Ugly new details have now surfaced about Florida Republican legislators giving corporations massive tax cuts, cash giveaways and regulatory free rides for the last fifteen years, while getting way too little back in the way of economic stimulus for the state.
Worse still, Governor Rick Scott and his obedient “supermajority” of GOP Senators and Representatives continue to aggressively advance these failed policies, even though they stand discredited by years of demonstrable bad experience. In fact since 1995, nearly two billion of our tax dollars have been redistributed up to corporate executives who then thumbed their noses and rained down more economic pain on the Middle Class.
It’s up to you to determine for yourself the intent of the Republican Party of Florida here – the actual intent- along with the actual impact of shifting so much money up to the very top.
What we know for now – only because two FL newspapers forced release of the information – is that the party handed over hundreds of millions of public dollars to private businesses, without getting the job creation and economic boost promised as a return on that investment. One has to wonder if there have been other benefits we haven’t heard about yet – not for us, but for the FL GOP, its candidates and campaigns, or party figures looking for a little corporate work in addition to, or after their political jobs.
We’ll have to wait for another enterprising newspaper and/or the Freedom Of Information Act to force release of additional government documents in order to resolve such open questions about actual intent.
So…what about impact?
Well…How’s your home value and your local housing market doing? Are most people you know back to working full time, making good money, with health insurance and other benefits? What about small businesses in your area, are they thriving? How’s your local public school handling the budget cuts? What about your community’s library, after-school, child-care and senior citizen programs and services?
As you consider and answer those questions, also consider what the President of the Florida Chamber of Commerce said recently:
“Last year was a fantastic success for the business community, but much more needs to be done…”
Hmm, don’t think he means for us, do you?
By the way, when you hear Florida’s Republican office-holders and candidates insisting that their economic policies and plans are all about lifting up “Small Business“, just keep in mind that among the companies getting all those tax breaks and cash “incentives” were little Mom & Pop outfits like Walmart, Coca Cola, Kraft Foods and Disney.
From Governor Scott and other current GOP “leaders”, to run-of-the-mill legislators, to conservative commentators and bloggers; they all keep talking about how the plight of the Middle Class in Florida and elsewhere is caused by “Big Government” in Washington DC – too much taxation, regulation and litigation.
But when it comes to that “fantastic success” in recent years for Big Business in the Sunshine State, well of course, that’s a…a result of…well, that’s thanks to the fine work of… of Republican “Small Government” at the state level – uh, no doubt, which, uh…which all along has just been trying to help, uh, let’s see…Small Businesses??
Ah, what the heck, never mind, it’s just a coincidence how well things have worked out for Florida’s biggest, richest companies in recent years, while we in the Middle Class suffered with…Obama?! Trying to force Jobs and Health Insurance and Infrastructure Rebuilding and Clean Energy and all that other stuff on us…that’s why we’re stuck on a treadmill to nowhere…right?
It all seems to make sense to plenty of Middle Class people when they see and hear it from pundits and politicians on Fox News, or on Conservative radio stations and websites. But when it’s laid out in plain black & white, it gets harder to digest and stomach.
Yes, in this upside down House of Mirrors that is Florida Politics in 2011, it’s all about information delivery – how much fact, vs. how much fiction; what gets concealed vs. what gets revealed, and how, and when…
And how closely you choose to pay attention to it.
You know what they say: Information is Power, and…
The Truth Will Set You Free.