It’s HERE! It’s Veterans Day, and the Georgia Public Policy Foundation’s 25th Anniversary Celebration Dinner and Freedom Award takes place tonight at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre. The Keynote Speaker is John Stossel of Fox Business News; the Freedom Award Recipient is Dr. Michael H. Mescon, “The Pied Piper of Private Enterprise” (Wall Street Journal). Click here or call Benita Dodd at 404-256-4050 for information! See you at 6 p.m.
Quotes of Note
“When we assumed the Soldier, we did not lay aside the Citizen; and we shall most sincerely rejoice with you in the happy hour when the establishment of American Liberty, upon the most firm and solid foundations shall enable us to return to our Private Stations in the bosom of a free, peaceful and happy Country.” – George Washington
“We should be unfaithful to ourselves if we should ever lose sight of the danger to our liberties if anything partial or extraneous should infect the purity of our free, fair, virtuous, and independent elections.” – John Adams
“America spends too much time arguing about whether to spend more money or less on infrastructure – including as a jobs program – and far too little time on how to construct and maintain infrastructure wisely. Treating transportation infrastructure as yet another public works program ensures the mediocrity that we see all around us. A wise approach means, contrary to Bernie Sanders, a much diminished federal role and a lot more transportation initiatives that look like private industry, with users paying for the services they receive.” – Edward L. Glaeser
Then and now: In 1991, when the Foundation was established, 41,508 people were killed in auto wrecks in the United States – 16.5 deaths per 100,000 people. By 2014 (latest data), despite a 26 percent increase in population and 39 percent increase in highway vehicle miles traveled, the number was 32,675, or 10 deaths per 100,000. That’s a 21 percent decrease. Autonomous vehicles and “connected car” technology will further reduce fatalities! Source: Insurance Institute for Highway Safety
Tax reform: Donald Trump’s election as U.S. President creates the possibility of significant federal tax reforms, Accounting Today reports, including:
Transportation dollars: On Tuesday, voters added Illinois and New Jersey to the list of states with constitutional restrictions on how the revenues in transportation funds can be spent. Thirty states, including Georgia, already had such restrictions, according to the Council of State Governments.
Education: Sixty percent of Georgia voters rejected a constitutional amendment that would have created a statewide Opportunity School District for children trapped in chronically failing schools. Opponents raised more than $5 million to campaign against the measure, most of it coming from the National Education Association teachers’ union.
Energy: Some U.S. oil policies are likely to shift significantly when Donald Trump assumes the presidency next year. He has supported greater U.S. oil and gas production, lifting drilling restrictions in certain locations, and the Keystone pipeline from Canada. Source: Bloomberg News
Criminal justice reform
Taking lessons: Offenders in the Georgia prison system have downloaded more than 1 million educational videos. “This individualized application is a great addition, as it allows the offenders to reach their educational goals at their own pace,” said Commissioner Homer Bryson. Source: Georgia Department of Corrections
Energy and environment
Fossil fuels: China’s National Energy Administration announced it will increase coal-fired power capacity as much as 20 percent by 2020. The five-year plan for electricity would increase coal-fired power capacity to 1,100 gigawatts, a 200-gigawatt increase that is more than the total power capacity of Canada. Source: The Hill
Saturday: The election is over. What next? Find out from the Georgia Public Policy Foundation, the Heartland Institute, Americans for Prosperity and the American Legislative Exchange Council at “2017 Gold Dome Preview,” a free event hosted by the Georgia Tea Party at Roswell Street Baptist Church in Marietta. 2 p.m. Information here.
Thursday, December 8: Erin Hames, former education policy adviser to Gov. Nathan Deal, and former Georgia State Rep. Mike Dudgeon, a member of the Georgia Education Reform Commission, analyze education reform proposals at a Georgia Public Policy Foundation Leadership Breakfast. Cobb County’s Georgian Club, 8 a.m. $30. Details soon!
Thursday, January 26, 2017: Typically the Foundation’s first event of the year, National School Choice Week Leadership Breakfast is keynoted by education expert Dr. Ben Scafidi. Cobb County’s Georgian Club, 8 a.m. $30. Details soon!
This month in the archives: In November 10 years ago, the Foundation published, “No Time to Detour from Viable Transportation Solutions.” It noted, “while transit has a role to play, the role is nowhere near significant enough to put a dent in traffic congestion in metro Atlanta.”
Foundation in the news: The Heartland Foundation quoted Benita Dodd in its experts’ reactions to the election results. The Neighbor Newspapers quoted Benita on the Atlanta and Fulton transportation sales tax votes. The Marietta Daily Journal and Neighbor Newspapers quoted Benita on a consultant’s salary survey that recommended increases for many Cobb County government employees. The Newnan Times-Herald published Kelly McCutchen’s commentary on tax reform for Georgia.
We’re working on making tonight’s 25th anniversary celebration tonight the best ever, so we’re skipping the commentary today! Visit georgiapolicy.org to read recent commentaries, and check back next week for our thoughts on the elections and what they bode for Georgia and the nation.
We celebrate our military veterans on this Veterans Day; thank you for your service.
Have a great weekend; we hope to see you tonight!
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.)