Say goodbye to Ds, Rs; hello Ms

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 27, 2010

If we had one wish, one single wish, for the start of each session of the Mississippi Legislature, it would be for officeholders to stop counting themselves as D’s and R’s, and simply as M’s — as in Mississippians.

On Tuesday with a gallery filled with state school superintendents eager to see funding brought back to their budgets, House Democrats voted to restore some $100 million of the $437 million in budget cuts the governor made this fiscal year.

That’s despite 16 months of revenue shortfalls for the state.

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Democratic plans call for simply pulling $50 million out of the state’s rainy day fund and another $50 million from the health care trust fund.

The problem is that there’s no plan to repay it, particularly in the years ahead when state economic forecasters predict the state may face even greater budget deficits.

The move is almost certain to be stymied in the Mississippi Senate, where, thankfully, slightly more intelligent heads reside.

Sadly though, this signals what would appear to be another in a long line of partisan budget squabbles that have become all too familiar to Mississippi voters.

Have our state lawmakers not paid attention to the national headlines lately? The people of this country and this state are tired of politicians who are putting party beliefs ahead of fiscal responsibility.

Voters in the historically Democratic state of Massachusetts recently gave a resounding nod to a fiscally conservative Republican to fill the seat left vacated by long-time Democrat Sen. Ted Kennedy.

If that’s not a huge alert signal to tax and spend political fans that they had best move to the center and put the good of the people ahead of their own political agendas, perhaps the next signal will have to come during the November elections.