Friday Facts: December 5, 2014

It’s Friday!

Quotes of Note

“I sometimes wish that people would put a little more emphasis upon the observance of the law than they do upon its enforcement.” – Calvin Coolidge

“Overregulation corrupts citizens and weakens the rule of law.” – Lawrence Lessig

“The interest of the nation in the proper fulfillment of the law’s requirements cannot yield to opposition and demonstrations by some few persons. Mob rule cannot be allowed to override the decisions of our courts.” – Dwight D. Eisenhower

Support

Tuesday was “Giving Day,” and Benita Dodd wrote about the importance of supporting your state think tank. Donate here. Remember, too, that you can support the Foundation every time you shop at Amazon. Choose Georgia Public Policy Foundation at http://smile.amazon.com/!

Transportation

Derailed again: The over-budget, over-deadline Atlanta Streetcar will not begin running Saturday as planned because, “the project still hasn’t received final approvals from state and federal transportation authorities,” a spokesperson said. To recap: A $47.6 million federal grant was awarded in October 2010. The total cost for the 2.7-mile line was projected to be $69.2 million and it was to open in the summer of 2013. At last count (July), costs were “hovering around $100 million.” The line is not yet open.

Economy

Foundation President Kelly McCutchen (right) was one of the panelists in a November antipoverty forum held by the Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C.
Foundation President Kelly McCutchen (right) was one of the panelists in a November antipoverty forum held by the Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C.

Falling behind: For the first time since Ulysses S. Grant was president, the United States has slipped to the No. 2 global economy, according to Marketwatch. The Chinese economy has overtaken ours to become the largest in the world. Then again, when you consider that the Chinese outnumber Americans more than four-to-one, we’re not doing too badly.

Land of the free: Which American states are the most free? Texas, South Dakota and North Dakota, according to a new report on economic freedom by the Fraser Institute. In fourth place was Virginia, followed by New Hampshire, Louisiana and Nebraska in fifth place, Tennessee in the ninth spot and Indiana, Georgia and Utah tied for tenth. Source: NCPA

Another Tea Party? The British government this week announced that starting in April it will slap a new tax rate on multinational companies that seek to avoid paying their “fair share” to Treasury coffers. The 25 percent tax on multinationals’ British profits is nicknamed the “Google tax” because of the high number of technology firms seeking to avoid taxation. Source: IndustryWeek.com

Education

Civics test: The North Dakota Legislature is considering a proposal to require all high school students to pass a citizenship test in order to graduate, Townhall.com reports.According to Xavier University’s National Civil Literacy Survey, 97.5 percent of immigrants pass the citizenship test, while just two of every three native-born American citizens would able to pass. Georgia Public Policy Foundation Board Member Sunny Park proposed this in a 1996 Foundation commentary.

Energy and environment

Interbasin transfers: Writing in the Sandy Springs Reporter on the potential of the Tennessee River for Georgia’s water needs, attorney Brad Carver notes,“Georgia now has some of the most stringent water conservation efforts in the Southeast. Our per capita water use has been significantly reduced. However, demand-side solutions alone will not be enough for us to continue to attract economic development and jobs to our region. We must have additional supply. Interbasin transfers of water are the way that most major cities in the U.S. have enough water supply.”

Friday Flashback

This month in the archives: On December 3, 2004, the Foundation published, “HOT Lanes Moving Right Along For Georgia.” In it, Benita Dodd wrote “[T]he feds warn that transportation funding shortfalls are here to stay. On the bright side, that increases the pressure on transportation policy-makers to focus on the state’s growing needs with flexible solutions, to quit the dreaming and resolve the traffic nightmare.”

Events

January 21: The Georgia Public Policy Foundation’s first event of 2015 is, “School Choice: The Next Frontier.” The 8 a.m. Leadership Breakfast at the Georgian Club celebrates National School Choice Week. The keynote speaker is Dr. Ben Scafidi, Foundation Senior Fellow and ­the new director of Kennesaw State University’s Education Economics Center. $30. Sign up at http://bit.ly/1yeTHbm.

January 20: Robert Enlow, President and CEO of the Friedman Foundation, addresses an Atlanta Economics Club luncheon on “School Choice and the Domestic Labor Market.” 11:30 a.m. Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, 1000 Peachtree St. NE, Atlanta. $30. Registration: http://atlantaeconomicsclub.org/events/.

Media

Web site of the week: Did you know? In 42 states, law enforcement gets to keep all of the cash, cars, homes, or other property that they seize. Find out more at the Institute for Justice’s Web site on civil asset forfeiture, http://endforfeiture.com.

Social media:Have you “liked” the Foundation’s Facebook page yet? Join the 2,400 people who “like” us; these supporters get the Foundation’s daily updates on news and policy views as well as event alerts. Join our 1,300-plus followers on Twitter at www.twitter.com/gppf!

The Forum: In her, “Checking Up On Health,” Benita Dodd reports on more ObamaCare stealth regulations, fixing broken hearts and repairing Medicare. Read this and other recent posts at georgiapolicy.org/category/the-forum/.

Visit www.georgiapolicy.org to read the latest commentary, Educational Choice and the Economic Well-Being of the Middle Class,” by Jim Kelly.

Have a great weekend! 

Kelly McCutchen and Benita Dodd  

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