Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Dem Approach to KAPT Mirrors Social Security

Both KAPT and Social Security will require increasing amounts of taxpayer dollars if the status quo holds in Frankfort and Washington D.C., as key Democrats insist they prefer.

The key similarity between the two programs centers around the programs' "Trust Funds."

This is where the political obfuscation from reform opponents depends most heavily on ignorance and apathy among the general public.

KAPT's operating losses are backed by a "Fund" of abandoned property previously sold by the state of Kentucky. The problem, as we established here yesterday, is that the money in this "Fund" has already been spent. To replenish that account, the state needs additional taxpayer dollars. That is where the $13.7 million came from when Jonathan Miller, as state Treasurer authorized his raid on the General Fund on December 1, 2004. Despite the overwhelming and irrefutable evidence, he continues to try to confuse people with statements like this one still on his website. That debunked press release claimed that Senate Republicans were taking Miller's millions to build a basketball gym for UK.

By the same token, Social Security's Trust Fund has been spent and will have to be replaced with the dreaded "transition costs" of reform opponents whether or not reform is implemented. The choice is simple: we can bury our heads in the sand and hope for the best or shut down KAPT to limit future losses and change Social Security to head off fiscal disaster. Republicans need rational Democrats to step forward and help with these problems. Who will step forward?