Mississippi slashes its own throat with tax cuts

Posted on Apr 21 2016 - 7:00am by Holly Baer

When a state or a nation is falling into extreme debt and economic crises, one thing is certain: it cannot lose its income or the government will fail. Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves has successfully pushed for our state to fail even more. On April 18, Mississippi lawmakers voted to cut taxes even further. This is after the legislature slashed the state budget, limiting funds to almost every state agency.

A look around Mississippi shows you how ill-advised further tax cuts are to this state. Our infrastructure has been decaying for years, our education system damns our children to always start from behind, many Mississippians live in dire poverty and we have so many health issues — ranging from obesity and new STD rates to the ever-plummeting number of doctors and nurses in the state.

We are not a state that can afford more failure.

We’re a state with thousands of jobs needing to be done, but we refuse to make the state attractive to anyone who could help. We’re littered with horribly broken roads and bridges, yet we don’t give money or resources to update them. We do nothing to encourage doctors and nurses to come to our state, and we make sure our children are either too far behind to pursue medicine or they are bright and determined enough to leave a state that does not and will not take a stand to create a brighter future.

If Mississippi is a shining beacon of conservatism, conservatism has failed.

As a born and bred Mississippian, I love my home. I love Southern charm and friendliness, I love the vast artistic history and the life and culture this state has produced. But I feel helpless to help my state. My parents, family and fellow Mississippians continue to vote in legislators who forsake their best interests. Corruption oozes out of every aspect of state government. We’re watching our state be plagued with cancerous leadership and we tell ourselves the tumors are beauty marks.

This is more than tax cuts – this is the death of a state. Some Mississippians would say we’re the only state left with a backbone: we stand up for our beliefs even when they’re unpopular—i.e. we get to discriminate against anyone we deem as “other” and call it morality. Backbone or not, the citizens of our state convince themselves that Gov. Phil Bryant is a good man because he goes to a cross-raising outside of a buffet. It doesn’t matter if he’s a “good Christian man” or not. It matters that he uses his position of authority to guarantee our children will have no future.

For years, I have tried to convince myself that I could live in Mississippi, I could plant myself here and grow deep roots. But I cannot stay in a state at the expense of myself and my future. More than that, I don’t think I can watch my first loves — Mississippi back roads, small towns and kind people — die slowly and violently.


Holly Baer is a senior religious studies major from Flowood.