Federal funding – a powerful lever

The Commonwealth of Kentucky suffers from an addiction.

Over the years, the state has relied more and more heavily on federal money to plug budget holes. In 1985, federal funding made up 25 percent of the state’s revenues. In 2004, that figure had increased to 33 percent, according to the National Association of State Budget Officers. With more than $3 billion in federal stimulus money flowing into the Bluegrass State, the addict has plenty of cash to continue feeding its hunger.

Perhaps the time has come for an intervention.

We can talk about state sovereignty, states rights and nullification until we become blue in the face, but until state legislators make a concerted effort to pull the Commonwealth away from the federal feeding trough, the state will remain a slave to federal power. Washington can easily force Frankfort to acquiesce to its wills and whims, simply through the threat of withholding the addict’s drug – federal funds.