On Y'all Politics this morning, I saw that the Associated Press has a good story out about how both Governor Haley Barbour and State Senator (and possible 2010 Republican opponent to Rep. Travis Childers) Alan Nunnelee acknowledge that without President Obama's stimulus package, the State could not have put together the budget for Fiscal Year 2010 (which began July 1, 2009).
The AP's Emily Wagster Pettus writes:
Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Alan Nunnelee acknowledges that without the federal largesse, lawmakers would've had even more trouble setting a budget for the fiscal year that began July 1 because state tax collections have been sluggish the past several months.
But Nunnelee -- a Tupelo Republican with congressional aspirations -- usually refers to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act by its acronym, ARRA, which he pronounces "EH-rah," sounding an awful lot like "error."
Republican Gov. Haley Barbour, no great fan of Democratic President Barack Obama, says the stimulus package is allowing Mississippi, one of the poorest states in the nation, to spend a record amount of money on some parts of government.
"It is not a sustainable budget by any stretch of the imagination, particularly for education," Barbour told reporters at the state Capitol.
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Mississippi's revenues fell about $390 million short of expectations for the fiscal year that ended June 30. The state's unemployment rate hit 9.8 percent in June, about 2 percent higher than the same month in 2008. State officials expect a slow recovery from the recession.
Barbour said that with the help of federal stimulus, Mississippi's elementary and secondary schools are receiving 7.3 percent more this fiscal year "than they have ever received in history." Community colleges are receiving 1 percent more than ever, and universities are receiving 2.5 percent more than their previous record.
"It's all coming from this one-time federal money. I think better put ... two-time federal money. We'll get it this year, we'll get it next year," the second-term governor said.
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Barbour said Mississippi's new $6 billion budget includes "500-something million dollars" from the stimulus package, with much of it directed to education and Medicaid, the government health insurance program for the needy.
My two cents: Watch next year as State Sen. Nunnelee (pronounced WANNA-BE) takes credit for record funding of education while also calling the ARRA stimulus package "socialist," "dangerous," and "a failure."
My mother had a word for folks like that: ingrate.