“Mr. Obama would stimulate the economy by increasing federal spending. Mr. McCain would stimulate the economy by cutting the corporate tax rate. Mr. Obama would expand unionism by denying workers the right to a secret ballot on the decision to form a union, and would dramatically increase the minimum wage. Mr. Obama would also expand the role of government in the economy, and stop reforms in areas like tort abuse.”
“The states have already tested the McCain and Obama programs, and the results are clear. We now face a national choice to determine if everything that has failed the families of Michigan, Ohio and Illinois will be imposed on a grander scale across the nation. In an appropriate twist of fate, Michigan and Ohio, the two states that have suffered the most from the policies that Mr. Obama proposes, have it within their power not only to reverse their own misfortunes but to spare the nation from a similar fate.”
Governor Steve Beshear while busily trying to save the state from too-low cigarette taxes and the hope of for a sustainable public employee benefits program, took time out today to try his hand at being a petroleum economist.
Love this rhetoric:
“I am outraged by the voracious practices of price gouging we are seeing,” said Gov, Beshear. “Today, I have taken an extraordinary step to protect the consumers of the commonwealth from these predators.”
I guess we will all feel safer under the protection of our daring governor as long as a real disaster doesn’t lead to shortages — albeit moderately priced shortages — at Kentucky gas stations.
And since he says “we are seeing” all this “price gouging,” Gov. Beshear shouldn’t have any trouble pointing out at least one specific example. Right?
We’ve known for some time that scores in Kentucky’s CATS school assessments have been getting more and more inflated every year. In fact, Reason #3 in one of our earliest publications shows the inflation started right at the beginning in 1999 during the change from the old KIRIS assessment to CATS.
Ever since, Bluegrass Institute comparisons of CATS to better quality testing data show more inflation occurring every year. For example, our comparison of CATS to the National Assessment of Educational Progress last year makes a strong case that CATS scoring was much easier in 2007 than it was in 1999.
Now, there is even evidence of CATS inflation yet to come, and this evidence comes from a surprising source – the Kentucky Department of Education.
On page 13 in the Briefing Packet for the 2008 CATS, a table titled “Accountability Index Ranges by School Level” shows that after an inflation-hiding correction was made (using those extremely controversial “Concordance Tables”), only 90 elementary schools got CATS scores of 100 or more in the official 2008 results. However, the table right below, which shows “Nonadjusted” scores, indicates that many more elementary schools, 162 of them, scored 100 or more before the inflation-hiding correction was applied.
So, stand by for more inflation in CATS. Next year, only the new and inflated nonadjusted scores are going to be used. Next year, all those schools that got lowered scores due to the inflation-hiding concordance tables won’t have that penalty to worry about. They will get the full benefit from the CATS’ ever more watered down scoring, and all 162 will be presented to us as magically reaching the score of 100 – the end goal for CATS in 2014.
So, get ready for CATS to show a remarkable 80% jump in just one year in the number of schools reaching the end goal target score. These schools won’t be much, if any better – they will just be made to look better.
The Kentucky Club for Growth released this morning its annual report card of legislator votes for fiscal responsibility, heralding some improvements and providing interesting insight for political races this November and beyond.
Eleven House members scored above 70% on taxpayer-friendly votes, up from only two in 2007. Interestingly, in the Year of Sarah Palin, the top legislators in both chambers were women. Rep. Addia Wuchner and Sen. Katie Stine both garnered top rankings.
Sen. Brett Guthrie, a candidate for the open 2nd congressional district seat, scored 71% for a rank of 11th, ahead of his opponent in this November’s race, Sen. David Boswell, who scored 54% and ranked 25th.
Next year’s race for Speaker of the House will pit Speaker Jody Richards, who scored a 24% to rank 78th in the House, against Rep. Greg Stumbo whose 23% ranked him of 88th.
Sen. Joe Biden is either lying about Sen. John McCain’s health plan or he is really dumb.
At a campaign stop earlier this week in Missouri, Biden was attacking McCain:
“But taxing American workers’ health care is not the answer, he said. Under McCain’s plan, Biden said, a person earning $50,000 a year, with employer-provided health care worth $12,000 a year, would be subject to income taxes on all $62,000. Now, no taxes are levied on their health care benefits.McCain has been highlighting his proposed $5,000 a year tax credit to offset some of that tax hike, but Biden said that at least $7,000 would still be subject to the tax.”
Biden’s $7000 figure only makes sense at all if we are taxing income over $50,000 at 100%. Is there something in Obama’s tax plan we don’t know about?