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.
NAnewsweb article about $57 million budget error: https://www.nemiss.news/57-million-shortfall-in-fy-17-budget-reeves-gunn-attribute-it-to-staff-error/MS politics, New Albany MS