Friday Facts: October 30, 2015

It’s Friday!

Quotes of Note

“We have the right, as individuals, to give away as much of our own money as we please in charity; but as members of Congress we have no right so to appropriate a dollar of the public money.” – David Crockett

“Let us recollect that peace or war will not always be left to our option; that however moderate or unambitious we may be, we cannot count upon the moderation, or hope to extinguish the ambition of others.” – Alexander Hamilton, Federalist No. 34

“Government thrives on our fears. When we’re scared, politicians are always there, promising to protect us if we just give them more money and power. We usually do.” – John Stossel 

“Halloween was confusing. All my life my parents said, ‘Never take candy from strangers.’ And then they dressed me up and said, ‘Go beg for it.’ I didn’t know what to do! I’d knock on people’s doors and go, ‘Trick or treat.’ ‘No thank you.’” – Rita Rudner


Did you miss our October 15 Legislative Policy Forum? You can find all of the videos and presentations from the event here. Find photos on the Foundation’s Facebook pages here and here. Tag yourself and your friends!

December 8: Register to attend, “The Case for K-12 Student-Based Budgeting in Georgia,” a summit and luncheon hosted featuring experts from the Reason Foundation and Allovue.10:30-1:30 p.m. at The Gallery, Cobb Galleria Centre. $30. Registration and information here.

Energy and environment 

georgiaenergyFriday tricks: The federal Environmental Protection Agency published the costliest regulation in U.S. history, the so-called Clean Power Plan, in the Federal Register on Friday afternoon October 23 – when most people had left for the weekend. Georgia Power and the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, which represents more than 900 consumer-owned electric co-ops (EMCs) across the nation, are among groups suing to stay the plan. Georgia Power cites “its potential impacts on reliability and affordability of electricity in the state of Georgia.” Twenty-six states, including Georgia, filed suit. Read the Foundation’s analysis of the plan here.

Solar’s no longer a treat: Spain is creating a fixed charge for customers who use distributed generation like solar rooftops to avoid purchasing electricity from the power grid. Residential customers will pay a monthly fixed fee of about $10 per kilowatt (kW) of installed capacity. Commercial customers will pay about $41 per kW of installed capacity. The fees balance circumstances in which customers want to produce their own power through solar photovoltaics but still rely on the utility grid for backup power. Customers who don’t want to be connected to the grid or who own distributed generation systems with a total capacity of 10 kW will pay nothing. Source: PACE

No fear about nuclear: Nuclear power is “the poster child of reliability” for Georgia, writes Public Service Commissioner Tim Echols in  Power Engineering. “It is no accident that Georgia doesn’t experience the blackouts or rolling brownouts as experienced by northeastern states, Texas or California.” 

Economic opportunity 

Frightening coincidence: If you were at the Georgia Legislative Policy Forum, you heard Bill McGahan talk about Georgia Works! and Robert Doar of the American Enterprise Institute discuss welfare reform opportunities. The two panelists – who met for the first time at the October 15 Forum – found themselves testifying together this week before Georgia Congressman Tom Price in Washington!


Phantom scare: Processed meats increase your cancer risk18 percent, according to the World Health Organization. WHO estimates about 34,000 cancer deaths per year worldwide can be attributed to diets that are high in processed meat. That’s a small fraction of the 8.2 million deaths caused by cancer in 2012 (the latest WHO data). Meanwhile, about 21,000 people die every day of hunger or hunger-related causes, according to the United Nations.


Achievement bogeyman: While states lament their recent disappointing national test scores, researchers at the Urban Institute have adjusted state scores based on socio-economic factors for a fairer comparison. Georgia makes the top 10 in adjusted academic growth from 2003-2013 (during the much discussed “austerity” funding cuts). Georgia makes the top 20 in adjusted student achievement. Still, similar Southern states like Texas (No. 3), Florida (No. 4) and North Carolina (No. 7) outperform Georgia while spending less per student. This supports the Foundation’s recent research.

Terrifying trends: Is de facto segregation still with us? A new study by the Foundation’s Senior Fellow, Dr. Ben Scafidi, reveals a scary state in schools and offers a solution.

Friday Flashback 

This month in the “crypt”: In October 2003, the Foundation published, “Tougher Air Standards Demand Sensible Solutions.” It noted, “Misguided efforts to meet air quality standards will cost taxpayers and industry time and money, and they won’t make the air any cleaner.” 


Foundation in the news: Morris News quoted Kelly McCutchen on welfare reforms in Georgia. Watchdog quoted Kelly McCutchen on the folly of Peachtree City’s government broadband plan; the hometown Citizen newspaper published his commentary on the issue. Watchdog quoted Benita Dodd on the end of Georgia’s electric car tax subsidy. 

Social media: The Foundation is closing in on 2,700 Facebook “likes” and has more than 1,500 Twitter followers at Follow us on Instagram, too! 

Visit to read our latest commentary, “Opportunity’s Knocking Hard at Georgia’s Door,” by Benita M. Dodd.

Have a Happy Halloween weekend – and don’t forget to change your clocks to “fall back!”

Kelly McCutchen and Benita Dodd

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