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Tag Archives: Bill Crawford

BILL CRAWFORD — Flood spotlights need for strategic policy thinking

Politicians tend to be adept at tactical political thinking. How do I win the next election? How do I get this project my financial backers want approved? How do I keep special interest groups on my side? And so on. Strategic policy thinking to solve systemic and long-term problems, well that’s another story. Effective government, however, cannot be singularly driven ...

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BILL CRAWFORD — Mississippi ignores conservative way to tax

As you lurch over another crevice in your favorite rural highway, here are some facts you can use to dull your senses. That apparently works for our state leaders. Mississippi has the third lowest gas tax rate among the 50 states. The lowest is Alaska at 14.4 cents per gallon. Second is Missouri at 17.4 cents. Then comes Mississippi at ...

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BILL CRAWFORD — Gunn should stick to his guns regarding retirees

Speaker of the House Philip Gunn is right to bow up about state retirees serving in the Legislature. Some background. In late 2018 then Attorney General Jim Hood altered the political landscape for retirees with this opinion – “The PERS Retiree members have vested rights to their benefits, are entitled to receive their benefits and, if qualified and elected, they ...

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BILL CRAWFORD — Despite cash infusion PERS’ ship keeps sinking

Here we go again at PERS, the state employee retirement system. Despite last year’s promise to legislators that a boost in employer contributions would right the ship, the ship sank again in FY 2019. The latest Actuarial Valuation Report (delayed until after the election) showed PERS’ unfunded pension liability jumped up $1 billion, from $16.9 billion to $18 billion. The ...

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BILL CRAWFORD — Can civic education save democracy from social media?

As two of the three branches of government become more and more politicized, the posture of the third will play a crucial role in how our federal government works. The two politicized branches, of course, are the executive and legislative. The third, and supposed to always rise above politics, is the judicial branch. Last week, U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice ...

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BILL CRAWFORD — Money talks in Mississippi politics

“Who will pay $250K to eat with Tate Reeves at inauguration dinner?” read the headline in the Clarion-Ledger. The incoming governor’s inaugural committee is seeking “platinum sponsors” willing to ante up to have dinner with Reeves plus VIP access to all inauguration events. The article says that the identities of these donors and others paying for inauguration events will remain ...

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BILL CRAWFORD — King of Id golden rule prevails in today’s culture

Which “golden rule” do you follow? The one from the Bible? “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets,” – Matthew 7: 12-14. Or the one attributed to the King of Id? “Whoever has the gold makes the rules!” – Wizard of Id cartoon published ...

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BILL CRAWFORD — PERS trying to stay invisible until after elections

Did you get a glimpse Mississippi’s invisible black hole? It briefly appeared over the past year in the Bigger Pie Forum, an Associated Press article by Jeff Amy, and the Jackson Jambalaya blog. “The Public Employees’ Retirement System of Mississippi is a ticking fiscal time bomb,” headlined the Bigger Pie story. “Analysis: Public retirement plan pressure won’t end soon,” was ...

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BILL CRAWFORD — Brain drain a gross problem for Mississippi

Brain drain in Mississippi is gross. That’s what Phil Hardwick wrote in the Mississippi Business Journal. Citing an April report by the U.S. Joint Economic Committee on the topic of brain drain in the United States, Hardwick explained, “Gross brain drain is defined as the share of leavers who are highly educated minus the share of adults who remain in ...

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BILL CRAWFORD — Predatory vs. preposterous policies at play in Mississippi?

Choosing to appease the insatiable desires of grasping businesses and consumers, politicians spew ever more promiscuous policies from our nation’s capital. As noted in recent columns, hindrances to unscrupulous businesses preying on consumers are diminishing while preposterous promises of succor to consumers are expanding. Predatory practices are the dark side of Republican pro-business policies on the one hand while preposterous ...

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