May 23: “You Can Say That: How Courage Can Defeat Political Correctness,” a noon Policy Briefing Luncheon with David French of the National Review Institute, on Thursday, May 23. Georgian Club. $35. Information and registration here.
Quotes of note
“What alleviates poverty isn’t so much government doing something. It’s government getting out of the way.” – Edward J. Feulner
“One of the great mistakes is to judge policies and programs by their intentions rather than their results.” – Milton Friedman
“Socialism, like the ancient ideas from which it springs, confuses the distinction between government and society. As a result of this, every time we object to a thing being done by government, the socialists conclude that we object to its being done at all. … It is as if the socialists were to accuse us of not wanting persons to eat because we do not want the state to raise grain.” – Frédéric Bastiat
Malaria: When President George W. Bush announced his worldwide President’s Malaria Initiative in 2005, nearly a million people were dying every year of the mosquito-borne disease. Fifteen years later, the mortality rate has been more than halved, but it is creeping up again. Roger Bate of the American Enterprise Institute cites corruption in some nations, fraudulent remedies and fading efficacy of antimalarial drugs and insecticides. He argues more funding is needed to improve the program and its oversight.
Measles: There have been 695 confirmed measles cases so far this year, the most since the United States declared it had eliminated the virus in 2000, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Public health officials blame the outbreak in part on the spread of misinformation about the safety of vaccines. Source: Reuters
Progress report: In the two decades of sweeping education reform efforts that included No Child Left Behind, Race to the Top and the Common Core, are our schools better off? “The answer is less reassuring than one would hope,” writes Frederick Hess of the American Enterprise Institute. He notes that state-reported gains have vastly exceeded gains in national (NAEP) testing, while high-school-graduation scandals and analysis of “credit recovery” programs have raised serious concerns about the validity of the dramatic graduation-rate gains.
Rolling with technology: Google and Gov. Brian Kemp were in Ocilla this week to celebrate the launch of Google’s Rolling Study Halls program, which brings wi-fi to students with long bus commutes in 16 communities across the country. Google outfitted four Irwin County School District buses with wi-fi capabilities and computers. Student trips on these buses average between 55 and 75 minutes each way. Source: Albany Herald
A million here, a million there: The price for construction projects to modernize and expand Hartsfield-Jackson International will increase $640 million more than anticipated, and airport officials asked the Atlanta City Council for approval to apply for additional funding from the federal government (i.e. taxpayers). Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Distracted drivers: April is Distracted Driving Month in Georgia, with increased education and enforcement of distracted driving laws. Since the Hands-Free Georgia Act took effect in July 2018, Georgia State Patrol Troopers have issued more than 15,000 citations for distracted-driving violations. Source: Montlick.com
Pedestrian fatalities: The Marietta Daily Journal reports that in 2018, there were 16 pedestrian crashes in unincorporated Cobb County, resulting in nine fatalities. Police concluded the pedestrian was at fault in 14 of the 16 cases. A study by the Governors Highway Safety Association determined that 75 percent of pedestrian fatalities in 2017 occurred after dark, and 72 percent occurred outside of intersections.
Action needed: Social Security’s costs are expected to exceed its income in 2020 for the first time since 1982, forcing the program to dip into its nearly $3 trillion trust fund to cover benefits, The Wall Street Journal reports. Unless Congress intervenes, by 2035, the trust funds for Social Security and Medicare will be depleted, and Social Security recipients will get only about three-quarters of their scheduled benefits, the programs’ trustees warn.
YouTube: Click here to view the Foundation’s April 17 event with Congressman Doug Collins of Georgia, “Second Chances 2019.” To view the Foundation’s April 10 Athens event on school choice (three parts) click the links for Part I, Part II and Part III.
This month in the archives: In April 10 years ago, the Foundation published, “Putting the State Budget in Perspective.” It noted, “It’s easy to point out areas where Georgia has underinvested, such as in transportation, but there are also many areas where savings can still be found.”
Have a great weekend!
Kyle Wingfield and Benita Dodd
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The Georgia Public Policy Foundation has hit another homerun with its Guide to the Issues. This is must reading for anyone interested in public policy in Georgia, and it is an outstanding road map for conservative, common sense solutions to our challengers of today and tomorrow.