Quotes of Note
“Health-care reform is a test of whether Republicans, having been handed the gift of ObamaCare’s failure, can show voters that they can do better with conservative principles. The health-care market is at a crossroads. Either it heads in a more market-based direction step by step, or it moves toward single-payer step by step. If Republicans blow this chance and default to Democrats, they might as well endorse single-payer because that is where the politics will end up.” – Wall Street Journal
“We’re no longer going to measure compassion by the number of programs or the number of people on those programs, but by the number of people we get off those programs.” – Mick Mulvaney, OMB Director
“Memorial Day provides a stark contrast between the best of our nation’s Patriot sons and daughters versus the worst of our nation’s culture of consumerism. But Memorial Day is NOT for sales. Millions of Patriots have already paid the full price.” – The Patriot Post
No more patent trolls: Plaintiffs in patent infringement litigation against U.S. corporations frequently seek out a state with a “friendly venue” reputation in which to file suit. The U.S. Supreme Court has ended that practice, declaring this week that the patent statute defines a corporation’s “residence,” as the state in which that company is incorporated.
Visa overstays: In fiscal year 2016, some 630,000 foreign visitors failed to leave the United States, overstaying their visas, according to a new report from the Department of Homeland Security. This exceeds the 415,000 people who were intercepted crossing the border from Mexico. Canadians were the biggest group of visa violators, with about 120,000 Canadians with expired visas versus roughly 47,000 Mexicans.
Transit: After a fire caused a bridge collapse on a section of I-85 in Atlanta, there was a big bump in transit ridership – up to 67 percent at one train station – as commuters sought alternatives. Judging by the emptied parking decks at stations, however, motorists who flocked to MARTA appear to have returned in droves to their cars once the interstate reopened.
Budget: The fiscal year 2018 budget plan released this week by the Trump Administration proposes slashing the Department of Transportation’s budget by nearly $17 billion annually by 2022, as well as allowing more tolls on interstates and boosting efforts to draw private investors to fund highways. Source: Overdrive
Moving up: A new study finds Georgia was the filming location for 17 of the 100 highest-performing feature films last year, making it 2016’s No. 1 filming location worldwide. Georgia beat out the United Kingdom by just one film. Canada filmed 13, California filmed 12 and Louisiana filmed six. According to the study, $2.02 billion was spent on film and TV production combined in Georgia, while Georgia spent $606 million to fund related tax credits. Source: Ozmagazine
Down and out in Beverly Hills? A state-run, single-payer system has been proposed in California. The Sacramento Bee reports the cost would be $400 billion annually. It notes also that, even after accounting for an estimated $200 billion in annual savings by replacing existing state-run programs, the program would still be short $200 billion annually – in a state with an annual budget of about $180 billion! Source: Reason.com
Up, up and away: Average individual market premiums more than doubled in Georgia over the past four years, from $2,508 per year in 2013 to $5,172 in 2017. That’s an increase of $2,664 or 106 percent, according to data released this week by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Criminal minds: As a signatory to the Right on Crime Statement of Principles, the Foundation’s Kelly McCutchen participated in the national Right on Crime Leadership Summit in Washington, D.C., this week. Georgia is considered a national leader on criminal justice reforms, and 33 states have now implemented reforms. Kelly joined other state experts on Capitol Hill and briefed many federal elected officials and their staffs on how these reforms could be implemented at the federal level.
Smart on crime: Georgia’s reputation as a national leader on criminal justice reforms is well deserved. Over the past five years the prison population is down over 10 percent, saving taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars, and Georgia’s crime rate has dropped by over 16 percent, exceeding the national average.
This month in the archives: In May 10 years ago the Foundation published, “Private Property Saved Jamestown and, with it, America.” It noted, “Understandably, men who don’t benefit from their hard work tend not to work very hard.”
The Forum: Ross Coker reports on proposed drone use by the city of Sandy Springs. A new study highlights express toll lanes such as those in metro Atlanta as transportation solutions for “affordable proximity.”
Foundation in the news: Benita Dodd was quoted in an article in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and in WABE about a 62 percent decline in food stamp rolls for able-bodied adults without dependents after 21 Georgia counties implemented work requirements: “It does show that if you give people an incentive to help themselves, they can become productive citizens,” she said.
Visit www.georgiapolicy.org to read our latest commentary, “Second Chances for Ex-Offenders,” by John G. Malcolm and John-Michael Seibler.
Have a great Memorial Day weekend! Please take a moment to remember and honor those who sacrificed their lives to keep our nation safe.
Kelly McCutchen and Benita Dodd
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