Saturday, June 17, 2017

Bill Crawford: Are we in Kansas?

Is Kansas a lesson for Mississippi?
Conservative Governor Sam Brownback and the Republican controlled Kansas Legislature enacted massive state tax cuts five years ago, making Kansas the national poster child for anti-tax advocates.
Earlier this month, the Kansas Legislature, led by newly elected moderate Republicans, reversed those deep tax cuts following huge budget shortfalls and limited economic growth. The Legislature overrode a veto by Brownback to resurrect $1.2 billion in taxes. They removed personal income tax cuts and repealed a major tax exemption for small-business owners, basically restoring tax rates to where they were when Brownback took office.
Like in Mississippi, Republicans hold super majorities in the Kansas House (85 to 40) and Senate (31 to 9). Yet both houses garnered the two-thirds votes necessary to override the Governor's veto. Reports attribute the tax rollback to moderate Republicans elected to the Legislature last year.
"Moderate Republicans cruise to victories in Kansas primaries," read the headline in the Kansas City Star, August 2, 2016, as Republican voters ousted two dozen of Brownback's allies. Most went on to win in the November general election. Working with moderate Democrats, they succeeded in turning around Kansas's budget crisis.
Brownback touted his 2012 and 2013 tax cuts as "pro-growth" policies, similar to the comments we hear from Gov. Phil Bryant, Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves, and House Speaker Philip Gunn. But the limited growth following the tax cuts did not come close to offsetting declining state revenues.
Conservatives blamed the Republican-controlled Legislature for failing to reduce spending enough to offset the revenue losses.
“This is nothing new,” Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, told The Atlantic.  “You had a legislature unwilling to do the spending restraint necessary.”
"Yet where advocates on both the right and the left agreed is that Kansas, despite its decades-long tradition of Republican governance, simply did not want to go as far to the right economically as Brownback tried to push the state," wrote The Atlantic's Russell Berman.
Mississippi's Republican controlled legislature has passed 43 tax cuts totaling $577 million so far with another $415 million in tax cuts to phase in over 12 years.
Budget shortfalls the past two years have required Bryant to make mid-year emergency budget cuts and the Legislature to slash budgets and snatch every dollar of agency special funds it can find to support the general fund.
Touted economic growth from tax cuts has yet to materialize. State Economist Darrin Webb told legislators the state has not experienced two consecutive years of growth since 2008. The Associated Press reported he pointed to out-migration reducing the state's population and said, "People tend to go where the economic opportunities are."
Cuts to schools, community colleges, universities, forestry, health, and other state funded services have become serious. More will be necessary as the new tax cuts kick in if economic growth does not generate new revenues.  
Like in Kansas, these tax and budget cuts will have consequences. It will be interesting to see whom these consequences boost or boot in Mississippi's 2019 elections – conservative Republicans, moderate Republicans, or Democrats.
Crawford is a syndicated columnist from Meridian (


Anonymous said...

Louisiana did the same thing with Jindal in office. It's the Republican playbook. Starve the state and drive it in to bankruptcy all while giving their cronies tax breaks.

Anonymous said...

Louisiana, Kansas, and soon, Mississippi. It's not that a business friendly, low tax approach can't work, but taxes are such a small portion of attracting business to the State. We are already one of the most tax friendly and cheapest states in the country.

When the State infrastructure is crumbling, the only airport has about 3 connecting flights, the workforce is uneducated, and you couldn't pay people enough to relocate to Jackson; how are you going to hit the insane growth numbers that Tater uses in his projections?

And while our supermajority is passing discriminatory legislation and waving a Confederate flag, we're never going to get anywhere.

Anonymous said...

What 'discriminatory legislation' and please cite a reference as to who has suffered discrimination in particular. Not asking for maybes and what ifs and perhaps-this might happen down the road. Be specific. Where are your facts?

Anonymous said...

For it to be a "lesson for Mississippi," you have to assume that our Republican policymakers are willing and able to learn lessons.

And they manifestly aren't.

Just like Dems in deep blue states who kept digging public pension and other financial holes --math be damned-- the MSGOP isn't concerned with fiscal reality when they charge in the opposite direction.

It's about ideology, not sober utilitarian calculus of what will actually work and make lives better. (If you want to make yourself laugh, just say the phrase "sober utilitarian calculus" while picturing Tater and/or Phil.)

In our case, it's what the nice man from the American Enterprise Institute told us to do, and what Rush Limbaugh said we should do, so we're doing it.

Anonymous said...

1:01 doesn't understand he's the problem...

Anonymous said...

Certain taxes do have an affect on business location - at least its part of their evaluation. The INVENTORY TAX. The FRANCHISE TAX. Both are good examples. And when we are the only people competing that charge these two ridiculous taxes that other states eliminated decades ago, that does hurt us.

Once you get past the elimination of those two taxes (which I'll bet most JJ readers don't have any idea of who paid them, how they were calculated, or the net effect on the total revenue), the other tax reduction was the elimination of the lowest bracket for income taxes.

I know it has been said before, but the problem is not the taxes or their elimination. Over the past decade the state's general budget has grown from $4.5 billion to over $6.0 billion. Sorry folks, very few businesses or individuals has faced a 33% increase in business over the past decade. But Mississippi has - based on its built-in costs, set itself up to 'need' that amount of income to fund its Medicaid (increased from $500M to over $1B), Mental Health, and without naming all the growth programs we can't forget the demand for more, and more, and more for education.

Bitch about this leadership all you want. But they have at least started the program of cutting spending as well. That's the other side of the ledger and they are doing it - while all the beneficiaries and employees are crying croc tears. Mental Health: Time for it to start taking some hits. DOH: Close those regional offices. Keep it going and bring the spending back down to a reasonable level.

Of course the one other area that is overlooked is that this set of 'leadership' has quit spending one-time money to fund recurring expenses. Yes that hurts the annual approps process and makes it harder to live within your budget. How well did y'all do with that concept back during your term, Mr. Crawford.

Anonymous said...

I'm 1:01 and asked a very simple question when you posted this 11:20 and 2:42:

"...And while our supermajority is passing discriminatory legislation and waving a Confederate flag..."

It's alright that you can't answer the question; however, deflecting by saying I am the problem makes no more sense than your original claim of discrimination. You really should consider purchasing a villa in New Orleans.

Anonymous said...

Yes, we will blow past what Kansas and Loosiana did. No amount of tax cuts will bring more businesses here. Too much racial strife (both sides fault), crumbling roads and bridges, and dumb fat employees. Excuse me, I should say under educated population with health habits that come in 50th every year. But wave that flag baby! Heritage! Ain't nothing gonna change as long as rankin county runs this state.

Anonymous said...

Mississippi could eliminate every tax that current exists and still would be unable to attract business and new jobs to this state. This state is a category much lower than Kansas and Louisiana. We have a failed infrastructure for transportation, healthcare, education, and everything else down the list and a mostly uneducated work force in every county in the state. Every legislative session we send a clear message to the world that we do not want new jobs or new people coming to this state by passing every controversial, hate oriented bill they can. We still have the flag though so life is wonderful here.

Anonymous said...

If any business drives here to take a tour we have zero chance that they move here. Best bet is if they take a private jet (not Delta!). Meet at a Rankin hotel and then ask the Rankin delegation for tax credits.

Anonymous said...

Why would any business ever move here. I'm asking democrats and republicans

Anonymous said...

I REALLY hate ReCaptcha

Anonymous said...

Reading these comments one would think we have gravel roads and can't travel from one end of the state to the other.

Anonymous said...

8:37....anybody that reads the bitter comments on this blog by 70 year old has beens from Jackson knows this state is hopeless.

Anonymous said...

Surely any business considering moving to Mississippi would locate in an all white community with brick interstate exits. It has nothing to do with tax policy. Look at all the fast food joints and gas stations opening in Madison. Economic development baby!

Anonymous said...

we ain't gone let Kansas show us how it's done. Hold my drink, watch this......said our next governor.

Anonymous said...

Got news for Straw Man Crawford, it is moderate Republicans running Mississippi.

Anonymous said...

"8:37....anybody that reads the bitter comments on this blog by 70 year old has beens from Jackson knows this state is hopeless."
June 17, 2017 at 9:01 PM

Actually, you should have written, "Anybody WHO reads the bitter...".

And maybe you should consider discovering commas and hyphens.

Anonymous said...

Give it a rest Grammar Nazi.

Anonymous said...

A person doesn't get rich just by keeping his money in his pocket. He has to invest the money he has wisely.
If I spend my last $500 on something that will grow in value, it becomes an asset. If I use that asset later as collateral to start a business and the business succeeds, I have turned that asset into hundreds of thousands in a few years. I actually did just that.
We don't spend money in Mississippi on those things that can become assets. Natchez could be as much of a tourist attraction as Charleston or New Orleans, but you can't get there from anywhere easily. Vicksburg could have been a tourist attraction, but the efforts to preserve it's history didn't happen. Development ideas to help Jackson like adding river development to attract tourists never got anywhere. All these places still have some potential, but none city have the money to develop on their own and we know for damn sure any suggestion to help them would be met with nastiness.
Yes, we can travel very nice roads to any university football game but our highways don't lead to our airport from all directions and don't lead to airports that or transportation routes to points of interest. That's because we don't have a professional highway department, we have a political one where the commissioners compete politically. They aren't focused on the development of the State as a whole.
Building a Costco is not going to get more business from them. Building casinos got us more casinos, but without other attractions being supported as assets, we got very little from that. Giving tax breaks to businesses with no growth potential means only that owners will be buying a condo in Destin or new toys.

Tax reductions need to be targeted as do spending reductions. Norquist has certainly personally prospered and gained power as have all these other political" angry cause leaders, most of whom have zero expertise in what they are advocating. But, they create a job for themselves. They lack the perspective to look at the Nation as a whole If Norquist bothered , he'd know that taxes are a necessity for a nation and it's all about how tax money is spent!

Anonymous said...

8:37 obviously talkin bout 9:54. Get a life

Anonymous said...

1:01 Here's your answer though I'm not the one you asked.

Most recently, bill HB 1523 and the federal lawsuit filed against Mississippi regarding discrimination against the mentally ill are examples. You can learn that N.C. has had to walk back their version of HB 1523 because they lost business ( and the NCAA basketball tournament ) but we didn't have anything to lose. But, there's the problem of what we don't stand a chance of getting now.

We dodged the bullet that has hit N.C. on Voter ID thanks to our Secretary of State's attention to detail in implementation but the effort by the legislature had the same potential for another lawsuit.

You should watch N.C. They ended up with a Democrat as governor and when the gerrymandering case is finished, you'll find that the extreme right cookie is crumbling in that State.

But, what you really have to do is look at those discrimination lawsuits filed against the State of Mississippi .

You could have informed yourself and you still can by doing a "search". Try " Federal discrimination lawsuits filed against Mississippi". You could also look up how many sexual harassment lawsuits are filed in States per capita and compare Mississippi's stats. You might even try to figure out how much time and money we have spent defending such suits and wonder how that money might have been better spent.

But, you prefer to challenge others, knowing how time consuming a list of bill numbers or legal cases would be, without challenging yourself first. How about you giving us a list of all the bills that have resulted in increased jobs and revenues for the State?

Anonymous said...

8:24; I specifically told you NOT to answer with what-ifs, possibilities or things that might happen down the road. None of the examples you gave has shit to do with actual discrimination, actionable complaints or anybody who suffered the first damned damage.

Voter ID? Trot out somebody who has suffered discrimination. Wedding Cakes? Trot out two people who have suffered discrimination.

If the feds had not been run by a bunch of liberals in the DOJ CR Division, we would have seen multiple gerrymandering lawsuits. But those would have displeased democrats such as yourself.

Crafting sensible law has little to do with people sitting around thinking they might get sued. Doing what's right often carries that weight. Ya reckon?

Anonymous said...

Please tell me 7:52 is coming off a night of drugs and drinking! Jackson as a tourist destination? Can't get to Natchez? Natchez has long been a tourist destination, even with its blue-blood unwelcome mat rolled out.

Vicksburg as a tourist destination? It was just that prior to casinos coming to town and closing down all the old restaurants and buying up all the available riverfront. And the National Park, Yankee stronghold as it may be, did its part to stifle tourism by pissing on the memory of Confederates. Can't bury 'um here and can't have a single replica of anything Confederate in the Gift Center or pamphlets.

And not to leave out New Orleans mentioned by 7:52 as a tourist destination....It's not a tourist destination any longer. It's a game of 'will I get shot or robbed'. It's the reality of all that is socialist and democrat with one crazy nitwit as mayor. It's a weekend trip for drunks and revelers who think they're bullet-proof. Oh, but Farish Street could be another Bourbon or Beale Street if we just used the Pearl River properly and didn't have that wedding cake thing hanging over our heads.

Troll Tracks said...

Here's your answer

You can learn

You should watch

you'll find

But, what you really have to do

You could have informed yourself

you still can

You could also

You might even try

But, you prefer to

How about you giving us a list

Anonymous said...

Increased jobs and revenue? If you mean excluding waitress and bar tending jobs, he can't because educated people are leaving in droves. Legislature is limited in what they can do but leave it to them to be sure and make it worse.

Sick of both sides said...

7:52 I hear you, having gone from $1.75 an hour when I was in 10th grade to the spouse and I clearing over $500,000 a year now - investing in education and hard work takes times but it certainly pays off, and I made sure our kids understand it.

But you don't seem to understand why no one here wants another failed culled cow/beef plant, losing millions of our tax dollars on a plan that only enriched politicians and the crooks (most of them now in jail, thankfully) over an idea no one in their right mind would have invested their own money in. (Attention grammar Nazi - I know I ended that sentence with a preposition - get over it).

Let the investors and entrepreneurs do their own due diligence and invest their own money in projects they think will eventually flourish and return a profit. Keep the government spending limited to things that are a social responsibility, such as education, public health, infrastructure, etc. Most politicians in either party are too dumb or too crooked to be trusted with much else, especially given the results they have given us for those essential public services.

Anonymous said...

9:03 check the stats in the tourist dollars pouring into Nola. It's a wonderful city compared to the metro area

Anonymous said...

No Bill, we are not in Kansas. BUT, we are not in Illinois either - a state that has raised, not lowered taxes; a state that hasn't done anything to control spending and watched their retirement system spin out of control. Likely to be the first state to fall into bankruptcy.

Given the choice, I'd rather have the leadership of our state, attempting to reign in spending before it gets totally out of control, and bringing revenues back in line with the economy ofthe state as a hole.

Anonymous said...

1:01, let me ask you a question: if your child was graduating college, would you want them to move back to Mississippi? I know I'm telling my children to run. The opportunities just aren't here. Why aren't those opportunities here? I think there are a lot of reasons, including (but certainly not limited to) the stigma with HB1523 and the Flag. You are being intellectually dishonest to refuse to acknowledge that truth.

Anonymous said...

2:13 as the parent of two children who have been both in and out of Mississippi since graduating school - and both very successful in their respective fields - I am happy to say that both have started working to move back to the state to spend their mid-life (35-40 year olds). The opportunities are not jumping out from behind every tree, but they aren't doing that in many other parts of the country now. But if you are good in your area, willing to work hard and smart, there are opportunities here in the state

Anonymous said...

LMAO the Droves commenter makes an appearance. Somebody please buy the harpy a thesaurus.

Anonymous said...

If people were 'moving out in droves', the census would show a dramatic head count reduction.

Every state has its unique set of pros and cons. EVERY state! Show me ONE pro regarding California, Oregon, Washington State, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, Vermont, Florida, Louisiana, Kansas, Utah, Arkansas, D.C. and Texas and I'll show you FIVE cons.

And if you find that one pro so attractive, pack up and move there with your college educated kids.

Anonymous said...

7:27, Census numbers remaining stagnant have nothing to do with loss of college graduates. See

Plain ol' Catfish said...

@ June 18, 2017 at 7:52 AM

Well said - you made a lot of great points. I share the same sentiments as you.

Anonymous said...

To say there aren't opportunities in Mississippi is naive.

However, the state does not have any direction or a clear-cut identity besides being a haven for racist and bigots. So how can the state build off of that?

Mississippi has a branding problem and the big money players in this state know it, but you have a major voting block that hates change and is in love with the status quo. The super majority knows it and they figured the tax cuts would draw in more companies. Now while the tax cuts are great for the companies - it takes away money from investing in the state's infrastructure which is in very bad shape.

It is a shame Mississippi is not capitalizing on the gulf coast (G.C.) in regards to tourism and importing goods into the state. But due to piss poor logistics between the central Mississippi and the G.C. we are losing there.

Mississippi has legislators with the wrong priorities. They are too worried about legislating morality, instead of fixing roads, education, and health care.

This place is an easy fix, once we can get some legislators up in there that are tired of being the laughing stock in the country.

Anonymous said...

Yes, the educated and affluent ARE moving out in droves. Population is stagnant due to those staying behind multiplying to keep us at break even.

Anonymous said...

Dear 9:03am who said this:

And not to leave out New Orleans mentioned by 7:52 as a tourist destination....It's not a tourist destination any longer. It's a game of 'will I get shot or robbed'. It's the reality of all that is socialist and democrat with one crazy nitwit as mayor. It's a weekend trip for drunks and revelers who think they're bullet-proof.

You have no idea what you're talking about. New Orleans is a major tourist destination and is expecting over 10M visitors this coming year which will be a record. The streets of NOLA are teeming with out-of-town visitors every day, many of them from Europe. Only a tiny, tiny fraction of them have any issues with crime. The people being shot and stabbed almost always know their assailant and it's usually in the poor black parts of town, i.e., drug turf wars. Your assertions have literally zero validity.

Plain ol' Catfish said...

@ June 18, 2017 at 9:03 AM

and I quote you per verbatim - "And not to leave out New Orleans mentioned by 7:52 as a tourist destination....It's not a tourist destination any longer. It's a game of 'will I get shot or robbed'. It's the reality of all that is socialist and democrat with one crazy nitwit as mayor."

Let's look at the tangible evidence that New Orleans IS A TOURIST DESTINATION

Mardi Gras
Host of the NCAA D-1 National Football Game
Host of the NCAA D-1 Men's Basketball Final Four
Host of the NCAA D-1 Women's Basketball Final Four
Host of the NFL's Super Bowl
Host of the NBA's All-Star Weekend
Voodoo Fest
Jazz Fest
Essence Festival
Countless National convetions for men's and women's collegiate sororities and fraternities
Host of National Masonic Conventions

If I missed any by any chance, feel free to add.

To add fuel to the fire, none of those things have ever been hosted in Mississippi - need we say more?

Anonymous said...

4:38 PM Mississippi does not even bother to host our own state groups. There is a long list of state professional associations and groups who meet in Destin and other places out of state every year. New Orleans has a very strong tourist economy and astronomical real estate prices as people buy second homes there.

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Trollfest '09

Trollfest '07 was such a success that Jackson Jambalaya will once again host Trollfest '09. Catch this great event which will leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Othor Cain and his band, The Black Power Structure headline the night while Sonjay Poontang returns for an encore performance. Former Frank Melton bodyguard Marcus Wright makes his premier appearance at Trollfest singing "I'm a Sweet Transvestite" from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Kamikaze will sing his new hit, “How I sold out to da Man.” Robbie Bell again performs: “Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Bells” and “Any friend of Ed Peters is a friend of mine”. After the show, Ms. Bell will autograph copies of her mug shot photos. In a salute to “Dancing with the Stars”, Ms. Bell and Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith will dance the Wango Tango.

Wrestling returns, except this time it will be a Battle Royal with Othor Cain, Ben Allen, Kim Wade, Haley Fisackerly, Alan Lange, and “Big Cat” Donna Ladd all in the ring at the same time. The Battle Royal will be in a steel cage, no time limit, no referee, and the losers must leave town. Marshand Crisler will be the honorary referee (as it gives him a title without actually having to do anything).

Meet KIM Waaaaaade at the Entergy Tent. For five pesos, Kim will sell you a chance to win a deed to a crack house on Ridgeway Street stuffed in the Howard Industries pinata. Don't worry if the pinata is beaten to shreds, as Mr. Wade has Jose, Emmanuel, and Carlos, all illegal immigrants, available as replacements for the it. Upon leaving the Entergy tent, fig leaves will be available in case Entergy literally takes everything you have as part of its Trollfest ticket price adjustment charge.

Donna Ladd of The Jackson Free Press will give several classes on learning how to write. Smearing, writing without factchecking, and reporting only one side of a story will be covered. A donation to pay their taxes will be accepted and she will be signing copies of their former federal tax liens. Ms. Ladd will give a dramatic reading of her two award-winning essays (They received The Jackson Free Press "Best Of" awards.) "Why everything is always about me" and "Why I cover murders better than anyone else in Jackson".

In the spirit of helping those who are less fortunate, Trollfest '09 adopts a cause for which a portion of the proceeds and donations will be donated: Keeping Frank Melton in his home. The “Keep Frank Melton From Being Homeless” booth will sell chances for five dollars to pin the tail on the jackass. John Reeves has graciously volunteered to be the jackass for this honorable excursion into saving Frank's ass. What's an ass between two friends after all? If Mr. Reeves is unable to um, perform, Speaker Billy McCoy has also volunteered as when the word “jackass” was mentioned he immediately ran as fast as he could to sign up.

In order to help clean up the legal profession, Adam Kilgore of the Mississippi Bar will be giving away free, round-trip plane tickets to the North Pole where they keep their bar complaint forms (which are NOT available online). If you don't want to go to the North Pole, you can enjoy Brant Brantley's (of the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance) free guided tours of the quicksand field over by High Street where all complaints against judges disappear. If for some reason you are unable to control yourself, never fear; Judge Houston Patton will operate his jail where no lawyers are needed or allowed as you just sit there for minutes... hours.... months...years until he decides he is tired of you sitting in his jail. Do not think Judge Patton is a bad judge however as he plans to serve free Mad Dog 20/20 to all inmates.

Trollfest '09 is a pet-friendly event as well. Feel free to bring your dog with you and do not worry if your pet gets hungry, as employees of the Jackson Zoo will be on hand to provide some of their animals as food when it gets to be feeding time for your little loved one.

Relax at the Fox News Tent. Since there are only three blonde reporters in Jackson (being blonde is a requirement for working at Fox News), Megan and Kathryn from WAPT and Wendy from WLBT will be on loan to Fox. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both and a torn-up Obama yard sign will entitle you to free drinks served by Megan, Wendy, and Kathryn. Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required. Just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '09 is for EVERYONE!!!

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There will be a hugging booth where in exchange for your young son, Frank Melton will give you a loooong hug. Trollfest will have a dunking booth where Muhammed the terrorist will curse you to Allah as you try to hit a target that will drop him into a vat of pig grease. However, in the true spirit of Separate But Equal, Don Imus and someone from NE Jackson will also sit in the dunking booth for an equal amount of time. Tom Head will give a reading for two hours on why he can't figure out who the hell he is. Cliff Cargill will give lessons with his .80 caliber desert eagle, using Frank Melton photos as targets. Tackleberry will be on hand for an autograph session. KIM Waaaaaade will be passing out free titles and deeds to crackhouses formerly owned by The Wood Street Players.

If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

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