Quotes of Note
“By nature, men are nearly alike; by practice, they get to be wide apart.” – Confucius
“Listening to what voters said in the 1994 elections and ‘triangulating’ to take America where it wanted to go, President Clinton put into place a bipartisan program that created jobs, growth and a balanced budget. Reagan never signed a major bill that achieved all he wanted, but he got enough to change America and the world. Bipartisan consensus under both presidents promoted broad-based prosperity, with average growth rates of 4.4 percent in the final six years of the Clinton and Reagan presidencies.” – Former senator Phil Gramm and Michael Solon writing in the Wall Street Journal
“How many observe Christ’s birthday! How few, His precepts!” – Benjamin Franklin
We’ve been nice! As year’s end approaches and you finalize your giving list, please remember the Foundation has been very nice this year and deserves a gift for battling naughty ideas! You can support the Foundation every time you shop at Amazon. Choose Georgia Public Policy Foundation at http://smile.amazon.com/! Make a one-time donation or contribute monthly here.
Everything you wanted to know: Your questions on toll roads and public private partnerships answered by our senior fellow, Bob Poole.
A saner approach to transportation infrastructure? “For starters, local and state governments should first look for cheaper alternatives to big construction projects,” City Journal reports in an article on the soaring costs of the Silver (rail) Line in the Washington, D.C. metro area. “Dedicated express bus lanes, for example, may be more affordable and efficient than hugely expensive rail projects.”
12 Days of Christmas go up in price: Thanks to tumbling energy prices, buying everything from the partridge in the pear tree to the 12 lords a-leaping will set you back only $27,673.22 this year, according to the annual PNC Christmas Price Index. That’s up just 1 percent over last year, which was up 7 percent over 2012! Lowest cost: $58 for the unskilled labor of eight maids a-milking.
Penny wise and pound foolish: It costs the government 1.7 cents to make a penny and more than eight cents to make a nickel. On a related note, Atlanta is a leader in the development of bitcoin payment services.
Georgia ranks 19th in the nation in its climate for small business and entrepreneurship, according to the Small Business Policy Index 2014. Ranks for our neighboring states: Florida is No. 5, Alabama is No. 7, South Carolina is No. 17, North Carolina is No. 21 and Tennessee is No. 25 No. 1 is South Dakota; at the bottom is California.
Education Savings Accounts: Georgia taxpayers could save nearly $20 million annually by implementing a new school choice option, education savings accounts, already in place in Arizona and Florida, according to a new study released this week by the Foundation.
Cost Savings: How much do tuition tax credit scholarships save? Georgia State University looked at the question this week and we offered our research from Dr. Ben Scafidi. They defended their position, as did we. We’ll let readers decide the winner.
This month in the archives: Eleven years ago, in November 2003, we published, “Major Reforms Needed in the Medical Liability Tort System.” Sadly, that remains true today.
January 21: The Georgia Public Policy 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.
Foundation in the media: Walter Jones talks about the Foundation’s transportation solutions in the Augusta Chronicle.
Web site of the week: The holidays are upon us. Is your youngster bored? Visit Netflix Academy’s Web site. Instead of mindless movies, turn TV time into learning time!
Social media: Have you “liked” the Foundation’s Facebook page yet? Join the 2,400 people who “like” us; these supporters get the Foundation’s daily updates on news and policy views as well as event alerts. Join our 1,300-plus followers on Twitter at www.twitter.com/gppf!
Have a great weekend and a Merry Christmas!
Kelly McCutchen and Benita Dodd
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I wanted to publicly say how much I appreciate Georgia Public Policy Foundation. For those of you that will be entering the Legislature or are relatively new you may not quite yet appreciate how much we rely on Georgia Public Policy Foundation’s research and work. As you know we’re a citizen’s legislature. We have very little staff. They have been an invaluable, invaluable resource to us. To put this [Forum] on and the regular programs that they do throughout the year make us better at what we do. (At the 2012 Georgia Legislative Policy Forum.)