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

Barbour to pass on some stimulus funds, Patrick wants them

CNN

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. Texas Teacher

    Not what you want to see, CNN... the truth does hurt!

    NOW IT WILL NOT MAKE YOUR FAT CAT RICH BUDDIES RICK... AND IT WILL HELP THE MIDDLE CLASS FOR ONCE...

    AND WORSE OF ALL, YOU WILL NOT BE ABLE TO SKIM OFF THE TOP OF THIS MONEY ALL YOU BOZOS ARE USED TO SKIMMING!

    GOOD OLE BOY POLITICS IS WHAT GOT US HERE... YOU SCRATCH MY BACK AND I WILL SCRATCH YOURS... AND WE WILL OFF GET RICK OFF THE BACKS OF THE MIDDLE CLASS AND CONVINCE THAT WE ARE LOOKING AFTER THEM!

    February 22, 2009 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  2. Matt B

    For those of you who don't know, Deval Patrick could be one of the worst governors this country has ever seen. He is considered by most in Massachusetts, a hugely liberal state, to be a joke of a governor. He added 2,000 jobs to the state payroll when he became governor, hired a personal assistant at $75k a year for his wife on the taxpayer dime, purchased a Cadillac Escalade for over $50k on the taxpayer dime giving him the nickname "Cadillac Deval", turned a state that had a balanced budget for four straight years under Romney into a state begging for federal funds and is now raising the gas tax by 19 cents. In a state like MA, it is pathetic to be a Democratic governor and have no chance for re-election but that is what he has managed to do. He won by being a great public speaker but he has proven to have little to back those words...let's hope we don't have a repeat of that by our President.

    February 22, 2009 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  3. Dave

    Good for you Governor...reject those federal funds that will help improve your states education system. While you're at it also reject all of those socialist highway funds and any federal aid when the hurricanes come. Joe The Plumber and Sarah Palin are right there with you touting rejection of all socialist monies. Sounds like spreading the wealth around doesn't it governor? You should reject it all!!

    February 22, 2009 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  4. Texas Teacher

    Not what you want to see, CNN... the truth does hurt!

    AND WORSE OF ALL republican governors, YOU WILL NOT BE ABLE TO SKIM OFF THE TOP OF THIS MONEY ALL YOU BOZOS ARE USED TO SKIMMING!

    GOOD OLE BOY POLITICS IS WHAT GOT US HERE... YOU SCRATCH MY BACK AND I WILL SCRATCH YOURS... AND WE WILL OFF GET RICK OFF THE BACKS OF THE MIDDLE CLASS AND CONVINCE THAT WE ARE LOOKING AFTER THEM!

    February 22, 2009 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  5. Texas Teacher

    GOOD OLE BOY POLITICS IS WHAT GOT US HERE... YOU SCRATCH MY BACK AND I WILL SCRATCH YOURS... AND WE WILL OFF GET RICK OFF THE BACKS OF THE MIDDLE CLASS AND CONVINCE them THAT WE ARE LOOKING AFTER THEM!

    February 22, 2009 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  6. Lori

    Instead of helping the middle and lower income people of his state- Mr. Barbour is putting politics before his constituents. How disgusting.

    We need to vote Republicans out of office completely.

    February 22, 2009 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  7. Kaye Friday

    Those who keep harping on the "lack of personal responsibilty" of those unfortunate homeowners in foreclosure have lost sight of the real problem: ARMs. They got sucked into a mortgage with deceptive low payments only to get hammered with huge "adjustments" that put the monthy payment beyond their means.

    February 22, 2009 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  8. Had It

    Just an observation.

    The republicans on TV can be spotted a mile away – they have heavy jowls and many many many chins. Why are the republicans such fat people?

    February 22, 2009 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  9. Texas Teacher

    Gezuz khrist.... the truth does hurt, doesn't it. these governors are playing politics with our futures.... for politics! Wake UP!

    GOOD OLE BOY POLITICS IS WHAT GOT US HERE... YOU SCRATCH MY BACK AND I WILL SCRATCH YOURS... AND WE WILL all GET RICH off the backs of the middle class... and worse we will have them thinking it is for their highest good!

    February 22, 2009 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  10. Texas Teacher

    You bozos have to be reelected and when people see this working in other states while you paid politics off their hardship... you will have a darned hard time explaining yourself.... or else you will have to assign someone to turn off the light with the mass exodus from your states!

    February 22, 2009 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  11. Flex

    You're right Senator, you are much wiser than the rest of the country. Mississippi is one of those international, world class destinations, where everyone is tolerant, and everyone is trying to be a part of it. Your state doesn't need external help. You're really looking out for your state, and making a statement at the same time.

    February 22, 2009 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  12. catmom

    And who was it that said that President Obama was in perpetual campaign mode?

    February 22, 2009 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  13. Texas Teacher

    Come on, CNN.... you know I am speaking the truth... .why don't you want your audience to hear it? Are you part of the problem or the solution?

    Those bozos like Barbour have to be reelected and when people see this working in other states while they paid politics off our hardship... you will have a darned hard time explaining yourself.... or else you will have to assign someone to turn off the lights with the mass exodus from your states!

    February 22, 2009 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  14. M. Bryan

    Most bloggers are too young to remember the depression and the New Deal, as are most of the politicians. A good read is "Building
    Louisiana, The Legacy of the Public Works Administration".
    Despite the efforts of then governor, later senator, Huey P. Long to
    reject federal help unless he got "proper" credit, many buildings
    still stand as a testament of how quickly and how well things got
    done due to oversight and management. One can only hope that
    someone with the intelligence and honesty of a Harold Ickes will be
    called upon to oversee this, rather than those who helped to get us
    in this fix.

    February 22, 2009 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  15. facts

    Dave,

    What are you talking about. Obama won, or was competitive, in every category except for evangelicals. He even won more of the catholic vote. 53% of people earning over 200,000 a year voted for Obama. You are an ignorant racist. If you want to play the race card the total vote of African Americans was up by 2%, and yes 95% voted for Obama, but 43% of the white vote went to Obama. This is much higher than 2004 for Kerry. What's your grand plan to fix the economy...? To do nothing? Typical BS from the right. I noticed that you left out college educated voters, which you obviously were not. Obama also split the college educated vote, and ummm.... with regard to high school or less, McCain lead in that category going into the election. Now go back to your hole, and take down your confederate flags and use them to wipe away your tears.

    February 22, 2009 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  16. Gary P. Olson

    During the rise of the Nazis in Germany in the 1930's, Hitler counted on the German's belief that it was the Jews that were responsible for their problems. In the U.S., it is the poor that are blamed. I've been hearing this all my life. But it is not, and never has been, welfare that is our problem. Take 10 minutes and look at the Federal Budget for cryin' out loud! The Republicans say that Government never created a job, but never talk about the defense contractors that live 100% on the dole, and their frequent (and public) ripoffs of taxpayer dollars that make all the welfare programs that people hate (like AFDC) look like chump change. Furthermore, what do you think poor people do with their welfare checks? Where does that money end up? As I've always told anyone who complains to me about welfare, "If you think it is such a great deal, why don't you go on welfare yourself?" Hypocrites!

    February 22, 2009 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  17. robert diogenes

    A NEW ECONOMIC POLICY IA

    GET THE FACTS BEHIND THE NEWS

    Elizabeth Warren head of the oversight panel setup by Congress
    to monitor the Federal Bailout says, “THE GOV’T STILL DOES NOT SEEM TO HAVE A COHERENT STRATEGY FOR EASING THE FINANCIAL CRISIS. “Instead the gov’t seemed to go from one tactic to the next without clarifying how each step fits into the overall plan. .

    A reason for Ms. Warren’s observation is the US does not have an economic Policy. Professor Porter notes the American political system has evolved with piecemeal reactions to current events.

    Is what has driven our success starting to erode?
    .
    Prof Porter believes” a series of policy failures have offset and even nullified “US “ strengths just as other nations are becoming more competitive”. . .

    1) “An inadequate rate of reinvestment in science and technology is hampering our feeder system for entrepreneurship. Research and development as a share of the GDP has declined, while it has risen in other countries”. This is well recognized but policy makers have failed to act.
    2) Our belief in competition is waning. “A creeping relaxation of antitrust enforcement has allowed mergers to dominate markets”. “We are seeing more interference in competition with protectionism and favoritism.”
    3) US colleges and universities do not have a serious plan, such as GI Bill or National Science Foundation programs, to improve access to them. The US now ranks 12th in educational attainment for 25 to 34year olds. For 30 yrs we have not improved ourselves in this area. This is an “ominous trend in an economy that must have the skills to justify our high wages.”
    4) At a time when job insecurity and turnover are high the US gov’t has not taken responsibility to provide a transition safety net for US working people. The job training system is ineffective and receives less funding each year. Pension security is declining. Social security is not being adjusted and strengthened. Access to affordable health insurance is a major worry to most people. The gov’t could equalize the tax deductibility of individuals purchasing insurance to assist those not covered by their employers, but has failed to do so.
    5) The US is energy inefficient. Public policies fail to promote energy conservation.

    6) “Trade and foreign investment are fundamental to the success of the US economy but the US has lost its focus and credibility in shaping the international trading system.” “With no strategy the US has failed to work with other advanced countries to assist poorer countries to feel confident about opening markets and internal reform.” “Our foreign aid is still tied to the purchase of US goods rather than the actual needs of countries.”

    7) “The federal gov’t has failed to recognize and support the decentralization and regional specialization that drives our economy.

    8) Lack of regulatory oversight combined with lack of a strategic plan has resulted in a hodge-podge of policies that have driven up the costs of doing business. TO SUM UP WE HAVE HAD POOR ECONOMIC MANAGEMENT.

    9) Is good strategic economic plan possible considering our political system?
    It requires political parties and private leaders to come together and chart a long term plan. Prof Porter recommends a bipartisan joint planning group to coordinate priorities,

    Does the new Stimulus Bill help solve these problems.

    February 22, 2009 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  18. Mel

    How is it that because a governor questions the wisdom of accepting ONE part of the stimulus package, he is villified? He didn't say "I'm not taking any of the money." He said nothing about denying the people of Mississippi the benefits of better education, health care, or infrastructure. He simply made the keen observation that it's hard to create more jobs when you increase the amount of taxes an employer pays when they employ more people.

    Unemployment does not equal welfare. Unemployment is a benefit paid for the employed by their employers. We, the business owner, pay the Federal government to administer the unemployment benefits program in the form of the FUTA. The FUTA tax rate is 6.2% of taxable wages. Then we pay the state whatever they deem is appropriate for unemployment benefits.

    And don't worry, those "fat cats" aren't too worried about how this will affect their "unemployment insurance" rates, as only the first $7000 of each employee's wages are taxed. It's the small business owner who feels the real impact of paying this insurance, like the majority of businesses in Mississippi. A corporation paying a full-time employee $50,000 a year pays, per employee, the same amount of unemployement tax as a small business owner that pays a part time worker $12,000 a year...but it's the $50,000 employee that will receive the larger unemployment check when they're laid off. Small businesses are, in effect, subsidizing the unemployment program for the "fat cats". And we're the ones who try to provide those flexible schedules so that folks who need 2nd jobs can work a few more hours a week to feed their kids, who will work around a single mom's schedule so they can be there when their children get home from school, who offer employment to the folks whose social security checks just don't quite cover the mortgage.

    Sure, if you want to lose those "jobs", increase the rate of the unemployment insurance small business owners pay. Hey, if the increased taxes on small businesses become a reality, it won't matter anyway–there won't be many of us left to provide those jobs/tax base in the future.

    February 22, 2009 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  19. Only in America

    Mississippi boy! What the hell are you talking about? Make some sense man!

    February 22, 2009 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  20. Pepper

    This decision is Governor Barbour's choice along with the Mississippi state legistature. Unless you are a Mississippi voter and can vote in MS in the next election, your opionion does not matter as it no longer matters in our National Political decisions.

    February 22, 2009 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  21. Ravi

    These Southern governors are using the stimulus package as a WEAPON against Black people! It's outrageous that they are cloaking their hatred with so called "fiscal responsibility".

    If only the African-Americans in these states would just flood the polls in 2010... they could throw these governors out of office!

    February 22, 2009 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  22. Henry Miller, Cary, NC

    Barbour also needs to find a way to reject Obama's taxes.

    February 22, 2009 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  23. Annie, Atlanta

    Dave, did you not see the statistics that came out after the election. It was the educated that voted for Obama. I take it you're not one of them?

    February 22, 2009 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  24. EAS

    Dave February 22nd, 2009 10:56 am ET

    Once you deduct the votes of the unemployed, the illegal's who voted, the welfare voters and the non high school graduates Obama got about 20% of the remaining voters in the election. Probably 5% of those votes were Hollywood liberals. Amazing country we live in. All the rest of us will pay dearly for these so called stimulus dole outs.

    Well, Dave, I for one am EDUCATED, make over $150,000 a year, have NEVER received a handout of any kind. My husband is in the nuclear industry and has two degrees and we both voted for Pres. Obama. Almost EVERYONE we know who voted for Pres. Obama are EDUCATED.

    So, we are EMPLOYED, EDUCATED and made an EDUCATED decision to vote for Pres. Obama.

    Keep you racist crap to yourself – you are showing just how UNEDUCATED and Ignorant you are.

    February 22, 2009 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  25. tracy

    Kent said: 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.

    With all due respect Kent, this is a dumb statement.

    We own a SMALL business in Indiana, where our state congress just elected to raise unemployment taxes which will double the amount of taxes we pay.
    In all your disgust of "greedy corporations", you need to remember that ALL businesses are affected by raising taxes, even the little ones.

    February 22, 2009 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
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