SID SALTER: Debate over Ingalls shipyard subsidies has a global part

State Sen. Chris McDaniel, R-Ellisville, sharply criticized the majority of the Mississippi Legislature over their overwhelming approval of the $250 million “bond bill” – the mechanism whereby lawmakers authorize bonded indebtedness to pay for specific public infrastructure.

During the recent bond bill debate in Jackson, McDaniel strongly questioned the wisdom of state taxpayers providing $45 million in capital improvements at the Ingall’s Pascagoula facility: “We’re borrowing $45 million to give to a Fortune 500 company (the parent Huntington Ingalls Industries)…

…In an email exchange, I asked McDaniel to explain his position on the Ingalls support in the bond bill. He offered a lengthy, thoughtful explanation based primarily on two points – a belief that the taxpayers shouldn’t underwrite a Fortune 500 company and sharp disagreement with what he calls “crony capitalism” and “our state’s poorly-executed long-term economic plans, which is evidenced by irrational spending in many of our bond bills, not to mention a lack of reform in our overall business climate.”

While it was enlightening to digest McDaniel’s defense of his vote and his rhetoric, I strongly disagree with McDaniel’s assessment.

Daily Journal
4/25/16