Are you better off today than four years ago?
Published 7:00 am Saturday, October 31, 2015
Before voting on Nov. 3, take some time to consider your situation. Are you really better off today than four years ago when the Republicans claim they changed the direction of the state? Let’s take a look at the state of our state.
Mississippi’s recovery from the almost-Great Depression of 2007-08 has been slower than 48 other states. Wages remain stagnate, with the legislature fighting pay raises at every turn (except their own). Democrats fought for the teacher pay raises for which they are now taking credit, but others have been less fortunate. They denied pay raises to adjunct professors, teachers’ aides in K-12 and public employees around the state. The few jobs they created are minimum wage jobs, which, in a perfect world, are meant for students. Reality check: Young adults trying to raise a family on $7.25 an hour hold the majority of those jobs.
How about your health? Mississippi is No. 1 in obesity, diabetes and diseases related to diabetes. Access to healthcare could reduce these problems as they have in other states, but our working poor cannot afford health insurance. They self-medicate until their condition gets so bad they require attention at an emergency room. Our hospitals are struggling because their reimbursement for helping the poor is tied into the Affordable Care Act. We risk reduction in services, fewer doctors and nurses and possibly even hospital closures simply because the administration refused the federal funds. Does anyone call this “better off?” Education has to be the topic most discussed this election season. Since desegregation in the 1960s, the legislature has consistently under-funded our schools. To our local communities, that means higher taxes. When a school district is not fully funded by the state, it has to turn to the local tax base to fill the gaps. They are allowed to add millage to our property taxes, resulting in higher taxes for individuals and businesses (higher prices).
Where supply lists formally included notebooks, pencils and pens for your student’s use, they now include Kleenex, paper towel, hand soap, hand sanitizer and copy paper for the classroom. There is only one list where Mississippi excelled-Corruption. For the third straight year, Mississippi has been named the Most Corrupt State in the U.S. Ever hear of no bid contracts? It’s this administration’s favorite way to reward their cronies, but it isn’t ethical. Also, the FBI has active investigations in all 82 counties. The Baseload Act, legislation passed by our Republican friends, added a section to the MS Code entitling a utility company to build a gasification plant then pass pre-construction cost onto the ratepayer before the first kilowatt was produced.
The Public Service Commission approved an 18 percent rate increase by a vote of 2-1.
You guessed it—two Republicans for and one Democrat against. Democratic candidate Tom Blanton spent his own money to sue MS Power resulting in our early Christmas present—a refund check. We challenge you to reflect on your personal situation.
This is a local election with local candidates, none of whom will have any power to solve those national issues that divide us on so many levels. Our Democratic sample ballot is available on our Facebook pages, www.prcdec.com, the Item Shopper News for Oct. 28, the Swap Shop News for Oct. 18 – Nov. 8 or contact our chairman, Agnes Dalton, at 601-746-6020 or email@example.com.
By Agnes Dalton.