Quotes of Note
“Without liberty, law loses its nature and its name, and becomes oppression. Without law, liberty also loses its nature and its name, and becomes licentiousness.” – James Wilson
“… I say, that Power must never be trusted without a check.” – John Adams
“Our safety, our liberty, depends upon preserving the Constitution of the United States as our fathers made it inviolate. The people of the United States are the rightful masters of both Congress and the courts, not to overthrow the Constitution, but to overthrow the men who pervert the Constitution.” – Abraham Lincoln
We’re closing in on the end of the year! Have you made your annual contribution to the Foundation to help us continue our work in Georgia? If you prefer to make a recurring monthly contribution, you can do so here. Plus, during your holiday shopping, you can support the Foundation every time you shop at Amazon. Choose Georgia Public Policy Foundation at http://smile.amazon.com/!
December 3: Foundation Vice President Benita Dodd will be speaking to the Savannah Area Republican Women’s monthly meeting, beginning at 11:30 a.m. at Savannah’s Johnny Harris Restaurant.
January 21: The Foundation’s first event of 2015 is, “School Choice: The Next Frontier.” The 8 a.m. Leadership Breakfast at the Georgian Club celebrates National School Choice Week. The keynote speaker is Dr. Ben Scafidi, Foundation Senior Fellow and the new director of Kennesaw State University’s Education Economics Center. $30. Sign up at http://bit.ly/1yeTHbm.
Streetcars denied: Arlington County, Va., has canceled two long-planned streetcar projects. Opposition grew with the pricetag: $550 million, after starting out at $310 million. Voters were weary after some “foolish, overpriced projects, including the notorious $1 million bus stop,” The Washington Post reports.
Streetcar delayed: The over-budget, over-deadline Atlanta Streetcar has once again been delayed, this time over safety concerns, according to news reports Thursday. Mayor Kasim Reed is asking state and federal officials to allow the transit service to begin December 6 instead of mid-November.
Making a difference: November 14-20 is National Entrepreneurship Week. Begun in 2010 by entrepreneurs, it’s a fitting celebration of the innovation, ideas and perseverance of this nation’s job creators. One person can indeed make a difference.
Stifling enterprise: The Institute for Justice joined a coalition of four current and would-be Savannah tour guides in a suit challenging the city’s onerous tour guide licensing requirements. How onerous? Guides must take a multiple-choice test on city history, undergo a criminal background check and produce a doctor’s certificate. Tour guides must also pay a speech tax based on the size of their audience.
More than fair: A new study by the Congressional Budget Office shows that the rich don’t just pay their fair share, they pay most of the share in taxes. In fact, 60 percent of American households receive more in government transfer payments than they pay in taxes. Source: American Enterprise Institute
Energy and environment
Shining a light: California’s massive Ivanpah solar plant – the one that scorches birds by the thousands – isn’t producing anywhere near what proponents predicted. In fact, it’s producing about half of its expected annual output for 2014, according to calculations by the California Energy Commission.
High costs: The average research and development cost of bringing a new, approved medicine to patients is estimated to be $2.6 billion over the past decade (in 2013 dollars), including the cost of failures. When costs of R&D after approval by the Food and Drug Administration are included the cost estimate increases to $2.8 billion. It’s costly, but with Ebola, drug-resistant bacteria like MRSA and other threats to human health, it’s more important than ever. Source: Tufts University
If you like your plan: “The Obama administration on Friday unveiled data showing that many Americans with health insurance bought under the Affordable Care Act could face substantial price increases next year – in some cases as much as 20 percent – unless they switch plans,” The New York Times reports. The data became available just hours before exchanges were to open for 2015 enrollment.
Inflation: You can read in Benita Dodd’s. “Checking Up On Health,” how ObamaCare architect Jonathan Gruber mocked the “stupidity of American voters.” Now comes news from The Washington Times that 60 percent of the nearly 227,000 comments on the ObamaCare Facebook page came from just 100 accounts. Also, Bloomberg News reports that enrollment numbers were discovered to have been inflated by adding 380,000 dental subscribers, raising the enrollment total to above 7 million.
Federal fun money: The Department of Justice alone collected $24 billion in civil and criminal forfeiture in Fiscal Year 2014, according to numbers just released.
Reporting requirements: Georgia law requires an annual report on seized property and its disposition. Is your local government following the law and reporting the assets it seized? What was seized and what is its disposition? Find out here.
This month in the archives: On November 3, 1999, the Foundation published, “Sandy Springs: A Case Study on Centralization of Local Government.” writtente Eva Galambos, six years before she became the new city’s first mayor in 2005. “The power of bureaucracies grows the larger the centralized government becomes. This is evident in the difficulty locally elected officials have in privatizing municipal services in large cities.”
Social media: Have you “liked” the Foundation’s Facebook page yet? We’re closing in on 2,400 “likes,” and these supporters get the Foundation’s news first! “Like” us for daily updates on news and policy views as well as event alerts. Join our 1,300-plus follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/gppf!
The Forum:In her, “Checking Up On Health,” Benita Dodd tackles net neutrality, ObamaCare penalties and who’s raking in dollar$ from stupid Americans. Read this and other recent posts at georgiapolicy.org/category/the-forum/.
“Thanksgiving is a posture of both mind and heart where we recognize how terribly fortunate we are, and how much we’ve been blessed despite the fact that we probably haven’t been the blessing that we should have been.” ― Craig D. Lounsbrough
Have a great weekend and a Happy Thanksgiving!
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.