Friday Facts: November 13, 2015

It’s Friday! 

Have you seen our Giving Tuesday posts? Visit our Facebook page and follow as we give you 30 reasons you should not contribute to the Georgia Public Policy Foundation!GT20


November 19: Interested in energy policy? Register to attend the Atlantic Energy Forum sponsored by the Consumer Energy Alliance. 12:30 pm – 2:30 pm at the James H. “Sloppy” Floyd Veterans Memorial Building. Registration and information here.

December 8: Register to attend, “The Case for K-12 Student-Based Budgeting in Georgia,” a summit and luncheon hosted featuring experts from the Reason Foundation and Allovue.10:30-1:30 p.m. at The Gallery, Cobb Galleria Centre. $30. Registration and information here.

Quotes of Note

“Weighing benefits against costs is the way most people make decisions – and the way most businesses make decisions, if they want to stay in business. Only in government is any benefit, however small, considered to be worth any cost, however large.” – Thomas Sowell

“‘Innovation’ means introducing new things. But to be successful, innovators don’t just introduce new things, they introduce things that are cheaper and better than what preceded them.” – Randal O’Toole

“The Government Accountability Office reports that average co-op rates were lower than commercial health plans in 54-63 percent of the regions where they competed, depending on the coverage. You don’t have to be a bankruptcy specialist on par with Donald Trump to understand that loading up on clients who are consuming health care but aren’t paying close to full freight is unsustainable.” – Wall Street Journal


Policy Matters: “Roughly 9,000 California companies moved their headquarters or diverted projects to out-of-state locations in the last seven years, and both metro Atlanta and Georgia have been among the biggest beneficiaries of the Golden State’s ‘hostile’ business environment.” Source: Atlanta Business Chronicle

Criminal justice reform

The Institute of Justice has updated its 2010 study of criminal justice reform. The 2015 report, which analyzes federal and state use of civil asset forfeiture, grades each state based on how well citizens are protected from abuse and how the state diminishes the profit motive by not letting law enforcement agencies keep all that they can seize. Georgia gets a D minus, the same as in the 2010 study, and ranks 45th in the nation – despite a minor rewrite of the law this year. Read Benita Dodd’s analysis of the 2015 law.

Health care

Nothing to see here: States that have expanded Medicaid are spendthrifts, Devon Herrick writes in “States that expanded Medicaid tend to have per capita state spending that’s about 17 percent higher than non-expansion states. … Conservatives in states that chose not to expand Medicaid are under intense pressure to drink the Medicaid expansion Kool-Aid. Yet in retrospect, states that expanded Medicaid have followed fiscal policies that are nothing to emulate.”

Non-profit clinics are helping the uninsured and saving taxpayers money, according to a recent study by the University of Georgia. According to the Georgia Charitable Care Network (GCCN) executive director Donna Looper, “For every 100 patients that visit a GCCN clinic annually, $50,000 is saved in avoided visits to hospital emergency rooms.”

Energy and environment

Smog and obfuscation: The federal Environmental Protection Agency’s ozone rule released last month, after a four-year delay, is expected to be as much as 40 times more expensive than the agency predicted. The EPA estimated the cost of reducing ozone levels from 75 parts per billion to 70 ppb at around $1.4 billion a year, but the American Action Forum found “losses of $56.5 billion in total wage earnings, $690 in pay per worker, and 242,000 jobs between 2008 and 2013” (when the less strict 75ppb standard was implemented). As for health standards: Asthma rates have soared even though ozone emissions decreased. Source: Daily Signal

Hot air: The Obama administration admits its Clean Power Plan will do little to reduce global warming and is merely intended to set an example to the world. Nobody’s following our lead: China has been burning up to 17 percent more coal per year than previously reported, The New York Times reports, and the increase in carbon dioxide emissions alone “is greater than the whole German economy emits annually from fossil fuels.” This means the nations meeting in hopes of a climate change treaty in Paris next month face an even greater challenge. Source:

Destined to fail: The Clean Power Plan standards for new coal-fired power plants are based on technology that’s failing in Canada, U.S. Sen. Dan Manchin, a West Virginia Democrat, informed EPA administrator Gena McCarthy in a letter this week.

Friday Flashback

This month in the archives: In November 2005, the Foundation published, “Progress of Stormwater Utilities a Watershed Event.” It noted, “The concept behind a utility is to establish a user fee database and bill users appropriately for services rendered. Add a stormwater fee to a tax bill, however, and the implication is that it is a tax and not a utility.”


Mainstream, off-course: Need any more signs that reporting isn’t what it used to be? In two recent instances, mainstream media mistakes were corrected by think tanks. The Reason Foundation found errors in a New York Times Magazine “expose” on nail salons while Colorado’s largest TV news station, 9News, had to issue an on-air apology for their “fact-checking error” exposed by reporters of the Independence Institute. In another case, the social media news site Buzzfeed debunked a Wall Street Journal report on GOP presidential candidate Ben Carson.

Foundation in the news: The Marietta Daily Journal published Benita Dodd’s commentary on economic opportunity in Georgia. The Heard County News and Banner and the Waycross Herald published a Foundation commentary on government broadband.

Social media: The Foundation is closing in on 2,700 Facebook “likes” and has more than 1,500 Twitter followers at Follow us on Instagram, too! 

Visit to read our latest commentary, “A Success Story in Helping Lower-income Workers,” by Kelly McCutchen.

Have a great weekend!

Kelly McCutchen and Benita Dodd

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