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. Ancient Texan

    Bravo, Republican governors with principles. But at the same time the Liberals will suck up all the excess; fewer pigs at the trough. This whole thing is a farce designed to pay off Obama supporters. A disaster.

    February 22, 2009 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  2. cocopial

    Republicans say that they care about people but that is a lie. These people are so partisan it is a shame that they continue to say what the people want when they were the ones voted out of office. It just give me and many other people who are independent the courage to vote the democrats. What a shame! I They had voted for Bush spending and all of a sudden they are fiscally responsible? That is not being true to your self. Liars!

    February 22, 2009 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  3. Panther1

    Small mindedness and small ideas are what put this country on the brink of disaster. We don't need trickle down economics - it does not work and you you would have to be a complete idiot to buy into the idea that tax cuts are going to get us out of this mess. People need help - direct help, and that does not make them "welfare mamas." Any governor who turns down aid is angling for a political advantage in 2012 by banking on this Country's failure. These folks and anyone else who would put their own interests ahead of the interests of this Country are shameful, disgustiong individuals and don't deserve to hold political office. Hats off to the group of Republicans who have done the right thing.

    February 22, 2009 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  4. Dave

    So mismanaged states like california, NY, and taxachusetts with huge socialist bureacracies and their associated costs/spending and already high taxes want more money because they're going bankrupt......what a surprise.......what a classic image of the govenors of these failed states coming on TV to grovel for more money.......and now that the democrats have shoved this spending, excuse me, ah stimulus, bill down our throats with a trillion dollars of spending, obama stands up and says its time to cut the deficit.......that is freakin hilarious......i mean, you couldn't make this stuff up....and the scary part is, its real and it will negatively affect our children and grandchildren.....take a look at california and thats just where president pelosi her group of morons are taking the rest of the country

    February 22, 2009 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  5. T in NV

    So he is not goingto extend the unemployment benefits of people who are out of work during these hard times? I do not see how this money is going to force his state to extend unemployment benefits in the future. Accept the money by legislating that when the money runs out unemployment benefits return to the "normal" time period. Republicans do not care about the little guy. They do not care about normal Americans who are suffering. Mississippi, like all states, have people of all walks of life on unemployment right now (white collar and blue collar). They need help. I think it is horrible that this governor is not going to help the people of his state so he can make a statement (as unvalid as it is).

    And unemployment benefits are not welfare, they area safety net! I have been paying into unemployment my whole life and thankfully have never had to use it, but you can be sure that if I did need it, I would be thankful! There are people who are unemployed for the first time in their lives and they are working hard to find a new job, but can't because of the situation. This governor is just hurting them. This governor is hurting the ordinary citizens of his state! You had to be laid off from your job to get unemployment so the welfare mama comment does not hold water. Unemployment beneits are not welfare and they have specific time limits. The benefit runs out (whether you found a job or not). This portion of the stimulus bill allows states to extend the benefit because it is so hard to find a job right now!

    February 22, 2009 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  6. TexasMK

    If your governor puts his personal needs and wants above the states, they should be voted out. It's just that simple! 2010 will be an exciting election period.

    February 22, 2009 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  7. RJ

    flybyshoeing February 22nd, 2009 10:14 am ET

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

    Tell me how many people will cry foul when those levels drop back.
    They would see it as a spending cut and then blame it on the Governor for not maintaining the higher level.

    The Gov. of Mississippi is showing foresight and fiscal responsibility..

    February 22, 2009 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  8. Vince_Reno

    You know it seems to me that the People are tired of pesky politics and such antics. I would bet a nickle that we will see a few less repulicans in office come 2010.

    February 22, 2009 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  9. Will

    Gov. Bourbor is exactly right. It's like the adjustable rate mortgages that are part of the reason for our current crisis. Initial cost is low. However what is the cost down the road and can we afford it?

    February 22, 2009 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  10. Floyd in New York

    One of the BEST bills ever signed was welfare reform by former President Bill Clinton!!!

    February 22, 2009 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  11. Educated in Iowa

    Please, 'Walfare'? Is the education that bad in Mississippi that you can't spell welfare?

    February 22, 2009 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  12. Joe Terrogano

    I find this Republican posturing interesting. Louisiana and Mississippi were ravaged by hurricanes and Jindal and Barbour are refusing funds from the stimulus package? I am sure that the unemployed citizens of both states will appreciate these governor's conservative principles. They can pay their rent, medical bills, children's school costs, and mortgages with these principles. No? Oh, you mean these guys will be in the Governor's Mansions, with full benefits and high salaries, while the citizens suffer more as a matter of principle? Gee, conservative principles are not really about those in need, are they?

    February 22, 2009 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  13. JFK

    What a maroon!!! For those idiot GOP governors and stimulus haters. If you dont like the stimulus, you should also give up your rights to every other federally backed program too. Keep in mind when local banks go belly up, your FDIC insured deposit account is protected. So for those who are paranoid schizos of the big scary government, just hand over all your dough now so we dont hear you complain anymore about BIG government! Please dont feel you have to take that "handout" either. But something tells me you wont want to give up the FDIC or NCUA insured accounts.

    Otherwise lets use this stimulus whether its perfect or not to do what its meant to do and help our nation. The majority of it is very good.

    February 22, 2009 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  14. G.R.I.T.S - Girl Raised in the South

    Too funny. These governors who are SO opposed to the stimulus will accept some of the money. In my book, that is hypocritical, but what else is new with the Republicans? They shouldn't get any of it, that money should be reallocated to other states. Sorry if it hurts their constituents, but those constituents voted these Republicans into office.

    As far as I'm concerned, all the southern Republican governors can take a few minutes and determine how they are going to fare as a regional, fringe political party. The Retalibanicans. Their religious agenda is comparable to that of the Taliban.

    February 22, 2009 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  15. stormerF

    Some of these funds,would cause the States to raise taxes on businesses to pay for them,because they are permanent programs. like un-employment extensions and increases.Others like infrastructure will help the States. Most States can not wait because they have over spent on Social Programs for Illegals,like California,Arizona,New York,Mass,Flordia,etc etc... It is good that the State Governors are being selective as to what they take from the Feds,with strings....The State are required to have a balanced Budget not like the Federal Gov,where they can defecit spend.

    February 22, 2009 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  16. GOP/DOA

    You banjo picking morons. The emporor really has no clothes now huh? Please keep it up. In 2010 you are not going to like it.

    February 22, 2009 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  17. Randall Arnold

    I'm of the opinion that unimployment insurance SHOULD be raised. The payments to the unemployed just flat do not cut it. Many people lose the things they've worked so hard for while struggling to obtain their next job.

    Employees have no guarantee of lengthy employment– that's why we have unemployment insurance. Shortening layoff cycles mean it's time to increase the payments.

    February 22, 2009 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  18. mazgj

    Any State that does not want money ... send it to me and I will hire people for one reason or another ... maybe just to work for as long as the money lasts giving food to unemployed folks.

    February 22, 2009 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  19. Baby Huey

    Lame. What a bunch of republican hypocrites! If they condemn this stimulus so much, then they shouldn't take ANY money from the feds..nothing...nada...zilch! But no, Barbour and many of the loud-mouth republican governors will want some of the hand out, all the while decrying the doom-and-gloom of the stimulus. Idiots and two-face, the lot of them!

    February 22, 2009 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  20. Ben

    JSU-TIGER99, if you are going to comment try and make it sound like you aren't ignorant. You lose all credibility when you can't speak English

    February 22, 2009 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  21. Kat

    Am I missing something? Is there a reason why the State's can't revert back to the way things are now with respect to employment tax once the federal money runs out in a few years? If things improve in the next few years so that the newly implemented unemployment measures aren't practical anymore, what keeps them from reducing them once the crisis is over?

    February 22, 2009 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  22. Voter

    Duh. Why not take the money, pay enhanced unemployment, and when the program ends, go back to your original unemployment payment system?

    State government can override the decisions of these hypocritical morons, so they think it's safe to make these self-serving speeches. The bozo Southern Republican governors are counting on that.

    But what if some of those southern state legislatures (probably made up of people easily as dumb as these governors) DON'T vote to override? Oops...

    Well, then it's simple. All the taxpayers in these states can join the rest of us in paying for all this – they just will get NO benefits.

    Whatever.............. Glad I don't live there!

    February 22, 2009 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  23. G.R.I.T.S - Girl Raised in the South

    Dave: factual basis please? We need you to explain your reasoning, your facts and the statistics that got you to there. Quit regurgitating your right-wing talking points and figure out some things on your own.

    For those people screaming about "socialism", get a grip. Everyday life in America is filled with examples of socialism. Highways, police, fire services, schools, etc. Look around you. I don't like to pay taxes for schools I do not use, but I recognize that it is a responsibility that we assume just for being members of a society. We all pay fees in our phone bills to cover 911 service for homes without landlines.

    We already support socialist programs everyday.

    February 22, 2009 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  24. Georgia Gal

    These Governors that are rejecting the money need to get off their high horse and stop playing politics. It's not about being a Democrat or a Republican – its about what's doing right for the American people in the long run and yes, I will agree, there are some caveats to this stimulus package and no its not perfect, but I truly believe its going to help to get this economy moving again. At the very least, its worth a try, because we already tried it the Republican way and that only got us deeper and deeper into the hole and I think its a very good idea now to try to do the opposite of what has been done the last 8 years – and this is it.

    February 22, 2009 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  25. @Degringolade

    Face it Gov. Mushmouth: you couldn't bring jobs here in a GOOD economy and the unemployed don't contribute to your political campaigns. I'd like to know what it is that you've done for the citizens of Mississippi EVER other than being a powerful Republican in a powerfully Republican state. To my knowledge our national rankings have only declined under your tenure.

    February 22, 2009 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
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