August 7: Join the Foundation’s Benita Dodd at “Due Process Denied: How Civil Asset Forfeiture Undermines Freedom,” a 12:30 p.m. breakout session at Red State Gathering, (Hope Room, Intercontinental Buckhead Hotel) Moderated by Jason Pye, FreedomWorks’ Director of Justice Reform, the panel will include Marc Levin of the Texas Public Policy Foundation and Lance Lemmonds of the Coalition for Public Safety.
October 15: The Sixth Annual Georgia Legislative Policy Forum takes place at the Renaissance Waverly Atlanta on Thursday, Oct. 15. Arthur Brooks, president of the American Enterprise Institute, is the keynote. The theme is, “Wisdom, Justice and Opportunity.” Details here. Registration is $125 per person; an Early Bird rate ($100) applies until Friday, September 4. Register here. Sponsorships are available; contact Benita Dodd.
We had a great visit to Savannah; our thanks to attendees who joined us Wednesday as Dr. Ben Scafidi marked Friedman Legacy for Freedom Day at Vic’s on the River. View photographs of the event and other recent events on our Facebook page.
Quotes of Note
“Subsidize something and you get more of it. Tax it and you get less. There are plenty of ways to subsidize low-skill hiring – an expanded earned-income tax credit, for instance. Instead, a higher minimum wage taxes the employers who hire low-skill workers. That’s nuts.” – Jonah Goldberg
The North Carolina Supreme Court has upheld the state’s school voucher program that provides low-income students $4,200 scholarships to attend qualifying private schools.
Medicare turns 50: This week was the 50th birthday of Medicare. Former Florida governor Jeb Bush came under fire for saying Medicare is not sustainable in its current form and therefore needs to be “phased out,” writes James Capretta, Visiting Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. “As Governor Bush capably explained, the point is not to decrease security for future generations of retirees but to increase it by undertaking sensible reforms that will make entitlement programs, including Medicare, more sustainable.”
Just say no: Writing in Forbes, Sally Pipes of the Pacific Research Institute has some good reasons for Georgia and other states on not expanding Medicaid.
A balanced budget: We are proud that Georgia is a leader in the nationwide, state-led effort to pass a federal balanced budget amendment. Watch, “Bound Together,” a new video from the Compact for America that explains why you should protect the next generation from a fiscal calamity and lay the groundwork for a reborn economy promising prosperity for those who earn it.
$19.028 billion: Georgia’s fiscal year 2015 state revenues were the highest on record. FY15 revenues were $1.145 billion higher than FY14 actual revenues and $508.4 million higher than budgeted revenues. Georgia’s revenue growth rate should end up higher than every other Southeastern state once all the final numbers are in. Source: Georgia Sen. Jack Hill
New port a storm of activity: A deal to open an Appalachian Regional Port in Chatsworth by 2018 was inked this week. The inland port will service North Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee and parts of Kentucky. Operated by the Georgia Ports Authority, it will deliver goods more efficiently to Savannah’s Garden City Terminal, the second busiest container port on the East Coast. Port officials estimate a CSX rail route being added will reduce Atlanta truck traffic by 40,000 moves annually.
Minimum wage: San Francisco raised its minimum wage 14 percent and the local Chipotles raised their prices 10-14 percent. Source: American Enterprise Institute
Helping the needy: America has always had laws providing for the poor, writes Thomas G. West for the Heritage Foundation. “The real difference between the Founders’ welfare policies and today’s is over how, not whether, government should help those in need.”
Bipartisanship? The Obama White House wants states to limit occupational licenses to areas of legitimate public safety importance. The free-market oriented Mercatus Center at George Mason University issued a report this week calling for the same thing. The Kauffman Foundation did, too, in its report, “Occupational Licensing is Holding Back the American Dream.”
This month in the archives: In July 2000, the Foundation published, “An Oxymoron for 21st Century Atlanta: More Roads Equal Improved Air Quality.” It noted: “Increased funding of transit may appear environmentally friendly, but practicality dictates action supporting the purchase of low-polluting vehicles, a commitment to reducing the number of high-polluting vehicles and a focus on removing traffic bottlenecks.”
The Forum: In “Checking Up On Health,” Benita Dodd asks: With the new school year about to begin in Georgia, are you ready?
Foundation in the media: Kelly McCutchen’s commentary, “The Dignity of Work,” was published in the Waycross Journal-Herald; Benita Dodd was on the Tim Bryant radio program on WGAU-AM to discuss civil asset forfeiture.
Visit www.georgiapolicy.org to read our latest commentary, “Government ‘Charity:’ Unwarranted and Unsustainable,” by Harold Brown.
Kelly McCutchen and Benita Dodd
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 www.georgiapolicy.org. Join The Forum at http://forum.georgiapolicy.org/. Become a fan of the Foundation on Facebook and follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/gppf.