Friday Facts: August 5th, 2011

It’s Friday!

– “To take from one because it is thought that his own industry and that of his father’s has acquired too much, in order to spare to others, who, or whose fathers have not exercised equal industry and skill, is to violate arbitrarily the first principle of association –  the guarantee to every one of a free exercise of his industry and the fruits acquired by it.” – Thomas Jefferson
– “People who say they want a government program because ‘I don’t want to be a burden to my children’ apparently think it is all right to be a burden to other people’s children.” – Thomas Sowell
– “I cannot undertake to lay my finger on that article of the Constitution which granted a right to Congress of expending, on objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents.” – James Madison


– School choice: Support for vouchers as a means to expand school choice increased by 8 percentage points between 2010 and 2011, the largest shift of public opinion over the course of the past year, according to a national opinion survey conducted by Harvard’s Program on Education Policy and Governance (PEPG) and Education Next.  It also found public support for digital learning at 47 percent, a modest decrease from 52 percent last year. Forty-nine percent of teachers support digital learning, as do 42 percent of the well-to-do. But “when respondents are asked about their own children, high levels of support are shown, with a majority of Americans and roughly two in three teachers indicating a willingness to have one of their children take ‘some academic courses’ in high school over the Internet.”

– Déjà vu all over again: In what could be a repeat of the easy-lending cycle that led to the housing crisis, the Justice Department has asked several banks to relax their mortgage underwriting standards and approve loans for minorities with poor credit as part of a new crackdown on alleged discrimination, according to court documents reviewed by Investor’s Business Daily.

Health care
– Other people’s money: Any time you offer people discretionary benefits that are free at the point of consumption, they are likely to exercise discretion and enjoy the benefits, writes John Goodman of the National Center for Policy Analysis. “Yet that’s what first-dollar health insurance coverage does. It encourages us to think that everything is free, even though we all end up paying through higher premiums and higher taxes.” Read more at

– Intercity buses have become the nation’s fastest-growing transportation mode, with ridership growing almost twice as fast as Amtrak, the Cato Institute’s Randal O’Toole writes in a policy analysis, “Intercity Buses: The Forgotten Mode.” O’Toole calls them safer, cheaper and more environmentally friendly than Amtrak. “Those who want to promote alternatives for low-income people and others who prefer environmentally sensitive modes of travel should encourage intercity buses.” Read more at

Taxes and Spending
– State budgets will feel the impact over the next decade as Congress trims $2.2 trillion from federal budgets, Foundation editor Mike Klein writes in The Forum, the Foundation’s blog. Read about the impact on Georgia and join The Forum discussion at .
– “There are a lot of programs that the federal government would like to give you that don’t fit your state, don’t fit your needs and ultimately create obligations that our taxpayers can’t afford,” notes Gov. Rick Scott of Florida, who has come under fire from liberals for refusing to accept health care grants from Washington. He also refused to accept high-speed rail funds from the federal government. Source: New York Times

– “We are now back to the pre-Reagan boom multiples, as the American economy shifts from a dynamic, entrepreneurial entity, to a sclerotic, half-socialized affair,” writes economist David P. Goldman at Asia Times Online. “With 40 percent of U.S. personal income coming from transfer payments,” he adds, “it’s almost nostalgic to call it capitalism.”


–  September 1: “Celebration of Service and Sacrifice:” Ten years after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, changed America forever, Navy Seal and award-winning author Eric Greitens discusses how Georgia can lead the nation in programs and services for our military families. Register at for the luncheon event, on Thursday, Sept. 1, from 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. at the Cobb Galleria Centre. This is part of a long-term project with the Foundation, Ross Mason and the Healthcare Institute for Neuro-Recovery and Innovation (HINRI) to encourage health care innovation in Georgia.
– September 30: 
The Foundation’s second annual Legislative Policy Briefing is scheduled for Friday, Sept. 30, at the Cobb Energy Centre. Last year, more than 250 people attended to hear nearly three dozen experts discuss Georgia public policy. Topics this year include education, transportation, tax reform, criminal justice and health care. Register online at
– October 24: 
Invitations will soon be mailed soon for the Foundation’s 20th anniversary celebration and Freedom Award dinner, scheduled for the evening of Monday, Oct. 24, at the Renaissance Waverly Atlanta. Speakers include Georgia Governor Nathan Deal and U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson of Georgia. Details to follow.

– Visit to read the Foundation’s latest commentary, “Airport Privatization Could Take Off,” by Benita Dodd.

Have a great weekend.

Kelly McCutchen

Editor’s note: It’s not by coincidence that we quote John Goodman in the Friday Facts so often. In our opinion, no one does a better job of breaking down a complex issue like health care into commonsense, logical arguments. He is one of our country’s brightest minds in health care and you’ll have a chance to meet him next month in Georgia: He has just agreed to speak on September 30 at the Foundation’s Legislative Policy Briefing!

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