Friday Facts: May 25, 2018

It’s Friday!

The Vietnam memorial, in front of the Twin Towers at the Georgia State Capitol, commemorates the Georgians who died in the Vietnam War.

Quotes of note

“It is not for us to forget the past but to remember it, that we may profit by it. But it is gone; we cannot change it. We must put our emphasis on the present and put into effect the lessons the past has taught us. All about us sleep; those of many different beliefs and many divergent actions. But America claims them all. Her flag floats over them all. Her Government protects them all. They all rest in the same divine peace.” – Calvin Coolidge

“Ours is a land rich in resources, stimulating in its glorious beauty, filled with millions of happy homes, blessed with comfort and opportunity. In no nation are the institutions of progress more advanced. In no nation are the fruits of accomplishment more secure. In no nation is the government more worthy of respect. No country is more loved by its people. I have an abiding faith in their capacity, integrity, and high purpose. I have no fears for the future of our country. It is bright with hope.” – Herbert Hoover

“Who are the militia? Are they not ourselves? It is feared, then, that we shall turn our arms each man against his own bosom. Congress have no power to disarm the militia. Their swords, and every other terrible implement of the soldier, are the birthright of an American … [T]he unlimited power of the sword is not in the hands of either the federal or state governments, but, where I trust in God it will ever remain, in the hands of the people.”  –  The Pennsylvania Gazette, 1788

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Primary elections: Nearly 607,000 Georgians voted Tuesday in the Republican gubernatorial primary election, leading to a runoff between Casey Cagle (39 percent) and Brian Kemp (25.56 percent). Nearly 553,000 voted in the Democratic gubernatorial primary, won outright by Stacey Abrams with 76.43 percent of the vote. See all the results here.

Taxes and spending

Policing for profit: The city of Doraville depends on fees, fines and forfeitures for about a quarter of its budget. According to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, that is the sixth-highest reliance nationwide among municipalities with more than 5,000 in population. The Institute for Justice announced Thursday it is filing suit against Doraville on behalf of several affected Georgians. Attorney Anthony Sanders explained: “The more a city depends on fines to balance its budget, the more it needs to fine people to balance its budget. Doraville’s entire justice system is unconstitutionally biased because it is policing for profit.”

Energy and environment

Recovery rate:  A new report from the Heritage Foundation calls for sweeping administrative reforms of the federal Endangered Species Act (ESA). Enacted in 1973, the ESA has managed to “recover” only 40 species, or slightly less than one species per year. “If not one more bird, beetle or bear were added to the list of federally endangered or threatened animals and plants and somehow species recovered at 10 times that rate,” the report notes, “It would take well over a century-and-a-half to work through the current list.” Worse, 18 out of 40 “recovered” species were never endangered in the first place and were placed on the endangered species list due to poor data. 

Health care

Opting out: An additional 3 million people will be uninsured next year, largely because the requirement for most Americans to have health insurance coverage was effectively repealed, the Congressional Budget Office projects. Its analysts estimate that premiums for benchmark plans sold on the ObamaCare marketplaces will increase an average of 15 percent next year. The CBO expects it will cost almost $700 billion in subsidies this year to help provide Americans under age 65 with health insurance through their jobs or in government-sponsored health programs. Source: News reports


Transit woes: According to the American Public Transportation Association (APTA), a $100 million maintenance backlog (mostly for rail) at the nation’s transit agencies will reduce business sales by $57 billion a year and reduce gross national product by $30 billion a year over the next six years. For Atlanta’s MARTA alone, that number is $7.1 billion, according to APTA . Transportation analyst Randal O’Toole points out, however, that transit ridership is declining nationwide, poor transit agency management plays a role, and restoring obsolete transit is not the same as modernizing transit.

Friday flashback

This month in the archives: In May five years ago, the Foundation published, “Technology and Transportation, a Win-Win Move.” It noted, “We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: American ingenuity and innovation will play a huge role in solving transportation challenges. The question is, how much attention are Georgia’s transit agencies paying to such easy, cost-effective innovations?”

Visit to read our latest commentary, “Lift People Out of Poverty with a Hand Up, not a Handout,” by Ryan Streeter.

Have a great Memorial Day weekend. Please pause a moment to honor those who gave their lives to preserve our freedoms.

Kyle Wingfield and Benita Dodd

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