Friday Facts: April 19, 2019

It’s Friday! 


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.

In sympathy

Our sincere condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of Anne Ware Lewis, a friend of the Foundation and an attorney whose decades of expertise shaped Georgia law on elections and campaign finances. She passed away this week at age 56.

Our sincere condolences to Foundation friends Ray and Lynn Ney Smith, whose daughter, Caroline Elise Smith, passed away April 6 at age 20.

At the Foundation’s event on April 17, Congressman Doug Collins of Georgia (left) presented Bill McGahan with a copy of the Congressional Record commendation honoring the Georgia Works! founder for his program’s efforts to help homeless Atlanta men turn around their lives. With McGahan is his wife, Lisa.

Quotes of note 

“They define a republic to be a government of laws, and not of men.” – John Adams (1775) 

“The Constitution vests all Federal legislative power in Congress. In our system of separation of powers, agencies may prescribe rules only insofar as they have statutory authority delegated to them by Congress.” – Russell Vought, Office of Management and Budget

“Seven million jobs are available now. Most of them don’t require a four-year-degree. They require training. And yet we’re obsessed, not really with education, you know. What we are obsessed with is credentialing. And so people are buying diplomas. And they’re buying their degrees. It’s a diploma dilemma, honestly. It’s expensive. It is getting worse. It’s not just the kids holding the note. It is us.” – Mike Rowe 


Deadline: Monday was the deadline to submit your tax return to the Internal Revenue Service or seek an extension to file. Read “10 Facts the Media Won’t Tell You About the GOP Tax Cuts,” from Americans for Tax Reform. No. 10: Utility companies in all 50 states are passing on the tax savings in the form of lower rates for customers. 

Economic outlook: Georgia ranks 18th in the United States for its economic outlook, according to “Rich States, Poor States” 2019, released on Tax Day by the American Legislative Exchange Council. That’s down from No. 11 in the 2018 report. The state’s economic performance rank also dropped, from No. 10 in the 2018 report to No. 14 in 2019.


Ridership down: Americans took 9.9 billion trips on public transportation in 2018, according to the American Public Transportation Association (APTA). APTA says that’s down 2 percent over 2017 ridership. For Atlanta, APTA reports overall ridership down nearly 8 percent in 2018. Light rail (Streetcar) ridership was down nearly 35 percent, bus ridership dropped more than 12 percent and heavy rail ridership was down nearly 4 percent. Source: Mass Transit Magazine


Growing Georgia: The Census Bureau released new population estimates this week.  Jackson County was No. 10 among the nation’s counties in the rate of population growth in 2018, with a 4 percent increase over 2017. Forsyth County was one of the decade’s top 10 counties, with a 35 percent population increase from 2010 to 2018. Metro Atlanta’s population growth was the fourth-highest among metropolitan regions, having added 663,201 new residents from 2010 to 2018.


Choice matters:  A new study from the Department of Education Reform at the University of Arkansas examined eight big cities, including Atlanta, to determine which type of public school offers the better return on the educational dollar. In all cities, charter schools outperformed traditional public schools in standardized test scores, despite receiving less funding per pupil. Charters were more cost effective and delivered a greater return on investment. Source: Wall Street Journal

Health care

No more bubble boy: A young John Travolta starred in “The Boy in the Plastic Bubble,” a 1976 movie highlighting the genetic defect that leaves children without an immune system. This week, researchers announced they have cured 10 infants of “bubble boy disease” by replacing a defective version of a gene the body needs to build cells that seek out and destroy invading germs. Source: Reuters


YouTube: Click here to view the Foundation’s April 17 event with Congressman Doug Collins of Georgia, “Second Chances 2019.”

Foundation in the news: Tim Bryant of WGAU-AM interviewed Kyle Wingfield about the Foundation’s April 10 Happy Hour event in Athens. 

Social media: The Foundation’s Facebook page has 3,493 “likes” this week; our Twitter account has 1,891 followers! Join them! 

Friday Flashback 

This month in the archives: In April 20 years ago, the Foundation published, “Paycheck Protection: Union Dues, Political Spending, and Employee Freedom of Choice.” It noted, “[I]t is necessary to protect the rights of employees who want to participate in union membership and pay the costs of supporting the union’s efforts to improve workplace conditions, but do not want to advance a political agenda antagonistic to the worker’s beliefs or interests.” While employee protections are increasing, this has yet to be resolved.

Visit to read the Foundation’s latest commentary, “Climate Change Agreements: Solutions in Search of a Problem,” by Dave Emanuel.

We wish our readers and supporters a Happy Passover and a Blessed Easter.

Have a great weekend!

Kyle Wingfield and Benita Dodd

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