Governor Beshear's Tax Hike Commission Meets, Spends
About a month ago, Governor Beshear appointed members to his blue-ribbon commission on tax reform in Kentucky. Not only did he stack it with several liberal interest groups, the business interests he appointed were donation bundlers to his campaign, and he appointed zero economists (unless the George Soros-affiliated Kentucky Center for Economic Policy representative, Jason Bailey, is an economist. Oh, he's not.)
Not only is the commission membership set up to push for higher taxes, higher taxes is written into the mission of the commission:
The five goals for the Commission's work include:
• Adequacy: The Commonwealth's tax structure should generate sufficient funds to support critical state services. The Commission is charged with reviewing the adequacy of revenues from the current tax structure and making recommendations for improvement.
Yesterday, the commission held its first meeting. First they heard from Greg Harkenrider, deputy executive director of the Governor's Office for Economic Analysis. Mr. Harkenrider could probably do the project by himself if someone would lend him their political capital to do so, and he pointed out that the state's tax code has been studied repeatedly, with little action, over the last 30 years.
Second, they decided to hire a consultant. There is no public information about the budget for this consultant. While it is clear that this panel does not have the expertise necessary to make a reasonable attempt at tax reform, we can save the commonwealth money.
The tax increases the consultant is likely to recommend are bad for Kentucky and will fail as a legislative package.