August 3, 2003
Gov. Ronnie Musgrove told The Clarion-Ledger the other day that Mississippi's budget shortfall next year will be more like $140 million rather than the $600 million figure that has been batted around for weeks. But, our incumbent governor did not offer any explanation for his unbridled optimism; nor did he suggest how he could make it so.
We have an explanation: Magic money. Snap your fingers, it appears. Blink your eyes, it disappears. Twitch your nose and weeks of budgetary angst just dissolve.
Despite the June rise in the state's unemployment rate Lauderdale County's jobless rate jumped a full percentage point to 8.6 percent everyone is hoping that the national recession will end soon. Still, the state will hardly be awash in new money as budget planners begin their work. We can't realistically see how what appears to be a $600 million shortfall in the state's next budget could all but disappear.
Oops. Yes, we can. Magic money that will miraculously appear just in time for the fall general election.
What more could an incumbent want?