Friday Facts: April 1st, 2011

It’s Friday!

– Today is April Fool’s Day. 
Or, As Will Rogers put it, “The trouble with practical jokes is that very often they get elected.”

Taxes and spending
– Sunday is Tax Freedom Day in Georgia, the day that Georgians will have worked long enough to pay this year’s tax obligations at the federal, state and local levels. According to the Tax Foundation, Tax Freedom Day is April 12 for the nation overall. Unfortunately, Georgia lags most of its neighbors – Tennessee (March 27), Alabama (April 2) and South Carolina (March 29). Americans’ individual income taxes take the biggest bite (including federal, state and local) and require 36 days of work. Mississippi is first to celebrate, on March 26, while Connecticut is last, on May 2.
– An Issue Analysis by the Georgia Public Policy Foundation finds that the new proposal to cut personal income tax rates produced by the Tax Reform and Fairness Council, “appropriately is a pro-growth reform that will encourage more savings and investment, higher wages, more jobs and more economic opportunity for our citizens.” Read more at
– Moving on out:
 Peter Schiff, CEO of Euro Pacific Capital and former U.S. Senate candidate from Connecticut, says he’s planning to move to Florida, which has no state income tax. “We need to reduce the size of government. In fact, if we can cut government enough, then we can reduce taxes,” says Schiff, a proponent of taxing consumption instead of income. He advocates abolishing personal and corporate income taxes, abolishing the home mortgage deduction – which he says distorts the market by “artificially reduc(ing) the cost of buying versus renting” –  creating a flat tax and a national sales tax. Watch Schiff’s interview at   Source:

What’s happening at the Foundation
– April 19
: Have you registered for the Foundation’s next noon Policy Briefing Luncheon? “Getting the Funding You Want for the Transportation You Need” is keynoted by Samuel Staley, Ph.D., director of urban growth and land use policy at the Reason Foundation, on Tuesday, April 19 at the Georgian Club. The cost to attend this event is $35; the deadline to register is Friday, April 15. To find out more and register, go to
– Missed an event? Policy Briefing Luncheons and Leadership Breakfasts are videotaped and available for online streaming at FoundationTV on the Foundation’s Web site at
 Join our Forum: If you like the Friday Facts, you’ll love the Foundation’s interactive online community. Register and join the discussion today at!
– School choice: Did the Georgia Supreme Court delay its long-awaited opinion in the high profile state charter schools commission case because of the potential impact on education equalization dollars received by three-fourths of Georgia public school districts?  Read about it in Mike Klein’s GPPF Forum article.

– The United States has 104 nuclear power plants in use generating about 20 percent of this nation’s electricity. Investor’s Business Daily warns: “Spent fuel rods are stored on-site at these facilities, and the rods will continue to pile up unless we move them as intended to a completed facility at Yucca Mountain. … The real danger at Fukushima(Japan) lay in the spent fuel rods housed in large, water-filled pools in the reactor buildings outside the concrete-and-steel fortresses that surround the reactor cores. It’s the on-site storage of spent fuel rods, not the reactors, that has caused most of the radiation detected and remains the greatest danger. Yucca Mountain was our attempt to solve this problem.”

Health care
– More or less? In just three years the nation is expected to start insuring about 32 million uninsured people, notes John Goodman of the National Center for Policy Analysis. About half will enroll in Medicaid directly; and if the Massachusetts precedent is followed, most of the remainder will be in heavily subsidized private plans that pay little more than Medicaid rates. But the same law “will force middle- and upper-middle-income families to have more generous coverage than they now have. As these more generously insured people attempt to acquire more medical services they will almost certainly outbid people paying Medicaid rates for doctor services and hospital beds.” Read more at

Property rights
– When it comes to physical and intellectual property rights protections, the United States ranks 18th in the world, according to an annual survey by the Property Rights Alliance. This is down from 16th in 2010 and 14th in 2007, when the Index was originally created, and losing out to top-ranked Finland in the 2011 International Property Rights Index. The biggest contributor to the reduced U.S. standing was in the physical property rights category (real property), where the countries were scored on protection of physical property rights, property registration and access to loans. Source:

– Safe driving: The rate of road-related deaths declined 40 percent in the United States between 1958 and 2008, from 21.3 fatalities per 100,000 people to 12.8, according to researchers at the University of Michigan’s Transportation Research Institute. In 1958, the average person drove 3,831 miles, compared with 9,621 miles per person in 2008. In 1958, there were 55.6 fatalities per billion miles driven. In 2008, there were 13.6 fatalities per billion miles driven. Source: Transportation Research Bulletin

– The Mises Institute is now accepting applications for 2011 Summer Fellowships and Mises University. Find out more at ■ The National Taxpayers Union and the National Taxpayers Union Foundation offer internships in a variety of fields for college students and recent graduates to learn more about limited government and free-market principles. Internships are granted on a rolling basis and may take place during any time of the year. Participants may receive academic credit or a stipend. Apply at NTU/NTUF Internship Program application.

– Visit to read the Foundation’s latest commentary, “Building Authority Builds a Better Agency,” by Steve Stancil.

Have a great weekend.

Kelly McCutchen

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