We have heard the talking point about Kentucky cutting spending by a billion dollars under Gov. Steve Beshear despite the evidence to the contrary.
The only issue here is that government revenue comes in from multiple sources and then goes out from several different accounts. State government cutting general fund expenditures while increasing spending from federal accounts is hardly anything to write home about and it is embarrassing that a Frankfort politician can build a political campaign on the assumption that not enough people will know the difference.
Yesterday the Lexington Herald Leader added insult to injury by declaring Beshear’s campaign ad repeating this claim is “mostly true.”
The paper even points out the facts, but glosses over them:
Still, some of Beshear’s political opponents accurately point out that total spending by state government has increased since Beshear took office. But that’s because federal funding allocated to Kentucky has increased significantly over the past three years — from $6.07 billion in fiscal year 2008 to $8.06 billion this fiscal year.
In all, the state spent $21.3 billion in fiscal year 2008, compared to an estimated $24.7 billion this year.
Beshear’s claim of creating “the smallest government in 20 years” is more problematic.
The worst part of all this is Beshear has a political opponent for the November election who has never pointed out the flaw in calling a two billion dollar spending increase a one billion dollar cut. It is doubtful that he ever will because he voted for all the spending and spent too much time on the Senate floor cheerleading for all the money coming from Obama as if it were manna from heaven.
Otherwise, this is a great issue for drawing together Kentuckians of all political affiliations who want honesty in their public policy and spending within our means.