By Joe Gruters
Detroit is defaulting on $2.5 billion in unsecured debt. Spending and taxing and regulating have made Detroit and the state of Michigan an economic basket case. The same types of big-government policies are putting a stranglehold on the economies of California, Minnesota and many other states sucked into the quagmire. Californians were duped into passing yet another tax on themselves to keep paying for a huge bureaucracy without defaulting — forcing more job-creators to flee the state.
During Gov. Charlie Crist’s tenure as governor, the Florida’s debt increased $5.2 billion. No real surprise when we see that he is now a Democrat, albeit a wet-finger-in-the-wind Democrat.
But Florida’s story under Gov. Rick Scott is the complete opposite. In the past two years, Scott has paid down $2 billion of Florida’s debt, nearly half of what Crist ran up as governor. This is the first time in nearly 30 years that Florida has reduced its debt in back to back years. No one doubts that he will reduce debt again this year and continue to lighten the burden on hard-working Floridians.
Gov. Scott, with the support of Republicans in the Legislature, started these debt reductions even before the economy started pumping again, through good old-fashioned prudent cutbacks and the ability to say no to spend, spend, spend.
Florida’s debt per person of $7,079 is now the fourth lowest in the nation. As the economy recovers, and with Scott’s disciplined spending, expect the state’s debt to continue to decline.
“We have enough revenue. We’ve got to live within our means,” Scott said in an interview on the Fox News Channel recently. So refreshing. If only Washington could grasp this concept.
On Fox Business News, even Democrat-leaning Wayne Rogers, chairman of Wayne Rogers and Co., said “He’s doing a very good job in the sense that he’s reduced the deficit in Florida by $2 billion. That’s amazing in itself.”
The Tampa Bay Times’ and Miami Herald’s PolitiFact, no friend of conservatives, grudgingly concedes Scott has been an effective debt-reducer, even when it quibbles over exactly how much. “No one denies that total debt fell sharply with Scott, who is famously debt-averse,” they write.
Although Florida must balance its operating budget each year under the Florida Constitution, it can borrow money for capital improvement projects such as building roads, buying environmental lands, building university buildings and so on. That is where the long-term debt comes in. That is what Scott is cutting.
Scott’s aggressive action in luring companies from other states — such as government-burdened California and Minnesota — to Florida’s sunnier business climate rubs some people wrong in those states. But mostly just the politicians. It should be nothing but lauded by Floridians who are benefitting from the Governor’s hard work.
Florida has had 330,000 private sector jobs created in past 30 months. (No created or saved nonsense, but real, new jobs.)
Scott is focused on Florida and the top priority for Floridians — jobs and the economy. And that is good for all of us. Shoot, even Democrats’ quality of life is improving under Scott
Thanks for being informed and engaged.