Is Job creation an excuse for our Governor to pursue wasteful polices?
By Roger Caldwell
Governor Scott wants the state to believe that his policies have lowered unemployment from 10.6 percent to the present rate of 8.6 percent. But 75 percent of the drop is due to people dropping out of the labor force. Florida desperately needs additional Medicaid funds, because a large group of the population in Florida has no insurance coverage.
Governor Scott has rejected hundreds of millions of federal funds, and now he has determined that Medicaid expansion is bad for the state, even though initially the federal government will pick up the tab. To the detriment of the taxpayers of Florida, our governor has rejected needed and available stimulus, infrastructure improvements, job creations and healthcare funds to snub the president.
This short sighted thinking has forced the National Republican Party to keep their distance from Governor Scott. Scott’s image is not good in the polls and most of the Republican leadership considers him damaged goods on the campaign trail. Romney has been to Florida 53 times and Scott has not been invited on the bus, and he has not been invited to appear with the GOP presidential nominee.
Governor Scott would like the citizens to think that he is a job creator, but he continues to reward wealthy friends and businessmen with multimillion dollar contracts and business opportunities. Attorney General Pam Bondi is trying to appeal a ruling that blocked privatization of 29 prisons in South Florida. Thousands of prison guards would lose their jobs, and the company, which may win the contract; the president is a friend of the governor.
The Florida Supreme Court is reviewing an appeal from Scott, because Circuit Judge Jackie Fulford invalidated a 3% employee contribution for the Florida Retirement System, which the 2011 Legislature enacted. There is another major privatization effort being pushed by the DOC for inmate health care, which is being challenged by the Florida Nurses Association and American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees.
As many Floridians evaluate and monitor Governor Scott’s policies, large corporations who can contribute to Scott’s re-election campaign, and friends who have connections and resources get preferential treatment. The governor has promised to keep the cost of living down for Floridians, but has accepted $250,000 in campaign cash from Florida Power & Light, which wants to raise electric rates for its 4.5 million customers. It would not surprise me, when customers get a letter that electric rates have gone up.
Under Governor Scott it appears that the rich keep getting richer, under the disguise that his administration is focused on job creation. Scott believes that he can save money through privatization, but this appears to be destructive corporate welfare where the governor’s friends get million dollar contracts.
The governor has wasted hundreds of thousands of dollars on court battles, and there was also a losing effort against health care reform. Our governor has one of the highest unfavorable ratings of any politician in the country, and our governor’s image is a disaster for the state. In the coming months, it will be imperative that the governor stops wasting money on court battles that he cannot win, and allow federal funding to be allocated to the state.