Kentucky Club for Growth
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January 13, 2008

Pat Crowley Gives KYCFG some ink

Pat Crowley wonders who the fiscal conservatives are now?

In Frankfort, it is Republicans leading the charge to spend billions and billions of new dollars. Certainly some Democrats will go along, but it is the Senate Republicans who want to borrow nearly $1 billion to shore up the state's pension system.

"Borrowing your way out the pension system is the most ridiculous thing in the world," said Brian Richmond, executive director of the Kentucky Club For Growth. "If you can't pay your mortgage and car payments, do you take a loan to pay them?

"Politicians who have mismanaged the pension system for decades are now asking our children and grandchildren to pay for it," he said.

Richmond has similar concerns about the bill filed by Senate President David Williams, a Burkesville Republican. It attempts to address the replacement of the Brent Spence Bridge over the Ohio River.

Williams' bill, which has plenty of Northern Kentucky lawmakers squeamish, would allow local governments to form finance authorities that could raise money for big infrastructure projects, like the Brent Spence Bridge.

Good idea, until you read the fine print. Tolls might be the only way for those finance authorities to pay for the projects.

In principle, of course, tolls are a great way to pay for road and bridge construction. The problem is that overspending in most other areas of state finance make tolls an unattractive option for a state that ought to be jump starting its economy. 

January 4, 2008

How to Cut Kentucky's Budget Without Really Trying

The idea of a "fiscal shortfall," something you'll hear plenty about in the coming months, is a bit of a misnomer.

The real term, at least in our fine commonwealth, should be "overspending."

Kentucky revenues increased by more than nine percent in two of Ernie Fletcher's four years in office. The other years saw more moderate increases in state revenue.

If revenues increased so much over the past four years, why is the cupboard bare? Because no lawmaker or Gov. Beshear can imagine that any of that spending was poorly conceived.

Here's a suggestion: Instead of creating a whole new budget this year, why not pass the substance of a budget from a few years ago. Say, the budget passed in 2003.

The budget passed in 2006 (not all of it was enacted) appropriated $26.2 billion the first year and $22.5 billion the following year. 2003, by contrast, saw a budget that appropriated just $18.9 billion the first year and $17.8 billion the second year. Again, not all of that passed budget became law.

Passing a budget the same size as the one passed in 2003 could save Kentucky taxpayers approximately $6 billion a year.

Just how much of our money does Frankfort need?

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The KY Club for Growth seeks principled candidates who are committed to the following:

* Free market principles
* Lowering taxes
* Reducing spending
* Decreasing the size of government
* Judicial reform
* Protecting property rights
* Expanding school choice
* Reducing needless regulation

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