August 28: Mark your calendar to hear former Commissioner of the Securities and Exchange Commission Paul S. Atkins and the American Enterprise Institute’s Peter Wallison discuss the dangerous regulatory expansion of the Dodd-Frank Act. Registration for “Unaccountable Government in Action: Capital Markets in the Fed’s Cross-Hairs” opens next week.
September 19: Register now to reserve your seat at the 2014 Georgia Legislative Policy Forum. Talk show host and former presidential candidate Herman Cain is one of the keynote speakers at the forum, whose theme centers on, “Tearing Down Walls,” in recognition of this year’s 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. Experts will discuss tearing down the walls to tax, education and health care reform in Georgia. Find out more and register at www.georgiapolicy.org/?p=3264.
September 15: Health Connect South will bring together Georgia’s top-tier health leaders and innovators to figure out how to work together to solve problems and make Georgia a leader in health care. Register today at healthconnectsouth.com.
September 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.
Quotes of Note
“In an age when scientists are creating artificial intelligence, too many of our educational institutions seem to be creating artificial stupidity.” – Thomas Sowell
“Government is a way by which every individual believes he can live at the expense of everybody else.” – Milton Friedman
Kudos to Savannah, named No. 2 on the list of the friendliest cities in the nation by Conde Nast! Charleston, S.C., topped the list. Source: USA Today.
Safe cities: Johns Creek is named Georgia’s safest city based on data analyzed by Movoto, a popular real estate Web site. Rounding out the top 10 are (2) Acworth (3) Canton (4) Kennesaw (5) Grovetown (6) Duluth (7) Suwanee (8) Dallas (9) Woodstock and (10) Loganville. In the unlikely event you’re thinking of moving from Georgia, find the safest cities in each state here.
Public school choice: How do you feel about going to school anywhere and anytime? You can do it with Georgia Cyber Academy, as an 11Alive television news segment shows.
Guide to the Issues 2014: Reading proficiency among Georgia fourth-graders is now right at the national average. Only four other states have a greater rate of improvement over the last decade. Find out more in the “Education Overview and Statistics” chapter of our Guide to the Issues 2014.
A quarter-century of ADA: The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), signed in 1990, improved disabled Americans’ access to jobs, workplaces and public spaces. It has been implemented and enforced at significant expense for taxpayers and some businesses; some people even made a living out of filing “gotcha” ADA lawsuits against businesses. But the Institute for Policy Innovation reports that for several reasons, in recent years there has been an explosion of people on disability benefits, which has financially imperiled the Disability Insurance (DI) part of the Social Security Trust Fund.
Penalty-free: Ninety percent of Americans without health insurance – 25 million people – will not have to pay a penalty in 2016 for not having any, thanks to the numerous exemptions from the Affordable Care Act. Source: Wall Street Journal
No transportation tax: Missouri’s referendum on a sales tax dedicated to transportation funding was rejected 59-41 percent this week. Over the past five years, Missouri’s construction budget for roads and bridges has fallen from about $1.3 billion annually to around $700 million this year. That is blamed on the end of a bond measure and federal stimulus funds, along with more fuel-efficient vehicles cutting into gas tax revenue. Source: Governing Magazine
Foundation in the news: The Savannah Morning News published Benita Dodd’s commentary on the regulatory overreach of the Environmental Protection Agency and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Morris News quoted her on her testimony at a joint transportation legislative study committee hearing on Tuesday in Atlanta: “Dodd recommended public-private partnerships and imposing more user fees, such as tolls on new and existing roads,” the AJC reported.
The Forum: In Checking Up On Health this week, Benita Dodd shares news on 50 ways to cut costs, five reasons to be glad you have U.S. health care, and the “Priceline” for practitioners. Read this and more at www.georgiapolicy.org/category/the-forum/.
Web site of the Week: The Job Creators Network, a nonpartisan organization founded by entrepreneurs like Home Depot co-founder Bernie Marcus, maintains that government policies are hurting business owners and killing job creation. Its premise is that the best defense against bad government policies is a well-informed public, and it achieves this through its Employer to Employee education program.
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!
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.)