Taxes. Tax commissions. A hard look at tax-reform. Much needed tax revenue? Taxes, taxes and more taxes.
It seems like “tax” is the first word on the tongues of Frankfort politicians when state budget and debt solution ideas are up for discussion.
What if we changed “tax” in all the phrases above to “spending”. A spending commission, spending reform, etc…
The Kentucky Club for Growth recently put together some great information (via the Kaiser Family Foundation statistics) about the Commonwealth’s spending versus its neighbors. The short version is this: Kentucky spends, on average, about $1,000 per capita more than all but one of its bordering states.
From Kentucky Club for Growth:
As you can see, Kentucky spends $1000 more per person than any of our neighbors (save West Virginia, which must funnel a greater portion of education funding through the state treasury). In fact, Kentucky is 8% higher than the average of our neighboring states ($5,523) and 14% higher than the national average ($5,251).
If anything, Kentucky’s spending is too high. Other states are able to provide services at significantly less cost per capita.
Just another example of Kentucky’s spending problem.
One solution to our state’s debt problem is to stop the obsession with taxes and start obsessing about where and how taxpayer money is spent.
It is clear that Kentucky has a spending problem, not a revenue problem. Rather than look for ways to increase revenue, why not look to the best practices of our six border states who spend taxpayer money more efficiently than we do?