Sunday, November 6, 2022

Bill Crawford: Can Common Sense Win Again?

 So it comes to a head once again. Earlier this year common sense won over nonsense when the Legislature chose not to fully eliminate personal income taxes. Instead, it moved to phase out the 4% tax bracket plus a few other changes.

Now comes nonsense champion Gov. Tate Reeves once again pushing to eliminate the final 5% bracket.  

“Last session the fiscal and the financial environment was right to do exactly that, but unfortunately, the political environment was not," Reeves said at the MEC’s annual Hobnob event. "This session I hope that’s not the case.”

The main change to the political environment is that 2023 will be election year. That’s traditionally when a governor, lieutenant governor, and legislators love to hand out perks and stake out popular positions so voters will keep them in office for four more years. 

By anchoring his own re-election prospects to the tax cut, Reeves hopes to pressure common sense champion Lt. Gov. Delbert Hosemann to back his proposal in the upcoming 2023 session. This year it was Hosemann’s Senate that forced the compromise to eliminate only the 4% bracket.

Hosemann still may not go for it. While he touts the state’s excellent financial condition at this time, “inflation is scaring me,” he said. “The possibility of a recession is scaring me.” No one can predict the consequences surging inflation, the Federal Reserve’s 400% increase in interest rates, and a looming recessing can have on Mississippi tax revenues. 

To make sure the state retains the financial flexibility to meet its commitments, Hosemann prefers using the state’s surplus to give Mississippians one-time rebates instead of an expensive permanent tax cut.

Personal income taxes and sales taxes each provide about 34% of state revenues. After the 4% bracket is fully phased out, personal income taxes would still provide about 26% of revenues. Eliminating that would require holding state spending nearly flat for the foreseeable future. (Hello inflation.) 

Hosemann, however, sees the need to increase spending in areas such as coverage for postpartum care – a pro life issue he says, mental health – too many kept in jails, the adoption system – needs to be easier, and healthcare – help the working poor and struggling hospitals. 

The Lieutenant Governor also has his own re-election looming. Outgoing Sen. Melanie Sojourner has made it her mission to ensure Hosemann “never holds office again.” She wants Sen. Chris McDaniel to take him on. 

Earlier this year the MEC said business leaders saw no great need to eliminate personal income taxes. They sought greater investments in workforce training, halting brain drain, and infrastructure.

Also in the mix is House Speaker Philip Gunn. He has previously expressed concerns about eliminating the personal income tax without offsetting increases elsewhere.

Common sense says make sure the state can meet its long-term funding commitments before cutting tax revenues. Nonsense says cut taxes first, even if that requires cuts to essential programs. 

“Do not let wisdom and understanding out of your sight, preserve sound judgment and discretion” – Proverbs 3:21.

Crawford is a syndicated columnist from Jackson.


Anonymous said...

Common sense ain’t so common.

Anonymous said...

Common sense says it is way past time for Bill Crawford to come clean and admit he was wrong about Kemper.

Anonymous said...

Common sense means one knows the source of money for local services like roads, water and trash pick-up.
A person with common sense knows what they don't and whether knowing the unknown can affect them. If it does, they try to find unbiased information.
Common sense meant knowing both sides before jumping into the argument and if you didn't, to stay out of the way of the fight so you don't risk getting killed in the crossfire between two crazy people.

Anonymous said...

Tate is simply following the traditional Mississippi political formula: It's more important to keep the money from THEM than to give the money to US. There are of course variations on this theme, but essentially it always holds true. This is a slight variation but the same ole thing. Common sense politics in Mississippi.

Anonymous said...

From anonymous… Here’s some common sense for you: where do you think the state will make up the loss of the income tax money? It will come from us, property owners and renters as well will have to take up for the loss. Nobody’s property taxes have been going down that I know of ….. trying to trick people into thinking they’re gonna get something for nothing is, well, sort of the Mississippi way I guess. In recent years, a $500,000 house in the Dallas Texas area cost about $1000 a month in property taxes but we must remember that they have no income tax in Texas! Well duh people are paying through the nose out there. And let’s not forget that in Mississippi, county supervisors can raise property taxes a certain amount about every year if the schools want the money… And about three or four years ago when the legislature handed out out teacher pay raises, Rankin county bosses decided to add another $1500 per teacher and who do you think is paying for that? Lawmakers don’t like to talk about that stuff tho-these nice little hand -outs… instead of revoking these cushy things, they’ll just tell you to vote for somebody different in the next election!

Anonymous said...

On a more practical note, liberals like Crawford will never support the idea of income tax elimination. Too damned many of 'his people' don't and never have worked and are dependent on the taxes paid by those of us who have and do.

What we need to figure out is a way to tax slothfulness.

Anonymous said...

Remember how hearing a song makes you play it in your head all day long and half-way through the night?

Well, I guess I'll be unable to sleep tonight for seeing this on the ceiling of my bedroom:

"A person with common sense knows what they don't and whether knowing the unknown can affect them. If it does, they try to find unbiased information."

Anonymous said...

Nothing the governor or anyone else says will change the ultimate common sense inquiry: What other source of consistent revenue does the state have to replace the income tax? This is not Texas, Florida, or Tennessee so what is the answer? Not speculation or conservative slogans but a real dependable answer when the inevitable need arises. In a few years Tate will be gone but the needs will still be there....

Anonymous said...

once people she what happens after they let a Republican ruin the states finances, they turn to democrats to right the ship. She Kansas and Louisiana!

Anonymous said...

Well, the talking heads on Supertalk tell us Mississippi is the most beautiful place and hordes of tourists will come here (and bring money). Really? Where are these destinations other than casinos? And those people are not 'tourists'. They're simply traveling, weekend gamblers. They'll either eat at Cracker Barrel or Waffle House and head back home.

That'sMisterDeplorableToYou said...

If governments, state and federal, restricted their activities to their legitimate roles, there wouldn't be a need for personal income taxes at all.

Just one for-instance on the state side which seems to worry Hoseman: State governments have no business providing or subsidizing child daycare. Child daycare is the role of a parent. If a parent can't provide it, then they should not have more children for which they will also not be able to provide it. The responsibility may fall to charities or churches or relatives for people who work but can't afford daycare. But child daycare is NOT the function of government -- not in any sane society at least. People will start making better decisions when the government stops shielding them from the consequences of their dumb decisions.

Personal income tax was not even legal until ~ 1909 and the 16TH amendment to the Constitution. If you want to see government, state and federal, put back into its proper channels, deny it the ability to redistribute wealth by denying it the power to tax individual incomes.

So, I'm all for eliminating the state income tax from top to bottom. Once we've accomplished that, we can start working on the federal side.

Anonymous said...

Hosemann looks like a Donkey hiding in a RINO costume.

Anonymous said...

It takes X amount of money to run the state government. If you remove income tax then it has to come from somewhere else.

Smoke & Mirrors, Picking Winners & Losers

Anonymous said...

8:06 Good for you. And I'm all for elimination of the military so we can have peace on earth and goodwill for all men. Dream on. In the meantime...

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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).

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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.

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This is definitely a Beaver production.

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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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