Be sure to read the Leader Spotlight on Kyle Wingfield, published by the State Policy Network!
Quotes of note
“Judges, therefore, should be always men of learning and experience in the laws, of exemplary morals, great patience, calmness, coolness, and attention. Their minds should not be distracted with jarring interests; they should not be dependent upon any man, or body of men.” – John Adams (1776)
“My judicial philosophy is straightforward. A judge must be independent and must interpret the law, not make the law. A judge must interpret statutes as written. And a judge must interpret the Constitution as written, informed by history and tradition and precedent.” Brett Kavanaugh, President Trump’s nominee to replace retiring U.S. Supreme Court justice Anthony Kennedy
“The blessed work of helping the world forward, happily does not wait to be done by perfect men.” – George Eliot
August 23: Join the Georgia Public Policy Foundation on Thursday, August 23, at the 1818 Club in Duluth for a Leadership Breakfast, “Policy Over Politics,” with keynote speaker Kyle Wingfield, the Foundation’s president. Welcome by Georgia State Rep. Brett Harrell, a longtime friend of the Foundation and Gwinnett County resident. 8 a.m. (Registration, networking 7:30 a.m.) $20. Register here.
September 7: Mark your calendar for the 2018 Georgia Legislative Policy Forum. This daylong event on Friday, September 7, at the Renaissance Atlanta Waverly Hotel will include sessions on health care reform, education innovation, pension reform and more. $100 ($75 early bird registration). Details soon; view last year’s program here.
Taxes and spending
The case for lower tax rates: Today, nine out of 10 U.S. businesses are structured as pass-through entities (partnerships, S corporations, and sole proprietorships), which are not subject to the corporate income tax, according to the Tax Foundation. Instead, business income is reported on owners’ personal tax returns and subject to individual income tax rates. In Georgia, corporate income tax collections are just 2.8 percent of state and local tax collections.
Closing the gap: The poverty rate is declining (from 16.5 percent in 2010 to 15.8 percent in 2016), and the contrast between urban and rural areas is nowhere near as stark as it once was, Reason Foundation reports. It cites data from the Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service that, “The rural-urban poverty gap has narrowed … from 17 percentage points in 1960 to 3.6 percentage points in 2016.”
Job assistance: The Department of Labor has launched Apprenticeship.gov, a one-stop-shop to connect job seekers with potential employers and apprenticeship programs, and serve as a resource to students, employers, parents, teachers, high school counselors, higher education institutions, and training providers.
Productive: One in 10 U.S. jobs is in manufacturing, which represents 12 percent of the nation’s output and 18 percent of the world’s capacity, according to a Brookings Institution analysis. Ahead of the United States is China, responsible for 20 percent of the world’s output. Manufacturing represents 27 percent of China’s national output and employs about 17 percent of the workforce.
Criminal justice reform
All that glitters: Police in Miami were forced to return nearly $20,000 to a stripper and pay $3,000 in legal bills after a judge ruled there was no probable cause for the seizure from her purse in the trunk. Drug-dealing charges against the stripper and her husband were also dropped. “I felt that the glitter on the seized cash was compelling evidence, but apparently the police department disagreed,” defense attorney Jude Faccidomo told The Miami Herald.
Energy and environment
Peak oil? Thanks to improved technology for tapping shale formations, U.S. oil production has soared. Production could reach 11.8 million barrels a day next year, the U.S. Energy Information Administration predicts. That would make the United States the world’s biggest oil producer, ahead of Saudi Arabia and Russia, for the first time since the mid-1970s. As a result, oil imports could drop as low as 1.6 million barrels a day, which would be the lowest level since 1958. Source: Fortune
Water woes: As California faces another drought with overpromised water resources, new laws calling for permanent water restrictions double down on politics “when what’s really needed are market reforms,” writes Jonathan Wood of the Pacific Legal Foundation. “Let market prices steer water conservation efforts to where they are most cost-effective, rather than dividing water users up into discrete constituencies.” Source: The Hill
This month in the archives: In June 15 years ago, the Foundation published, “Whatever Happened to Telecommunications Deregulation?” It noted, “Those regulators, once called upon to protect the public from the evils of monopolies, have become monopolist themselves – with the power to control market entry, set industry prices and redistribute revenue between telephone services providers – all in the name of the public interest.”
Foundation in the news: Kyle Wingfield’s column on civic engagement was published in The Savannah Morning News. His column on teacher pension reform was published in The Savannah Morning News, Times Courier of Ellijay, White County News-Telegraph, Clayton Tribune and Northeast Georgian. His commentary on school choice policy was published in The White County News-Telegraph, Northeast Georgian, Toccoa Record, Clayton Tribune, Moultrie Observer, Thomasville Times-Enterprise, Brunswick News and Savannah Morning News. Kyle was quoted in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution in an article on the economy under Georgia’s next governor and in an article about work requirements for Medicaid recipients. Benita Dodd was quoted in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution in an article about low-income ZIP codes in metro Atlanta.
Have a great weekend!
Kyle Wingfield and Benita Dodd
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When I served four terms in the state Senate, one of the few places where you could go to always and get concrete information about real solutions was the Georgia Public Policy Foundation. That hasn’t changed. [The Foundation] is really right up there at the top of the state think tanks, so you should be very proud of the work that they are doing!