Category: Facts

Nuclear Power Can Balance Energy Demand

Despite America’s abundance of natural gas from shale production, some parts of the country have already had warnings that over-dependence on gas for electricity generation exposes consumers to soaring prices for electricity, writes Mark Perry in the Investor’s Business Daily of January 16, 2014. The problem is the declining use of coal and nuclear power, the two sources of electricity that provide the greatest price stability and serve as a hedge against wide fluctuations in gas prices, according to Perry, a professor of economics at the Flint campus of the University of Michigan and a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. Among his comments: For the power industry to become increasingly dependent on a fuel with a history… View Article
Government regulation touches your daily life in ways you don’t even imagine, according to the Center for Regulatory Solutions. In “Regulation: A Primer,” Susan Dudley and Jerry Brito, of George Washington University and George Mason University, respectively, paint a helpful picture of how regulation “touches our everyday lives in thousands of ways that we may never imagine.”  As Dudley and Brito note, “These rules have both benefits and costs, but most people are unaware of their reach and influence.”  And these rules are enforced by a vast bureaucracy.  In 2012, Dudley and Brito write that “close to 300,000 full-time federal employees are devoted to issuing and enforcing regulations,” a “more than five-fold increase in the size of… View Article
Interesting conclusions from a recent Reason Foundation study: Statistical analysis of the 74 largest urbanized areas in the U.S. over a 26-year period suggests that increasing transit utilization does not lead to a reduction in traffic congestion; nor does decreasing transit utilization lead to an increase in traffic congestion. Policies designed to promote transit utilization can in certain instances increase traffic congestion—as appears to have been the case in Portland, Oregon. Vehicle-miles traveled per freeway lane-mile is strongly correlated with traffic congestion: the more people drive relative to available freeway capacity, the worse congestion gets. Data from New York and Los Angeles indicate that the most effective way to increase transit utilization is by reducing fares, as well as… View Article

Georgia Business Climate Ranks #32

The Tax Foundation’s 2014 edition of the State Business Tax Climate Index enables business leaders, government policymakers, and taxpayers to gauge how their states’ tax systems compare. Georgia ranks 32nd highest, scoring in the top ten in the corporate tax category, but in the bottom ten in the individual income tax category. North Carolina, currently ranked 44th, is projected to move to as high as 17th as their recent tax reforms take effect. Florida is ranked 5th, South Carolina 37th, Alabama 21st and Tennessee 15th.… View Article
In 2012, the federal government spent $668 billion to fund 126 separate anti-poverty programs. State and local governments kicked in another $284 billion, bringing total anti-poverty spending to nearly $1 trillion. That amounts to $20,610 for every poor person in America, or $61,830 per poor family of three. Source: Cato Institute View Article

Georgia Ranks 17th in K-12 Achievement

Georgia’s K-12 Achievement ranks 17th highest in the nation, according to an Education Week report released today. In terms of absolute performance relative to other states, Georgia’s performance declined at higher grade levels. Georgia ranked 36th in 4th grade math and 40th in 8th grade math; 30th in 4th grade reading and 36th in 8th grade reading; and 47th in high school graduation rate. One positive note, Georgia ranked 9th in the percentage of students with AP test scores of a 3 or higher. The good news is that it appears we are headed in the right direction. Georgia’s ten-year trend of improvement ranked it among the top 16 states in every measure above, with the 5th best improvement in… View Article

Rhode Island Pension Reform Case Study

In 2011, Rhode Island enacted major pension reform legislation spearheaded by State Treasurer and current gubernatorial candidate Gina Raimondo to address an unfunded pension liability of $6.8 billion and a system less than 50 percent funded relative to its obligations. Among the changes, the reforms introduced a hybrid defined-benefit/defined-contribution funding system, suspended cost-of-living-adjustments for retirees, and increased the retirement age. A new Reason Foundation report offers a detailed case study of Rhode Island’s pension reform efforts, reviewing the challenges that prompted the reforms, the specific policies enacted, and the lessons learned for other states and municipalities facing significant unfunded pension liabilities. Read the study: Pension Reform Case Study: Rhode Island View Article

The Right Minimum Wage: $0.00

We’ve written often about the unintended consequences of the minimum wage (and all price controls). But it’s a sea change when a New York Times editorial agrees: “Anyone working in America surely deserves a better living standard than can be managed on $3.35 an hour. But there’s a virtual consensus among economists that the minimum wage is an idea whose time has passed. Raising the minimum wage by a substantial amount would price working poor people out of the job market. A far better way to help them would be to subsidize their wages or – better yet – help them acquire the skills needed to earn more on their own.” Here’s a link to a video of Milton Friedman… View Article

Georgia Medicaid Expansion – Woodwork Effect

Even if Georgia decides not to expand Medicaid eligibility, the state could be facing a $385 million annual increase in Medicaid costs. This comes on the heels of the provider fee increase this year that raised $689 million to fill a shortfall in the Medicaid program. The Georgia Department of Community Health (DCH) projects that ObamaCare will cost Georgia taxpayers $225 million in FY 2015. This includes the cost of individuals who are currently eligible for Medicaid but not enrolled signing up for coverage due to the “woodwork effect” — literally thousands of new Medicaid enrollees “coming out of the woodwork” to sign up for Medicaid. The Urban Institute estimates there are 159,000 adult, low-income Georgians who are eligible for View Article

The best way to make a lasting impact on public policy is to change public opinion. When you change the beliefs of the people; the politicians and political parties change with them.

Senator Herman E. Talmadge more quotes