Don’t tell the GOP establishment: Mississippi is a “welfare state”

Based on a WalletHub study, Mississippi is the state most dependent upon federal funding and brings in $3.07 of federal funds for every $1 in taxes sent to Washington, DC.  Per the Tax Foundation, federal funding accounts for 45.8% of Mississippi’s revenue.

Although Mississippi is considered a “Red State,” or politically conservative, it ranks among the highest in federal dollars received per tax dollar paid.  With a political ideology that decries government hand-outs, Mississippi is “having its cake and eating it too.”

Influential leadership in Congress over the last 60 years has contributed to Mississippi’s current fiscal situation.  Sen. John C. Stennis (D) chaired the Senate Armed Services Committee from 1969-1981 and the Senate Appropriations Committee from 1987-1989.  Former Sen. Trent Lott, even though a Republican, continued that legacy started by Stennis and rose to Senate Majority Leader before his resignation in 2007.  Likewise, Sen. Thad Cochran (R) has also done much to bring federal funds into the state and, if re-elected to a 7th term, is in line to chair the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee.

The WalletHub study didn’t include just welfare payments but also included federal contracts and federal employees’ salaries.  With the benefit of over a half-century of federal dollars and jobs pouring into the state, Mississippi still ranks near the bottom in several performance measures.

According to Politico and Cottonmouth, state Sen. Chris McDaniel has even identified Mississippi as a “welfare state.”  With endless campaign ads currently touting Cochran’s ability to bring federal funds to the state, Sen. Cochran tweeted this:

Wow.  Did Cochran just undermine his entire record?  Ever wonder why our country is $17 Trillion in debt?

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Gov. Bryant hails successful legislative session

Gov. Phil Bryant appeared on the Paul Gallo Show on April 7th and discussed some priorities during his tenure and a range of legislative accomplishments during the 2014 session.  The entire interview is available free from SuperTalk Mississippi.

Regarding some of the successes during his tenure:

  • Teen pregnancy:  Noted a 10.3% reduction in teen pregnancy over the past year without passing out birth control in classrooms.
  • TANF Drug Screening:  Signed legislation this year requiring new applicants to be screened from drug use/abuse prior to receiving benefits.
  • 2nd Amendment Protections & Sales Tax Holiday:  Passed a sales tax holiday for guns, ammo, and related supplies for September 5th – 7th.
  • Religious Freedom Restoration Act:  Gov. Bryant said the state law mirrors federal law that was written by Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) and signed by Pres. Bill Clinton.
  • Criminal Justice Reform Bill
  • Banning Abortion at 20 weeks:  “A huge pro-life victory in Mississippi.”

Gov. Bryan talked at length about his biggest disappointment of the session, the failure to pass the special needs education bill (HB 765).  Saying it’s a “sorry day” and a “dark day” because public educators refused to release the funding to support 500 special needs children, he says the legislature turned their back on special needs children and he vows to make this a priority “from now on.”

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Republican Primary 4th Congressional District Candidate: Ron Vincent

Ron Vincent is one of 5 candidates certified by the Miss. Republican Party for the June 3rd Primary election.  Vincent squared-off against Steven Palazzo in the 2012 Primary and received 18.7% of the vote to Palazzo’s 73.9% according to Ballotpedia.

Born in Hattiesburg, Vincent retired from GE Energy and has international business experience according to his campaign website.  He is listed as the organizer of the Hattiesburg Tea Party, a member of Main Street Baptist Church, and was honorably discharged after 3 years in the U.S. Army.

Based on his website, the following are his positions on various issues:

  • Economy:  Remove barriers to business and growth, develop domestic energy sources, reform and strengthen education system.
  • Constitutionally Limited Government:  Supports term limits and abolishing the EPA, HUD, and Department of Education.  Wants to restore constitutional checks and balances and restore government by legislation instead of regulation and executive order.
  • Fiscal Responsibility:  Wants to balance the federal budget, pay-off national debt, eliminate government bailouts and corporate take-overs, reform of entitlement programs, and audit the Federal Reserve.
  • Tax Reform:  Supports the Fair Tax and abolition of the IRS.
  • Obamacare:  Supports the complete repeal of Obamacare.
  • National Defense: Secure the borders and enforce immigration laws.  Restore military strength, end fighting undeclared wars.  End foreign treaties and get out of the United Nations.

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TANF drug testing bill passes Miss. Legislature

On March 12th, the Mississippi Legislature signed a bill that requires drug testing for all new TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) applicants if there is suspicion of drug abuse.  The intent is to provide the proper help for those struggling with addictions while ensuring proper use of the cash provided by the state managed federal grants.

Gov. Phil Bryant is expected to sign the legislation into law.

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State Reps Vote on Drug Testing for Welfare Recipients

The Mississippi House of Representatives passed House Bill No. 49 requiring drug testing for recipients of TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families).  The bill passed with all Republicans voting “Yes” and most Democrats voting “No.”  Before becoming law, the bill must be passed by the state Senate which is expected to act on the bill later this year.

Under the proposed law, applicants for TANF who are at risk for drug use must submit to a drug test at state expense.  Refusal to submit to drug testing would terminate the benefit unless that person enters an approved substance abuse treatment program.

TANF is a federal cash program administered separately by the states.

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