February 22nd, 2009
09:48 AM ET
8 years ago

Barbour to pass on some stimulus funds, Patrick wants them


Govs. Barbour and Patrick clash over the stimulus measure.

(CNN) - Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, a Republican, reiterated Sunday he will reject some of the funds in the massive $787 billion stimulus measure if it forces his state to spend its own money in the future.

Speaking on CNN's State of the Union, Barbour specifically cited an unemployment reform package included in the stimulus bill calling for an increase in benefits as evidence his state would have to pick up the tab on the provision in a couple of years.

Related: Some GOP govs say stimulus may hurt

"If we were to take the unemployment reform package that they have, it would cause us to raise taxes on employment when the money runs out and the money will run out in a couple of years and then we'll have to raise the unemployment insurance tax which is literally a tax on employment," Barbour said.

Related: Schwarzenegger calls stimulus 'terrific'

"I mean, we want more jobs," he also said. "You don't get more jobs by putting an extra tax on creating jobs."

Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, a Democrat, appearing with Barbour, disagreed with the Mississippi governor’s assertion but acknowledged that states will have to be prudent about what to do once the stimulus money runs out. For now, Deval said he is prepared to accept all the money allotted to his state in the measure, specifically citing its effects on improving the nation's infrastructure.

"Certainly in Massachusetts, people want their roads repaired and want bridges repaired and want a clean energy strategy and alternatives and real alternatives and want us to be candid with them about those needs, he said. "Whether governors say they will or won't take this or that as part of the stimulus bill, in some ways, is irrelevant. People want that help."

soundoff (351 Responses)
  1. Cactus Candy

    The good people of Mississippi know that their state is near the bottom in most measures of quality of life, educational achievement, income, health benefits, etc. It has been near the bottom of most statistical measures of accomplishment or achievement for many decades.

    The fact that their governor is going to turn down federal money that could help the state is right in line with a longstanding Mississippi tradition of not doing the right thing. I like Mississippi, myself. But for Mississippi, my own state of Texas would be closer to the bottom of those lists.

    February 22, 2009 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  2. John G

    How much will taxes be raised in Massachusetts when the spending bill money runs out?

    Barbour has the right idea at least. Things are bad now but we won't fix them by making them worse in the future.

    February 22, 2009 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  3. Deb

    Everyone know that the red necks are running mississippi........Please don't take the money Arnold will be glad to have it!!!!

    February 22, 2009 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  4. Larry

    Is this guy Barbar the elephant? The idea is to create jobs so that you reduce the number of unemployed people and less funds are needed for the unemployed. If he doesn't take the money the unemployment rate will rise and he'll have to have raise the unemployment insurance tax for sure. What an idiot.

    February 22, 2009 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  5. Rob Stumpf

    "You don't create more jobs by putting an extra tax on creating jobs."

    –Haley Barbour

    Wow, some common sense. That's getting rarer and rarer in politics these days. While Obama peddles his "4 million jobs!" and "cut the deficit in half by 2013!" lies, at least some people haven't gone coo-coo.

    February 22, 2009 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  6. Mike in Houston

    Governors should reject all the pork in this spending bill if they care about thier citizens more than Obama does.

    February 22, 2009 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  7. independent

    The GOP is in desperate times, taking desperate measures. They did not support the Stimulus package on partisan lines, and now they are refusing to implement the package on partisan lines.

    If the elected officials of certain states (mainly Republicans) refuse the Stimulus funds voted on by Congress, reallocate the funds earmarked for those states to other states. Until the voters in those states feel the pain enough to vote them out of office, give them what their leaders want.

    February 22, 2009 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  8. Mitch

    Perhaps he can do what Mark Samford is doing in SC and borrow millions directly from the federal government to cover shortfalls in his unemployment payouts. He only borrowed $5 million for February alone. But hey, I guess better to borrow on your terms than given assistance by the democrats eh? Um GOP? Are you there? Pride goeth before the fall.

    February 22, 2009 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  9. Darin

    The media has been asking tougher questions of Obama than they ever did of Bush, especially in the run up to the Iraq War. The media in general were afraid of Bush because they knew if they crossed him that bitter man would cut off access.

    February 22, 2009 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  10. Kent

    So Governor Barbour would prefer that people in Mississippi remain unemployed so he doesn't have to raise unemployment insurance premiums on the greedy corporations that created this mess in the first place.

    Well, Governor, you just keep taking care of those fat cats. I'm sure those companies will still donate money to your campaign even if they are awash in red ink.

    So, good job, Governor. The people of your state must be really proud of your leadership.

    February 22, 2009 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  11. change in America

    Vote Republicans out the office how dare decline help from the president.....Missi need to protest against the governor from receiving help.

    Vote Republicans out the office in 2010

    February 22, 2009 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  12. Shayne in NH

    Another fat, pudgy, disgusting southern white bigot governor. Big surprise he's not looking out for his people. As long as he gets paid six figures and has food he's happy. Has he conducted a poll in his state to see what the PEOPLE want? But we know that really doesn't matter nearly as much as "party unity" and attending to the 1950's Republican mentality. I bet this guy actually thinks he's smart. I'm very courious what the percentage will be of successful re-elections when the time comes around for these self-serving Republican governor idiots..

    February 22, 2009 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  13. Robert

    Governor Barbour is showing great foresight in examining the stimulus piece-by-piece (unlike those who passed it without reading it) and judging which parts place added burdens on his state in the long-term.

    February 22, 2009 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  14. JS

    Real Simple Gov, take all the money and when it runs out, blame the POTUS for cutting benefits and rasing taxes and cutting jobs. Let the people see that this is all smoke and mirrors.

    February 22, 2009 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  15. donjohn@harlannet.com

    Well, after all we are talking about a staunch republican here in Mississppi so why would we expect an intelligent response, republicans are not known for intelligent responses, casein point, the last eight years of the federal administration, not one intelligent response from day one to the end. That said, I feel if he does not accept the funds people in Mississppi will wake up like most of the rest of the country and realize republicans are not for the people but for the deep pocketed rich dingbats who got us in this mess and who act like they back family rights and issues and religious bigotries to get the vote of the religious right masses, though being rich they do not have to worry about abiding by these same edicts, after all they are rich and do as they choose, they just want the religious votes. Maybe if they get taken advantage enough by the republicans they will wake up and realize that all the republicans want from them is thier vote and could care less what ahppens to them. That is what it took for the rest of the country to wake up so I guess it is time for Mississippi to be in the barrel for thier turn of 'lets see if you truly have a brain' and I guess we shall see if they do by the results, after all they elected this bigot to office now they have to deal with the nutjob.

    February 22, 2009 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  16. Former Republican for Obama, Columbia, TN

    This shows you just how willing the GOP is to throw the American People under the bus just to oppose Obama's plan to re-invest in this great nation. Mississippi like most other states in the union is operating in the red and his having a hard time making government payroll, yet this ridiculous Governor-Barbour-doesn't care at all about this reality. I just hope that Dems in his state as well as the National Democratic Party will be able to exploit this situation to their advantage by showing that the GOP is a group of radical, hyperreligious, hate-filled, obstructionists who do not give a damn about our great nation.

    February 22, 2009 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  17. cb

    You just have to wonder what planet he is on?

    February 22, 2009 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  18. flybyshoeing

    He is lying. The unemployment portiion can run out and go back to the previous levels. Why do Republicans lie so much?

    February 22, 2009 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  19. Anonymous

    learn to use spell check. I believe the word measure in the written part of this segment is wrong.

    February 22, 2009 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  20. CC

    So the poorest state with a horrible education system is rejecting funds? Is there any mystery why you are the poorest and worst educated?

    February 22, 2009 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  21. Gloria

    Mississippi governor is in effect giving employers a tax break at the expense of the many people in Mississippi who do not have a job.
    In other words, he is saying, "To hell with the unemployed".

    February 22, 2009 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  22. inat

    of course there are strings attached! How else are the feds going to get their fingers into state decisions, policies, etc?

    February 22, 2009 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  23. Dave

    Isn't it like rejecting SOME of the commandments?

    February 22, 2009 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  24. brian

    Obama is bringing back welfare mamas. They'll be lining up for their welfare checks. Way to go, Mississippi......

    February 22, 2009 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  25. MissouriVoter

    I wish Missouri would have REJECTED the money. We got the money and yet all they are doing is working on roads and bridges so far. These people are always working anyway, some new folks may get hired but....... NO REAL CHANGE!

    If you want a job around here it is working for the STATE or FEDERAL Government. Oh boy! 😦

    Missouri is not very happy with this so called STIMULUS

    February 22, 2009 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
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