Sam Hall: Bankruptcy of leadership among state leaders

It seems that we have a bankruptcy of state leadership that very well could lead Mississippi into actual bankruptcy if someone doesn’t step up and correct course soon.

This past week has not been kind to Mississippi’s budget. It started with the announcement of an accounting error that leaves us $56.8 million short of the adopted revenue projection. It ended with Gov. Phil Bryant signing a bill that provides the largest tax cut in state history without making up one red cent of the revenue that will be depleted from state coffers.

The lack of leadership surrounding both the shortfall and the tax cut is disappointing. It’s not just the fact that the state is starting to hemorrhage funds — the governor cutting the current budget twice this year, lawmakers having to make additional budget cuts for next fiscal year and now a 1 percent accounting error larger than some state agency budgets. It’s the way in which the governor, Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves and Speaker Philip Gunn have conducted themselves with these matters.

Most recently, you have Bryant making a late Friday afternoon announcement that he signed the tax cut bill. If you want to know what items a politician either a) doesn’t care about or b) really doesn’t want the public to pay attention to, then watch what they release late on Friday afternoons. It’s called a “news dump” or “trash day” for a reason.

Clarion Ledger
5/14/16