• Friday Facts

Friday Facts: January 30, 2015

It’s Friday!

Events

February 18: The Legislature’s transportation funding plan is out. Confused? Be sure to sign up for “Transportation Money Matters,” the Foundation’s February 18 Leadership Breakfast. A panel discussion by Kelly McCutchen and Baruch Feigenbaum of the Reason Foundation will tackle Georgia transportation and funding solutions. $30. Find out more here; register online here.

March 18: “Federalism, The Rule of Law and Regulatory Excess,” is the topic of the Foundation’s Leadership Breakfast with Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens. $30. Register online by Monday, March 16, here.

Quotes of Note

“I hold before you my hand with each finger standing erect and alone, and so long as they are held thus, not one of all the tasks that the hand may perform can be accomplished. I cannot lift. I cannot grasp. I cannot hold. I cannot even make an intelligible sign until my fingers organize and work together. In this we should also learn a lesson.” – George Washington Carver

Transportation

Going by bus: In October, Megabus reported that its traffic was up 13.5 percent over the previous year, writes Joseph Schwieterman in an article on luxury bus service, noting that, “travel markets of 350 miles or less are about more than college kids and bargain-hunters looking for the cheapest way to get from Point A to Point B.” Source: Newgeography.com

Derailing lies: The Honululu Authority for Rapid Transportation (HART) lied to the city council when it told them the city’s rail project was $500 million to $700 million over budget, Randal O’Toole points out in The AntiPlanner. “It turns out it’s really $910 million over budget. HART was just hoping to cover up $210 million of the deficit by quietly transferring bus money to the rail project.”

A streetcar named liar: Portland Streetcar Inc., which operates that city’s streetcar, exaggerated both ridership and its on-time record in the last year, according to a city audit. Ridership was inflated 19 percent; the company said the streetcar met the goal of running on time 98 percent of the time, but it was only 82 percent on-time. Source: MacIver Institute

Seamless toll network. Motorists in Orlando, Fla., are seeing time savings from linking two toll highways. The Foundation has long proposed a seamless network of (optional) toll lanes for metro Atlanta.

Education

Tuition tax credit scholarships: In an article in EducationNext urging an increase in the total amount of contributions to Georgia’s tuition tax credit scholarship program, currently capped at $58 million, the Cato Institute’s Andrew Coulson writes, “While there are other school choice policies in the U.S. besides education tax credits, a careful statistical analysis shows that tax credits impose less red tape on educators than other programs.”

Economy

Pass-through businesses account for 95 percent of all businesses, more than 60 percent of all business income, and more than 50 percent of all employment. In 2011, pass-through employers paid a combined $1.6 trillion in salaries and wages, or 37 percent of all private sector payroll (33.9 percent in Georgia). Source: Tax Foundation

Dying businesses: The U.S. Census Bureau reported that the birth and death rates of U.S. businesses crossed for the first time ever in 2014, writes Tony Sagami in Mauldineconomics.com. There were 400,000 new businesses born but 470,000 died.

Friday Flashback

This month in the archives: In January 2005, the Foundation published, “Bold Legislation Can Cure Georgia’s Medical Woes.” We noted, “To spend health care dollars wisely, people have to know how much things cost.”

Media

Foundation in the news: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution published the Foundation’s letter to the editor about our plan for transportation; the Marietta Daily Journal interviewed us about a proposed city council salary increase.

The Forum: In Benita Dodd’s, “Checking Up On Health,” read about telehealth, the benefits of fish, the ACA and the EPA.

Web site of the week: Randal O’Toole is The Antiplanner at http://ti.org/antiplanner, “dedicated to the sunset of government planning.” Visit for his photos, stay for his policy.

Social media: Please “like” us (Facebook), join us (twitter.com/gppf) and share us (Friday Facts)!

Visit www.georgiapolicy.org to read the latest commentary, “Expand Health Care, Not Government,” by Nina Owcharenko.

Have a great weekend! 

Kelly McCutchen and Benita Dodd  

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