Quotes of Note
“I want the people of America to be able to work less for the government – and more for themselves. I want them to have the rewards of their own industry. This is the chief meaning of freedom. Until we can reestablish a condition under which the earnings of the people can be kept by the people, we are bound to suffer a very severe and distinct curtailment of our liberty.” – President Calvin Coolidge, August 11, 1924
“[E]very single day, I’m looking for how can we do what we need to do better. Whether that is delivering basic services the government provides to the American people, whether that is our capacity to work with Congress, so that they’re passing legislation, whether it’s how we communicate with the American people about what our priorities and vision is.” – President Barack Obama, November 5, 2014
“It’s amazing to me how many people think that voting to have the government give poor people money is compassion. Helping poor and suffering people yourself is compassion. Voting for our government to use guns to give money to help poor and suffering people is immoral, self-righteous, bullying laziness.” – Penn Jillette
Civic engagement: Of Georgia’s 5,191,182 registered voters, just 2,590,252 cast their ballots. That’s 49.9 percent of Georgia voters. Fayette County topped the list of voter turnout by county, with 61.05 percent of registered voters going to the polls. Chattahoochee County was last, with 19.2 percent voter turnout. Find out how your county did here.
Why polls were wrong: Politifact Georgia tried this week to explain why most polls were wrong on Georgia elections. Most interesting, however, is this tidbit: “Most of the public polls are done through automated calls to homes that under federal law cannot be made to cell phones. About 30 percent or more of registered voters only have cell phones so they are excluded.”
Energy: Candidates who embraced “pro-development, true all-of-the-above energy policies” won their races, American Petroleum Institute President Jack Gerard noted this week. Gerard urged the next Congress to immediately advance a pro-energy agenda, including approval of the Keystone XL pipeline, reforming the Renewable Fuel Standard, and tackling the question of exporting the nation’s growing supplies of oil and natural gas onto the international market. Read Foundation commentaries on Keystone and renewable energy mandates.
Education: The new state school superintendent is Republican Richard Woods. The superintendent’s job essentially is to manage the Department of Education, but it helps to be on the same page as state leadership. Rep. Mike Dudgeon, House Education Subcommittee chairman, announced ahead of the elections: “One of my priorities for the 2015-2016 legislative term will be to pass a constitutional amendment that would allow appointment of the State School Superintendent and election of the State Board of Education.” It’s an idea whose time has come.
Tax reform: Good policy is good politics, judging by results in North Carolina and Kansas, which liberals had derided as poster children for bad tax policy. Key supporters of income tax cuts, Gov. Sam Brownback of Kansas and former North Carolina Speaker of the House Thom Tillis, were both victorious Tuesday. Brownback was re-elected governor and Tillis is headed to the U.S. Senate.
Net neutrality: Most Americans are against playing favorites, so Internet “neutrality” sounds like a good idea. But that has serious consequences for customers. Randolph May of the Free State Foundation points out that as the time for a potential Federal Communications Commission vote nears, “it’s time to talk about real cases with real consumer impacts, rather than simply regurgitating open-ended mantras concerning preservation of an ‘Open Internet.’” Read the latest article in his three-party series.
November 14: The Cato Institute holds a policy forum and luncheon at the Intercontinental Buckhead, 3315 Peachtree Road NE, Atlanta. Speakers are David Boaz, Cato Executive Vice President, on “Reclaiming Freedom,” and Chris Edwards, Cato’s director of Tax Policy Studies, on, “Downsizing the Federal Government.” 11:30-2:00. $30. Register here.
This month in the archives: On November 20, 2004, the Foundation published, “Neighborhood Charter School Sets Standard,” about Atlanta’s then-3-year-old Neighborhood Charter School: “With a permanent home and a firm foundation of student achievement, Neighborhood Charter School is on course to prove that all children can learn.” Ten years later, it’s proving that! See the GreatSchools Web site.
Web site of the Week: Find out more about your child’s school – and others you’re interested in – at the GreatSchools Web site, www.greatschools.org, which posts data about schools’ academic achievement plus allows parent reviews. Search by school, address, ZIP code or city.
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!
Have a great weekend!
Kelly McCutchen and Benita Dodd
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The best way to make a lasting impact on public policy is to change public opinion. When you change the beliefs of the people; the politicians and political parties change with them.