Friday Facts: July 8th, 2011

It’s Friday!

– “A sure way to get America back to work and grow our economy is to lift the burden of debt that creates uncertainty among job creators and threatens the financial well-being of the United States. The quickest way to further stall economic growth is to raise taxes on American families under the guise of fiscal responsibility.” — U.S. Rep. Tom Price

– Buckeye Tax Cuts: 
Ohio passed tax cuts this year eliminating the estate tax, reducing personal income tax rates from 6.2 to 5.8 percent and cutting property taxes by $1.7 billion. Source: Wall Street Journal

Health care
Argument for price transparencyPatients pay as much as 683 percent more for the same medical procedures, such as MRIs or CT scans, in the same town, depending on which doctor they choose, according to a new study by a national health care group, reports USA Today.

 – 80-20 Rule for Health Care: About 5 percent of the population is responsible for almost half of all health care spending in the United States and for rising premium rates, according to a new report from the National Institute for Health Care Management Foundation, says the National Journal. Nearly half of people in the top 5 percent of health care spending had high blood pressure, a third had high cholesterol and a quarter had diabetes.

– Interviews with 1,100 educators in 14 countries worldwide found Latin America countries overwhelmingly had the highest aspirations for education and learning, while U.S. educators cared more about encouraging attendance, promoting employability and providing remediation. The United States trails in its interest in offering online international education, according to the study by the Clarus Research Group.   

– The U.S. transportation system has never suffered from a shortage of privately provided rolling stock and airplanes, Ronald Utt notes in a Heritage Foundation report. By contrast, the transportation system – notably in the leading commercial centers – does suffer from a shortage and deterioration of infrastructure that has worsened over the past two decades. Noting that the number of licensed drivers (up 71 percent), registered vehicles (up 99 percent) miles driven (up 148 percent) have all soared since 1970, former chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Don Young (R- Ala.) lamented during the last reauthorization process that “during the same period new road miles have increased by only 6 percent.”  

– The crisis in civic education has escalated nationwide and many students, at all levels of education, as well as the general population, demonstrate ignorance in understanding American history, government and Western Civilization, James Beck notes in a brief for the Public Interest Institute. He warns: “Without a clear understanding of American principles and the history of our nation we will not be able to solve the policy problems that confront the nation today. Civic education is necessary for a moral and virtuous republic as well as for implementing sound public policies.”

– From the Department of Shocking Discoveries: Why did the federal deficit increase so much more during and after this recession than during and after previous recessions? A new study concludes “an upsurge in federal spending is the primary reason for federal deficits of a magnitude not seen since World War II.”

Energy and Environment
– Britain plans to spend 100 billion pounds on building thousands of wind turbines, but the government has been warned it will need 17 new gas-fired power stations simply to provide backup power  The country will be in the “ludicrous position” of having to spend an additional 10 billion pounds on those 17  power stations that will be kept running on “spinning reserve” 24 hours a day, just to make up for the fundamental problem of wind turbines, Christopher Booker points out in The Sunday Telegraph. “I’m afraid we are in the hands of very dangerous children, upon whose deranged wishful thinking a large part of our country’s future depends,” Booker notes.

– Save the date: Join Navy Seal and award-winning author Eric Greitens to celebrate service and sacrifice on the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attack and discuss how Georgia can lead the nation in programs and services for our military families. 11:30 am – 1:00 pm, September 1 at the Cobb Galleria Centre. Register here: This is part of a long-term project with the Foundation, Ross Mason and the Healthcare Institute for Neuro-Recovery and Innovation (HINRI) to encourage health care innovation in Georgia.

– Save the date: The Foundation’s second annual Legislative Policy Briefing is scheduled for Friday, September 30. Last year, more than 250 people attended to hear nearly three dozen experts discuss Georgia public policy. Details to follow.

– Save the date: The Foundation’s 20th anniversary celebration is scheduled for the evening of Monday, October 24. Details to follow. 

– Visit to read the Foundation’s latest commentary, “Medicare, or Medi-scare?” by Ronald E. Bachman.

Have a great weekend.

Kelly McCutchen

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