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. cnnnewser

    Go ahead and put your republican party before the people – don't take the money – then get ousted from office.
    I personally don't care – and I'm sick and tired of all the republican grandstanding and naysaying.
    Can't CNN for once put people on air that is greatful for the help?

    February 22, 2009 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  2. Adam

    As a well educated Mississippian with a degree from a MS public school (now finishing an engineering degree in Birmingham), I am very familiar with the shortcomings of the state. I am also well aware that Mississippi's biggest modern problems have come when they spend uncontrollably. Governor Barbour knows that he is too old to run for President in 4 years, and even if he was, he would have to have done an incredible job as governor in Mississippi (and considering the crisis we went through in Katrina, he hasn't been all the bad for a lobbyist).

    Gov. Barbour knows what Mississippi is capable of paying for when the federal resources run out. This isn't a principled stand, this is a forward-thinking policy decision. The short-term benefits MS would get from taking some of these programs will not spur growth to pay for the long-term fees.

    February 22, 2009 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  3. Mississippi boy

    How short sighted can you be? Responsibility includes looking at the big picture and trying to prevent disaster in the future. I am from Mississippi and lived in Africa for many years (so you can just stop there if you are going to call me racist). I commend Barbour for his willingness to pay attention to detail in this plan. It is a fact that the money will run out. When it does, Miss will be saddled with extra debt that will, once again, push us to the bottom of the barrel as far as our state's wealth is concerned. Why not refuse debt, as Dave Ramsey might say, and work now to keep ourselves into wealth? There is a lot more money in this bill that is "string free". Way to go Haley Barbour!

    February 22, 2009 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  4. Spb

    This stance by Governor Barbour just reflects the core reasons that the Republican Party is on life support. The Governors who are standing on "principal" and speaking about refusing this money lead some of the poorest states in our nation. Mississippi, Louisiana, who are still reeling from post Katrina and Rita issues, Texas where unemployment is close to the highest in the nation, what are they thinking? Princples do not feed their citizens, principals do not put people to work. When I see Rick Perry, Bobby Jindal, et al, pandering to the party base rather than worrying about what is best for their own states, I truly want to scream. How can these hypocrites sleep at night? Deficiets in the trillions, created by their beloved G.W.Bush and company. Lowering taxes on the wealthy while paying for 2 illegal wars was fine. Increasing the deficeits by helping the common man? No, we cant do that.. I cannot wait for 2010. Let them follow this blind ideological path and will not be one Republican left in sight. That would be just fine with me.

    February 22, 2009 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  5. Kim

    Obama has taught and reminded us all daily that we are ALL in this together and must reach out a hand to one another no matter the mistakes we have made. Politicians, bankers, homeowners, union members, unemployed, teachers, children, families, we ALL need one another. The terrible realization is so many are plagued with greed and selfishness. It's time to create the protective oversight and regulations to look after every one. I'm so thankful we have a great leader to take us forward.

    February 22, 2009 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  6. mississippi librarian

    Haley and his counterparts are doing fine economically, so he does not care about the average Mississippian. I live in Mississippi and I see the disparities that exist between the haves and the have nots. Haley is well connected and still receiving funds from his lobbying company so he thinks like a rich person who is only concerned with maintaining the status quo. I do not recall any such posterings by Barbour when Bush was President!

    February 22, 2009 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  7. aubrey

    May I suggest all the Governors accept the money, without strings, and when it runs out, just forget you ever heard of it. Never mind raising employment taxes, just go on with life as it is. Problem is, this stemulas tag is a joke that will haunt this country for the next 100 years, cause this is just the beginning of more stemulas packages yet to come. Eternal welfare! A former President said,"No nation, or state or company or family, can spend it's way to prosperity."He also had a balanced budget. He also was in office in time of peace, no war at the time.He was in office during a recession,yet did not start printing money or spending what we didn't have to break the recession. The free market brought about the recovery and the boom that followed. Bigger Government only creates bigger problems and welfare mentality. Just look at New Orleans for the last 50 years of welfare operated by the Government, created a city of whiners that are now living in other places on fema money, living better than they could ever imagine. They mainly won't work, rather expect the workers to pay for their keep.What a sorry ,Government created mess!

    February 22, 2009 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  8. Chris

    I grew up in the MS delta and after watching businesses that had stood for 90+ years fall this past year, after watching my hometown lose 90 percent of its industry in the last 10 years, after watching the nice neighborhoods fall to slums and watching the slums fall into chaos, after watching the school system repeatedly fail its students, after watching suffering and misery for 30+ years, i just have to ask what planet barbour is from and how he can obviously miss all the things i have seen in Mississippi. If you are sinking in a pit of quicksand, you dont question the hand that pulls you out, you take it and figure out the rest later.

    February 22, 2009 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  9. CEE

    I hope that the voters of each state carefully watch how their state officals handle this. Much of this is politics as usual, the republicans are very good at spin, much better than the democrats. This however is a case where that will only go on for so long. Just imagine the effect if Georgia accepts all the money (unemployment insure too), but South Carolina declines much of the money. A year from now people in S.C. will be under pressure to come to Georgia, where there (I hope) will be some infrastructure jobs and longer limits on enemployment payments. This will put a starin on what the state that accepts the money will face. This may get very ugly and the little guy will do the suffering for these politicians making their "little show". There is only one answer to all of this, and thats term limits. In the mean time we should all adopt a philosophy of "Never Relect Anyone". If we the people impose term limits in tis fashion maybe the politician will get the mesage and start being Americans instead of Republicans or Democrats. We are running out of time, we must work together for the good of the country and forget about political parties.

    February 22, 2009 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  10. school girl

    According to the State Ranking of Per Capita Spending, Per-Capita Tax Burden and Return on the Federal Tax Dollar, Mississippi is already receiving twice as much Federal Dollars as they contribute.

    Give us that money back and maybe we wouldn't need to accept
    the stimulus money either.

    February 22, 2009 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  11. Mississippi boy

    Follow up....

    Just to let you know, I am 25 and unemployed currently. I am looking for a job, which I used to have, but still believe that I don't want to have to pay for getting a job right now (which is very American of us, i.e. Fast Food). Payment for getting a job right now may mean losing the job later when we have to pay back this debt and I may have a bigger family to support, bigger house payment, etc. at that time.

    Chill people....some things take time to work themselves out. Sometimes time is the best remedy.

    February 22, 2009 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  12. TanGeng

    The stimulus package is so stupid.

    Having to raise taxes on "greed" corporation destroys jobs, but more likely than not the Mississippi legislature won't raise taxes on those "greedy" corporations and neither will any of the other state legislatures. All state legislature are in the pocket of the big "greedy" corporations that everyone loves to rail about. If they must raise taxes, they'll offset the tax increases with subsidies.

    Instead they'll effectively only raise taxes on small businesses and the working man. So many people are in the dark about how your "venerable" politician are in bed with the "greedy" corporations, and they're ripping off all y'alls.

    And increasing unemployment insurance doesn't create jobs. In fact people will be less likely to find work because they can collect unemployment insurance for another 20 weeks.

    Again, the stimulus package is just pure idiocy.

    February 22, 2009 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  13. mantrang

    Working hard and challenge yourself will pay off you life. Don't complain when you are in hard time. When you have a good job, you could spend thousands for your vacations, had you ever thought of buying mortgage protection to keep your house? Buying a house is a big commitment that you must challenge yourself to keep it if you do want to be a home owner. Don't just thinking that "in the worse case, I can just sell it."
    I think the Gov is doing the right thing that he really wants jobs for his people rather than the checks to give to people. By working people will value the money they earn. By receving the check, people will rely and even make use of the system and this could result in the laziness.

    February 22, 2009 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  14. drV

    Dave: you clearly are an idiot. Please go back and research your ludicrous statistics and get them from LEGITIMATE resources.

    Elmer: you clearly are an idiot as well. The employers that matter the most are NOT only the small business owners who employ 6-10 (if that many) employees. If you know anything at all, you would realize that at this point small business owners are in trouble just like the large majority of american workers who don't own their own business. These are the people who matter the most in an economy that is going down the tubes as we speak. Without jobs for the middle class the economy will not improve. How could it? The majority of people in this country will not have money to spend. As for everything else you said, it clearly is a bunch of babble that you took from a biased report and made it into your own nonsense. I suggest you get your facts straight before you comment.

    Obama is on the right track and without the support of the american people, nothing is going to change. To all you people who claim Obama doesn't know what he is doing and he is going to screw things up even more... go educate yourselves on the social stratification, economics and politics of the country and then go to the top with some better suggestions... if you believe you know more than the people running this country.

    February 22, 2009 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  15. Anonymous

    so Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour's solution to fix the stimulus package would be to remove the education reform package? Why do people in MS enjoy being dumb?

    February 22, 2009 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  16. Hank

    For all their huffing and puffing during the election and after, what plan do the Republicans have to benefit jobless Americans other than cutting taxes? Gosh, when you are unemployed, tax cuts really help you out! GOP philosophy could be funny if it weren't so destructive.

    February 22, 2009 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  17. Know the facts

    Apparently, Republicans think voters are stupid! There would be absolutely NO increase in taxes under the stimulus plan. When the unemployment funds from the stimulus decrease in about 3 years, then the state would phase out the plan that the Recovery and Reinvestment Act establishes to help the unemployed. No state is obligated to continue with expanded benefits beyond about 3 years.

    In fact, the Recovery and Reinvestment Act is projected to help the unemployment rate level off and/or start to decline within the next few years. So, states could probably revert to their original unemployment programs.

    The bottom line is that Republicans are playing politics with people's lives. It's unfortunate that they seem to care more about their political ambitions than the well-being of their constituents.

    February 22, 2009 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  18. Edward Brownlee

    I was born in Mississippi, the rasist and ignorant history of the leadership of this state is well known. This slave state has been able to maintain its existance because of slaves or the neo-slavery system that they developed called sharecropping. The leadership in Missippissi has always gotten something for nothing, free labor. The state has developed through three stages; slavery, sharecropping, non-union.
    The leadership has gone from clan hoods and night riding, and dixicratism to ultra conserative republicanism.

    February 22, 2009 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  19. jane molloy

    This man is a stupid fool, who would deny his mostly poor, minority population badly needed funds, as with Obama, his kind needs to be voted out. Do the words Hirricane have any meaning in his world?

    February 22, 2009 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  20. Carra


    How dare you make assumptions about people who voted for Obama. Like the other lady who commented. I am white , have a degree in accounting from college my husband and I make over $130,000 a year , are paying our mortgage on time and Voted for Obama. I have a high school friend whose hubby made over $500,000 last year who both voted for Obama.

    I never have been to Hollywood either.... Obama would not have been elected if just for the poor vote. So get over it and stop stereotyping people

    February 22, 2009 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  21. Texas Teacher


    February 22, 2009 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  22. Frost/Tennessee

    If he wants to pass let him, when his people are hungry in the streets they will reject and pass on him..

    February 22, 2009 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  23. Texas Teacher




    February 22, 2009 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  24. Texas Teacher



    February 22, 2009 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  25. dredies

    John King. I appreciate your calm cadence and straight forward presentation of the news especially on Sunday morning.

    If I recall the governors of LA and MS were very eager and willing to accept federal money following Katrina. This is simply political posturing.

    February 22, 2009 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
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