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.

True change will only occur through a difficult and painful radical restructuring of our government system. It starts with us – the citizens – recognizing that we cannot and should not look to government to solve our problems. And our leaders in Frankfort must recognize that the state can no longer count on Washington as their savior. The savior is ravaged by the same sickness. Washington suffers a similar addiction – an uncontrollable thirst to spend.

And both Washington and Frankfort are flat broke. Bankrupt. Out of money.

The addicts have hit rock bottom.

The question remains – are we really willing to do take on the difficult task of recovery?

cross-posted from the Kentucky Tenth Amendment Center

Mike Maharrey

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