Friday Facts: February 18th, 2011

It’s Friday!

– March 1: Join
 the Georgia Public Policy Foundation and the Concord Coalition for the Fiscal Solutions Tour at 5 p.m. on March 1 at Kennesaw State University. The Fiscal Solutions Tour is a discussion of potential solutions to our nation’s fiscal challenges, featuring David M. Walker, former U.S. Comptroller General and Founder and current President and CEO of the Comeback America Initiative. Find out more here:
– March 5: Register now to hear school choice champion Jay Greene, author of “Education Myths,” keynote a Foundation Leadership Breakfast at 8:30 a.m. at Mary Mac’s Tea Room in Atlanta. This event is co-sponsored by the Center for an Educated Georgia. The cost to attend is $20 and is part of the “20 For 20” campaign to celebrate the Foundation’s 20th anniversary in 2011. For more information and registration, go here:
– April 19: Mark your calendar for a noon Policy Briefing Luncheon at the Georgian Club with Samuel Staley, Ph.D., director of urban growth and land use policy at Reason Foundation, on “Getting the Funding You Want for the Transportation You Need.” The cost to attend this event is $35. Details to follow.
– 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 of the Foundation’s two health care events held last week are available here:

What they’re saying about the Foundation
– At a news conference this week at the Capitol, Gov. Nathan Deal gave credit to the Foundation for its leadership in the creation of a bipartisan legislative criminal justice reform effort. Watch the video here:
– At a recent Policy Briefing Luncheon on health care, Congressman Tom Price praised the Foundation for its contribution to real solutions for Georgia. Watch the video here:

Taxes and spending

– Georgia could implement a flat income tax with a rate of 4 percent – or lower – immediately, according to a new study by Georgia State University that fills in the estimates missing from the Tax Reform Council’s final report. Excluding changes in the premium tax, which appear too expensive to consider now, the study shows that a 4 percent income tax rate brings in $348 million more than necessary to be revenue-neutral. Legislators could use these extra funds to reduce the rates even more and/or address equity concerns. To read more, click on this link, which takes you to The Forum, the Foundation’s interactive community Web site.

– If the high U.S. corporate tax rate raised lots of revenue, cutting it might be bad news for the federal budget, notes Kevin Hassett of the American Enterprise Institute. But the United States gets less, as a percentage of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) than the average country in the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development. (OECD). From 2000-2009, the U.S. average corporate tax revenue as a percentage of GDP was 2.06 percent. The average for the rest of the OECD was almost a percentage point higher, at 3 percent. And he adds: Corporate taxes “are the most harmful type of tax for economic growth,” according to a November 2010 report by the OECD.

Join our Forum!

 If you like the Friday Facts, you’ll love the Foundation’s interactive online community, The Forum. Among the offerings this week, editor Mike Klein blogged about the criminal justice reform effort announced at the Capitol and Benita Dodd blogged about vehicles that talk to each other. Register and join the discussion today at!


 Thanks, but no thanks: Washington offered to cover the $2.4 billion in estimated capital costs of an 84-mile high-speed rail line between Tampa and Orlando, but Florida Gov. Rick Scott this week became the latest in a growing list of state leaders saying no thanks to high-speed rail. Last week the White House announced plans for a $53-billion, six-year high-speed rail project that was to begin with the Florida line. Scott’s concerns are that the project’s costs would spin out of control and that taxpayers would be burdened with operating subsidies. Governors in Wisconsin and Ohio have also withdrawn.

– Show us the money: Transportation policy expert Kenneth Orski has a few good questions in his Innovation Newsbriefs: “Since the Republican House leadership has already announced its intent  to limit the future surface transportation budget authority to tax revenues deposited into the Highway Trust Fund, where will the additional money come from to fund the proposed FY 2012 surface transportation program of $107 billion or the six-year surface transportation bill amounting to $556 billion? The tax revenues generated by the gas tax are estimated to total $36.8 billion in FY 2012 and $230 billion over the next six years. … How does the President propose to bridge the $70 billion funding shortfall in FY 2012? … What will be the source of revenue for the [proposed] Passenger Rail account? Will it be a tax on rail tickets?”

– “The New York Times says new cars will no longer be equipped with cassette players. Come on, it’s 2011. People still read newspapers?” – Jimmy Fallon

 The Foundation for Economic Education offers seven seminars in 2011 – two for high school students and five for college students, ranging from basic economics to current events. FEE, one of the oldest free-market organizations in the nation, offers full scholarships to all successful applicants. Find out more at ■ The Mises Institute is now accepting applications for 2011 Summer Fellowships. Find out more at

– Click on this link or visit to read the Foundation’s latest commentary, “Full Speed Ahead: Widening the Pathway to College and Career Success,” by Dean Alford.

Have a great weekend.

Kelly McCutchen

FRIDAY FACTS is made possible by the generosity of the Georgia Public Policy Foundation’s donors. If you enjoy the FRIDAY FACTS, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to help advance our important mission by clicking here. Visit our Web site at Join The Forum at Become a fan of the Foundation on Facebook and follow us on Twitter at

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