Thursday, April 5, 2007

It’s Not What They’ve Said

From the Kentucky Post:

Kentucky's job climate has become a contentious issue in the Republican primary pitting incumbent Gov. Ernie Fletcher, former U.S. Rep. Anne Northup of Louisville and Paducah businessman Billy Harper. "For three years, we've had a governor who has put off addressing Kentucky's lagging economy," said Northup, who says Kentucky has the nation's fourth-worst unemployment rate.

Northup said that repealing the alternative minimum tax, encouraging entrepreneurship and letting workers keep more of their pay checks would help small businesses flourish and create jobs. Kentucky's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 5.7 percent this past February, compared to 5.9 percent in December 2003 when Fletcher took office. Northup notes that the state lags behind the nation, which had a 4.5 percent jobless rate in February, down from 5.7 percent in December 2003. Fletcher has pointed to job creation as a sign of progress during his tenure.

According to a seasonally adjusted, nonfarm employment survey by the U.S. Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics, Kentucky added 61,700 jobs between December 2003 and February 2007. A broader measure of employment shows the state added 93,197 jobs during the period. To improve opportunities in areas plagued by high joblessness, Fletcher said he has worked to expand broadband Internet access throughout Kentucky. He said he has advocated "clean-coal" technology to improve the marketability of an abundant resource.

Fletcher said he's also pushed for "landmark investments" in roads, schools and wastewater facilities to make communities more attractive for economic growth. Harper pointed to a school dropout rate that he said remains among the nation's highest. He said that the "surest way" to boost economic opportunity and expand jobs statewide is "to empower individuals through educational achievement beyond high school."

Governor Fletcher, Congresswoman Northup… are all your thoughts borrowed? Northup’s plan includes repealing the Alternative Minimum Tax (Originally, this was Billy Harper’s suggestion), encouraging entrapaneurship, and slicing taxes (Every Republican’s platform since Abraham Lincoln campaigned). Fletcher’s plan includes expanding broadband access (Barak Obama suggested this), advocating “clean coal” technology (Calling President Bush), and “landmark investments” (A Republican new deal). Anne and Ernie, your platforms have been done.

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