This election is also about future Mississippi elections.
Tuesday, Governor Bryant said he agreed with his party's nominee in saying that elections are rigged. That’s no surprise since not one elected Mississippi Republican has stepped forward to say they don't agree with Mr. Trump's comment du jour. During the next election cycle, these same elected Republicans cannot then decide to step forward and vow they disagreed with those comments on race, women, minorities, veterans, or the disabled. Political courage is not an afterthought.
The Mississippi Secretary of State did say he believed our election process to be fair when asked if they were rigged. We agree with Mr. Secretary and also believe that candidates should accept the will of the voters. The losing candidate in any election is just as important as the winner.
In Representative Bo Eaton’s election last year, it was declared a tie. Eaton then proceeded under the law and in good faith to draw straws to determine a winner instead of other challenges available to him. Mr. Eaton drew the winning straw and was declared the winner by the Governor. However, the majority's legislative leadership looked past the rule of law and declared the winner to be Mr. Eaton's opponent which then gave them a super-majority in the House of Representatives. Maybe that’s the rigged election the Governor was thinking about.
The Governor and legislative leadership now espouse that corporate tax collections are performing above expectations, even with the credits and breaks given their campaign contributing buddies. What they don't tell you is that in one recent year, 111 of the 150 largest businesses in Mississippi paid NO Mississippi income taxes. Actually, more than 70 percent of all corporations paid ZERO in Mississippi income taxes.
And while they’re bragging about corporate taxes being up $4 million over last fiscal year, they don’t tell you that for the 12 months ended June 30,2016, corporate tax collections were $118 million (16 percent) below collections for the previous reporting period. So, for the 15 months ended September 30, 2016, we are actually $114 million below the prior 15 months in corporate taxes. The only reason they can brag about being ahead of expectations is that they cut expectations more than $125 million.
The real story about our economy isn't being told because they can’t explain away the phenomenal budget mess into which they have led us. When you have no increase in private job numbers coupled with continuing cuts to state agencies, a special session called for more money to fill budget holes, continually dipping into the rainy day fund, the elimination of thousands of state jobs and still have a budget balance full of red ink... well you just can't dodge that either.
Please vote on November 8th because it's about our future and not just this election.