Tate Reeves, Mississippi’s “boy” state treasurer, showed at a recent Capitol press luncheon he is a politically ambitious young man and true believer on the Republican hard-right.
Reeves recited the same talking points as the GOP’s “no” brigade in Washington trying to sabotage President Barack Obama’s stimulus package as he tackles the mountainous job of rebuilding the economy left in shambles by George W. Bush.
“You’ve got 12 years worth of pent-up, left-wing nutty San Francisco ideas,” is how Reeves described Obama’s $785 billion stimulus package. Forget that Mississippi gets at least $2.8 billion for everything from rescuing Medicaid to building critically needed bridges and saving schools from drastic cuts.
Reeves’ recipe for economic recovery? The tired, old GOP formula: cut taxes. Tax cuts? Isn’t that what Bush gave us the past eight years? Cut taxes at the top and money trickles down, Bush theorized. Trouble is the trickle got only as far as Wall Street. Bernie Madoff and “Sir” Allen Stanford were happy. The rich got richer, the poor, poorer, and the nation’s economy cratered.
Reeves’ appearance at the press corps luncheon may well have been his kickoff to climb up the state’s political ladder. Associates say he has his eye on the No. 2 state job when current Lt. Gov. Phil Bryant seeks to succeed Gov. Haley Barbour in 2011.
Because of tensions between Barbour and Bryant, some believe Reeves could emerge as Barbour’s chosen heir. That possibility prompted a reporter to ask Reeves what he was running for. He gave the standard response: He was just concentrating on the job to which he was elected.