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Why can't we be more like Florida?
By Steve Hopkins
On Thursday there was a bill to fix the pay raises for teachers’ assistants. The chairman jumps up and proposes an amendment to tack on a $3,000 pay raise. Of course, being an election year, they allowed the amendment and let it pass, knowing full well that they would strip the raise out in conference.
I have said that I will vote NO on all pay raises until the state income tax has been eliminated, which means a pay raise for all working Mississippians, not just those who work for the government. Not just salaries, I'm voting no on anything that grows government and any budget that is larger than the previous year. We have the money to do all the right things, we just do not have enough of the right people in Jackson that want to do it for the people that need it most.
This is an excruciatingly hard stance for me when it comes to education because, year after year, I submitted bills for raises for teachers and teachers’ assistants. I have many teachers in my family, including my wife, but how unfair is it of me to vote for a raise for my household when the rest of the state is suffering through the worst recession of my lifetime.
They know that these raises, increased spending and growing government mean new commitments to the taxpayers, and it makes it harder to eliminate the income tax, but they don’t care. They only want to get re-elected, so they spend like there’s no tomorrow and put the taxpayers on the hook for billions.
I am fighting for a self-sufficient, federal government-free state like Florida! So the next time you hear someone say "why can't we be more like Florida?" refer them to this post.