Passing the buck in Mississippi – whenever the bucks go missing

New Albany MS passing the buck
Here they go again, passing the buck...if only it were actually funny.
April 26th, 2019     Editorial Opinion

The art of Passing the Buck


Passing the buck: At last, Mississippi’s state government is among the nation’s best at something. It knows how to bask in the limelight, be it real or imagined. It also adept at passing the buck when daylight shines on its problems.

The legislature recently passed, and the governor recently signed, a pay raise bill for teachers. It wasn’t a huge raise, about $1500 per year. However, it now seems that  the governor, the lieutenant-governor and the house speaker again failed to do due diligence before rushing this bill to the limelight. Insufficient money was appropriated to cover all of Mississippi’s teachers. Reportedly, they’re about 12 million dollars short.

Governor Bryant, Lt. Governor Tate Reeves and House Speaker Phillip Gunn point the finger at the Department of Education. What a surprise. Additionally, it’s possible local school district taxpayers could be on the hook for the missing $12 million.

What is the state government’s job?

It is the job of the state government to collect fair taxes and oversee every aspect of their expenditure. Citizens should, therefore, expect the state to provide for their “general welfare.” The state is charged with overseeing the welfare, safety and health of its citizens. This includes, largely:

  • good public education
  • safe roads and bridges
  • an adequate and fair courts system
  • public safety regulations and enforcement

Unfortunately, it seems many Mississippi voters are happy living under the wool that’s been pulled over their eyes. Why else are governors and legislators who keep Mississippi anchored near the bottom rung of the “general welfare” ladder continually elected?

Finger pointing and passing the buck reign

Recall that this is not the first time big bucks went missing in Mississippi governmental calculations. In May 2016 the same three leaders announced a “shortfall” of nearly 57 million dollars in the 2017 budget calculations. They blamed a “staff error” for that problem. Did they learn anything from that failure? Apparently not. Will they ever be required to pay a price? We’ll see.

ASK YOURSELF: Ultimately, whose responsibility is it to see to the general welfare of all Mississippians? Who hires and/or oversees the clerks, accountants and, yes, even the Department of Education? Where does the buck stop for all the “administrative errors, staff errors and clerical errors” in Mississippi government?  You guessed it: Larry, Curly and Moe.

In Mississippi, there is always some election or another “just around the corner.” Therefore, it is never too late to take an interest in the affairs of your state government. Here’s a few good links to start the process.

“Administrative error” excludes many teachers from pay raise: 

Tate Reeves and Phillip Gun blame missing $56.8 million on “Staff error.”

NAnewsweb article about $57 million budget error:

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From the Community

Steve patterson says:

Amen & Amen — Ain’t nothing new about Buck passing but one would think the big three Republican power brokers could get their act together long before passing such important legislation ? Perhaps , this Paltry pay increase was just an election year stunt ? Given the fact that public education has NOT ever been a priority for any of the big three mules that run the state , it appears to have been little more than an afterthought !

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