Where should Georgia go next on issues? If you missed the 2014 Georgia Legislative Policy Forum, find video of sessions and speakers here on our YouTube channel. See new event photos on our newest Facebook page dedicated to the Forum: facebook.com/GAlegforum.Read the issues handout we gave attendees here; read the tax PowerPoint presentation by economist Liz Malm of the Tax Foundation here.
Quotes of Note
“Forcing antiquated transportation regulations onto modern technologies simply doesn’t make sense.” – Taylor Bennett, Uber spokesman
“Conservative leaders owe it to their followers and the vulnerable to articulate a positive social justice agenda for the right. It must be tangible, practical and effective. And it must start with the following question: ‘What do the most vulnerable members of society need?’” – Arthur C. Brooks
“What I found at NASA is that 10 percent of the people working there are doing 90 percent of the work. … That was the point I decided two things: First, I would never operate any of my businesses with a headquarters, and second, I would never allow my businesses to be managed with a one-size-fits-all mentality. What a poor way to run a business!” – John Williammee
November 18: Mark your calendar for a Leadership Breakfast with Chris Barbic, superintendent of the Tennessee Achievement School District, who will share how that state gets the bottom 5 percent of low-performing schools out of the doldrums.
Why Georgia needs tax reform: The Cato Institute’s biennial 12th Fiscal Report Card on America’s Governors is out. Four governors were awarded an “A,” among them Pat McCrory of North Carolina, who signed into law “a major tax reform package in 2013, which replaced three individual income tax rates (6.0, 7.0, and 7.75 percent) with a single rate of 5.8 percent, falling to 5.75 percent in 2015. The package also cut the corporate tax rate, repealed the estate tax, and broadened the sales tax base. These reforms have substantially improved North Carolina’s tax competitiveness. Governor McCrory approved further tax cuts in 2014 and he has kept a tight rein on spending.”
Tenure: Teachers are legally entitled to due process to protect them from unfair dismissal and unjustifiable accusations of inadequate performance. But the current tenure system goes far beyond that, prioritizing teacher rehabilitation over adequate education, the American Enterprise Institute posits. “Fixing this broken system is not the solution to fixing our schools, but it is a problem that urgently needs to be addressed.”
‘Public’ transportation: A report on mass transit around the world shows that cost can be prohibitive to the people who need it most. Source: TheGuardian.com
Tolling bogeyman: Indiana’s toll operator may be struggling, but it’s still a great deal for the state, according to Chuck Schalliol, that state’s former Office of Management and Budget director when the Indiana Toll Road was leased. “By every measure, today’s Toll Road is the best-run it has ever been, and that won’t change if a different operator inherits the contract.” Source: Lafayette Journal and Courier
Energy and environment
Earth-friendly energy? According to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, “wind turbines may kill a half a million birds a year.” Wind also kills 600,000 bats annually, primarily through lung hemorrhaging. According the Center for Biological Diversity, the 300,000 mirrors of California’s Ivanpah solar facility will roast an estimated 28,380 birds annually. Read more in Deroy Murdock’s National Review article.
A sensible recycle: Like France, Britain and Japan, the United States should reprocess used nuclear fuel if it wants to gain access to a zero-carbon energy source while reducing the amount of used fuel that needs to be disposed of, William Shughart of the Independent Institute writes in Forbes magazine this week. Fears that reprocessing would lead to proliferation are unfounded, as no nuclear weapon has ever been made with the help of material obtained from used nuclear fuel, he writes.
Lights are on but … Enrollment in Medicaid is surging as a result of the Affordable Care Act, but the Obama administration and state officials have done little to ensure that new beneficiaries have access to doctors after they get their Medicaid cards, federal investigators say in a new report. Source: New York Times
ObamaCare defeat: A federal court in Oklahoma ruled that the Internal Revenue Service cannot require tax subsidies for individuals in health care exchanges established by the federal government in the states. “‘State’ cannot mean the federal government. This definition is dispositive when combined with the interpretive hurdle presented by the phrase ‘established by.’”
October 1, 2005: Kelly McCutchen tackled, “Privatization: Dispelling the Myths,” in his commentary. “A competitive marketplace provides the ultimate quality assurance because customers will choose another service provider if the combination of price and quality is not acceptable,” he wrote. Some things never change: A MARTA union is running an ad opposing outsourcing this week.
Web site of the Week: TheFGA.org is where you find the Foundation For Government Accountability, an organization that promotes, “better lives for individuals and families by equipping policymakers with principled strategies to replace failed health and welfare programs nationwide.” Among its focus are alternatives to to government approaches to foster care and health care.
Social media: Have you “liked” the Foundation’s Facebook page yet? More than 2,350 of our friends get daily updates on news and policy views as well as event alerts; more than 1,250 follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/gppf!
The Forum: Read recent posts at georgiapolicy.org/category/the-forum/.
Visit www.georgiapolicy.org to read the latest commentary, “Disruptive Think Tanks: ‘Undermining the State,’ Unnerving the Left,” Benita M. Dodd.
Have a great weekend!
Kelly McCutchen and Benita Dodd
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To have an organization dedicated to the study of the problems that face Georgia in a bipartisan way….is absolutely one of the finest things that’s happened to our state.