Bond Bill for Huntington Ingalls Shipyard

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Bigger Pie Forum | Bond Bill for Huntington Ingalls Shipyard | BPF
 
Mississippi taxpayers already owe more than $5.8 billion in bond debt alone and the Mississippi House wants to add to that debt in a big way.
The House passed a $173 million bond bill last Tuesday, on top of $45 million for a bond that would be a handout to Huntington Ingalls Shipyard in Pascagoula. Add to that several bond bills that would add $40 million to the taxpayers’ credit card and you’re starting to talk about some real money.
The final tab for all of that largesse adds ups to $258 million. That’s not counting the $300 million the Legislature will borrow to fund infrastructure needs.
In 2000, the state’s bond debt was $2,268,773,000. As of September 2018, that number was up to $5,841,403,000, an increase of more than 157 percent.
Huntington Ingalls Industries received $45 million from taxpayers in 2017, $45 million in 2016, $20 million in 2015, $56 million in 2008, $56 million in 2005 and $40 million in 2004.
That adds up to $307 million in handouts to a company with a $23 billion construction contract backlog in U.S. Navy and Coast Guard shipbuilding contracts.
This upcoming fiscal year that starts July 1, the Legislature will likely appropriate more than $385 million to service the state’s debt, the same amount that was spent last year. In 2000, the Legislature appropriated more than $158 million.
There’s nothing wrong with some of this borrowing, especially when it’s used for infrastructure or vitally-needed capital improvements at the state’s universities and community colleges. When bond debt is used for projects that will outlast the retirement of the debt, it’s a good idea.
The problem is the Legislature needs to do a better job of ensuring that they only add to the state’s debt for projects that are suitable for bonds.
Using these funds for

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