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. Tom

    Of course Arnold will take it. He needs it to balance the budget. Obama lowers taxes and Arnold raises them across the board, including sales tax. What Obama giveth, Arnold taketh away.

    February 22, 2009 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  2. Larry, Apex, North Carolina

    Poor Mississippi-why do you continue to shoot yourself in the foot? You are at the bottom of the States in most things-education, health care, income...and respect. You have good people there; why do continue to live in the 19th century? Your racism and far right wing tunnel vision is rampant, and your stubborn posture on these things have led you nowhere, except to the bottom. Learn to love and forget, people! Look forward with optimism and hope, instead of looking inward and backwards. Join hands (black and white) with your neighbors and the rest of the country and move up-and out of your mire!

    February 22, 2009 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  3. inat

    most people in the red states would rather give up federal funds than have the federal gov't infringe upon their state's sovereinty and decision makeing rights.

    February 22, 2009 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  4. ray

    really vote them out of office. have you even read the bill. the fed's pay for the first couple years then we pay maybe instead of fighting over dem or rep you should fight over the future of the country

    February 22, 2009 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  5. markens

    vote,republicans out in 2010. bring libetarian in power.

    February 22, 2009 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  6. Meka


    February 22, 2009 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  7. Jon

    The emphasis is wrong. The comptrollers of the stimulus money should not be begging stupid people to take it. They should be alloting it to supporters of the stimulus the way the Republicans would have, such as the disparity in funding for Blue States that occurred over the last 14 years. They don't want it? Don't give it to them. Let them watch their roads crumble and their bridges fall and their cities rot the way the northeast has. The future belongs to those who stand up and go for it, not the heel-draggers and complainers.

    February 22, 2009 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  8. Don Fitzgerald, America

    Good, old " Marbles " Barbour, still trying to use the gimmicks !! Keep the people down, for long enough, for any reason and you'll be out on your ear !! This guy had no business even being elected, other than to siphon hundreds of millions of dollars from the Bush administration, after Hurricane Catrina. I wouldn't be surprised if his state received more financial help than Louisiana did !! Give the stimulus money back and let your voters tell you what they think of you and your Party !!

    February 22, 2009 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  9. Dave, DE

    Gov. Barbour,

    Be a Man! You cant have your cake and eat it too. Either take the full stimulus money, or dont take anything! If you are against Obama's plan the restore this country after your party eight years failed plans, the dont take a single penny. It is dishonest to say you are against the bill but you will take a small amount of the stimulus money that is for the people of Mississippi

    February 22, 2009 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  10. Cire

    Let him turn down the money. Then, when Mississippi's labor force goes across state lines for jobs and Mississippi becomes even poorer than it is now (hard to believe), then a Democrat who will take the money can get elected.

    February 22, 2009 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  11. Larry

    The Governors who turn down this money are showing that they are Republicans first and foremost. Any other label - Governor, human being, humanitarian, etc..... - doesn't matter. They are more scared of Limbaugh than the Limming family in their state. So much for 'Country First'.

    February 22, 2009 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  12. Grew up in MS

    I grew up in MS in the 1960's and my parents worked their fingers to the bone and died in that state.....

    OMG, in the 1960's when I grew up there I didn't quite understand, but I do now and I am very disappointed in HB for now taking the funds allocated for MS....

    Please in 2010 VOTE HB out of office because hes only has his interest in the mind, not the people of MS.....

    Please Please Please kick him out..........

    February 22, 2009 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  13. Don of Iowa

    Mississippi is just another example of republican politics for the rich and who cares about anyone else. Perhaps it is time the religions right wakes up and realizes thet republicans could care less for them as people and only cater to them for their votes, without which the rich could never control an office. But the republicans give mouth work to the religious right and their bigotires against gays and contraception and other things that are not for the government to decide but for the personal decisions of each individual, you cannot legislate morals folks, it has been proven time and again, all you end up with is a police state or as we have here one party taking advantage of people of a bigoted nature to keep in power to push their own agendas and not be honest with why they are using these people for their own advantages, case here the rich using the bible packers. So now that Mississippi is being treated to the same injustices as the rest of the country is getting tired of and so voted the republican bums out on the street maybe they will wake up and get a brain as well and put a few more republicans in the unemployment lines where they belong and then tell them, 'sorry we did not accept those funds from the Feds so you wont be getting unemployment payments like people in other states', wouldnt that be just turn about for a change?

    February 22, 2009 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  14. Willy Brown

    I see the democrat piggies lining up for some porkulas slop from #44. Kudos to the republicans who won't get sucked into that trap.

    February 22, 2009 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  15. roger dowdle, lockhart, Tx

    Republicans are just playing "politics as usual", at the expense of their constituents! When the people of their states see other states prospering more than they are, they should elect a new gov.

    February 22, 2009 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  16. David

    People are quick to forget that ever dollar the Fed gives the States comes with obligations to do certain things certain ways...most often to the detriment of the state. Whether Mississippi has problems (like all states) and how they as an independent state want to deal with them, I don't see why anyone else would care.
    As voters and citizens, are voice is loudest at the lower levels...local, state and the Fed. Arguably It's never heard at the Federal level. I can't for the life of me understand why someone in another state would care what people in a certain state do if it does not DIRECTLY effect them. We are not a socialist nation, and that's what makes us one of the best nations in the world.

    February 22, 2009 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  17. Chris from Savannah

    The point missing is... where is the money coming from? Money does not grow on trees or come out of thin air. It has to come from somewhere... Is it right to take money from people in states that have shown fiscal responsibility and give it to those that show none?

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

    Turning down the stimulus money would be like turning down the lottery if you won. Poor dumb Republicans.

    February 22, 2009 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  19. ready

    the governor should not be allowed to reject some money.
    If he can omly reject all.

    February 22, 2009 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  20. james


    Mississippi is like a deadbeat Dad anyway. Hilarious. Haley Barbour is not mentioning that for every $1.00 Mississippi pays in taxes, they have been getting as much as $2.00 from the federal government any way. They have already gotten $85 BILLION dollars alone in the last 10 years in U.S. Government tax dollars. The Red States have been Welfare States for years only the Republicans like Trent Loot um Lott don't want you to know that. So much for being fiscally conservative.
    Maybe they are too "Red Faced" to admit it. So where has the 85 Billion gone?

    February 22, 2009 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  21. Seattle Sue

    So, Boss Hog doesn't want to help the unemployed people in Mississippi. Then Boss Hog should not take any of the funds and see if he can get his red-neck reelected.

    February 22, 2009 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  22. JD

    To those who would bash Mississippi: you are ignorant. IF Mississippi is on the bottom of statistical measures it is because of 120 years of Democratic leadership that has handcuffed Mississippians to federal handouts. Mississippi is NOT at the bottom of education achievement. ACT scores are in the middle. Health statics may be low beacuse a segment of the population has been taught for 70 years how to live off the public dole rather than work for a living and thus have no respect for themselves. Quality of life is good, land is cheap, and most people retain a respect for the founding principles and a respect for God. I applaud the govenor's stance to refuse money with strings. As for Cali-fornicators, isn't is interesting that a state so liberal is so bankrupt – finacially and morally.

    February 22, 2009 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  23. DK

    Let me see if I get this right. We are going to borrow money from a foreign country, pay interest on the note, and spend it on unemployment insurance. Exactly how does this create jobs? Do any of you people live in Mississippi? Vote Republican's get the liberals out of your bank account! Obama has spent more in 90 days, than Bush did for 8 years.

    February 22, 2009 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  24. Learn to use spell check

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

    February 22, 2009 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  25. jm

    i don't see anything wrong with this, but let's be fair. if these govs. want that extra cash, they need to accept it with the proviso that their people will have to share the larger burden of repaying it later. why should the citizens of states that passed on some or all of the money have to pay back money that went somewhere else. one side can't accuse the other of playing politics, they all are. there should also be a condition attached, much like with the auto industry, that these states who accept money submit a plan on how they will ensure that they won't be back in 6 , 12, 18, or 24 mos. for more and find a way to gain financial stability again.

    February 22, 2009 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15