Policy Rewind: If you missed the 2017 Georgia Legislative Forum October 13, you are in luck. We captured the whole day on video. Download PowerPoint presentations and view the presentations by Vicki Davis, Dr. Tim Huelskamp and others on health care and education on our Legislative Policy Forum page.
Quotes of note
“The necessity of reciprocal checks in the exercise of political power, by dividing and distributing it into different depositories, and constituting each the guardian of the public weal against invasions by the others, has been evinced by experiments ancient and modern, some of them in our country and under our own eyes.” – George Washington
“The principle of the Constitution is that of a separation of Legislative, Executive and Judiciary functions, except in cases specified. If this principle be not expressed in direct terms, it is clearly the spirit of the Constitution, and it ought to be so commented and acted on by every friend of free government.” – Thomas Jefferson
“A constitution defines and limits the powers of the government it creates. It therefore follows, as a natural and also a logical result, that the governmental exercise of any power not authorized by the constitution is an assumed power, and therefore illegal.” – Thomas Paine
Race to the bottom: Amazon closed its request for proposals for its second corporate home on Thursday. Atlanta is also bidding as cities are pitted against each other to offer the biggest subsidy package possible. New Jersey is offering $7 billion in tax incentives; but San Antonio, Texas, officials declined to bid, declaring, “Blindly giving away the farm isn’t our style,” and speculated that “it’s hard to believe a forward-thinking company like Amazon hasn’t already selected its preferred location.” And the mayor of San Jose, Calif., wrote, “With many subsidies, the jobs a company brings to an area don’t generate revenues commensurate with public expenditures.”
Business Taxes: Georgia ranks a disappointing 36th in the Tax Foundation’s 2018 State Business Tax Climate Index released this week. The Index is designed to show how well states structure their tax systems, and provides a roadmap for improvement. Starting with No. 1, the top five states are Wyoming, South Dakota, Alaska, Florida and Nevada.
Is it possible to have strong public schools and choice?: Read some interesting essays on this subject from a public school superintendent, a Teacher of the Year recipient and the CEO of a large pubic charter school organization.
Health Care Sharing Ministries: As we pointed out last month, health care premiums are expected to skyrocket again in 2018. With a family of four in Valdosta projected to pay $35,171 in premiums next year for a silver plan, it’s no wonder people are looking for other options. Several hundred thousand people have chosen to enroll in a health care sharing ministry. This article provides an in-depth overview.
“Underinsured:” Twenty-eight percent of U.S. adults insured all year in 2016 were “underinsured,” according to the Commonwealth Fund. These 41 million Americans have health insurance but accept higher deductibles in exchange for lower monthly payments. The report found, “Underinsured adults are more likely to skip needed health care because of cost than are adults with more cost-protective insurance.” Source: Georgia Health News
Proof of insurance: The Internal Revenue Service has announced it will not accept electronically filed tax returns in 2018 if the taxpayer does not address the ObamaCare health coverage requirements. This is the first filing season it will refuse to accept such returns. Taxpayers must indicate whether they had coverage, had an exemption or will make a shared responsibility payment for 2017.
This month in the archives: In October 15 years ago the Foundation published, “Atlanta’s Ongoing Water and Sewer Crisis Calls for State Action.” It noted, “The city’s poor management of the water and sewer system over the years has not only endangered the health and safety of its residents, but also the many Georgians living downstream. … The state has every right to intercede to ensure that this problem is corrected as quickly and efficiently as possible.” (Atlanta imposed a 1 percent sales tax in 2004 to fund federally mandated upgrades; that tax continues today; Atlanta water customers also pay some of the nation’s highest bills.)
Have a great weekend!
Kelly McCutchen and Benita Dodd
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The Foundation should take a lot of pride in your influence on Georgia governmental policy over the past several years. If you look back on several things that you were crying in the wilderness about several years ago, you will find that Governor Miller adopted them…your influence and your pressure on that process has been a major factor in governmental policy in Georgia. You should be congratulated.