Warm Southern Breeze

"… there is no such thing as nothing."

I won the Alabama Lottery!

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday, March 31, 2012

I won the Alabama Lottery, and all I got was this lousy governor and inept Republican legislature.

His official state of Alabama web page states, “After one year in office, Governor Bentley still does not accept a salary – and still works to put Alabamians back to work. And it seems to be working.”

“Seems to be working”?

Oh, come on!

Across America, unemployment rates are generally lowering. Lower unemployment rates in Alabama is not because of anything this governor or legislature has done.

Here’s another example of their ineptitude.

An official state news releases on 21 March 2012 read Governor’s Mansion Doors to Display Blue Ribbons Today in Honor of Down Syndrome Awareness Campaign. Gee whiz, that’s great! Right? Sure… unless you, or someone you know or love has Down’s Syndrome. Why? The governor just announced a 10.6% proration to all state agencies until the end of the fiscal year, which is 30 September 2012, and his hand-picked man to run the state’s Medicaid agency has stepped down less than a year after appointment by his friend. So, why’d he resign?

Here’s what a statewide news agency reported.

Alabama Medicaid Commissioner R. Bob Mullins Jr., a veteran family physician, announced his resignation today, saying the agency’s budget woes require a different set of skills.

“There are a number of urgent and compelling issues that must be addressed to maintain the financial health of the state and the overall health of a growing number of Medicaid recipients,” Mullins said in a statement.

“I came to this position with a clinical background which is important. However, the current budget environment requires a different set of skills, and I want to give Governor Bentley the opportunity to bring in a person to meet that need,” Mullins said.

The resignation is effective April 30, so Mullins can assist with the transition.

Gov. Robert Bentley, a retired dermatologist, said after he was elected governor that he wanted to have a doctor in the position of Medicaid commissioner.

Mullins and  Gov. Bentley are close personal friends, and the two grew up together in Columbiana, AL. Governor Bentley named Mullins as department head in December 2010.

Now, how does all this relate and fit together?

Alabama’s constitution – for better, or for worse – requires a balanced budget, and the folks that make the budget (that’d be the governor and legislature) made a poor forecast on the amount of money the state would earn. And with very nearly 6 months remaining in the fiscal year, to have 10.6% proration announced means that their forecasts of tax revenue income to the state were off by at least 11%.

Put another way, we don’t have enough money to operate the state at the levels we anticipated. We’re short at least 10.6%.

It’s kinda’ difficult to imagine that Republicans are not at fault for any of this, since the state’s high-level offices and legislature are predominately Republican… exceedingly so, in fact, and have been now, for nearly three administrations – 12 years.

But please… let’s go fight in federal court to KEEP our inequitable income tax system that assesses a higher income tax rate on the poverty-stricken, than the well-to-do, and assesses income tax on a lower level of income than even Mississippi!

Seriously.

It’s true.

Which leads to our next question:

Can those folks ever be taken seriously?

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