Monday, November 23, 2009

The Truth Hurts!

Gov. Haley Barbour didn't just present his annual executive budget Monday: He proposed remaking state government with what he termed "very significant, major, dramatic ways to reduce spending."

"What I propose is to change the way we do a lot of things," he said.

That might be an understatement. His proposals would include:
  • Merging Mississippi University for Women into Mississippi State University.

  • Merging Mississippi Valley State University and Alcorn State University into Jackson State University.

  • Reducing the number of school districts from 152 to about 100 districts.

  • Closing mental heath crisis centers and four Department of Mental Health facilities.

  • Cutting state agencies an average 12 percent.

  • Changing community college governance.

These are just a few of the proposals. Politically, any one of the proposals on Barbour's budget list would create a political firestorm. Proposals to close or merge MUW and Valley in the past left legislators bloodied and bowed. Reducing the number of school districts involves community pride, sports not to mention politics.

But while the proposed cuts are dramatic, the budget situation facing the state is dramatic as well.

Revenue for this fiscal year that began July 1 is $371 million below estimates.

That deficiency for the next budget year is expected to be $715.5 million.
The 2012 budget, which will be written in an election year, will be more difficult, Barbour warns.

For 2012, the gap could grow to $1.2 billion.

The options?

There are no good ones for lawmakers.

It means Barbour's cuts, their own cuts or finding new revenue. New revenue can only come from new taxes or fees, raiding special funds, using all of the state's "rainy-day" funds or a combination of all of those. None is politically popular.

Barbour has done lawmakers a favor by proposing politically unpopular cuts. That could make whatever they do more acceptable. The alumni of schools and other affected constituencies now will begin intense lobbying. But all Mississippians will be affected by this budget.

Lawmakers should not dismiss this executive budget. Some of these proposals - such as school district consolidation - make sense despite the budget problems. But, they also must not allow budget problems to reverse decades of progress in areas of education, health and public services.
Any course taken will be painful. It's time for ideas, innovation and political courage.
The governor's budget offers a starting point.

Like him or not, the Governor's budget is probably very conservative. No one likes to talk about cuts and consolidations, particularly when they directly impact your life and income, but it's time for us to pay the fiddler!

School consolidations are long overdue. Why pay Presidents and Superintendents hundreds of thousands of dollars a year to do what? Consolidate public school districts and universities and get rid of the top heavy administrative costs... we can no longer afford them.

Health care... get ready to pony up also! Mississippi's Crisis Centers have become holding tanks for the few state hospital beds. There will always be a need for inpatient mental health facilities, but most patients could be treated more efficiently at community out-patient facilities. Crisis centers are a luxury that we can no longer afford!

And for those hospitals who feed at the Medicaid trough... guess what, it's dry! Obama-care or not, cost-containment and accountability are the new buzz-words for 2010.

For the last 20 years, Mississippi politicians have spent like drunken sailors, funding pork barrel projects that keep them in office and their "friends" employed. Well, that era is over. With taxpayers and jobs fleeing Mississippi on a daily basis, dark clouds are gathering over that "rainy day" fund that provides us with such false security.

I am not a fan of Haley Barbour, but his figures are correct! The only option we have is to cut spending drastically in this state, or suffer the consequences. There is waste in every public department of this state and most of us know it. In 2010, we will barely keep our heads above water due to millions in stimulus dollars. In 2011, they will remove our "life preservers" and see if we will sink or swim.

If we do not make significant cuts now, we will all be visiting the Titanic!



Anonymous said...

And THE new president of Mississippi Valley State University
is being "put up" (meaning 'rent free')at the very new, expensive, luxury hotel in Greenwood.

Why can't she rent an apartment either in Itta Bena or Greenwood with her "high priced" salary?

Valley is "footing" the hotel bill.

Yes, it's time to merge.

Anonymous said...

Why should THE Valley be merged with Jackson State University?

Because THE Valley only has about 3100 students enrolled.

THE Greenville Public School District has almost twice as many students.

Anonymous said...

All these programs that were designed to give the freeloaders a free ride have not done what they were designed to do. Like the headstart program has failed miserably. It was designed to give the unfortunate kids a headstart to be ready to enter school. We all know that it just ain't so. They were suppose to be able to read and count by the time they get to enter the 1st grade but we all know it isn't working. So why should we continue to pay for it with our tax dollars. I am a teacher and these headstart kids can't spell ,read, count or barely communicate as a 3 year old much less a first grader. Mostly the headstart program is nothing but a child care for those lazy parents to drop off their kids for free to get rid of them, while they sit at home waiting for their check to come in the mail. It's time for those to take responsability and accountability for their own choices. There are many more programs like headstart that need to be done away with. We all know what they are so I am all for cutting them or even discontinuing them.

Anonymous said...

8:48 post AMEN!

Anonymous said...

I had to PAY for childcare for my child while I wnet to work everyday.

If these moms "stay-at-home"...then they can "stay-at-home-and-watch-their-kids-until-they-are-old-enough-to-start-"real"-school!

They are already receiving "free" money monthly and "free" groceries
monthly. They certainly do not need "free" daycare.

Greenville Public Schools started a four-year old pre-kindergarten program because THEY know that the kids don't learn anything at Headstart.

Ask any kindergarten teacher with Greenville Public Schools, and THEY will tell takes one full semester to just teach the "formerly" Headstart students to walk in a straight line to the cafeteria or to just sit in classroom chair while teacher is teaching. They seem to act like "jack in a box", always, popping up.

No discipline whatsoever, either at home or at Headstart.

Anonymous said...

Food stamps?

The ones that receive them only "serve" one meal a day, which is at night because the kids eat the other two meals (breakfast and lunch) at school.

Bless their hearts! On the weekends, they have to "serve" three whole meals a day.

And in the summertime, they again,
send them to school for two meals.

Do they not know how to make toast, or canned biscuits and scrambled eggs, or milk and cereal?
(Might mess up their two-inch acrylic nails!)

Anonymous said...

Headstart is a day care center with a full Kitchen that pays good wages, benfits and retirement to the administration! They spend about $9,000,000 in Washington County on about 1,200 children!! That is $7,500 per child. Uncle Bennie makes sure that this program is fully funded (he needs the votes) There may even be a little nepotism in these places.

While we are on the subject, it is time that the city, county and schools start taxing non-profits (churches, day cares, etc..) some property taxes. There is no telling how much money we have lost, every time a building becomes empty it becomes a church!

Another thing while I am ranting. The zoning department for both the city and county must put a stop to people sticking up a portable building and serving food on the highway. Where are the health officials!! This place is starting to resemble a large flea market!

Anonymous said...

Oh, no! Did you read the DDT article about THE Greenville Public Schools failing?

According to THE Superintendent and THE School Board President, it is ALL blamed on the teachers.

The principals aren't accountable?

The parents aren't accountable?

The students aren't accountable?

The administration team is not accountable?

The curriculum dept. is not accountable?

New Superintendent and HE only blames THE teachers.

Sounds like THE school board president is "sucking up" to HIM.

THE last superintend would NOT leave, nor would he work, until he finally resigned and then, THEY were left
"high and dry" with an interim.

But, Leeson Taylor, THE wanna be superintendent didn't do any better.

Clean house, from top to bottom.
Duputy Superintendent, principals,
school board members.

Instead of transferring principals "within", try transferring them "out"!

Anonymous said...

These are the kinds of programs that need to be cut, but they never will be. Everyone knows that Headstart is free daycare for the indigent. Everyone knows that Greenville Public Schools are a joke... basically extended day care for the indigent. Free breakfast, lunch, transportation, heat in the winter, cool in the summer. Pregnant? Sure, we will birth your baby free, enroll them in WIC, food stamps, SSI, Medicaid, disability... and then headstart when you get tired of them.

That will free you up to sit on your lazy ass and repeat the cycle, or figure out another way to scam the government!

Mississippi is broke because of all the corruption in our "entitlement" programs. They are laughing all the way to the "check cashing store" because they know they are living on Easy Street!

Once again, taxpayers will have to sacrifice needed services to keep our "entitlement" programs afloat.

When was the last time you saw a "starving" child in the Delta? When was the last time you were behind someone in Kroger who purchased twice the amount of food you did... and whipped out an EBT card? When was the last time you went to the ER and got a bill for over $500, and the person in front of you only paid $3.00 at the window for the same services?

Wake up Delta!!! We can no longer afford to carry this financial burden!

McDonald's is hiring!

Anonymous said...

Instead of EBT cards, they should issue out ten pound
bags of flour, powdered eggs, bags of dried beans,bags of rice, powdered milk,canned goods, bags of cereal,
grits, and a cookbook.

They probably would have less recipients, but surprisingly, no one would starve because then THEY would get a job and buy real food or either put themselves on a budget.

Anonymous said...

No wonder all these illegal immigrants risk their lives to get to America. We are the only country in the world to provide free food,healthcare,schools and a monthly check for them to do nothing but roam the streets to steal even more from those of us working. I am tired of it and we all need to stand up and say, "NO MORE "to the gov't.

Anonymous said...

Obama said that it's time for a change.

Now that Greenville Public Schools are failing, THE superintendent has also that it's time for a change.

Well, years ago the whole school district was fine and then it changed. That particular change was not so good, was it?

One day y'all will learn. If it "ain't" broke...then don't even try to fix it!

Anonymous said...

Low test scores? The parents probably told the students to do "poorly", hoping that their school and their child would qualify for an "after-school program".

Oops! Sorry, I meant "after-school babysitting".

Another waste of government funding!

Anonymous said...

First, most illegal immigrants risk their lives for the chance to work and better their love ones lives. Actually, less than 4% (of aprox. 14 million)withdraw any kind of welfare assistance.
Second, the U.S. is not the only country that deals with illegal immigration.
Third, America is not a country.

Anonymous said...

I agree with 8:06! At some point, I'm going to stop working too, because all my labor is going towards supporting these folks. Jesus said to love the poor, but the poor are not even identifiable when they have more than the regular old Joe.

Anonymous said...

how about two college graduates with children who are on medicaid and have been for several years???Does that tell you something about how well things are looked after. Everyone who is on medicaid should have to be given a drug test!!!!!

Anonymous said...


Drug test,HIV/STD test,birth contol pills and condoms!

Anonymous said...


Drug test, HIV/AIDS test, STD test,
birth contol pills and condoms!

Anonymous said...


Second, the U.S. is not the only country that deals with illegal immigration

If the not a country then why did you write the above you idiot.

Ask California about the illegal immigrants that have them 40 billion in debt and the crime rate soaring.

They pay no taxes on the money they earn and send billions of dollars back home to their families. And in the meantime they are sucking our country dry on all the free assistance they get from our gov't.even though they have paid no TAXES!

Anonymous said...

Clarksdale Mayor Espy, even after a heart attack this summer, has constantly made himself available whenever anything needed a boost through the city and all county councilmen are always ready, willing and able. The police chief is always accessible and willing to work with festivals and downtown.

One other definitive fact is citizens formed a “Downtown Redevelopment Committee” and staffed it with a paid executive: Mac Crank. Crank has proven to be indispensable in finding willing buyers, sellers and grant money to make things happen.

After being nudged by several citizens in Greenville about the Clarksdale editorial, I have put this short editorial out to the residents of Greenville who shop, the store owners that try to keep their store fronts up, and, those that don’t do anything.

Clarksdale is not perfect by any means — they just seem to be willing to work together better than we do here in Greenville. Clarksdale is an example of what Delta cities and towns can do to “bring it back home.” The stores downtown don’t worry about the strip centers or the chain stores — they’re making their own market downtown again — and it’s exciting to see. Vicksburg is doing much the same; they seem to have a more positive outlook about revitalization of their once thriving downtown.

What does it take to get the citizens of Greenville to actually revitalize downtown, or anywhere else in the city for that matter?

Why can’t our city council get things done, as a group, and not always split along the same lines. Why can’t we have a mayor who’s accessible, as well as a police chief — no hot lines — just someone you can make appointments with and see at a later date?

Anonymous said...

THE mayor of Greenville does not have time for anyone except for herself.

She is very selfish and does not care for Greenville.

She chose to be THE mayor, not because she cared, but, because SHE thought that it would be a "starting point" for her political career.

Greenville is just a mere "stepping stone" in her career and anyone who gets in her way will be stepped on!

She, too, with her young, inexperienced,"educated" self will learn!

Anonymous said...

Next time you go and buy lettuce in Kroger, think about how much would you pay for it if a tax-paying U.S. citizen was the one picking it up. Illegal immigrants come to this country mainly to do the work nobody else wants to do.
Again, as a group, the percentage of illegal immigrants collecting welfare is very small. Go and check it. The problem with California's budget is way more complicated than that.
By the way, last time I checked, America was a continent, not a country.

Anonymous said...

If you want to play semantics, North America is a continent and South America is a continent. The Americas are comprised of both. For practical and conversational purposes, "America" often refers to the United States of America. Furthermore, nitpicking others' comments does not validate your comments.

Anonymous said...

Clarksdale and Greenville have long been a close race to the bottom... It seem that Greenville is winning!

Anonymous said...

To 6:09 PM: I join you in the semantics. What a confounded diappointment we feel when our neighbors reveal themselves as the great unwashed and ignorant masses. I AM NOT BEING SARCASTIC. Knowledge of basic geography is expected from a high school graduate, among other things. The local paper has already documented the demise of the local public schools. What will it take for improvement, outside a white take-over? Sorry---that's the unspoken message that's out there. There is a group who would like to plunk the whole anti-Greenville Public Schools problem squarely in the laps of the parents of the white children of the 70's. Get over it. They looked out for the interests of their children just like you are now. If you want improvement, get rid of the excess administration and duplicitous programs that are a fiscal drain on the system.

Citizens: the facts and figures are Public Record. Demand to see them. Expect more and demand better.

Anonymous said...

Q. What is the difference between African American citizens and illegal immigrants?

A. $7.25 per hour. Welfare recipients see it as a cut in pay and immigrants are more than willing to work for it!

Get it?

Anonymous said...


You are the one that called America a country . Just look what you wrote after criticizing another citizen.

Second, the U.S. is not the only country that deals with illegal immigration.

Anonymous said...

5:27 YOUR AN IDIOT!!!!

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

11:20 to 11:22,
Wow!It only took you 3 minutes to write that!!
I would rather come from Africa than being a small-town racist moron.
By the way, Greenville is not that different from some small cities in Africa.

Anonymous said...

In what continent Central America is located?

Anonymous said...

WOW, 6:30 Not only do you not know that America is a country located in the continent of North America but you can't even do simple subtraction. 11:20 subtracted from 11:22 equals 2 minutes not 3. You must have gone to greenville public schools and then miss. valley state where they just give away degrees for just registering for school.

I have always heard it takes a racist to know a racist. In other words it takes one to know one!

And about G'ville being like a small village in africa, you're exactly right. G'ville is becoming just like one in africa and it soon will look like a third world country here in G'ville.

By the way ,you're still an idiot.

Anonymous said...

Do the math stupid animal. Giving you the benefit of the doubt, by the time you finished posting that garbage, you should have been looking at the screen for at least 3 minutes.
You just don't get it anencephallic bastard, the country is not America, it is U.S.A. People from Mexico, Nicaragua, Cuba, Argentina, Chile are not US citizens but they are americans too.

Anonymous said...

8:45 You just don't get it. America is a country. You can't subtract. You also called America a country in your post 7:37 you idiot. Your stupidity shows by your language above referring to your fellow citizen as a bastard. When you say the word America everyone else knows, but you, it means the UNITED STATES of America you idiot. Now you do the math 11:22 minus 11:20 equals 2 not 3 .

Anonymous said...

You're all idiots! Grammatically, mentally and otherwise. If you put as much effort in doing something about the problems our city is facing, just imagine where we would be now. "Tis the season for a little love and thanks. We're all quite fortunate despite what you think. Jesus is ashamed of everyone of us who has bothered to read this racist trash let alone respond to it. Why don't we all put our money where our mouth is and make a difference and quit all the bitching and whining! I'm sure our mothers raised all of us better.

Anonymous said...

9:48 Why don't you go somewhere else to get your information if you can't take the TRUTH you idiot.
Why don't you spend more time putting your money where your mouth is instead of reading the TRUTH on this informative blog that tells it like it is. You sure showed your love on here by calling all of us RACISTS. It takes one to know one so you lose bigtime. By the way your an idiot.

Anonymous said...

Ok...why want he merge Mississippi State...Ole MS....Southern MS? Want it save extra money?

Anonymous said...

12:01 Unlike the black colleges ,the ones you mentioned above make money for their schools and don't depend mostly on hand outs from tax payers.

Anonymous said...

This is so amazing. With the venom that is interjected, I can see why Greenville is not being successful. Another disturbing fact is I found this just by googling a topic about Greenville. Is this truly the image that you all want to portray about your city? If this is how you feel? Why stay? If I lived there, I would say, either be part of the solution or shut up. If the schools are bad, straighten them out. If the city is dirty, clean it up. Its simple. Stop reinforcing the sterotypes that exist out there about Mississippi. I get tired of people looking at me like I am crazy when I tell them I am from Mississippi. Get your facts straight, organize, and take action. You people want to blame others but you are all at fault. Face the facts and get over it.

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