– “When normal people hear about a budget cut, we assume the amount of money to be spent is less than the previous year’s allocation. But that’s not what bureaucrats mean. ‘They are not comparing current year spending to the previous year’s spending,’ [Cato Institute’s Andrew] Coulson writes. ‘What they’re doing is comparing the approved current year budget to the budget that they initially dreamed about having.'” — John Stossel
– We are very excited to announce the “soft launch” of a new interactive policy community at Forum.GeorgiaPolicy.org. Feel free to join as the goal of the community is tocreate a place for thoughtful policy research, governing ideas and vigorous but respectful debate and conversation on issues affecting Georgians. Register, fill out your profile, join or create a group, and start networking. The site is still very much in the “beta testing” phase, so please be patient with any quirks you may discover and let us know so we can fix them promptly.
– “While Georgians are concerned about education funding, many say schools must learn to operate within the budget available to them, according to a new poll.â€ Statewide, the Augusta Chronicle reports “43 percent of the respondents support changing the education system so it can operate within the available budget. But 25 percent supported additional cuts to other services to provide more money for education, and 19 percent would pay higher taxes or fees to restore school funding.”
– What happens when there are more people in the wagon than there are pulling the wagon? Nearly half of all Americans live in a household in which someone receives government benefits, more than at any time in history, says the Wall Street Journal. At the same time, the fraction of American households not paying federal income taxes has also grown — to an estimated 45 percent in 2010, up from 39 percent five years ago, according to the Tax Policy Center. Despite occasional bouts of belt-tightening in Washington and bursts of discussion about restraining big government, the trend toward more Americans receiving government benefits has continued for more than 70 years — and shows no sign of abating, says the Journal.
– What is growing faster than federal government spending? A) iPad sales B) Lindsay Lohan’s legal bills C) State and local spending? Answer â€“ C. Since the close of World War II, aggregate state and local spending grew 34 percent faster than the private sector and 37 percent faster than federal government spending.
– Join the Center for an Educated Georgia and the Georgia Charter School Association in Atlanta on September 30 for a free screening of “The Lottery,” an award-winning documentary about the charter school movement. More information here.
– Join KIPP Metro Atlanta in Atlanta on October 6 for a free viewing of “Waiting for Superman,” a documentary describing the difficulties facing our public education system. Space is limited so register here today.
– Mark your calendar: Saturday, Nov. 13, is the Georgia Legislative Policy Briefing, an all-day event featuring national and statewide experts on the top issues facing the state’s elected officials. You don’t want to miss a day of dynamic speakers and innovative ideas. Sign up now to reserve your spot and receive the early registration discount. Keynote speakers include former West Virginia Governor Bob Wise on “The Power of Digital Learning for Georgia and the Country” and the Wall Street Journalâ€™s Stephen Moore on “How to Make Georgia the Most Economically Competitive State in the Nation.”
– Visit www.GeorgiaPolicy.org to read the Foundation’s latest commentary, “Feds’ New Health Care Law Means Learning ‘Government-Speak‘,” by Ron Bachman.
Have a great weekend.
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The Foundation’s Criminal Justice Initiative pushed the problems to the forefront, proposed practical solutions, brought in leaders from other states to share examples, and created this nonpartisan opportunity. (At the signing of the 2012 Criminal Justice Reform bill.)