Dear Governor Bevin – After all the ways we have disagreed, it is nice to be able to say that for once, we agree with you about something. We fear, though, that the agreement will be short-lived.
Where We Agree
We agreed with you that the budget and revenue bills were unacceptable, and should be vetoed.
- You said that the process followed for the budget and revenue bills was rushed, flawed, and irresponsible. We agree.
- You said that the numbers put forward to justify the two bills were flawed and incorrect. We agree.
- You said that it is irresponsible to run anything, much less a state, with so little reserves. We agree.
- You said that the citizens of this state expect their legislators to handle their duties in a serious, thoughtful way. We agree.
- And you said that if everyone would come together, all of us working together could craft a budget that would help Kentucky realize the huge potential it has. If you actually meant everyone and not just Republicans, we agree.
Where We Are Going to Disagree
Based on your past comments and some hints you gave today, though, we fear that the answers you pursue are going to be ones that we vehemently disagree with.
- You are going to want to raise revenue through higher sales taxes.
- We disagree – such taxes fall on the middle class and the poor, and we already take a higher percentage of their income than we do from upper class workers.
- You are going to want to cut the income and corporate taxes even further.
- We disagree – we have no desire to be the next Kansas, watching our schools continue to wither because of declining revenues.
- You will say that lowering corporate taxes will spur enough investment to make up for the lost revenue.
- And you will be wrong, as has been proven time and time again. The “Laffer curve” is an accurate name, because the theory is a real laugher – except it’s not funny when it destroys your state.
- You will say that the only responsible thing to do is to cut state spending even further.
- We disagree – we’ve been cutting our spending as a percentage of the state’s economy for decades now. When are we going to stop cutting and start investing in our people, including our children?
So, Governor, we have one request: surprise us.
Surprise us by calling on the legislature to put the tax rates back where they were. If they did just that one thing, it would raise enough money to actually INCREASE funding on education, including our colleges and universities.
Surprise us by bringing together ALL the stakeholders, and not just a few Republicans.
Surprise us by incorporating the excellent analysis of the Kentucky Center for Economic Policy, among others, and use that work to create a revenue and budget system that invests in our shared future.
Governor, you’ve surprised people more than once in your tenure. With these vetoes, you have opened the door for the REAL work to be done. Be the leader you want to be, and lead us to a fair and equitable state budget and tax system.
Good vetoes, Governor. Now let’s match them with good answers.