The theme Governor Rick Scott chose for Tuesday’s State of the State Speech was “It’s Working.”
The Peace and Freedom Party agrees. It (Florida’s government) is working — for the privileged 1%. For the other 99% of Floridians, not so much.
Governor Scott brags that his 2013 budget increases education spending by more than $400 per student. He doesn’t mention that per-student spending was cut by more than $800 between 2008 and 2012, nor does he mention the millions of dollars stolen from bona fide public education institutions to subsidize sending a few thousand of Florida’s more than 2.5 million students to private schools.
Governor Scott claims that “the most important thing to a family is having a job.” No, the most important thing to a family is earning enough money to feed, clothe and shelter its members. Real wages in Florida remain stagnant, record numbers of mortgages are “underwater,” and Floridians continue to suffer even as bailed-out bankers and CEOs post ever-larger bottom lines.
Governor Scott touts $36 million in new assistance for Florida’s disabled, but seems to have forgotten the $30 million he cut by executive order from the Agency for Persons with Disabilities in 2011 before the legislature acted to head off his gutting of those priority programs.
“Top CEOs now rank Florida the second best state in the nation for business,” says Governor Scott. And no wonder — his administration jumps through hoops to fill those CEOs’ pockets with taxpayer money.
Take, for example, his flip-flop on expanding the state’s Medicaid program. In the speech, he suggests that that flip-flop was a result of empathy for Florida’s poor and their lack of access to quality health care.
In reality, his change of mind was no change of heart: He is acquiescing to a Medicaid expansion funded by the Affordable Care Act only on the condition that those funds be funneled to and through the enterprises of his cronies in Big Insurance and Big Pharma — bloated corporate models which rake off a full order of magnitude more money in administrative costs than the incredibly efficient public system which has served Florida well.
Scott’s response to the federal “sequestration” tells the real story of our fake economic recovery: He bemoans the possible loss of Florida jobs due to tiny cuts in the US government’s insanely bloated “defense” budget. Floridians shouldn’t have to count on a “trickle down” effect from the war economy’s corporate welfare schemes to feed their families.
The Peace and Freedom Party stands with Florida’s working class. We seek a stable peace economy with real jobs at living wages, quality health care for all, solid education for our children and security for our tenants and homeowners.
You’ve seen how Rick Scott rules Florida — he is to “working” what Charlie Sheen is to “winning.” Four years of foot-dragging, broken promises and crony capitalism are four years too many. For real workers’ democracy, vote Peace and Freedom in 2014!