Nick Nicholson will never loosen the the legislature’s iron grip on that money — but it is a nice try. My favorite part is the “philosophically compatible” bit, as if philosophy had anything to do with it. Maybe he should try a Jedi mind trick.
Citizens in Massachusetts are trying to get the state income tax there repealed and replaced by nothing:
“In light of stagnant private sector wages and thousands of jobs leaving Massachusetts, which is better for Massachusetts workers: keep the state income tax — or end it?
Please note that both ballot choices spend $47 billion in Massachusetts.
Voting “no” means that the Massachusetts state government decides how and where to spend the whole $47 billion.
Voting “yes” means that the Massachusetts state government decides how and where to spend $35 billion. And 3,400,000 workers and taxpayers each decide how and where to spend their $3,700 share of the other $12 billion.”
With this going on just as the feds want American taxpayers to clean up their regulatory nightmare with our $700 billion, Kentuckians might want to think again about the $27 billion unfunded public employee benefits we have to deal with.
Do we really want to keep feeding our Kentucky politicians, hoping that their promises to straighten up their act really soon will someday be true?
Economist Steven Horwitz explains very clearly in “An Open Letter to my Friends on the Left” that too much government — and specifically too much collusion between business and government — caused the mortgage problems, rather than too little government:
“I know, my friends, that you are concerned about corporate power. So am I. So are many of my free-market economist colleagues. We simply believe, and we think history is on our side, that the best check against corporate power is the competitve marketplace and the power of the consumer dollar (framed, of course, by legal prohibitions on force and fraud). Competition plays mean, nasty corporations off against each other in a contest to serve us. Yes, they still have power, but its negative effects are lessened. It is when corporations can use the state to rig the rules in their favor that the negative effects of their power become magnified, precisely because it has the force of the state behind it. The current mess shows this as well as anything ever has, once you realize just what a large role the state played. If you really want to reduce the power of corporations, don’t give them access to the state by expanding the state’s regulatory powers. That’s precisely what they want, as the current battle over the $700 billion booty amply demonstrates.”
It’s a terrific essay. Please read the whole thing here.
Continuing to push Frankfort to post state spending on the internet has been a frustratingly slow process for such a simple, no-brainer reform.
The E-Transparency Task Force meets Thursday, October 2, at 10 AM in room 171 of the Capitol Annex.
Showing taxpayers what is happening to their money in greater detail is the inevitable result of this song and dance. The only questions remaining when the resistance to this breaks will be “what took so long?” and “why don’t you expand the information available to us?”
A mere “Republican” group would hesitate before naming someone the best-voting member of the 2008 Senate one week and then, only two weeks later, rake her over the coals for repeating big-spender talking points.
But the Kentucky Club for Growth is way too principled to play that old game:
“In true liberal logic, they posit that raising his salary to prevent him from retiring saves the state from paying his pension plus a new salary to a new director. This time-limited truth has been parroted by legislative leadership like Senate President Pro-tem Katie Stine.”
Better not mess around when the Kentucky Club for Growth is on the job.
One small but telling example is the Gatton Academy for Mathematics and Science on the campus of Western Kentucky University. Slipped into the budget in 2006, the program operated as an illegal charter school for a year. Thanks to a 2008 law, it is now legal and serving 120 high school students a year from across the state at a cost to taxpayers of more than $20,000 per student.
The Gatton Academy comes up now because the Interim Joint Education Committee is going to spend the day at the school on October 13 getting the grand tour.
I don’t doubt for a second that this is a fabulous program, but it could easily be duplicated across the state with local students who live at home for much, much less money. That would be more fair and make more sense than just having this one program in Richards’ district.
What we are talking about here is charter schools. The idea of a charter school is basically no teachers union, less bureaucracy, and more accountability. In Kentucky, of course, charter schools are illegal.