August 26, 2007
Dark days for fiscal responsibilityTed Schlecter rounds up those who voted against the massive giveaway in this special legislative session. Congratulations to those lawmakers for standing up against this program, which is essentially corporate welfare dressed up as energy policy.
August 25, 2007
Tolls: A Good Deal for Taxpayers
From the Courier-Journal, State Sen. David L. Williams has proposed tolls to pay for new Ohio River Bridges:
"It's an attempt to come to grips with the issue that federal highway dollars are being stretched very thinly, that there won't be assistance by the federal government to build -- in any significant way -- to build bridges over the Ohio River" at Louisville, said Williams, R-Burkesville.
Louisville Mayor Jerry Abramson has spoken with Williams about funding the new bridges in recent months, said Chad Carlton, an Abramson spokesman. Carlton said Williams' proposal could help speed up the bridges project and reduce its cost.
"The mayor certainly appreciates having more tools, more options," Carlton said. "That's what he spoke about … back in January when he put this at the top of the agenda in terms of priorities for the community."
August 13, 2007
How did Kentucky's Congressional delegation do when it came time to vote on pounds upon pounds of pork? Our best hope for battling pork-barrel spending, one Geoff Davis, who managed to vote against pork just four times.
Every other Kentucky lawmaker managed to vote against pork two or fewer times.
August 10, 2007
And how much will this cost taxpayers?
Probably not much, but most assuredly it's too much:
Gov. Ernie Fletcher and a top White House official will headline an upcoming summit on the governor's effort to expand his faith-based community initiative.
The Sept. 20 event, set for General Butler State Resort Park in Carrollton, is designed to "educate and motivate social service organizations to expand faith-based and community initiatives in Kentucky," Fletcher said in a statement released today.
“The new Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives works to ensure that Kentucky accepts new challenges and continues to meet the needs of its citizens,” Fletcher said. “We look forward to the information, inspiration and motivation the summit will provide for Kentucky’s exceptional faith-based and community organizations. This conference will highlight the strong relationship between Kentucky and its social service organizations.”
August 8, 2007
A looming threat to Kentucky's economy
The purpose of government is to secure liberty for citizens. The purpose of state workers is to carry out that work. A strong economy is a key component of a free society.
So, why are entitlement programs for state workers actually threatening Kentucky's economy? Jagadeesh Gokhale makes the case:The only policy with fewer negative macroeconomic implications would be to cut scheduled entitlement benefits with a long lead time, perhaps by increasing the age at which full retirement benefits become payable. Such a policy would induce people to revise their expected retirement dates forward in time, generate additional output, and improve entitlement programs' finances. However, retiree lobbies, Baby Boomers and minorities would fiercely resist such a policy, for they stand to lose the most from it.
The old political practice of promising generous retirement benefits with no regard to their future fiscal implications, and without forward-looking accounting or budget controls, was (only) possible when the Baby Boomers were working and revenues were booming. Now the costs of these practices will have to be paid through policy reform, but no one wants to take the lead in proposing early, cost-saving solutions.
Basically, it won't be pretty to fix post-retirement benefits problems. But it has to be done for the sake of Kentucky's future.
August 6, 2007
NYTimes gets down and dirty at Fancy FarmIt's hard to avoid the mud ... and it's even harder to avoid the pork and mutton.
August 4, 2007
State employment lies: Don't believe 'em.When you add benefits to the mix, state and local government workers are much better compensated than workers in the private sector.
August 3, 2007
One more reason that the Kentucky Department of Education needs reform: good students losing their driver's licenses because of a KDE bureaucratic bungle.
Why do we keep trusting these bureaucracies with our kids?
August 1, 2007
Hal Rogers proves once again why he's Kentucky's Prince of Pork:
For U.S. Rep. Hal Rogers, R-Somerset, campaigns and fund-raising are full of family connections.
During the last election cycle, Rogers' campaign committee paid the Washington, D.C.-based Levatino Group, which once employed his wife Cynthia, $16,892 for the company's fund-raising efforts.
In 2004, Senture, a call-services center, hired Rogers' son, John, just after the lawmaker helped the company net a $4 million contract to field calls from truckers, according to an article published last year in The New York Times. Since 2004, Senture has contributed $12,000 to Rogers' campaigns.
Fancy Farm Schedule
It's out. Saturday shapes up like this so far:
10 a.m.: 127th Fancy Farm Picnic officially begins at St. Jerome Catholic Church, Fancy Farm. They'll have 19,000 pounds of barbecue this year.
2 p.m.: Political speaking begins. Highlights expected to be Gov. Ernie Fletcher and Democrat Steve Beshear, as well as U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell and Attorney General Greg Stumbo.
The Food Network will also be there, which will probably be more interesting than anything these other guys have to say.