The fact of the matter is that state government — education, health care, mental health, transportation, infrastructure, corrections, you name it — was planned, administered, led and funded from Reconstruction through 2012 by Democratic leadership in the Legislature. In other words, for more than a century and a half, Mississippi Democrats “owned” it.
Recent Democratic arguments that all was well in state government before Republicans got total control four years ago and a modicum of control beginning 12 years ago strains both credulity and the historical record. Like the current Republican supermajority, the Democratic supermajority oversaw monumental failings in public policy on its watch.
What is valid from recent criticism of GOP leadership is that voters have the reasonable expectation that — to paraphrase Groucho — GOP leaders are diagnosing the state’s fiscal issues correctly and applying the right remedies.
Frustration by Democratic leaders with a planned GOP-led comprehensive study of taxing and spending is particularly ironic, given the number of such studies conducted while Republicans were in the minority for 150 years.