Reports out this week show that Mississippi's economy under Governor Phil Bryant's tenure continues to underperform.
The numbers show that not only does Mississippi have one of the highest unemployment rates in the country (currently at 7.9 percent) but payrolls are falling across the state which tells us that employers are not creating jobs; they're eliminating them. A popular refrain of "tell the bums to go out and get a job" does not carry any water. What this says is that there simply aren't jobs available in many areas of the state. While the national unemployment rate continues to tick downward, Mississippi's rate continues to remain high.
On top of these depressing statistics, another report paints a startling picture about the state of poverty in Mississippi. Our poverty rate stands at 22.5 percent, which means that nearly one in four Mississippi makes under $18,000 per year. Yet, Phil Bryant and the Republicans continue to do nothing to address this crisis. Not a single bill has reached Bryant's desk which would allow for tax credits to be issued to help lift Mississippians out of poverty or for Medicaid to be expanded across the state. These two policy proposals would work wonders in helping the quality of life in Mississippi, but Phil Bryant continues to say no.
If you were to ask Phil Bryant how he feels about the state of Mississippi's economy, he'd likely tell you that things couldn't be better. While Phil Bryant strikes deals with shady businessmen at the taxpayers' expense, nearly 100,000 Mississippians are still out of work. Furthermore, hundreds of thousands of Mississippians cannot obtain health insurance because Phil Bryant and the Republicans don't care whether Mississippians have health insurance or not.
For all his talk about economic development, Phil Bryant's ideas are not working, and the numbers back that up. Bryant is out of time and out of excuses. As Bryant reminds us, this is the Republican Party he's fighting for.