Friday Facts: February 8, 2013

February 8, 2013 

It’s Friday!

February 19: The Foundation’s Leadership Breakfast at Cobb County’s Georgian Club, 8 a.m. on Tuesday, February 19, is keynoted by the Cato Institute’s Randal O’Toole. In “American Dream, American Nightmare,” he offers an explanation of the forces at play in the housing market in Georgia and in the nation, and how to rebuild the American Dream of homeownership. This event is open to the public and will cost $25 to attend. Find out more at Register by Friday, February 15, at

Quotes of Note

“This is our challenge. And this is why, here in this hall tonight — better than we’ve ever done before — we’ve got to quit talking to each other, and about each other, and go out and communicate to the world that we may be fewer in numbers than we’ve ever been — but we carry the message they’re waiting for.” – Ronald Reagan, who would have turned 102 this week, at the 1976 Republican National Convention

“Government machinery has been described as a marvelous labor saving device which enables ten men to do the work of one.” – John Maynard Keynes

Health Care

Recipe for disaster: The Wall Street Journal pointed out in an editorial this week that 49 states are gaming the system by using so-called provider taxes to “goose” federal spending, up from 21 in 2003. (Alaska is the exception.) “This subsidy honeypot can’t last forever, which is why other Governors are more skeptical about this Obama Medicaid windfall. When the money inevitably runs out, states will retain permanently larger obligations and lose budget autonomy for a generation or two as health care crowds out other priorities like education and roads.”

Smoke and mirrors: Remember back in 2009 when President Obama said that if you like your health insurance you can keep it? When the federal health law was passed, the Congressional Budget Office estimated that 3 million people would lose their employer coverage. Now it now estimates that as many as 8 million people will lose that coverage. The CBO projected in 2010 that 32 million uninsured would have coverage under ObamaCare within a decade, and raised that estimate to 34 million a year later. Now it says just 27 million people are expected to gain coverage by 2017. Source: Bloomberg News


More than 3,600 events celebrated National School Choice Week 2013 last week. A rally Thursday at the State Capitol was the highlight of the week, and hundreds of students, parents, teachers, education organizations and interested citizens wore their symbolic yellow school choice scarves. See the Foundation’s photogaphs of the event on Facebook.

What is blended learning? To mark Digital Learning Day, celebrated the first Wednesday of February, Digital Learning Now released an infographic that explains this intriguing education approach.

Criminal justice reform

Criminal justice reform is working in Georgia, according to Judge Todd Markle, writing in the Atlanta Business Chronicle. The statewide jail population is the lowest it has been in over five years and the backlog of prisoners housed in county jails awaiting transfer to state prisons has almost been eliminated.


United Nations, mind your own business: The United Nations’ business and human rights agenda poses a threat to economic liberty, the rule of law and good governance, Foundation’s Senior Fellow Jim Kelly writes in an op-ed published this week in the Investor’s Business Daily.

Taxes and spending

“Tax Reform the Game” is now online. Using real Georgia data, you can construct an entirely new state tax model in this interactive simulation.

Right to earn: Adjusted for cost of living, workers in right-to-work states have higher incomes than workers in non-right-to-work states. Source: James Hohman, “Right-to-Work States Have Higher Incomes,” Mackinac Center for Public Polic

“But it’s free!” There’s no such thing as a free lunch, and taxpayers must remain vigilant, whether it’s Medicaid, telephones or now Wi-Fi. Multiple failed experiments across the country and here in Georgia can attest that government does not belong in the business of providing Internet access. It’s best to get government out of the way, as the Georgia Legislature is attempting by standardizing the process for permitting new cell towers.


Tuesday, February 12: Americans For Prosperity Foundation is partnering with one of the nation’s premiere citizen journalism networks, WatchdogWire at The Franklin Center, for a Georgia Citizens Watchdog Summit to provide professional training in investigative journalism. Find out more about this event in Atlanta and register at Tickets are $25; and seating is limited.

Thursday, February 21: Baruch Feigenbaum, the Reason Foundation’s Transportation Policy Analyst and a Senior Fellow at the Georgia Public Policy Foundation, discusses, “Realistic Solutions to America’s Transportation Problem,” from 6:30-7:30 p.m. at the Georgia Tech College of Business in Room 101. The event is sponsored by the Foundation for Economic Education and Reason.

Mark your calendar: Yaron Brook of the Ayn Rand Institute is the keynote speaker at the Foundation’s Leadership Breakfast on Tuesday, March 19.

Media and social media

This Week in The Forum: Georgia is at a “crossroads in juvenile justice history,” Georgia Supreme Court Chief Justice Carol Hunstein told the General Assembly in her State of the Judiciary address to the General Assembly on Thursday. Foundation Editor Mike Klein reports she encouraged lawmakers to expand alternative treatment and sentencing options, as recommended by the Special Council on Criminal Justice Reform. Among the topics in Benita Dodd’s “Checking Up On Health” this week are technology, women’s role in health care, a possible “fountain of youth” and ObamaCare’s missed deadlines. Online learning is being considered as one possible answer to remedial coursework in higher education, writes Foundation Senior Fellow Eric Wearne.

Social media: The Foundation’s latest Quotes of Note, Policy Points, EduFacts and photos are on Facebook! Join 1,862 Foundation Facebook fans at for daily Foundation updates. Then add to the ranks of nearly 860 Twitter followers at

Visit to read the Foundation’s latest commentary, “Telemedicine, a Telling Sign of Health Care’s Future,” by Benita M. Dodd.

Have a great weekend.

Kelly McCutchen

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