Home » Author Archives: Contributing Columnist

Author Archives: Contributing Columnist

BILL CRAWFORD: Shift tax burden as recommended or delay tax cuts

The Tax Foundation expert legislative leaders brought in last fall to advise them on tax reform recommended a shift in the state’s tax burden – away from corporate and individual income taxes to user-based taxes.    The key word is “shift.”     User-based taxes – gas taxes, sales taxes, use taxes, etc. – are already on the books in Mississippi. ...

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BEN WILLIAMS: Mississippi’s prescient governor

Mississippi’s Governor Phil Bryant endured some rancorous criticism for his decision to forgo an expanded Medicaid program.  Now, with actual data refuting the doctored projections used to originally support expansion, the twice-elected governor is “looking prescient” – to borrow a phrase from a Wall Street Journal editorial. Background on ACA and Medicaid Expansion The 2,700-page 2010 federal Patient Protection and ...

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TODD SMITH: How the media botched the presidential election

The inauguration was barely over when President Trump attacked the press, and scarcely longer for his advisor, Kellyanne Conway, to introduce a novel concept: “alternative facts” in response to reporting that the crowd at the Trump inauguration fell below its predecessors. Thus, the battle between the media and the president has been ignited. While news organizations in these early days ...

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BILL CRAWFORD — Legislators should take hard look at university admissions

USM cut out-of-state tuition by 40 percent “to reverse a 2,000-student enrollment dip by pricing a USM education below some public universities in nearby states,” reported the Clarion-Ledger.    IHL data shows the average percentage of out-of-state students attending Mississippi public universities is 30 percent. The averages for each university are ASU 24 percent, DSU 17 percent, JSU 23 percent, MSU 34 percent, MUW 15 percent, MVSU 23 percent, ...

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TODD SMITH — Local news vows to fight fake news

A large group of local media outlets is taking an aggressive stance against so-called fake news. The Local Media Consortium (LMC), a partnership that includes dozens of newspapers and more than 1,600 media outlets, has released a “manifesto” deeming fake news as “digital propaganda” and pledged to educate readers in an effort to combat its spread. Fake news stories crescendoed ...

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BILL CRAWFORD — Two Meridian representatives introduce conflicting bills

Meridian Republican Representative Steve Horne has introduced House Bill 305 to abolish party primaries for state and local elections.    Meridian Republican Representative Greg Snowden has introduced House Bill 496 to require party primaries for state and local judicial elections.   Hmmm.   Horne’s bill was referred by Speaker of the House Philip Gunn to the Apportionment and Elections Committee. ...

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LAW ELEVATED — Facebook fake news problem may impact businesses operating open websites

Recent criticisms lobbed at Facebook for fake news stories on its platform that allegedly tipped the election in Donald Trump’s favor may spell trouble for businesses operating open websites where users can post content.  Sites that aggregate content created by third parties (think Craig’s List, YouTube, or any sites that include a comment section) have long been shielded from liability by a ...

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