations, it imposes the 18th most burdensome requirements on workers wishing to enter those occupations. Find out how Georgia can ease the burden of professional licensing and improve entrepreneurship in the Foundation’s 2014 Guide to the Issues.
Energy and environment
Nuclear revival: William Tucker, author of a book on nuclear power, declares it “ridiculous to think we can go into the Industrial Belt of the Midwest and tell people they must close down coal plants without anything to replace them.” With the popularity of natural gas growing, “who knows how long the price will remain low? We should be building nuclear reactors right beside every old coal plant.” Source: Wall Street Journal
Costly coal wars: Writing about the Environmental Protection Agency’s recently announced tougher policy on carbon dioxide at existing power plants, Georgia Public Service Commissioner Tim Echols warns, “As an energy official for Georgia, I should advise you to open a new savings account because this EPA rule is going to hurt businesses and consumers alike.” Source: Atlanta Business Journal
Model misbehavior: He used to develop computer models for the Environmental Protection Agency, but Robert Caprara came to the realization, “that my work for the EPA wasn’t that of a scientist, at least in the popular imagination of what a scientist does. It was more like that of a lawyer. My job, as a modeler, was to build the best case for my client’s position.” Source: Wall Street Journal
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 in the news: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (subscription required) published Kelly McCutchen’s op-ed, “Work with state, give judges options,” on June 27 and Benita Dodd’s op-ed, “Section 5 of Voting Act needed to go,” on July Fourth.
Web site of the Week: More tolls are coming to Georgia roads. Keep up with the latest on tolling at http://tollroadsnews.com.
Social media:Have you “liked” the Foundation’s Facebook page yet? Join nearly 2,300 of our friends and get up-to-date news, policy views and event alerts. Follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/gppf!
The Forum: Foundation Editor Mike Klein writes about two Pew Charitable Trust reports that compare Georgia against other states in health care costs for adult inmates and the percentage of adult inmates who are released without a supervision plan. Read this and other recent posts at georgiapolicy.org/category/the-forum/.
Have a great weekend!
Kelly McCutchen and Benita Dodd
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The Foundation’s Criminal Justice Initiative pushed the problems to the forefront, proposed practical solutions, brought in leaders from other states to share examples, and created this nonpartisan opportunity. (At the signing of the 2012 Criminal Justice Reform bill.)