The Hattiesburg American Editorial, 7/7/8

Lt. Gov. Phil Bryant, who like former tobacco lobbyist Gov. Haley Barbour, prefers to tax hospitals to raise the money that’s needed to cover the $90 million-plus Medicaid shortfall, has ruled against a much needed tax increase on cigarettes to accomplish the purpose.

“I can’t look at the polls or political ramifications. I’ve got to make a decision as presiding officer. It’s tough, but if you don’t do what’s right, it will come back to haunt you,” Bryant said.

Did we hear the lieutenant governor say something about doing what’s right?

If taxing hospitals instead of cigarettes is doing what’s right, Bryant ought to run for cover.

The ghosts of 4,000 Mississippians who die each year from smoking-related diseases may come back to haunt him. And that’s not even the half of it.