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Author Archives: Bill Crawford

BILL CRAWFORD — Tax needs vs. tax cuts bedevils legislators


With legislators looking at taxes, some of us should be worried, some thrilled.   The need to study taxes results from weakening tax revenues along with a sluggish economy, and also because the largest tax cut in state history is pending.   Legislative leaders know they need a consistent, dependable tax base to fund state government. Republican legislators, now a ...

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CRAWFORD: Legislative groups should target declining communities, disconnected youth


As legislators gather in their working groups to study programs and budgets, they should also take note of long-term phenomena with significant impacts. One of these is a downward spiral that can cripple communities. It’s named “The Iron Circle of Poverty.” It’s called the “iron circle” because it is extremely hard to break. Few communities have the talented leadership and sense ...

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BILL CRAWFORD — Universities must do even better job preparing reading teachers


Reading matters.   Perhaps no other accomplishment would improve Mississippi prosperity more than for all our children to read proficiently.   So believed Jim and Sally Barksdale 16 years ago when they invested $100 million to improve reading outcomes for Mississippi children. Millions of dollars and many initiatives later, the Barksdale Reading Institute (BRI) continues to push Mississippi to do ...

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BILL CRAWFORD — Conservative tax plan needed for road and bridge repairs


Yes, the Mississippi chapter of Americans for Prosperity is right that we don’t need excessive new taxes for road and bridge repairs.  So, yes, the Mississippi Senate was right to kill the eight percent sales tax hike on fuel proposed by Senate Transportation and Highways Committee Chairman Willie Simmons.    But, Americans for Prosperity is wrong that we don’t need ...

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BILL CRAWFORD — The SMORGS’ Gift to America – Donald Trump

Donald J. Trump

The SMORGS are coming!  The SMORGS are coming!  Heaven help us all, the SMORGS are winning! Well, they’re winning sort of. SMORGS stands for “Sanctimonious Malicious Organizations.” You know what I’m talking about – well-funded, special-interest organizations that preach a good line but destroy any politician who won’t walk that line with them. SMORGS have taken over politics, impacting both ...

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BILL CRAWFORD — Reader says sales tax best for funding roads and bridges


“Sales tax is the only fair tax we have,” wrote a reader. “Can you find out how long it would take for a two percent sales tax increase to fund restoration of our highways and bridges?” Hmmm. Let’s quantify the issue. The MEC/Blueprint Mississippi report entitled “Ramping Up Mississippi’s Economy Through Transportation” identified what’s needed to restore our highways and ...

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BILL CRAWFORD: Informed citizens guard against truth managers


  With insidious truth managers dominating social media, the Internet, the blogosphere, talk radio, and cable news, how can the average citizen uncover reality? Remember, insidious truth managers (an intentionally redundant phrase) are those willing to deliberately tailor “truth” to further their own ends. With the inundation of information we get from so many sources today, it gets harder and ...

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BILL CRAWFORD — Leaders to frame government for new year


Hopefully our state leaders and legislators have good intentions for the upcoming year. Certainly most do.   But, as 18th Century English essayist, moralist, biographer, and lexicographer Samuel Johnson taught, good intentions alone often beget more hellish than heavenly results.   Witness the way our Legislature works. All know tough decisions must be made. Yet, we often see little consensus, mostly ...

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BILL CRAWFORD — Good leaders keep promises of government

open government

May the joy and hope of Christmas linger with you through the New Year.  Indeed, when things go awry during the coming year, it is the promise of Christmas that can see us through.   Let us hope that our state and legislative leaders will keep the promises of government to see us through the next year.   I left my ...

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