The Governor this week cut another $45 million from an already thrice-cut 2017 budget. He dipped again into the state’s savings account to make up for financial shortfalls for the fifth time in 14 months. No political courage in sight to change the failed policies that got us to this point. Here is where we are:
Mississippi is still the second-worst state in job creation since the Great Recession. 247 WallStreet says Mississippi has 26,700 fewer jobs now than at the end of 2007. The touting of new jobs by this state’s leadership are just fake claims, and they are hoping you don’t find out the truth. Ask yourself, “If I lost my job today could I find another one tomorrow?” Or if your child is graduating high school or college, “Will they be able to get a good job here in Mississippi?”
WallStreet Newsletter ranks Mississippi as the 49th worst state for business. Having the highest poverty rate in the nation coupled with unemployment rates higher than the national average and a lack of a competitive (that’s educated) workforce are the main reasons they gave for the poor ranking. We barely stayed ahead of Louisiana, whose failed policies are mirrored by Mississippi’s leadership, put them in last place.
Mississippi is flowing in budget red ink. Balancing the budget by eliminating over 8,000 state jobs, to date, has not been the answer. Plans to eliminate thousands more state jobs will not balance the budget either. The political idea of shrinking government this way does nothing but eliminate state services for taxpayers and push taxes on locals to make up for those services.
The governor said the latest budget cuts, including those to education, “has prevented a tax increase for the hardworking taxpayers.” We beg to differ. Our local dollars, which are the state budget, just shove another tax increase to the local level to make up for the mismanagement at the state policy level when the state budget is cut.
Why are we short on funds and why has leadership continually cut the budget and dipped into our state savings account? The main reason is giving away our tax dollars to large corporations in the form of tax credits or grants. The leadership, even when faced with taking services away from the “hardworking taxpayers,” will not find the political courage to revoke those tax breaks given corporations.