Then and Now: In 1991, when the Georgia Public Policy Foundation was established, inflation was 4.2 percent. Last year, it was 0.1 percent.
Guide to the Issues 2016, compiled by the Foundation, is now available online. Each chapter includes principles for reform, facts on the issue, background information and, in most cases, positive solutions to the challenges facing Georgia.
Quotes of Note
“Policy by policy and decision by decision, federal regulatory agencies have eroded the nation’s competitiveness, ability to innovate, and capacity to create wealth.” – Henry I. Miller
“The budget should be balanced, the Treasury should be refilled, public debt should be reduced, the arrogance of officialdom should be tempered and controlled, and the assistance to foreign lands should be curtailed lest Rome become bankrupt. People must again learn to work, instead of living on public assistance.” – Cicero (actually, not from Cicero, but we still like it)
“Just what specific problem is so dire as to cause some conservatives and libertarians to propose that the government come to the rescue by giving every adult money to live on without working?” – Thomas Sowell
Nanny government: The federal Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection released a 1,300-page draft of its proposed rule regulating payday loans, auto title loans and installment loans with total annual interest rates exceeding 36 percent. Lenders will have to determine whether consumers can afford to repay in full loans greater than $500 without reborrowing while still meeting basic living expenses and major financial obligations. Expect it to hurt low-income Americans by restricting borrowing opportunities.
Donor Privacy: We’ve written extensively about the importance of donor privacy. Kudos to Georgia Representatives Barry Loudermilk and Tom Graves for co-sponsoring legislation in Congress that would “prohibit the Internal Revenue Service from requiring a tax-exempt organization to include in annual returns the name, address, or other identifying information of any contributor.”
Georgia ranks 8th in the nation in terms of kindergarten enrollment at 80 percent. Source: Education Week
Georgia’s ranking in terms of spending on K-12 education depends on how you measure it: we rank 25th per capita, but 12th as a percentage of personal income. Source: Georgia Public Policy Foundation “Guide to the Issues”
The overall U.S. median annual expenditure for persons under age 65 with health-care expenses in 2012 was $1,000. This means that of the individuals who spent money on health care in 2012, half spent less than $1,000 and half spent more. The average annual expenditure for persons under age 65 with health-care expenses in 2012 was $4,186. This difference between the median and average clearly shows that there is a small group of individuals with very high expenses. Source: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
Energy and environment
Killer turbines: Wind turbines are, by far, the largest cause of mass bat mortality around the world, a Scientific American article reports, citing a January study. White-nose syndrome, the deadly fungal disease that has decimated bat populations throughout the northeastern United States, came in second.
This month in the archives: In June 2006, the Foundation published, “Healing America’s Health Care Woes.” It noted, “Medicine is a nimble, ever-changing science where breakthroughs are made on a daily basis. Entrusting the government with personal health care decisions does not make sense.”
Foundation in the news: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution quoted Kelly McCutchen on the role of ride-sharing in transit and Benita Dodd on the failure of the Atlanta Streetcar. Tim Bryant interviewed Kelly McCutchen on WGAU radio about the Foundation’s transit proposal based on autonomous vehicles.
Social media: This week, the Foundation has 2,969 Facebook “likes” and 1,609 Twitter followers at twitter.com/gppf. Follow us on Instagram, too!
Visit georgiapolicy.org to read our latest commentary, “Don’t Train Kids to be Felons in Adult Jails” by Newt Gingrich and Pat Nolan.
Have a great weekend!
Kelly McCutchen and Benita Dodd
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