Cutting the Fat...and the Bacon (3/5/09)
Yesterday, Governor Beshear announced that - in light of the current state budget woes -- he'll be scaling back the traditional Governor's Derby Breakfast this year. Overall, he expects the cost-cutting to save around $200,000.
In normal times, I'd call this being penny-wise and pound-foolish. The Derby Breakfast has long been a major economic development tool - a high-profile event used by governors to entertain and impress the kinds of people it pays to have on your side. In normal times, I'd call it $200,000 well-spent.
But these are anything but normal times.
Since the Commonwealth's lawmakers still seem to lack the courage to take any real, significant measures to deal with the problem of too many expenses and not enough revenue, it would simply be unacceptable at this point for state government to spend even a penny more than is necessary.
Having said that, I truly hope this is only a temporary measure. Businesses have known for a long time that strategic entertaining is an investment that pays off handsomely in the long run. It works the same way for governments, and if the money is there, it's a wise expenditure.
But right now, Kentucky needs every available dollar for much more basic needs. Governor Beshear gets it, and I commend him for his good judgment.
I'm Bill Lamb, and that's my...Point of View