Haley Barbour gave his final Neshoba County Fair speech as Mississippi Governor taking shots at President Obama's policies and urging the man who takes his place to build on the state's post-Katrina momentum.
Barbour told the crowd, he's proud of the accomplishments over the last eight years, but reminded everyone the nation's financial woes could halt economic growth.
He called the Obama job creation policy a joke. "How can small businesses create jobs when the administration is demanding the largest tax increase in American history, one that would fall primarily on employers? How do employers decide to hire people when they have no idea what their obligations or costs will be for health care for their employees?," Barbour said.
The governor said the state's budget situation is better than it was when he took office, but reminded everyone "it isn't flush." Barbour said, the "Rainy-Day Fund stood at $9 million dollars at the beginning of his term. Today it's $285 million, enough to cover state spending for about six months. "So the new governor and legislature will need to continue to be conservative next year, and thereafter, if you ask me," Barbour said.
After two terms, Barbour said job creation will be the most important responsibility of the new governor.
The Democrat and Republican candidates running for Governor spoke to the crowd before Barbour.