If it is true that a people get the government they deserve, then there should be little reason to complain at the draconian steps which Gov. Rick Scott and Republican state lawmakers plan to take to solve Florida’s economic problems.


Voters in the Sunshine State have not only sent a GOP majority to the Legislature for at least the past 14 years but this year we gave them super-majorities in both the Senate and the House of Representatives and we installed in the governor’s mansion a business executive of dubious reputation who had never held public office.

That is not simply a mandate for those officials to run the state as they see fit; it is an overwhelming mandate.

What is not right, however, is the notion that seems to underpin the plan that the GOP has been hatching – that Florida’s future greatness can be constructed only by increasing the burden of the poor, by gutting Medicaid; the young, by gutting education; the environment, by gutting laws to protect the environment; the middle class, by massive layoffs of public sector workers, including, of all people, teachers.

There can be no arguing against the fact that Florida, like the rest of the nation, needs jobs. What Gov. Scott is proposing, as an immediate solution, is to take away jobs. Florida will also need qualified people to fill the jobs of tomorrow and into the future. Taking away $700 per public student is not the way to do it.

What is worse, there can be no guarantee that this wholly discriminatory application of fiscal pain will, in fact, boost the state’s employment numbers. It is a bogus argument to say that giving tax cuts to corporations will, by itself, generate jobs. Corporations nationally are making hundreds of billions of dollars annually even now when the U.S. jobless rate has been topping nine percent.

What the governor and the Legislature will succeed in doing is put greater burdens on the people who need the most help and further entrench corporate control of Florida.
Yes, they have the mandate to do it but that does not make it right.