Friday Facts: August 27th, 2010

It’s Friday!  

 

Quotable

– “Government exists to protect us from each other. Where government has gone beyond its limits is in deciding to protect us from ourselves.” — Ronald Reagan 

Profiles in Courage

–  “We are already at the bare minimum of our resources and any new programs are going to be at the expense of others.” — Fulton County Commissioner Lynne Riley, on her vote against a $26 million bond package that included $5 million for a new community center and aviation museum near the Fulton County-Charlie Brown Airport.Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution

– The 165-acre former General Motors factory site in Doraville is “one of the most attractive pieces of property in the Southeast,” DeKalb County Commissioner Lee Maysaid this week in opposing a plan to use $36 million in federal stimulus money to help a private company convert the site into a mixed-use development. “If it is that attractive, a developer will undertake it without this amount of incentive,” May said. Source: Neighbor Newspapers

 

 Agenda 2011

– For facts, principles, innovative ideas and background on the issues, read our candidate briefing books on Taxes and Transportation

 

Health Care

– Computerizing the nation’s medical records could save lives, money and time, notes Sally C. Pipes, president of the Pacific Research Institute. But doctors and hospitals will face financial penalties if they do not comply with the government’s dictates by 2015. “As a result, health care providers may be forced to make expensive investments in IT systems even as they’re deemed ineligible for the subsidies they were promised. Providers will no doubt pass along the cost of those investments to patients.” Pipes maintains that “instead of dictating unreasonable — or even unachievable — requirements, the federal government must work with health care providers to ensure that new health IT initiatives enhance medical quality, affordability and patient privacy.” Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution

– Changing treatment options: Key White House allies are dramatically shifting their attempts to defend health care legislation, abandoning claims that it will reduce costsand the deficit and instead stressing a promise to “improve it,” according to the Politico.com Web site. The messaging shift was circulated in a conference call and PowerPoint presentation organized by FamiliesUSA, one of the central groups in the push for the initial legislation. 

 

Education

– WSB-TV featured Tech High School and its new principal, Dr. Graysen Walles, last week. To view the segment on this innovative math-, science- and technology-oriented charter high school that the Foundation helped establish, go to http://www.wsbtv.com/video/24741262/index.html

 

Economy

– Relative to the size of the economy, this year’s deficit is expected to be the second largest shortfall in the past 65 years: At 9.1 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), it is exceeded only by last year’s deficit of 9.9 percent of GDP. As was the case last year, this year’s deficit is attributable in large part to a combination of weak revenues and elevated spending associated with the economic downturn and the policies implemented in response to it. Source: Congressional Budget Office

– When it comes to economic freedom in North America, Georgia ties for fourth place with Colorado, North Carolina and Utah in the Fraser Institute of Canada’s 2010 rankings of the Economic Freedom of North America (Canada, Mexico and the United States). The top 10 U.S. states are Delaware, Texas, Colorado, Georgia, North Carolina, Utah, Louisiana, Nevada, New Hampshire and Tennessee. Their average per-capita GDP in 2007 was $41,133, compared to $37,814 for the lowest 40 states. Georgia ranked 15th for size of government; third for labor market freedom and 19th for takings and discriminatory taxing. Click on this link to read more.

– It’s the littlest things that matter: In terms of sheer volume, the United States dominated the world in nanotechnology funding and new patents last year, as U.S. government funding, corporate spending and venture capital investment in nanotechnology collectively reached $6.4 billion in 2009. But a new report finds countries such as China and Russia launched new challenges to U.S. dominance in 2009, while smaller players such as Japan, Germany and South Korea surpassed the United States in terms of commercializing nanotechnology and products. Source: EETimes.com

– Will “Tax The Rich” Save The Economy? Not according to Brian Wesbury, chief economist at First Trust Portfolios. He says the best course is keeping taxes as low as possible. Raising the top rates won’t throw the world into a recession, “but it’s a mistake because fewer jobs will be created and the economy will be less dynamic.” And Pamela Villarreal, senior policy analyst for the National Center for Policy Analysis, says while the wealthy might save more money than lower income Americans, they alsobuy more than their share of goods ranging from cars to restaurant meals to movie tickets. “When they stop spending money, there are plenty of lower-income people who end up getting laid off,” says Villarreal. Source: CNN  

 

– Visit www.gppf.org to read the Foundation’s latest commentary, “Putting Nuclear Energy in the Right Light,” by Benita M. Dodd

 

Have a great weekend. 

 

Kelly McCutchen

 

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