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. Find out more here. Register online by Monday, March 16, here.
Quotes of Note
“Answer me in principle. I mean, is it not the case that if the only reasonable interpretation of a particular provision produces disastrous consequences in the rest of the statute, it nonetheless means what it says. Is that true or not?” – Justice Antonin Scalia, King v. Burwell
“Unlike government bureaucracies, private firms in a competitive environment are eager to maximize the net returns of projects, so they find new ways to reduce costs and improve quality. “ – Chris Edwards
“Securing an insatiable demand for economic incentives, commonly referred to as corporate welfare, has been the new growth area for government relations over the past couple of decades. The masters of the burgeoning field are the National Football League team owners. They adroitly combine civic pride with the possibility of an economic renaissance as the rationale for why taxpayers should give hundreds of millions of dollars to build a factory, a.k.a. stadium, so that 22 millionaires can run around a field eight times a year, while wealthy fans from the suburbs watch.” – George Franklin, “Cereal Wars”
Actions have consequences: After an extended oral argument before the U.S. Supreme Court Wednesday in King v. Burwell, SCOTUSblog’s Lyle Denniston points out that several justices focused not on whether the IRS granting subsidies carte blanch was lawful, but on whether the government’s loss would have dire consequences. “In a court of law, no less, the Obama team wants policy to trump law,” notes the Cato Institute’s Roger Pilon.
Connected cars: By 2020, 75 percent of cars shipped globally will be built with the necessary hardware to connect to the Internet. Today’s “connected” car, changing the vehicle market, is equipped with Internet connections and software that allow people to stream music, look up movie times, be alerted of traffic and weather conditions, and even power driving-assistance services such as self-parking. Source: Business Insider
Low gasoline prices: Georgia is a beneficiary of low energy prices, economist Roger Tutterow of Kennesaw State University pointed out this week, noting that Georgia does not make money on oil, it spends money on oil. “We have some of the longest commutes in the nation,” Tutterow said. “All of these things (that come with lower oil prices) are bullish for our local economy.” Source: Marietta Daily Journal
Brain gain states: Georgia ranks fourth in the nation in the rate of increase in college graduates. In 1970, just 9.2 percent of the population had a college degree; in 2013, it was at 28.3 percent. That’s an increase of 699 percent! Ahead of Georgia were Nevada, Arizona and Florida. Source: NewGeography
Energy and environment
WOTUS: It’s up to Congress to prevent the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s power grab in the EPA plan to regulate all waters of the United States, writes Bonner Cohen for the Heartland Institute. The EPA’s overreaching authority would affect farms, ranches, orchards, mines and timber industries, having jurisdiction over millions of acres of private property, and it could require land owners to request permits to conduct routine tasks.
This month in the archives: In March 2003, the Foundation published, “Closing the Gap,” which proposed zero-based budgeting and stated, “One of the biggest problems with the state’s budgeting procedures is the fact that the majority of appropriations are brought forward as a continuation from the prior budget year.”
Web site of the Week: Georgia Works is an inspiring Atlanta-based nonprofit program to turn chronically homeless men into self-sufficient, productive members of society and eliminate their government dependency. It does so with a focus on work and no government funding.
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Visit www.georgiapolicy.org to read our latest commentary, “A Reality Check on the School Choice Bogeymen,” by Benjamin Scafidi.
Have a great weekend!
Kelly McCutchen and Benita Dodd
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