Friday Facts: July 30th, 2010

It’s Friday!  



– “Facebook now has more than 500 million users, which may help explain why unemployment is around 10 percent.” – Jimmy Kimmel

– “Would it not be better to simplify the system of taxation rather than to spread it over such a variety of subjects and pass through so many new hands.” â€“ Thomas Jefferson



– Experience keeps a dear school … Britain’s National Health Service, is rethinking the importance of the doctor-patient relationship just as the USA is taking a sharp left turn toward more centralized government control over health care, Grace Marie Turner writes in the National Review Online. Responding to consumerism, Britain is proposing more power to local doctors and abolishing many current government-set targets, like limits on how long patients have to wait for treatment. Read Senior Fellow Ron Bachman’s commentaries about health care consumerismat

– â€¦ But fools will learn in no other: Dr. Donald Berwick, whom President Obama recently appointed to serve as administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS),supports rationing and hasn’t been afraid to admit it. He has lauded Britain’s National Health Service, which routinely denies and rations care, as “extremely effective” and “conscientious.” Source: National Center for Policy Analysis


Taxes and spending

– Off to work you go: The federal debt now belongs to every family across the country, with each person’s share of the debt at about $40,000, according to a special study on the U.S. budget deficit by Bruce Yandle, adjunct professor of economics at the Mercatus Center. To close the deficit gap, the U.S. will have to rein in spending, reduce regulatory burdens, and increase GDP growth. Read Dr. Yandle’s study to learn more about how the federal deficit affects you:

– Tax policy causes fierce policy debates, but in one area there is broad consensus: Sales taxes should not be applied to business purchases. Studies by groups as diverse as the Tax Foundation, the Council on State Taxation and the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities reach similar conclusions. Nearly half ($4.2 billion) of the more than $10 billion of exemptions in the Georgia tax code identified by Georgia State University are sales tax exemptions for business purchases. As a special tax council appropriately looks to broaden Georgia’s tax base (another policy most tax experts agree on), this should allow them to narrow their focus. Follow the work of the Special Council on Tax Reform and Fairness for Georgians at



– Cell phone and wireless laptop Internet use have each grown over the last year, the Pew Research Center reports. Nearly half of all adults (47 percent) go online with a laptop using a Wi-Fi connection or mobile broadband card, up from 39 percent in 2009, while 40 percent of adults use the Internet, e-mail or instant messaging on a mobile phone (up from 32 percent). This means that 59 percent of adults now access the Internet wirelessly using a laptop or cell phone. The Federal Communications Commission reports 21 million subscriptions to Voice over Internet Protocol accounts. The Census Bureau reports 95.7 percent of households subscribing to telephone service, the highest rate since it began collecting data.

– Warning against state utilities regulating Internet Services, former FCC member and Free Market Foundation adjunct fellow Deborah Taylor Tate advocates free-market approaches. “In addition to stifling large-scale overall network investment, additional government regulation usually results in higher costs to the individual consumer. More unnecessary burdensome government paperwork costs us doubly: as consumers and taxpayers. In addition, if Internet providers are unable to access the necessary capital, and yet demand for bandwidth-intensive services continues at the current rate, consumers could encounter more latency and dropped calls, or even the inability to access websites and high definition video.”
Read more: Source: Sacramento Bee



– The legacy of the late Dr. Milton Friedman is celebrated around the nation on July 30, which would have been his birthday. The Nobel laureate and school choice advocate established the Foundation for Educational Choice. The Center for an Educated Georgia and Americans for Prosperity Georgia will hold an education forum today from 1-3 p.m. at the Hilton Hotel Norcross, 5993 Peachtree Industrial Blvd. The forum is free; more information is available at http:/

– Bookmark this: Tech High, the math-, science- and technology-oriented charter high school that the Georgia Public Policy Foundation helped establish in the Atlanta Public Schools system, needs your help. The school needs books for the library and new principal Dr. Graysen Walles has created a wish list at Help this remarkable school: Buy a book (or two) at this link Find out more about Tech High at

– Take a bus trip with Americans for Prosperity to the annual Defending the American Dream Summit in Washington, D.C., Aug. 27-28. For information or to reserve your spot on the bus, go to



– Correction: A Friday Facts item last week cited examples of litigiousness referred to in a slide show that accompanied the 2010 U.S. Tort Liability Index by the Pacific Research Institute. Alert readers pointed out that at least one case cited is an “urban legend.” We apologize. The study’s conclusions are not in question. Read the full report:



 Read the Foundation’s legislative proposals for market-oriented transportation policy online at


– Visit to read the Foundation’s latest commentary, “Beware Where Policy-makers Go With Transit,” by Benita M. Dodd.


Have a great weekend.


Kelly McCutchen

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