Friday Facts: August 29, 2014

It’s Friday!

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Sept. 15: Health Connect South brings together Georgia’s top-tier health leaders and innovators to figure out how to work together to solve problems and make Georgia a leader in health care. Information and registration are at

Sept. 19: Reserve your seat at the 2014 Georgia Legislative Policy Forum to hear keynote speakers Herman Cain and Clint Bolick and experts on tax, education and health care reform in Georgia. The theme is “Tearing Down Walls,” in recognition of the 25th anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall. For information and registration, go to

Sept. 22: Mark your calendar for the showing of, “Rockin’ The Wall” – about the impact of music on the Fall of the Berlin Wall – sponsored by the Foundation at the Earl Strand Theatre in Marietta. 7 p.m. Reserve ticket online:

Quotes of Note

“One hundred ten million! That’s how many Americans now live in households that receive some form of means-tested welfare benefit from the federal government. According to a report from the Census Bureau released last week, that’s the highest absolute number in American history, and it represents 35.4 percent of the American population. Think about it – more than one out of every three Americans live in households that are now on welfare.” – Michael Tanner

“Over the next few years, CBO expects that the rate of labor force participation will decline about a 1/2 percentage point further. … the most important of those factors is the ongoing movement of the baby-boom generation into retirement, but federal tax and spending policies will also tend to lower the participation rate. In particular, certain aspects of the Affordable Care Act will tend to reduce labor force participation, with the largest effect stemming from the subsidies that reduce the cost of purchasing health insurance through the exchanges. Because the subsidies decline with rising income (and increase with falling income) and make some people financially better off, they reduce the incentive for some people to work as much as they would without the subsidies.” – Congressional Budget Office

Government reform

The “most transparent government in history:” In spite President of Obama’s promise, Edwin J. Feulner writes, “This month, 47 of the federal government’s 73 watchdogs filed a formal complaint about the ‘serious limitations’ the Obama administration places on their ability to uncover waste, fraud and abuse.” Inspectors General from the National Security Agency, and the departments of Homeland Security and Justice are among those claiming the administration is imposing “serious limitations on access to records,” hindering their work. Source: Patriot Post

Wondering why Burger King’s going to Canada? According to accounting firm KPMG, Canada has the most business-friendly tax system of all developed countries. Source:


Higher costs: In 1950, federal spending on K-12 was about $400,000. Since then, it has climbed to $71.2 billion. Spending for higher education has risen from $250 million in 1958 to $60 billion in 2013. Since the 1970s, spending per pupil has increased 138 percent while student enrollment has increased only 7.8 percent. Spending per student by state ranges from $6,000 to a whopping $29,000 in Washington, D.C., where the graduation rate is a dismal 58 percent. Source: Patriot Post

Good choice: Kudos to the Institute for Justice, instrumental in Thursday’s ruling by the New Hampshire Supreme Court to preserve the state’s tax credit scholarship program. The court unanimously overturned a lower court decision that declared the program unconstitutional for helping send students to religious schools. The new ruling did not touch on the constitutionality of the program but found the plaintiffs had no legal standing to challenge the case in court. Source: Institute for Justice

Energy and environment

The Marietta Square was all decked out this week in preparation for Labor Day weekend
The Marietta Square was all decked out this week in preparation for Labor Day weekend.

Energy security: In a global energy market, it’s far smarter to aim for energy security than energy independence. And energy security can be had, thanks to imports from friendly neighbors and domestic production. U.S. shale oil production in July (from North Dakota and Texas basins) was up 3.4 percent over the same time last year, leading to a decline in oil imports, analysis shows. Source:

Health care

Telemedicine: The 2014 U.S. Telemedicine Study by HIMSS Analytics finds this technology strategy is increasingly favored among health care providers seeking to deliver better care to larger patient populations at lower costs. Nearly half of health care organizations polled report using telemedicine technology, with some combining as many as four different tools to enable remote care. Source:
Atlanta physician Jeffrey Grossman’s telehealth proposals were highlighted in a 2013 commentary; the Medzed pediatric telemedicine program was profiled recently in a CBS46 Atlanta report.


The Forum: In “Checking Up On Health,” this week, read about Benita Dodd’s allergic reaction to an insect sting, teen sleep habits, home versus hospital births and more. Read this article and more at

Web site of the Week: The Texas Public Policy Foundation, our (big) sister state think tank, proposes policies that help make Texas the economic engine of the nation. Find it at

Friday Flashback: Twenty years ago, on August 23, 1994, our commentary was, “Fight Gridlock in Georgia with the Discharge Petition,” by Kelly McCutchen: “In the vast majority of cases, the committee system used by the General Assembly to screen legislation works well, preventing bad legislation from reaching the floor and allowing legislators to develop expertise in particular subject areas. However, there are occasions when the committee system is used to prevent reasonable legislation from being voted on, despite overwhelming support.” Unfortunately, it has not changed.

Social media: Have you “liked” the Foundation’s Facebook page yet? Join nearly 2,300 of our friends and get up-to-date news, policy views and event alerts. Follow us on Twitter at! Were you at Thursday’s Policy Briefing Luncheon, “Unaccountable Government in Action”? Find our Facebook photographs of the event here.

Visit to read the latest commentary, “The Humanitarian Herbert Hoover: A Character of Caring,” by Harold Brown.

Have a great Labor Day weekend!

Kelly McCutchen and Benita Dodd 

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