Whether the state of Mississippi is out of money and needs to cut education, mental health and most other state budgets apparently depends on which Governor Barbour is at the podium.
Is it the one who has been singing the blues for months about the lack of money for essential state services and whacking education budgets, forcing schools to cut teaching positions for the coming year?
Or is it the political posturing Governor Barbour, who appears intent on spending thousands, and perhaps hundreds of thousands, of dollars of Mississippians’ money for lawyers to challenge the constitutionality of health care reform legislation passed by the Congress and signed into law?
Barbour says there is a “pivotal constitutional issue that needs to be addressed: Does the federal government have the constitutional authority to force American citizens to buy insurance and then tell them what they can buy and at what price?”
We already are required by law to buy car insurance and pay for Medicare, so what’s the point?
We don’t understand the governor’s willingness to fatten the wallets of private lawyers in an expensive lawsuit that already is being undertaken by other states anyway. We think Attorney General Jim Hood is showing admirable common sense in putting off jumping into the fray on this issue.
Could it be that the governor has let his talking-head position as chairman of the National Republican Governors Association get in the way of his day job as governor of Mississippi?
We think so. The governor should be spending his time and the state resources coming up with ideas to get more Mississippians into jobs and more state tax revenue to pay for essential services.
Carrying on political grandstanding at our expense isn’t in the budget.