Kentucky has the third highest ratio of government debt to gross domestic product of any state in the nation, according research done by James Hohman of the Mackinac Center for Public Policy.
Hohman compiled data from the US Census Bureau, the Bureau of Economic Analysis, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ establishment survey for work he is doing on a Michigan-based report, but he was struck by what he found for Kentucky.
“They’re a little lower when you use per capita and per payroll employment, but still in the top tier,” Hohman said. “Anyway, it’s interesting to see the list be Massachusetts, New York, and Kentucky.”
House Minority Whip Stan Lee (R-Lexington) agrees but says legislative leaders have little motivation to change.
“That’s terrible company to be keeping,” Lee said, referring to Massachusetts and New York. “There’s still a real sense in Frankfort that Kentuckians aren’t paying attention.”
If we don’t watch it we may even be moving up a spot on the government debt list. New York is embracing government transparency with a new website. In other states, showing taxpayers the government’s contracts and spending has been shown to reduce wasteful practices. And that might wind up being a good thing for New York taxpayers.
“If New York can (show taxpayers where their money is going)” asked Covington City Commissioner Steven Megerle, “why can’t Kentucky?”