Debt is a bipartisan problem in Frankfort. Establishment Republicans aren’t talking about it because they voted for all of it. Putting our debt numbers on one web page shouldn’t be too much to ask.
The fact that this site hasn’t been updated in three years speaks volumes.
“Kentucky has a very serious debt problem yet Frankfort politicians in both major political parties keep boasting falsely about a balanced budget and a surplus. There are three pre-filed bills attempting to prevent a Kentuckian from becoming the next Casey Anthony and none that directly impact our growing debt crisis. That has to change quickly and the tea party will have to do it.”
Kentucky Knows Best
The fallout for states like Kentucky from the debt limit debate hasn’t gotten much attention yet, but that is all about to change. Consider, for example, Medicaid.
Kentucky gets more of its Medicaid funding from Washington D.C. than all other states except Mississippi and West Virginia. Those payments are about to be cut just as ObamaCare puts millions more people on the Medicaid rolls. Kentucky just “balanced” its 2011 Medicaid budget by borrowing $166 million we now have to find for 2012.
Do you see where we are going with this?
Most people have no idea how bad Kentucky’s fiscal situation is. Uncle Sam bailed us out in the last biennium with $3.4 billion in stimulus funds we won’t be seeing again. In the last three years our state debt load has increased by another $3 billion, mostly because the bond rating agencies have viewed Kentucky as a government-sponsored entity like Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. Wonder how long that will last?
Republicans and Democrats in Frankfort hesitate to mention this gathering storm because leadership of both parties have made their political careers on overspending. They don’t even want to think about these two major funding sources shrinking. But we can’t afford to ignore this.
That’s why Kentucky Knows Best PAC is hosting the State Debt Limit Town Hall on August 2 at 7pm at the Scott County Courthouse in Georgetown. Please join us if you can and forward this message as widely as possible.
If you would like to help support the work of Kentucky Knows Best PAC, please consider making a donation today. The legal maximum limit contribution is $1500, but any amount will help. Thank you for all you do.
Kentucky Knows Best PAC
A perfect example of what is wrong with Frankfort presented itself this afternoon when Gov. Steve Beshear put out a press release proclaiming that he put $121 million in the state’s rainy day fund.
Beshear actually does well with this if you see it for what it is. He is a politician running for office, trying to get a positive news story and no tough questions. The Lexington Herald Leader picks up the assist.
The rest of us are supposed to pretend not to remember the $166 million in Medicaid funds “borrowed” from 2012 three months ago. And of course he will get away with it politically because his Republican opponent voted for the same nonsense.
That’s bad enough, but we are also supposed to ignore the state debt this money would be much more properly applied to than to use it for political stunts like this. Again, his Republican opponent voted the same way.
And this $121 million could be dropped into the deep dark hole of unfunded public employee benefits without even making a sucking sound as it disappears into the abyss. But because there are no political points to score between establishment politicians, the big media sees no story.
Kentucky has been named as one of five “Sinkhole States” in a new report out today from the Institute for Truth in Accounting. The report ranks states’ fiscal standings and points out Kentucky’s excessive debt, questionable accounting and established practice of underfunding public employee benefits by billions of dollars. From the report:
“The main reason for these large taxpayers’ burdens is that true compensation costs, especially retirement compensation and benefits, have not been included in prior budgets and the money that should have been put aside to provide for these costs was spent elsewhere. As a consequence future taxpayers will have to pay taxes for services and benefits that were received by prior taxpayers.”
Click here to read the whole report.
As much fun as it is to point fingers in an election, Kentucky fiscal mess is a bipartisan problem. And as difficult as it is to get anyone inside the bubble in Frankfort to admit that Republicans have been just as guilty as Democrats in digging this hole, the tea party must rise to the challenge. Thank you for staying focused and raising awareness on these critical issues. Please forward this message as widely as you can.
Getting the word out about our fiscal reality is the purpose of the Kentucky Knows Best PAC. Please support our efforts by donating whatever you can today.
Kentucky Knows Best PAC
Have you noticed in the last couple of weeks that opponents have stopped declaring the Tea Party dead? We are driving the debate on making government smaller and our opponents are now stuck claiming with diminishing credibility that the world will end on August 2 without massive tax increases.
They have had all year to get serious about spending cuts. They had Sen. Rand Paul’s suggested list of $500 billion in cuts, which they said were way too much to even consider. The momentum has clearly shifted and now is the time to pour it on.
Supporting a state debt ceiling is the next step for Kentucky conservatives. Frankfort politicians in both parties are as addicted to spending as Washington D.C. politicians. By all measurements, Kentucky’s state debt is now higher than it has ever been. With our heavy reliance on federal money, we must prepare Frankfort now for cutting way back.
We’re doing our part by holding a Kentucky Debt Limit Town Hall meeting August 2 at 7:00 pm ET in Georgetown at the Scott County Courthouse. Join us if you can. Also, please talk to your representatives about sponsoring legislation to limit Kentucky’s indebtedness. Let’s strike while the iron is hot!
If you would like to support the effort, please consider making a donation to the Kentucky Knows Best PAC. Individuals may contribute up to $1500 per year, but any amount will help. Thank you for all that you do.
Kentucky Knows Best PAC
Late Friday afternoon, the Obama administration denied Gov. Steve Beshear’s request for a three year waiver from part of ObamaCare. As a result, Kentucky is even more likely to lose health insurers and the possibility of new insurers bringing more competition to Kentucky’s struggling health insurance market drops significantly.
Technically, the federal government on Friday granted Kentucky a small waiver for 2011 only. And that may temporarily lessen a tiny portion of the negative effects of Obama’s Affordable Care Act, but the point not to miss is that Beshear’s Department of Insurance made clear in their request that they understood the biggest part of what is wrong with ObamaCare. Unfortunately, they didn’t even try to do anything about it.
In their request documents, the Kentucky Department of Insurance repeatedly referenced Kentucky’s disastrous 1990’s flirtation with socialized medicine in which the state required insurers to accept all applicants and charge the same premium regardless of any health problems. “Guaranteed issue” coverage destroyed Kentucky’s health insurance market two decades ago and it is the worst feature of the ObamaCare law coming in 2014.
Willful blindness among Frankfort Democrats to the problems with ObamaCare can’t be too surprising. But Frankfort Republicans have joined in too often by supporting health insurance coverage mandates to score political points. Their efforts combined have weakened market forces that would otherwise work to lower costs and improve quality.
The Friday afternoon release of this information was calculated to limit discussion of these critical issues. Please forward this message as widely as you can.