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Engineering development?

MBJ Editorial

The Washington Post published a series of five articles last week, which delved into the workings of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Dubbed “Engineers of

Power,” the series is long, well written and portrays the Corps as a pork machine used by its political masters in Congress. For his efforts, Post staff writer Michael

Grunwald is sure to make few friends and plenty of enemies inside official Washington and in communities around the country home to Corps projects.

The many issues raised by the Engineers of Power stories are worth considering, but no easy judgements can be made for or against the Corps of Engineers. The

Corps’ impact on the Mississippi economy is important. The jobs, the research and the projects are great for the state. But, is it all just a pile of political pork

subsidized by money taken from every working Mississippian, and for that matter, every working American?

There are many shades of gray to these issues, but from a business perspective, we must ask ourselves if it is wise to spend billions of dollars of taxpayer money on so

many projects.

Philosophically, we believe in limited government, which is well managed, wastes little and works for the people. Within this context, it is worth asking if the Corps of

Engineers is, in fact, a valuable asset to the nation or merely a pork producer for entrenched politicos. The answers are not so easy coming.

Have a problem? Or a solution? Maybe a great idea about how state government could or should work? Gov. Ronnie Musgrove is listening.

Last week, the governor began going “One on One” with Mississippians. It’s his way of staying in touch with the people – for five whole minutes a problem, solution

or idea the second Wednesday of every month. The “people,” no doubt, will be screened by staffers.

The plan is political gimmickry at its finest, but it just might work and do some good. Polls and anecdotal evidence suggest that fewer and fewer folks are paying

attention to politics, government and the big issues shaping our society. It has become clich

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