I will be on the Leland Conway Show on WLAP 630 AM in Lexington this morning at 10 AM. The call-in number is 859-280-2287. You can also listen on wlap.com.
KyPolitics.org excerpts Paducah Sun coverage of First Lady Jane Beshear on a big government rant:
“If you want programs to continue and grow instead of being cut back, the only way to make that happen is to get more revenue,” she said Wednesday night during a Paducah forum. “You need to talk to your legislators.”
But Jane, most of us don’t want programs to continue and grow. We want them to solve the problem they were created to solve and go away.
With this mentality, we will never get off the endless “revenue shortfall” merry-go-round. But then I suspect Jane and her husband know that.
New Jersey’s politicians have been saying they are cutting government spending to the bone, just like we hear in Kentucky.
Even so, no one should be surprised to learn that those same politicians overshot the mark last year by $2.2 billion and have merely thrown it on the taxpayers’ credit card. What is interesting is that this fact made the newspaper up there.
Meanwhile in Kentucky, we are adding in more than $1.5 billion to our debt load over the next two years and you don’t hear a peep from our media watchdogs.
For a little context, New Jersey has more than double the population of Kentucky.
After receiving several emails and one phone call about yesterday’s post on the Kenton County Public Library’s online financial disclosure, I agree that a clarification is in order.
A tab at the bottom of the spreadsheet on the library’s site shows a proposed line-item spending plan. I didn’t mention this in the post, which caused several readers to contact me to inquire about the oversight.
My contention is that a government entity telling us how it intends to spend money is not transparency. It’s nice to have an idea of the library’s spending priorities, but transparency means showing us how the money is actually spent.
I’m glad the Kenton County Public Library made some kind of effort to address the public’s right to know. In doing so, however, they opened themselves up as well to criticism that making the information difficult to find displayed contempt for the spirit of the transparency movement.
By this, I don’t mean that the perfect is the enemy of the good. But half measures just don’t get it done when it comes to showing taxpayers where their money is going.
If government entities want credit for being transparent with their spending, they should make the information easy to find and they should make the information available as the spending occurs.