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Author Archives: Bill Crawford

BILL CRAWFORD — Trumponomics may push national debt interest costs higher than Social Security and Medicare

Basic math and what the Wall Street Journal calls “Trumponomics” are headed for a brutal collision.   Here’s why.   The national debt is $20.6 trillion and rising. With rates low, annual debt interest costs averaged about $250 billion from 2011 through 2016. As the economy improved, interest rates slowly ticked up. But, now they are expected to surge as ...

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BILL CRAWFORD: Early intervention with disadvantaged children has high ROI

Gov. Phil Bryant kicked off a recent seminar at the Civil Rights Museum auditorium featuring Nobel Prize winning economist Dr. James Heckman. An expert in the economics of human development, Dr. Heckman spoke on “Making the Case for Investing in High Quality Early Childhood Education in Mississippi.” The Graduate Center for the Study of Early Learning at the University of ...

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BILL CRAWFORD – New Year Economy Pivotal for Republican Leaders

The New Year promises to be a pivotal year for Republican leaders in Mississippi. With “job creation” tax cuts in place at both the state and federal levels, voters will be looking for Mississippi’s moribund economy to take off  But, that’s not what Mississippi’s state economist Dr. Darrin Webb forecasts. “Mississippi’s growth will not catch the national growth” in the ...

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BILL CRAWFORD — Early interventions could lift Mississippi off bottom

What one thing could Mississippi do to have a more competitive workforce, a healthier population, more college graduates, fewer welfare mothers, better school performance, fewer special needs children, less drug usage and pay for itself seven times over?   Improve cognitive development in at-risk children right from birth.   Sound too good to be true?    Science says otherwise. It ...

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BILL CRAWFORD — Will tax cuts ease economic distress and health disparities?

The 13-state Appalachian Regional Commission just released its latest county economic status rankings. Mississippi has 24 ARC counties with 12 ranked “distressed,” nine “at-risk,” three “transitional,” and none “competitive” or “attainment.” Rankings did not change from last year.   What do these rankings mean? ARC calculates the economic status of counties based on unemployment rates, per capita market income, and ...

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BILL CRAWFORD: Casinos may get sports betting on the sly

Speaking of doofuses, did you see Geoff Pender’s column entitled “Did legislative leadership really fall for sports-betting rope-a-dope?” Or the earlier Mississippi Today story entitled “Lawmakers: Didn’t think law would legalize sports betting?” Lots of legislators are saying they didn’t know the bill they passed this year to tax fantasy sports betting may open the door for Mississippi casinos to ...

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BILL CRAWFORD: Save us from doofus driven debacles

“Doofus” is an intriguing and timely word. The Oxford Living Dictionary says it likely originated in North America in the 1960s and suggests it is either an alteration of the word “goofus” or from the Scottish word “doof” meaning dolt. The Online Etymology Dictionary says it is “probably related to doo-doo and goofus.” The definitions range from “a foolish or ...

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BILL CRAWFORD: Are state leaders ready for big cuts in federal funds?

Topnotch finance experts assess risks and plan for downturns as diligently as they evaluate and promote upside opportunities.    Mississippi’s economy has become more reliant than ever on federal funds. Should President Donald Trump and conservative leaders succeed in their plans to slash federal spending, the risks to our state economy would be substantial, if we aren’t ready. So, do our ...

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BILL CRAWFORD — Public contract reforms unsung but epic

As the dismal saga of bribery and extortion swirling around former Commissioner Chris Epps and Mississippi Department of Corrections contracts continues to make headlines, epic reforms to the public contracting process slipped through the Legislature with scant media attention.    Longtime champion of contract reform Representative Jerry Turner passed legislation that completely revamps the public contract review board and tightens ...

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