Yesterday, Mississippi Today’s Adam Ganucheau ran an article about tax cuts entitled How much have tax cuts cost Mississippi? $577M since 2012. The article featured an interview with Tate Reeves as well as some fancy charts showing generally how tax cuts were generally portrayed by the writer as a negative thing and the consequences of all of the ills of state government were squarely attributed by the writer to reduced tax revenue.
Reasonable people can disagree about the policy implications of tax cuts, but it is precious ballsy for a news outlet that is structured as a nonprofit that doesn’t pay taxes to shade an article to the negative consequences of reduced tax revenue. Their 2015 assets were shown to be $2.7 million. One would anticipate that 2016 numbers would be substantially higher. In fact, were you to intentionally try to find a list of more well-to-do Mississippians than MS Today donors, you couldn’t do it. A quick look says that there is several billion in net worth among its key donors, which I not only admire . . . I applaud. But (big but), MS Today is a tax shelter extraordinaire and donors can “invest” in the mission pre-tax. That’s a key difference from Y’all Politics and most other news outlets out there.
Back to Ganucheau’s article.
You’d think by the title and the tenor of the article that there’s blood in the streets and that the state of Mississippi spends hundreds of millions less than it did versus when Bryant/Reeves/Gunn ascended. Not true. Using MS Today’s own figures, Mississippi both took in and spent over $300 million more in FY2017 than it did in FY2014 even factoring in tax cuts. Republicans have simply made a conscious decision to take less in tax revenue and to try to find more efficiency in government.
The article certainly starts from the default position that the state was entitled to the money even in spite of the fact that tax relief was granted.
Bias and partisanship are funny things. Even well-intentioned folks who try not to exhibit bias or partisanship can by virtue of the simple fact that they are just not intellectually able to conceive the other way to look at an issue. This article is a perfect case in point. What’s clearly evident is that Mississippi Today has not a single person involved with the day-to-day operations of the publication that can conceive, much less articulate, a set of facts through a conservative lens. No one. That’s been the knock on them since the day Mississippi Today started. Well over a year into the experiment, they’ve made no measurable progress on integrating anything but a liberal worldview.
I continue to believe that being unbiased or non partisan is in fact not possible and that pretending you can be is intellectually dishonest. You can have an opinion and a worldview and still be fair (and that’s something to which Y’all Politics aspires), but it is simply not possible to be truly “non-partisan” as they claim to be. The folks that spend all of their time talking about their non partisanship or touting their journalistic credentials are usually the folks you have to be the most wary of. Being bi-partisan is possible, but it requires that both sides of the spectrum have input. MS Today doesn’t have that, and shows no real meaningful momentum, as expressed through its editorial voice, to try and find it.