State Should Prioritize Spending

Governor Barbour and our congressional delegation in Washington are asking the federal government to give south Mississippi priority in the federal budget. Conservative organizations around the country have agreed with that plea and have put pressure on Congress to do just that – but only that.

In other words, they agree Mississippi and Louisiana should be given priority in the budget, but they believe that should be accomplished by actually setting or re-arranging priorities, not by adding to the budget, which really means adding to the national debt.It is critically important that we in Mississippi do the same thing with our state budget.

All capital projects funded by the state should be evaluated with the presumption that they should be delayed until the end of next fiscal year (about a year-and-a-half from now), and the funds for those projects should be transferred to projects where infrastructure was significantly damaged or destroyed by the hurricane.

This would include, among other things, suspending highway construction projects outside the affected area; construction of state-owned buildings; and the purchase of furniture, vehicles, and equipment not directly related to rebuilding.

If we are going to ask people in other states to make sacrifices to help us, we should be faithful to do the same.