The Georgia Public Policy Foundation’s offices will be closed today as we attend the memorial service for Marcia Bryan Wade, wife of Foundation Board Chairman Rogers Wade. The service takes place today at Sandy Springs Chapel at 11 a.m., with visitation at 10 a.m. Marcia passed away on July 19, 2017. The couple, who met while students at the University of Georgia, had been married 54 years. Read the obituary here.
Quotes of note
“There is no happiness, there is no liberty, there is no enjoyment of life, unless a man can say, when he rises in the morning, I shall be subject to the decision of no unwise judge today.” – Daniel Webster
“Economic equality is not, as such, of any particular moral importance; and by the same token, economic inequality is not in itself morally objectionable. From the point of view of morality, it is not important that everyone should have the same. What is morally important is that each should have enough.” – Harry G. Frankfurt
“Legislative bargaining is inherently additive: Eighteen months ago, Barack Obama proposed $1.1 billion over two years for responses to the opioid crisis; the Republican Senate leadership’s initial offer – the bidding is ongoing – is $45 billion over 10 years, which makes Republicans about eight times more caring, so far, than Obama was, as that virtue is measured monetarily.” – George Will
No more mandate: How is it fair to force younger, healthy Americans to buy health insurance to compensate for older, less healthy people? “Young, healthy people would no longer have an incentive to buy insurance if the individual mandate is scrapped, thus driving costs up for everyone,” Kaiser Health News reports.
HIV hope: Remember when HIV was a death sentence? That could change. A 9-year-old girl in South Africa has become the third child born with HIV to go into remission, scientists have said. Treated for 40 weeks from 2 months old, she has a healthy immune system more than eight years after treatment was stopped. HIV-caused AIDS killed 1.1 million people in 2015; that was 45 percent fewer than in 2005. Source: Independent
Improving education: In February, President Donald Trump called on federal agencies to review their regulations and identify which to cut. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos issued a notice in the Federal Register asking the public to identify “unduly costly or unnecessarily burdensome” regulations and guidance documents by submitting comments online (at docket number ED-2017-OS-0074-0001) to the Education Department by Aug. 21. Source: Education Week
Energy and environment
Great news: Once the nation faced gloomy predictions of “peak oil.” Thanks to fracking and the shale oil revolution, U.S export volumes of petroleum products are now on track to break last year’s record of 2.5 million barrels per day in 2017. Source: Reuters
Green losing its glow: In the past, advocates for “green energy” tied their agenda to concerns over “peak oil,” suggesting that renewables will save us from dependence on an increasingly scarce resource. More recently, given the huge increase in U.S. energy production, the argument has shifted to the notion that there’s too much oil, and that prices will not support the industry. But there’s plenty of room for fossil fuels moving forward, Joel Kotkin writes in The Orange County Register.
American Dream conference: Register here to attend the 2017 American Dream conference, August 6-8 at the Key Bridge Marriott in Arlington, Va. Experts will scrutinize the new administration and new Congress and what they are doing to protect the American dream of freedom, mobility, and affordable homeownership.
This month in the archives: In July five years ago the Foundation published, “Biofuels, Ethanol Give Food for Thought.” It noted, “In spite of the facts that ethanol delivers no more energy than required to produce it, that its use doesn’t improve the environment or that it raises food prices, it is still in gasoline.” That continues today in Georgia.
Foundation in the news: Foundation research was cited in an article in American Thinker on welfare reform. Kelly McCutchen was quoted in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on federal health care reform.
Kelly McCutchen of the free-market Georgia Public Policy Foundation also thinks we’re still in dangerous territory – but danger of doing nothing. “I’d like to see a bill, some kind of bill, get passed to conference committee,” McCutchen said. “As a Georgian, I’d like to see us have an opportunity to have something we could work with get to the bottom of some of the issues in health care: uncompensated care, preexisting conditions and equitable tax treatment for everyone.” “I think they’re very close in a lot of ways.”
Visit www.georgiapolicy.org to read our latest commentary, “Reading is Fundamental to American Liberty,” by Gerard Robinson.
Have a great weekend!
Kelly McCutchen and Benita Dodd
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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.)