Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Got Jobs? Why Retiring Gov. Rick Scott is a Top Priority For Florida Voters … by gimleteye

There will soon be an opportunity to redress the mistake of electing Gov. Rick Scott to governor of Florida. There will be an election through which Florida voters can change course.

Yesterday's state of the state speech by Gov. Scott glided past the single campaign promise that stuck with voters in his first and only political campaign: "seven steps to 700,000 jobs over seven years". Politifact writes today, "As of December 2013, Florida has added 406,000 jobs since January 2011. Scott has several years to try to achieve 700,000 new jobs, we've rated his promise 'in the works'." If he is reelected.

Based on two new economic studies, a more realistic picture of Florida under the GOP stranglehold emerges.
Last week, the non-partisan LeRoy Collins Institute released a 120-page report called “Tougher Choices” by two University of Florida economists which concluded Florida’s ability to create high-wage jobs was eroding.

Among the findings, funding for teachers and higher education was among the worst in the country, its “hollowing out” of middle-class jobs was worse than the nation’s, Medicaid would continue to grow as more retirees move here, and roadways were among the nation’s most congested.

Pew’s "Fiscal 50" report compares mid-2013 fiscal data to pre-recessionary periods and determines states' “fiscal health” on tax revenues, spending, the workforce, long-term obligations, and fiscal policy.

While average state tax collections have bounced back to pre-recession levels, Florida was one of 11 states where tax collections remain more than 10 percent below the peak in 2006.

In fact, the report indicates once inflation and seasonal fluctuations are account for, Florida is roughly 21 percent below its boom days in the mid-2000s. Only Wyoming and Alaska were worse off.

"When it comes to buying power, Florida is still double digits behind where it was before the recession," said Barb Rosewicz, a research director in Pew’s state fiscal health project.

Employment rates for “prime-age” workers -- 25- to 54-year-olds -- remained lower in 35 states last year than in 2007, and Florida ranked third-worst in the country, better than only New Mexico and Nevada.
Public opinion polls, that consistently show Scott suffering under the worst approval ratings of any governor in the nation, show a deep mistrust of the governor.

Former Democratic house minority leader Dan Gelber issued blistering remarks about Florida's governor:
"As reported by media outlets across the state, Scott regularly simply refuses to answer questions about his policies and his actions. Even more startling, unlike every recent governor, Scott has refused to let the public know where he travels and with whom he is meeting. Yes, Rick Scott, Governor of Florida, has lawyered up… again. It’s an amazing spectacle. Questions that probe why he is doing something, what his position is, even what he thinks about his own policies, are usually met with a “have a nice day” or simply the governor or his minions shutting down the interview. That’s if you can catch him. More often he simply just ducks out a back door before he can be questioned."

Among Rick Scott blunders, one that stands right up at the top of the list was reported recently by Tampa Bay Times writer Craig Pittman, "DEP ends effort to sell $50 million worth of parks and preserved lands": Nine months after the Florida Department of Environmental Protection launched a review of its conservation lands looking for $50 million worth that it could sell as surplus, the agency is ending the program without having sold a single acre.

It was typical Rick Scott style. Scott deeply damaged the state's relationship with environmentalists when he announced the plan to sell off state lands that had been acquired in the past, usually because the lands had been fought for by citizens outraged, tired, and frustrated by the willingness of state agencies to permit developers to grow sprawl wherever and whenever they wanted.

The idea of selling off state lands was met with derision, anger, and even fury by state environmental leaders who were sent, again, back to the trenches to fight for again what they had already fought for.

The Tampa Bay Times referred to the press statement by the governor's office and DEP secretary Herschel Vinyard Jr. as "oblique" and "making no mention of the hard feelings stirred up." The plan to delete hard-won state lands was likely just another chase-down-the-rabbit-hole tactic, favored by the most powerful lobbyists, development interests and Big Ag. Kind of like: let's set off a big firecracker and watch all the do-gooders run around like headless chickens. No mention, in the governor's press statement, that the state's two top, career land management officials had already resigned in silent protest.

Typical stuff from the most clueless governor in Florida's history.
For decades, through state programs such as Florida Forever, the Legislature invested $300 million a year in buying environmentally sensitive land. During the recent economic meltdown, the Legislature cut off the funding. Some lawmakers called for getting rid of some of the land.

Last spring, the DEP proposed, and the Legislature approved, including in the state budget $20 million in cash for buying land, plus up to $50 million more raised by selling off unneeded park land. To do that requires declaring the property to be no longer needed for conservation, despite the "Forever" part of the program name.

This fall, Florida voters will have the opportunity to retire Governor Scott back to the private sector. Let's hope it is also "forever".


Anonymous said...

Replace him with WHAT?
A recycled politician who makes decisions based on which way the wind is blowing? Whose only concern is himself?

Geniusofdespair said...

Yes troll yes.

Anonymous said...

Why the insult! I didn't insult the blogger. It diminishes the value of your blog.

Anonymous said...

The common complaint I hear from those who do not support Charlie is that he is a populist. What's wrong with that?

a member of a political party claiming to represent the common people; especially often capitalized : a believer in the rights, wisdom, or virtues of the common people

Anonymous said...

Replacing Scott with what will be much better then allowing this Scott disaster to continue to reign.

I heard the speech and the most revolting part was his introduction of all his grand children. A coded message to his apple pie and familie value support base. and probably a hint to his cronies that there is a new generation in need of political support.
The old adage is so true, he aint the worst of it, these poeple have children too!

Anonymous said...

Introduction of his grandchildren was "revolting"?
Clearly you're not a grandmother!

Anonymous said...

Worst. Governor. Ever.

Geniusofdespair said...

The value of our blog diminished? I didn't even think it had value. Thank you.

I didn't insult you that is just the same thing the trolls say, I have heard it so many times from our trolls it is etched in my memory.

Anonymous said...

I was very respectful of the blogger. My opinion is different.

Anonymous said...

A politicians job is to represent the people, and to govern based on not his own wants and desires but those of his constituents.

I'd rather vote in a politician who "makes decisions based on which way the wind is blowing" then one that ignores the populous and does whatever the hell he wants because he feels entitled.

Scott, ignores the people. He should not be reelected.

Orange Juice Jones said...

If your down wind from a sewage dump then which way the wind is blowing would matter.

A majority of folks want something for nothing from the Government giving that majority what it wants is not sustainable and leads to economic disater (we are well on our way)

Rick Scott- Owner of HCA Biggest Medicare/Medicaid Found Guilty of Fraud THE BIGGEST SUCH CASE IN US HISTORY

Charlie Crist Would sell his mother for political office. Has a nice tan though.

Is this the best Florida has to offer? Maybe its time to move.

Anonymous said...

Let's not forget folks, the Gov is just a small part of the equation. Legislators that don't pay attention to the will of the voters must go too.

Anonymous said...

Don't like Crist, and don't like our present Governor;
Completely in the blank.
Anyone with better ideas?

Cato II said...

It's also important to vote to elect more Democratic members of both the Florida House and Senate and the Cabinet, too. Just putting Charlie Crist back into the Governor's Mansion will not be enough.

Anonymous said...

You have to admit the unemployment rate has improved significantly under his leadership. The numbers don't lie.

Anonymous said...

Can you imagine where we would be economically if we had a governor who understood economic development? Just look at central FL alone. The people there should absolutely hate him since he took billions of dollars out of their pockets by refusing the high speed rail money. First there is the financial activity and jobs generated by the return of their federal tax money alone. Then there are the multi-billions of dollars that would have been generated by new businesses along the transit line. Each time I ride the new transit line from Washington, DC to Boston I will think of Florida and how a stupid governor gave Florida economic growth away.

cheap crap from china said...

Nan Rich for governor, she is a progressive and a great alternative to CC

Anonymous said...

A choice between the devil that you know and the other devil that you know.
Doesn't speak well of our political system.

Anonymous said...

From PolitiFact, re: the 700,000 jobs

When Scott debuted his 7-7-7 economic plan in July 2010, nonpartisan economists at the Legislature's Office of Economic and Demographic Research had just released their estimates for Florida's long-term jobs outlook.

They concluded Florida would add 1.05 million jobs between July 1, 2010, and June 30, 2018, and it didn't matter who lived in the Governor's Mansion — Scott, Democrat Alex Sink or someone else.

To account for the news, Scott clarified his promise. His 700,000 jobs would come in addition to the ones state economists forecasted.

Put simpler: 7-7-7 became 7-7-1.7 million.

That promise is a lot harder to keep. It requires the state to produce more than 20,000 jobs on average per month, every month, for seven years.

To date, Florida is averaging 12,000 jobs a month.