PERRY / Wanting ‘less’ for Christmas

Times are tough in the North Pole: carbon emission penalties from Santa’s coal powered furnaces, global warming protests at his reindeer farm, government takeovers of the Candy Cane Bank, and massive layoffs at Elf, Inc. It’s hard to make a profit when you’re in the business of giving gifts for free (after all, Santa isn’t the Internet). Accordingly, Santa will deliver fewer presents this year. He may adjourn Christmas early and reconvene in a Special Christmas this summer. Also note a two cookie fee increase per gift with deliveries in excess of 45 pounds requiring an additional glass of milk.

Times are also tough in Mississippi. Last week, the Joint Legislative Budget Committee (JLBC), under the Chairmanship of Lieutenant Governor Phil Bryant (R-Brandon) and made up of bipartisan senators and House Democrats, produced a budget proposal including budget cuts, some additional fee increases and a tax amnesty program to encourage payment of delinquent taxes without fines or penalties.

Any tax amnesty should require the publication of those taking advantage of the program. The public should know who failed to pay their taxes during times when we’re cutting the state budget, and who enjoyed a competitive advantage when the rest of us dutifully paid our taxes.

Also last week, the House Republican Conference released a letter to House Speaker Billy McCoy (D-Rienzi) (who refused to appoint Republicans to the JLBC) expressing their budget principles: promote job creation, maintain the rainy day fund over three years, use recurring revenue for recurring expenditures, secure special funds from spending raids, reduce government and oppose tax increases.