Quotes of Note
“I own myself the friend to a very free system of commerce, and hold it as a truth, that commercial shackles are generally unjust, oppressive and impolitic.” – James Madison
“There are currently 139 schools across Georgia that have received a failing grade from the state accountability system for at least three consecutive years. Too few of these students go on to higher education, too few attain job skills and too few get a high school diploma. Too often this leads to a life that never fulfills its potential. With this new [Opportunity School District] system, we can and will do better.” – Gov. Nathan Deal
“Every year on Earth Day we learn how bad humanity’s economic development is for the health of the planet. But maybe this is the wrong message. Maybe we should instead reflect on how human progress, driven by fossil fuels, has made our environment cleaner and healthier.” – Alex Epstein
May 14: Secretary of State Brian Kemp keynotes the Foundation’s 8 a.m. Leadership Breakfast at Cobb County’s Georgian Club. Topic: “License to Work,” a focus on jobs, licensing and the role of government. For information and registration, go here.
October 15: Mark your calendar! The sixth annual Legislative Policy Forum, takes place Thursday, October 15 at the Renaissance Waverly Atlanta hotel. Details to follow; review the 2014 Forum here.
A second chance: This week, Gov. Nathan Deal signed a law to create an Opportunity School District to take over failing schools and give students a greater chance at academic success. (The accompanying constitutional amendment requires voter approval in a referendum.) He also signed a law that would limit the ability of local governments to hinder approved charter schools, as happened when Clayton County officials complicated efforts for Utopian Academy.
ESAs move forward: Kudos to Tennessee for becoming the fourth state in the nation to adopt Education Savings Accounts (ESAs), which – much like Health Savings Accounts – allow parents to withdraw their children from public schools and receive an allowance of public funds with restricted, but multiple, education-related uses. We look forward to Georgia embracing ESAs in 2016! Read the Foundation’s analysis here.
Poverty and education: Did you know that 66 percent of black children under age 18 live with a single mother who has no high school diploma? “The fact that single motherhood is increasing faster among women with less than a college degree means that children growing up with a single mother are likely to be doubly disadvantaged,” according to, “Was Moynihan Right?” in EducationNext.
Energy and environment
Water woes: California’s drought problem can be solved in five words, Holman W. Jenkins Jr. writes in The Wall Street Journal: “Charge realistic prices for water. … The real problem is a non-price allocation system that guarantees waste, shortages and political fights over water.”
Taxes and spending
Priorities: While facing budget cuts, the Internal Revenue Service nevertheless prioritized worker bonuses, union activity and the implementation of President Obama’s health care law over assisting taxpayers during tax season, according to a new report released this week by the House Ways and Means Committee.
Corporate taxes: How does Georgia’s 6 percent top corporate income tax rates compare? Iowa’s top rate is 12 percent (You can deduct federal taxes.). At the other end of the spectrum, North Dakota taxes corporate income at a top rate of 4.53 percent, followed by Colorado (4.63 percent), and Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Utah at 5.0 percent each. (See graphic.) Source: Tax Foundation
This month in the archives: In April 2010 the Foundation published, “Health Care: From No Way to Now What?” warning, “Given the national impact and financial consequence of any single coverage requirement, every self-interest group seeking inclusion in the essential benefits package will push litigation to add or solidify their coverage demands, producing a vicious cycle of legislation, regulation, compliance and litigation.” Truer words were never spoken.
Foundation in the news: Kelly McCutchen’s analysis of the legislative session was printed in the Columbia News-Times, The Early County News and The Coastal Courier. Listen to Kelly’s wrap-up of the session on WABE-FM.
The Forum: Kelly McCutchen remembers the tenacity of Eva Galambos, the first mayor of Sandy Springs.
Visit www.georgiapolicy.org to read our latest commentary, “Economic Diversity, State Leadership: A Recipe for Georgia’s Success,” by Kelly McCutchen.
Have a great weekend!
Kelly McCutchen and Benita Dodd
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I wanted to publicly say how much I appreciate Georgia Public Policy Foundation. For those of you that will be entering the Legislature or are relatively new you may not quite yet appreciate how much we rely on Georgia Public Policy Foundation’s research and work. As you know we’re a citizen’s legislature. We have very little staff. They have been an invaluable, invaluable resource to us. To put this [Forum] on and the regular programs that they do throughout the year make us better at what we do. (At the 2012 Georgia Legislative Policy Forum.)