Government must be transparent, accountable, and fiscally responsible. As the Inspector General for the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services from 2004 to 2007, I earned a reputation for aggressively investigating fraud, waste and abuse in state government. Along with my highly dedicated staff, we worked tirelessly to protect government assets by identifying waste, fraud, and abuse; held state agencies accountable; exposed wrongdoing in state government; facilitated transparency; and protected the truly vulnerable citizens of the Commonwealth. I pledge to champion these principles as legislator.
Government is the most unregulated industry in the United States. It is inherently wasteful, inefficient, arrogant, and fails to recognize a very simple fact -- the taxpayer is the employer and government is the employee that serves at the pleasure of the tax paying citizen. Accordingly, if not aggressively policed, government bureaucrats will tend to put their own interests ahead of the best interests of the citizens they are sworn to serve.
For far too long Kentucky's greatness and promise has been held back by those that believe government holds all the answers and controls all the power. For Kentucky to prosper, the citizens of the Commonwealth must come together and demand a state government founded in fundamental constitutional principles. In Kentucky, we have allowed government to expand far beyond its intended purpose. The result is a state government is distracted, disorganized and highly dysfunctional. With this in mind, it should come as no surprise that state government struggles to properly carry out its most fundamental and proper government responsibilities, such as public protection. We should never look to the men and women who answer the call of public service by valiantly serving in the armed forces, law enforcement, or as firefighter to do without, because the government that they serve with distinction has failed to provide them with proper and just funding.
Further, we have allowed our state to turn well intended safety net programs aimed at protecting those truly in need, into massive entitlement programs that often transcend generations. Frankfort has been complicit in promoting dependence on state government, rather than facilitating independence and personal responsibility. For far too many Kentuckians this has created a destructive and demoralizing reliance on government. We must reverse course.
Rather than building a greater bureaucracy, now is the time to build a better Kentucky by working together to appropriately limit the role of state government. Lining the coffers in Frankfort with the hard earned money of Kentucky's citizens is not the answer today and has never been the answer to the issues that face Kentucky. The thoughtless, misguided, and mismanaged spending of the taxpayer dollar is a pursuit which has failed Kentucky again and again. By demanding transparency, accountability, and fiscal responsibility in Frankfort we will create the environment under which state government can serve its citizens in a focused, responsible, disciplined, efficient, and effective manner.