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Today’s Lexington Herald-Leader reported that a former U.S.-Senator-from-Ohio wannabe Eric Fingerhut is a candidate for the post of chief politician, I’m sorry — “president” — of the University of Kentucky.
Who are the other candidates? We, the taxpayers, don’t know — even though we, the taxpayers, are paying the high salaries of these university presidents, both in terms of funding from the state and tuition increases that are three times the rate of inflation.
The reason we don’t know is because the interviews are being conducted in secret –“at a Northern Kentucky hotel in a black-draped room in an area patrolled by security,” according to today’s Herald-Leader.
Why? It’s always the same kind of mumbo jumbo from uninteresting and predictable officials: If we don’t do this in secret, we will “drive away highly qualified candidates who fear losing their jobs and political clout.”
Apparently way down on the list is what’s in the best interest of students, the university itself and the citizens who pay the bills.
Of course, this defense of a lack of transparency carries over to other areas of state policy as well.
We, the taxpayers, are told that we cannot be privy to economic development discussions involving potential bribes, I’m sorry — “incentives” — funded by we, the taxpayers, because it’s a competitive process and too much information might cause Kentucky to lose its attractiveness to some company that’s going to bring 10 jobs at $9 an hour.
Gee, what if we were as concerned about policies that have proven the equivalent of placing “Do Not Call” signs at the commonwealth’s borders as we are keeping information from those who pay the bills? If we were, we would already have right-to-work, school choice and lower taxes.
In a recent Bluegrass Beacon column, I wrote on the state budget process being conducted “behind closed doors — complete with armed guards and covered windows.”
Does anyone see a pattern here?
“If I had 25 percent of my products fail, I’d be out of business.” –Louis Gerstner said this during his recent tenure as the CEO of IBM.
Here’s a perfect example of why both health care costs are skyrocketing, and why Kentucky needs medical malpractice reforms.
This couple originally sought more than $13 million from these Bowling Green ob-gyns.
No wonder almost 60 percent of Kentucky’s in-state medical school graduates choose to leave the state to establish their clinical practices after graduation.
Why have an increasing number of Kentucky hospitals, including Knox County Hospital in Barbourville and Ashland’s Bellefonte Hospital, closed their obstetrics departments in recent years? It’s the uncertainty created by a lack of monetary caps in lawsuits. That uncertainty leads to outrageously high medical liability insurance rates.
Markets, including health-care markets, thrive when rules are clear and policies create certainty. Uncertainty leads to unhealthy results.
Getting rid of Obamacare’s unconstitutional individual mandate will, essentially, be the end of the entire misguided health care policy.
“The individual mandate is crucial: if you knock it out, the whole Rube Goldberg machine … simply ceases to function,” said Ilya Shapiro, a senior fellow in constitutional studies at the Cato Institute, in the latest edition of Cato’s Letter (not yet online).
While Kentucky’s elected officials have refused to push back against this assault from Washington on our individual liberties, others, like Shapiro and the attorneys general from several states, have been warning that allowing Obamacare to stand will result in an unprecedented — and unconstitutional — foray of government into our personal lives.
“Upholding the legislation would allow the federal government to mandate that Americans engage in assorted activities, turning citizens into subjects,” Shapiro said. “Without exaggeration, nobody would be able to claim the Constitution limits federal power.”
Ultimately, the matter will be decided by the Supreme Court, which — if history is any indication — will do what our state should already have done: throw out the absurd policy. Of course, as Shapiro notes, that’s not a certainty.
“On the one hand, it refrained from striking down such facially unconstitutional pieces of fundamental legislation as Social Security,” he observes. “On the other, that legislation was unpopular and came during a time of great social upheaval.
But Shapiro ends on this positive note:
“If, as the old saw goes, ‘the Court follows the election returns,’ the rise of the Tea parties … may have steeled judicial spines.”
By the way, one description of a Rube Goldberg machine described it as “an expression to describe any system that’s confusing or complicated and came about from Goldberg’s illustrations of absurd machines.”
Confusing. Complicated. Most of all, absurd. That certainly describes Obamacare and Kentucky officials’ refusal to vigorously oppose it.