Friday, May 4, 2007

Blue Grass, Red State Scorches Fletcher

If "our economy booms," why do the corporate jets of large companies fly over Kentucky and land in states such as Tennessee, which have right-to-work laws and lower tax rates? If "our economy booms," why do 24.7 percent of Kentucky's adults collect disability checks? (If you believe all those folks really have a disability, you could - "could" - have taken up residence in the state of denial.) If "our economy booms," why do statistics reveal only three states with higher unemployment rates in February than Kentucky?

By contrast, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the commonwealth's jobless rate equaled the national average when Fletcher took office some three years ago. The governor likes to say that more Kentuckians work now than ever. We should all applaud that reality. But to pretend Fletcher's economic policies led to that means that you moved to the state of denial. Actually, more Kentuckians work in spite of this governor's economic policies, not because of them.

With the economic revival experienced by the nation following the recession of 2000-2001 and the ensuing tax cuts promoted by President George W. Bush, much of the entire nation experienced job increases. If "our economy booms," why does the Bureau of Economic Analysis report that Kentuckians' personal incomes dropped nearly 4 percent during the past year, down from No. 44 to No. 46 in the nation? This leaves only four states with lower personal incomes.

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