Sunday, May 15, 2022

Bill Crawford: What Services Should Conservative Government Provide?

 A conservative proposition: State government should only provide the services our people need and only tax enough to cover costs for these needs.

Many folks will unpack this proposition in different ways. Some will confuse “need” with “want.”  Conservatives will want to severely limit the needs government should cover. Let’s shine a little light on this. 

The 10th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution gives states tremendous power to meet the needs of their citizens. The Mississippi Constitution says our state government exists “solely for the good of the whole” and emphasizes the importance of public “safety and happiness.” So, our state government has the constitutional power and the constitutional purpose to provide services Mississippians need. Now “the whole” means all the people, not some of the people or just the people in power. 

Balancing the needs of the poor and the rich, the old and the young, the Coast and the Hills, etc., for the “good of the whole” is the great challenge of state government and a dilemma for conservative leadership. Compromise – the seeking of balance – may be the heart and soul of a democratic republic like ours, but has become a dirty word in today’s politics. Yet, conservatives cannot abandon this tenet if our constitutional form of government is to survive.

As noted, public safety is a constitutional priority. So too are public schools. Our constitution mandates the state maintain free public schools (many legislators think this means state and local government). There are no more important economic and social needs our Legislature have to address than these two. Legislators seem to understand the public safety issue. But they endlessly debate the depth and breadth of school needs. It is not conservative to persistently maintain bad schools. Conservatives should fully assume the state’s constitutional duty to maintain public schools…good public schools.

Community colleges and universities have needs. But there is no constitutional requirement that the state address them, other than “happiness” and "the good of the whole." However, one of our great hurdles in economic development comes from our low educational achievement level. We need more college graduates and more of them to stay in Mississippi. Good schools can supply our colleges and universities with more well-prepared students.

Transportation infrastructure is not a constitutional duty. But, our constitution clearly shows its importance by making eminent domain power available for “roads and bridges for public conveyance.” It is not conservative to let our road and bridge crisis linger. 

Healthcare is not a constitutional duty. However, since 1862 our constitutions have emphasized the importance of providing care for “those persons who, by reason of age, infirmity, or misfortune, may have claims upon the sympathy and aid of society.” Mississippi’s health ranking sticks at the bottom. Nursing homes, hospitals, community clinics, medical education and training, and more are regulated by and depend upon state government, especially Medicaid. A vast majority of states do much more than Mississippi to cover these needs, including states with very conservative leadership. 

Mississippi conservatives have a constitutional duty to do better…or change the constitution.

“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” – Ephesians 2:10.

Crawford is a syndicated columnist from Jackson


Anonymous said...

Conservative is not the same thing as libertarian dipwad

Anonymous said...

Government shouldn’t provide any services* but should instead create a legal framework for free enterprise to flourish and provide the services needed by the people. That doesn’t mean that the government should always guarantee services should be affordable. The market will always set the value of labor and services.

*The government should most definitely provide national defense, collecting taxes/tariffs, and directly control the money supply.

Anonymous said...

It is not conservative to persistently maintain bad schools.

It is not conservative to reflexively assume that the solution to most, if not all, problems of academic underachievement in Mississippi is solely to apply increasingly larger amounts of financial resources at "the problem" without any regard (and accountability) to measurable positive returns.

Anonymous said...

Can we go protest in front of Crawford's house?

Anonymous said...

@10:56am Great post!

The idiocy of JFK: "Ask not what your country can do for you, but rather what you can do for your country" should have been phrased:

"Ask not what your country can do for you, NOR what you can do for your country, but rather what can we do together through good government".

Anonymous said...

The key government responsibilities in any society which were recognized by all those in the " Age of Reason" haven't changed.

Government has to protect water, food, and supply routes.
Government has to ensure the general health of the population(you need healthy workers and despite neo-cons stirring up hatred for " elites" and " intellectuals to provide medical care, to invent, discover,to problem solve and manage. Government needs to educate the populace to preserve and pass on essential existing knowledge and make new discoveries.
Government needs to support the arts ( there has been no successful society in the history of mankind that didn't have a robust,creative artists, artisans, musicians and dancers.

AThese essentials have existed ONLY when the monarch or dictator or ruling class was " benevolent". Societies begin to fail when those who benefit the most become greedy,warlike in attempting to acquire more,oppressive in their attempts to control the population of " have nots" as the wealth of the society is increasingly in the pockets of a few.
Even before computers, historians have studied and documented mankind's self-destructive patterns of behavior for centuries.
They pointed out benevolence vs oppression in every form of governance and named the worst and best leaders.
But, now we have so wrecked education with elimination of how to see and reason beyond our limited personal experiences and specialities.We miss cause and affect and interdependence.
Poison politics and tribalism and wealth as the only definition of success or intellectual value makes it inevitable that we will end up with a one party power grab and it will be either benevolent or oppressive.

Those of in a society who have wealth are creating their eventual demise if they don't try to meet the basic needs of the existence of the lower economic classes.
Modernization of the tools of societal demise doesn't change the basic conditions, it just increases the odds of mankind's extinction and perhaps the planet's as well.
Either you govern for every one or just yourselves. You solve problems or you argue endlessly so no rational solution can be found or simply to " get your way" even if it wins nothing to improve society or fix what's broken.
We've let the most deranged, unstable, self-focused members of both parties dictate our political dialogue.
These low lifes create mountains out of mole hills to get attention and /or cash. They are inciting the potential violent hoards they hope will storm the gates and " anoint" them.
They will then kill those they can't still control or who are threats to their power or whose wealth they want.
And, those of you who live to see it ( I hope to hell I
m too old) remember I warned you. No psychic powers are needed for this one as the most distinguished historians and sociologists and legal scholars are warning you as well. YOU don't want to listen to anything that doesn't mold into your preconceived notions of why you hate or like your personal bubble.

Anonymous said...

So where does government support end an personal responsibility start? Where is it the responsibility to learn and earn enough to support yourself? Is our existence to work hard and be proper citizens just to support those who refuse to work hard or be proper citizens? And when is it anyone's responsibility to support those who expect others to pay for their flights of fancy that does not give them the means of survival?

Crawford may some good ideas, but what is the line where his goals also demand the proper respect for hard work and effort?

Anonymous said...

Food stamps, welfare, and other programs should only be given to the people who really deserve them like Brett Favre, Nancy New, Governor Deputy Phil, and other fine people like that. That is what conservatism is all about.

Anonymous said...

I have a lot more use for and a lot more difficulty finding an honest, competent, dependable plumber, carpenter, or brickmason. I can find all the college graduates I need who can't do shit.

Krusatyr said...

Less government means more freedom, more opportunity, more prosperity, less need for free sht.

Making more money in a less regulated economy means people can buy insurance without expanding Medicaid, for example.

Halving the number of counties reduces hundreds of bureaucrats and lowers taxes.

MS has at least twice too many counties. Governor and his administration need to combine them because no county politician will ever willingly give up power.

Anonymous said...

8:15 - you have my vote for elective office:

Miss: 82 counties/ 48,000 sq miles/ 2.9 m. population

Lou: 64 counties/ 52,000 sq miles/ 4.6 m population

Bama: 67 counties/ 52,000 sq miles / 5 m. population

Ark: 75 counties/ 53,000 sq miles / 3 m population

And Mississippi has 10 counties with 2 judicial districts/2 courthouses

Absolute Waste!

Anonymous said...

@12:56pm Your statement...

"They will then kill those they can't still control or who are threats to their power or whose wealth they want."

You forgot those that voted for them, and now depend on them for government services. They have to go.... just ask Hitler, Lenin, Stalin, Mao, or Maduro.

Anonymous said...

Like any of this mattters. Gas is 4.07 a g-damn gallon. DC is only providing pain ! Party does NOT matter ! Idiots.

Scotta Brady said...

Government should be sure every citizen is provided with clean water, access to affordable food, basic healthcare, and good education.

There will be less crime when people's basic needs are met.

And if you want less government, it should stay out of women's bodies. Government is not in men's bodies. Equality before the law is imperative.

Also, stop being anonymous. Your coward is showing.

Anonymous said...

11:29 : Not in Mens bodies ? Covid restrictions forced vaccines just slip your mind ?

Anonymous said...

12:05 aka Wimp

No man is required to have treatment or surgery for anything.

A vaccine is a shot and it's not body altering and the risks were much lower than dying from pregnancy.

You could have been a asymptomatic carrier and our LAWS for decades and reinforced by this conservative court is you don't get to put fellow citizens at risk because you are too stupid to understand you don't understand science. We'd still have polio every summer with your inability to be rational.

Anonymous said...

2:21 : Do what now ? I kinda checked out once the name calling started. If a women wants not use FREE BC and then get mad she got knocked up after vodka night then so be it. She gets one free one then she has to give up her eggs. How about that ?

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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!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

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Trollfest '07

Jackson Jambalaya is the home of Trollfest '07. Catch this great event which promises to leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Sonjay Poontang and his band headline the night with a special steel cage, no time limit "loser must leave town" bout between Alan Lange and "Big Cat"Donna Ladd following afterwards. Kamikaze will perform his new song F*** Bush, he's still a _____. Did I mention there was no referee? Dr. Heddy Matthias and Lori Gregory will face off in the undercard dueling with dangling participles and other um, devices. Robbie Bell will perform Her two latest songs: My Best Friends are in the Media and Mama's, Don't Let Your Babies Grow up to be George Bell. Sid Salter of The Clarion-Ledger will host "Pin the Tail on the Trial Lawyer", sponsored by State Farm.

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!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

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