Archive for the ‘Kentucky’ Category

Kentucky Unemployment At Lowest Since 2001

Unemployment 12-2015 to 06-2016Even as Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin has taken to social media to tout the occasional creation of new jobs—whether it’s 310 new jobs and $57 million in investment, or 150 new jobs in Russell County with a $43 million investment—Kentuckians have a good right to be proud of the turnaround in the state under the new administration. What’s more impressive is the declining rate in unemployment in the state. The truth is that the last time the unemployment rate was this low was in June 2001, fifteen years ago.

Steve Beshear liked to claim that his administration halved the unemployment rate —without admitting that they first doubled it. During the corresponding period of the first 7 months of the Beshear administration, the unemployment rate rose from 5.5% to 6.3%. The former governor left the state with a higher rate of unemployment than the one he inherited. Bevin, meanwhile, has reversed the trend and seen the unemployment rate drop from 5.6% to 5.0% today. This translates to 34,845 more Kentuckians earning a paycheck today than the day Matt Bevin was sworn into office.

None of this is likely to be celebrated by an antagonistic media, they’re more worried about a building that was named for Jane Beshear in the days before her husband left office. Priorities, Kentucky, priorities.

Source: U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (


KY Journalists Feel Beshear’s Pain

July 16, 2016 1 comment

Poor Kentucky journalists, they feel a barrage of rejection emanating from Governor Matt Bevin’s office. Some reporters who generally avoid politics have also been drawn into offering editorial comment on the ostensible feud between the current and former governors. Tara Anderson of WFPL News went so far as to call it “Shakespearean”. Meanwhile, Al Cross, frequent columnist at he Courier-Journal, lamented Governor Bevin’s loss of the “high ground.” (We have no recollection of a time when Cross or any other prominent political journalist conceded the high ground to candidate or Governor Bevin.)

Domestic Violence Awareness Month 2013

The journalists’ latest wound was inflicted when former First Lady Jane Beshear’s name was removed from the Capitol Education Center adjacent to the Governor’s mansion in Frankfort. It hurt so badly that an empathetic Jack Brammer, the Lexington Herald-Leader’s man in Frankfort,  wailed on KET “Would he want someone to treat his wife like that?” Press conferences in Frankfort must make for deeply depressing experiences.

In most of the stories covering the former First Lady’s building story, few, if any, point out that hubby Beshear waited almost three years after the building was commissioned before he named it for his wife. In fact, he waited until after Matt Bevin was elected to give her this special shout-out. Coincidentally, it was his last day before he nominated her to the board of the Kentucky Horse Park Commission. The former governor was in such a hurry to secure a spot for his wife on the KHPC that his order—an executive order nominating her to the board—accidentally referred to it as the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission.

Democrats in the state have a voice. It takes the form of whiny rants on social media and comments on articles by Cross, Brammer, and others among the press faithful. The insult du jour is to call Bevin “petty.” As long as Kentucky’s media focus on the relationship between Bevin and the Beshears, chances are that the state’s voters will never know that the unemployment rate has dropped dramatically under the current administration, or that the state’s pension fund is on its way to solvency, or that the debt is being paid off.

Bevin’s accomplishments are proving to be too painful to acknowledge by the press, because it hurts the narrative that he’s a one-man wrecking ball. Fortunately for the state, Bevin doesn’t care for liberal opinion and is taking care of the real business of the state.


Photo credit: Steve Beshear via Flickr under a Creative Commons copyright.

KY Health Insurance Premiums to Increase

New story same as the old: Kentucky residents will see their health insurance premiums increase once again in 2017. The last increase, effective in 2016, was approved in July 2015 by Gov. Steve Beshear.

Kentucky’s biggest insurer at the time, KY CO-OP, were set to increase premiums by 25.1% in 2016. That was before they eventually folded and left 75% (or 51,000) of all Kynect-registered customers without an insurance plan at the end of last year. A sixty-million-dollar failure. Other large insurers also increased premiums in 2016—Anthem BCBS by 12.2%, Humana 5.2%, and CareSource Kentucky 12.83%.

Next year’s increase will be an average of 17% according to an Associated Press report in the Herald Leader. Unsurprisingly, former governor Steve Beshear was quick to lay the blame at the foot of the current administration. He is quoted as saying “we believe the main reason why insurance companies are proposing higher rates is because of the uncertainty of the future of Kynect.” Not so quick, point out Anthem officials. Kentucky Health Cooperative’s demise at the end of last year left 51,000 mostly high-risk consumers out in the December cold. Higher risk translates to higher premiums, for everybody.

According to the Associated Press report, Kynect policies will see an increase of 20% in premiums, whereas plans purchased outside of the exchange will increase by 16%.

The requested increases vary from 6.95% for UnitedHealthcare Insurance Company small group customers, to 65% for individual customers of Golden Rule Insurance Company.

Insurance rates are not controlled by state policies, with the exception of state-managed co-operatives. Of the 23 such co-ops that were created by states under Obamacare, only 11 survive.
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As Employment Grows, Unemployment Drops

Screen Shot 2016-05-25 at 10.34.51 AMThere isn’t always a direct correlation between  a rise in employment and a decrease in unemployment, especially with the United States economy during the last eight years or so. We have seen dips in the unemployment rate even while people employers shed jobs.

How does that happen? Following the economic crash of 2007 and the colossal bailouts of the banking and automobile industries, there wasn’t an accompanying growth in economic activity. Consequently, millions of Americans simply gave up looking for jobs. The labor force participation rate has not been worse since 1954.

The good news for the Kentucky economy is that in spite of an increase in 32,000 people in the job market—that is, people looking for jobs again, people moving to Kentucky, and all other Kentuckians available for work—there has been a corresponding increase in jobs available. Translation: More paychecks are being issued to Kentuckians today than was the case six months ago.

The chart above shows a steep rise in unemployment during the last few months of the Beshear administration, and a drop that started soon after the start of the Bevin administration.

Categories: Kentucky

Kentucky’s Soaring Employment Continues

May 24, 2016 1 comment
Kentucky Employment

Kentucky’s employment continues to rise rapidly under the leadership of Gov. Matt Bevin.

The accompanying chart does the talking. Contrast the declining employment in the state of Kentucky during the last year of Democratic Governor Steven Beshear against the rapid growth in employment during the first few months of Gov. Matt Bevin.

Data source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (

Categories: Kentucky

Bill Clinton Says Bevin “Wrecked” Obamacare

President Bill Clinton. Photo courtesy: Tim Hamilton ©2008-2016, Creative Commons License. 

Speaking at the University of Kentucky today, Bill Clinton lashed out at Gov. Matt Bevin without mentioning his name. Talking about the so-called Affordable Healthcare Act, he said that the people of Kentucky elected a governor who “wrecked” it, according to the Lexington Herald-Leader.

Kentucky’s experiment in state-managed healthcare exchanges and insurance companies has been less than stellar. In fact, Kentucky COOP, the insurer which sold a whopping 75% of the policies under Kynect, collapsed last year under Governor Beshear’s watch. While the Clintons, Beshear, and many others continue to sing the praises of Kentucky’s Obamacare exchange, they neglect to mention that it was a costly failure—KY COOP lost $50 million—that left 52,000 Kentuckians without insurance before Gov. Bevin took office. Kynect did not switch them over to new plans with comparative prices. None existed. Steve Beshear

KY COOP has been a losing proposition since the start. It was a state-funded insurer, designed to compete against greedy capitalistic ones, and relied on federal subsidies which never materialized. The majority of the nation’s 22 health co-ops have failed as they leave a trail of poor, uninsured, Americans in their wake.

Photo of Bill Clinton by Tim Hamilton. Released under a Creative Commons copyright.

It’s Springtime in Kentucky’s Job Market

April 27, 2016 Leave a comment

Gov. Matt Bevin of Kentucky. (Photo: Gage Skidmore)

In the eight years of Steve Beshear’s term in office, tens of thousands of Kentuckians dropped out of the work force. 75,872 of them, to be precise. Many had simply given up looking for jobs. In contrast, Indiana had watched it’s own workforce increase by over 50,000.

Now, less than five months since Matt Bevin took office as Kentucky’s new Republican Governor,  things are looking up again in the Bluegrass State. Nearly every day Mr. Bevin uses social media to shine a spotlight on businesses that are creating new jobs in the commonwealth.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a non-partisan government agency which maintains employment data, Kentucky’s workforce has increased by 32,466 since the end of November last year. This is a huge vote of confidence in the new administration. This is not an increase in the number of persons employed, rather it represents people who have re-entered the workforce or are otherwise seeking employment. This also represents people who have chosen not to move out-of-state to find jobs

The real good news is that there are 30,350 more people earning paychecks today than the day Steve Beshear left office five short months ago. Kentucky’s new governor is keeping his promises, in a hurry.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics (

Categories: Kentucky, Uncategorized