Quotes of note
“An unlimited power to tax involves, necessarily, a power to destroy; because there is a limit beyond which no institution and no property can bear taxation.” – John Marshall (1819)
“A tax cut means higher family income and higher business profits and a balanced federal budget. Every tax payer and his family will have more money left over after taxes for a new car, a new home, new conveniences, education and investment. Every businessman can keep a higher percentage of his profits in his cash register or put it to work expanding or improving his business, and as the national income grows, the federal government will ultimately end up with more revenues.” – John F. Kennedy (1963)
“The nine no-income tax states (including Tennessee) have had almost three times the job rate increase that the states with income taxes have had. There is a clear migration of businesses, factories and jobs to these states that have no income tax, and I’m just mystified that more states have not moved into that column.” – Stephen Moore
Buried in bureaucracy: A study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine found that “for every hour physicians were seeing patients, they were spending nearly two additional hours on paperwork,” according to Forbes. (Cutting this paperwork in half is the equivalent of adding almost 12,000 new primary care doctors in Georgia.) That’s why we like Direct Primary Care; read the Foundation’s related commentary here. Source: Atlas MD
Reality check: Public transit ridership is down across the nation, according to an analysis by American City Business Journals. This is occurring even as populations increase in metro areas. As Georgia’s transit governance and funding commission holds meetings it’s worth noting that from 2010-2016, the Census Bureau reports, metro Atlanta saw an 8 percent population increase and Atlanta itself saw a 12 percent increase. The analysis, however, found that Atlanta’s transit ridership declined about 16 percent decline from 2012-2016.
Defiance: Proponents of Kansas City streetcar expansion say planning will continue despite a voter-approved measure that prohibits city involvement in the project. Last week, MARTA CEO Keith Parker told the transit governance and funding commission a study of MARTA expansion up Georgia 400 is continuing – even though the plan was defeated in 2016.
Energy and environment
Let it go: The U.S. Forest Service reports more than 73,000 wildfires burn about 7 million acres of U.S. land each year. Historically, however, scientists believe that 20 to 30 million acres burned each year prior to colonization. Many kinds of plants and animals thrive in newly burned forests, and by rushing to put them out, they could be endangered, according to researchers who now say such fires should not be suppressed but allowed to burn. (Go here to read Randal O’Toole’s Forest Service reform proposal.) Source: New York Times
Solar eclipse: On August 21, the daytime skies over North Georgia will go dark, marking the first total solar eclipse visible in the continental United States in 38 years. Read here on where to watch, what to do and what to expect. Source: East Cobb Patch
Funding equity: A circuit judge has ruled that the School District of Indian River County, Fla., must give its charter schools the same percentage of funding from property taxes as traditional public schools. The dispute stems from 2012, when charter schools enrolled 13 percent of district students but they were receiving just 5 percent of the county’s 2010 special property tax. Source: Heartland Institute
Government broadband: Jeffrey Dorfman, a professor of applied economics at the University of Georgia and a Senior Fellow at the Foundation, has analyzed Chatham County’s Fiber Optic Feasibility Study. “The reality is that under all presented configurations, local governments gain little to nothing from these proposed projects while a private company gains a subsidy to compete against existing local businesses,” says Dorfman. Read the Foundation’s related commentary here.
This month in the archives: In July 10 years ago the Foundation published, “In Transportation and in Technology, Packets Beat Circuits.” It noted, “Most people’s schedules aren’t just home-to-office and back. It’s home to day care to Starbucks to office to a lunch date to the bank to the office to the dry cleaner to Little League to home to dance practice to Applebee’s to the mall and home again. I defy anyone to navigate an itinerary like that in American suburbia using mass transit.”
Foundation in the news: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution published an op-ed by Kelly McCutchen on health care reform. Insider Advantage published Kelly’s op-ed on Certificate of Need regulations. The Coastal Courier published Gerard Robinson’s commentary on the importance of literacy.
Visit www.georgiapolicy.org to read our latest commentary, “States Must Seize Opportunity for Health Care Reform,” by Kelly McCutchen.
Have a great weekend!
Kelly McCutchen and Benita Dodd
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The Georgia Public Policy Foundation has hit another homerun with its Guide to the Issues. This is must reading for anyone interested in public policy in Georgia, and it is an outstanding road map for conservative, common sense solutions to our challengers of today and tomorrow.