Friday Facts: February 25th, 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. There is no charge for our members. 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:
– March 17Tax Reform Briefing with the American Legislative Exchange Council. Details coming soon.
– 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

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. “The Foundation’s Criminal Justice Initiative pushed the problems to the forefront, proposed practical solutions, brought in leaders from other states to share examples, and created this nonpartisan opportunity,” Deal said.
– At a recent Policy Briefing Luncheon on health care, Congressman Tom Price praised the Foundation for its contribution to real solutions for Georgia: “When I served four terms in the state Senate, one of the few places where you could go to always and get concrete information about real solutions was the Georgia Public Policy Foundation. That hasn’t changed. [The Foundation] is really right up there at the top of the state think tanks, so you should be very proud of the work that they are doing.”

– Georgia is making progress on digital learning. The Georgia Charter Schools Commission approved charters for three online schools last Thursday. Georgia Cyber Academy, the largest virtual school in Georgia, is expecting to enroll 8,500 students throughout the state this fall and maintains a 1,000-student waiting list.

Taxes and spending

– Georgia’s state and local tax burden ranks 32nd highest, according to the Tax Foundation’s latest report. North Carolina ranked 16th highest, Florida was just above Georgia at 31 and the remaining southern states ranked lower than Georgia.

– Where is the money going to come from? In his 2012 budget, Howard Gleckman of the Urban Institute calculates President Obama would exempt 96.5 percent of households from any tax hikes while dramatically reducing the long-term deficit. That could mean income tax rates of up to 67 percent on a relative handful of individuals and families.

– Would Georgia have a budget deficit this year if spending had been limited to population and inflation? Use the Tax Foundation’s new interactive tool to find out.

– Last week’s commentary presented a brilliant idea called Move on When Ready: Full Speed that addresses our remedial education challenges in high school, where they should be addressed. However, the plan would also open up a wide array of dual credit options – both traditional and online – for high school juniors and seniors. We have published a more in depth issue analysis on the subject this week.

– “You cannot legislate the poor into freedom by legislating the industrious out of it. You don’t multiply wealth by dividing it. Government cannot give anything to anybody that it doesn’t first take from somebody else. Whenever somebody receives something without working for it, somebody else has to work for it without receiving. The worst thing that can happen to a nation is for half of the people to get the idea they don’t have to work because somebody else will work for them, and the other half to get the idea that it does no good to work because they don’t get to enjoy the fruits of their labor.” – Dr. Adrian Rogers

– Visit to read the Foundation’s latest commentary, “Mission Creep at EPA,” by Harold Brown.


Have a great weekend.
Kelly McCutchen

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