Saturday, December 11, 2010

KY's farm bureaucracy lets out the belt by another notch

From the editorialists of the C-J, sudden concern about fiscal conservatism, the size of government, and, I think, farm subsidies...

During the economic crisis of the past several years, almost all of state government in Kentucky has engaged in the most austere belt-tightening in memory. Not so, however, at Richie Farmer's Department of Agriculture...

There have been excessive purchases of new cars for the department's fleet. Travel to the Caribbean for a conference and a little fun in the sun. And now, 11 department employees have received merit-based pay increases this fiscal year — a time when almost all of the state's nearly 34,000 employees received no cost-of-living raises and face six unpaid “furlough” days off from work.

Since Mr. Farmer holds his post as agriculture commissioner as an elected official, he isn't bound by Gov. Steve Beshear's order to suspend merit raises for employees....

Mr. Farmer is a Republican running for lieutenant governor with Senate President David Williams. During the campaign, one hopes that they will clarify what “fiscal responsibility” would mean during a Williams-Farmer administration.


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