Nicholasville Democrat Rep. Bob Damron sent an official-looking glossy campaign mailer to his constituents today seeking to confuse voters in the 39th House district about fiscal mismanagement in Frankfort.
"Unlike the Federal Government, State budgets must be balanced," Damron wrote. "The only debts we at the State level incur are for the construction of capital projects and needed infrastructure."
Rep. Damron should try selling this garbage to the federal whistleblower who recently stepped down from Kentucky Retirement Systems. Chris Tobe said years of underfunding by the legislature to spend the money on pet projects has wrecked the public employee benefits system.
"Underfunding each year is like a hurricane devastating the pension," Tobe said. Tobe explained the legislature has underfunded state pensions by several hundred million dollars each year throughout the past decade.
Damron's constituents don't need to be Accounting majors to understand that a "balanced budget" doesn't include enough in misdirected pension funds to endanger the state's fiscal situation with over $30 billion in unfunded pension liabilities.
But Rep. Damron wants to keep you focused only on state bonded debt by itself and to ignore the context of trying to keep the state afloat while being forced to address the tidal wave of pension payments due to hit us by the end of Governor Steve Beshear's term in office.
And that doesn't even touch the ObamaCare costs due to crush us about the same time. (Did I mention Rep. Damron supports ObamaCare?) Needless to say, Damron is already spinning this mess he helped create and voted for at every turn.
"Often political candidates try to mislead voters and equate State Government Bonding (Debt) with the increasing debt, but the two are very different," Damron wrote.
On this, Damron has a point. It's just not the one he intends. The state will run out of money way before the federal government does, because the state can't print its own money.
But then, Bob Damron really hopes you aren't paying attention.
"I only wish they (federal government) had the same fiscal discipline that we have at the State level," Damron wrote.
Fast forward about three years and this last comment will be high comedy. Until then, if you want to keep supporting Bob Damron you should try really hard to ignore things like this.