Quotes of note
“What can only be taught by the rod and with blows will not lead to much good; they will not remain pious any longer than the rod is behind them.” – Martin Luther, who posted his 95 Theses on the door of Wittenberg’s Castle Church in Germany 500 years ago this week and launching the Protestant Reformation
“Friend, you cannot legislate the poor into freedom by legislating the wealthy out of freedom. And what one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving. The government can’t give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody. And when half of the people get the idea they don’t have to work because the other half’s going to take care of them, and when the other half get the idea it does no good to work because somebody’s going to get what I work for. That, dear friend, is about the end of any nation.” – Adrian Rogers
“We don’t need new taxes. We need new taxpayers, people that are gainfully employed, making money and paying into the tax system.” – Marco Rubio
Stifling free speech: The Cato Institute’s 2017 Free Speech and Tolerance Survey finds that 71 percent of Americans believe that political correctness has silenced important discussions our society needs to have.
Waivers: A health care reform task force is expected to recommend that the Georgia General Assembly seek waivers next year to change some of the federal mandates under the Affordable Care Act, The Rome News-Tribune reports. Click here to view the discussion about 1332 state innovation waivers at the Foundation’s 2017 Georgia Legislative Policy Forum.
Opioid crisis: President Trump’s commission on the opioid crisis is calling for a nationwide system of drug courts and easier access to alternatives to opioids for people in pain, part of a wide-ranging menu of improvements it said are necessary to curb opioid abuse. Georgia’s drug accountability courts, which saw growing statewide support after criminal justice reforms were implemented, have made a positive difference. Source: The Hill
Driving them out: California saw a big jump in the price of fuel Wednesday. The diesel excise tax went from 16 cents per gallon to 36 cents, and the sales tax rate went from 9 percent to 13 percent. Gasoline prices went up 12 cents per gallon. The money generated will fund transportation projects, such as rebuilding roads and bridges, for anyone still there. Source: Overdrive
Rail takes a back seat: MARTA officials are admitting that costly rail service will not occur in DeKalb County in the near future. Bus service and buse rapid transit is more likely, “because it can be built more quickly and cheaply than traditional train service,” The Atlanta Journal Constitution reports. The Foundation has warned against rail in metro Atlanta.
Taking down barriers: The U.S. National Highway Traffic-Safety Administration is seeking input on removing regulatory roadblocks to self-driving cars, Reuters reports. Automakers must meet nearly 75 auto safety standards, many written with the assumption that a licensed driver will be in control of the vehicle.
Choice: Education reform is having “a pretty good year,” according to Michael J. Petrilli, president of the Fordham Foundation. Not only were there strides as several states advanced charter schools and their parity with traditional public schools, but 40 states and the District of Columbia have embraced accountability measures for schools.
Too high: The United States is now No. 30 on the Tax Foundation’s 2017 International Tax Competitiveness Index. The federal corporate income tax rate has been 35 percent since the early 1990s, meaning its combined federal, state and local corporate tax rate is about 39 percent while the average rate is 25 percent among developed nations. Further, most developed (OECD) nations have moved to a territorial tax system, the United States has continued to tax the worldwide profits of its domestic corporations.
SALT Impact: SALT, the State And Local Tax deduction, is driving the tax reform debate in Washington. The deduction favors high-income individuals who are concentrated in high-tax states. Six states – California, New York, New Jersey, Illinois, Texas, and Pennsylvania – claim more than half of the value of the deduction. More background here. Source: Tax Foundation
This month in the archives: In November 15 years ago, the Foundation published, “People Over Politics: Time to Fix the Redistricting Process.” It noted, “Armed with laptop computers loaded with sophisticated software, the redistricting gurus can target Democrat and Republican voters with the accuracy of a smart bomb.”
Foundation in the news: The Marietta Daily Journal and its Neighbor Newspapers quoted Benita Dodd in an article about lobbyists serving as elected officials. The Marietta Daily Journal and Neighbor Newspapers also published Benita’s commentary on the Foundation’s 2017 Georgia Legislative Policy Forum.
Have a great weekend!
Kelly McCutchen and Benita Dodd
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Thank you for the great work that the Public Policy Foundation is doing across our state setting a wonderful example. I first ran for the Senate in 1994, and the Foundation was that resource I called upon to be a great help to me as we were articulating positions and formulating public policy initiatives. We appreciate very much your leadership and all that you stand for.