Most sensible folks know that when something is proven wrong, it is … well, wrong. However, an ideologue is never wrong, even when proven wrong. Ideologues are not sensible folks. That is so true in Florida where ideologues in public office are as common and helpful as love bugs in September. Let’s consider three wrongs that won’t make anything more than … um, three wrongs … ever.
1. Welfare recipients take drugs. This has been pretty well proven false (false at best; ugly as sin, too). It really doesn’t make much logical sense as had been stated already on this page.
It should have been no surprise when reports emerged showing that few welfare recipients – only 2.5% – failed the test.
It is incredible when faced with such an epic failure to continue to insist that welfare recipients need to be drug tested. Gov. Rick Scott made that very affirmation during a 2 hour appearance this week on CNBC’s Squawk Box. He is quoted:
You know it’s interesting … the public completely gets it. I gave a speech yesterday at the Chamber of Commerce down in Miami; when I went through the things we’ve accomplished, it was almost a standing ovation when I said we’re drug screening welfare recipients. Let’s think about why. That money is for the benefit of children. So if there’s two parents — one uses drugs, one doesn’t. You can go give the money to the one that doesn’t use drugs, but do you want to give the money to the parent that uses drugs? The public gets it, all right?
Gov. Scott is correct about public opinion; polls show Floridians favoring this painfully biased law by a huge 71-27% margin. However, you must be a mindless ideologue to continue believing your own bullship when it’s totally proven wrong.
Carl Hiaasen was just on the Rachel Maddow Show promoting a great idea; drug test the legislators instead, calling it a “patriotic whiz-fest.”
2. Government regulations kill jobs. This is a myth we’ve posted before, but it just doesn’t end. Gov. Scott made this mantra the centerpiece of his new administration, starting within an hour of his swearing-in with Executive Order 11-01 suspending all agency rulemaking, prohibiting any new contracts over $1 million without prior authorization, while creating the Office of Fiscal Accountability and Regulatory Reform to check the worth of every rule. Why? Government regulations kill jobs, and Scott is the Jobs Governor.
It turns out that an imperious governor’s executive orders can also screw up little peoples’ lives. As a result,
A blind woman from Miami seeking to reapply for food stamps has filed a petition in the Florida Supreme Court challenging the constitutionality of Gov. Rick Scott’s rule-making freeze.
The woman may be blind, but didn’t Scott (a lawyer) and his lawyers see this one coming? (Awful pun, I know.) Or did he/they not care?
Was Scott surprised by the August decision by the Florida Supreme Court stating that he had over-stepped his authority and ruled his action unconstitutional? Did he regret messing up the lives of poor, vulnerable citizens with his arrogant actions? He said:
“It’s a disappointment,” Mr. Scott said, about the decision. “You know, think about it. The secretaries of these agencies report to me. They work for me at will, then I’m not supposed to supervise them? It doesn’t make any sense.”
Yeah, who cares about the blind woman and her food stamps. You know the Governor is a big time Christian by the way. Big. Time.
Scott’s people have yet to produce any evidence of job-killing regulations. It would be nice to have a poster child-type regulation that was killing like a thousand jobs. Instead, Scott said earlier this month that he has a thousand regulations he wants to repeal. It isn’t like the thousand repealed regulations will create a thousand jobs, but … y’know.
Scott actually had to admit that finding job killing regulations created jobs:
“Every rule costs money. Just the fact that you have to research to find out if you’re in compliance,” Scott told the Herald/Times. “It’s so complicated people have to hire consultants to figure out how to comply.”
Otherwise, 989,000 unemployed Floridians who aren’t consultants, regulations kill jobs but repealing regulations doesn’t necessarily create any jobs. So sorry.
And this just in; it’s been such a successful (?) strategy, the Scott administration will continue its dogged pursuit of job killing regulations.
“We’re hoping to put another set of eyes on what agencies are doing,” [Jerry] McDaniel [director of the Office of Policy and Budget] said in an interview.
3. Conservation is enhanced by money-making development. It is no secret that Scott and most Tallahassee Republicans have a consensus opinion that conservation lands need to carry their own weight. Yes, conservation has to achieve a Return on Investment (ROI). Conservation – in and of itself – is pure green crap; it has to pay for its damn-self.
To that end, the Florida Dept. of Environmental Protection (check out the name, really) Division of Recreation and Parks decided to sell concessions at a few select state parks (okay, 56 of them) that would allow for some visitor accommodation. That meant they could build freaking RV parks at gorgeous locations like Honeymoon Island, and commit similar atrocities statewide.
The blow-back was swift and severe. Republican leaders who disdain the guv already wasted no time in opposing this move, like Sen. Fasano and Sen. Dockery. Scott said in its defense:
“The reason we have parks is so people will use them,” Scott said …. “We have to make our parks available to people, with whatever amenities we can add to help people use the parks more.”
They had public hearings. People went hyper-ape. Hundreds turned out and they were passionate – here’s a video – with folks like this:
“This group will lay down in front of the bulldozers before we let this happen,” warned Jan Allyn of the Florida Native Plant Society.
Then an advisory group formed by DEP joined with Audubon Society, Sierra Club, Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission, Pinellas County Commission, and even the Florida Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (really?) in condemning the whole idea.
Things didn’t go well at either of the following hearings for Wakulla Springs and DeLeon Springs state parks.
In a matter of days, Honeymoon Island was off the list, the whole plan was suspended, and a different strategy was undertaken.
More insight into this hare-brained move surfaced a month later:
“Anytime anybody gets a new boss, you think, ‘How can we help our new boss succeed?’ ” explained [Florida Park Service Director Donald] Forgione. But to Julie Wraithmell, of Audubon of Florida, using the public parks to create private jobs makes no sense. “That’s not the park service’s mission,” she said. “It’s providing recreational opportunities for people and protecting our natural resources.”
Okay, but was State Sen. Stephen Wise under a rock this whole time? Did someone tell him this kind of stupid commercializing of conservation areas was not a good idea? Apparently not.
Companies would be able to advertise on Florida trails and greenways under a bill filed this month by state Sen. Stephen Wise, R-Jacksonville. The bill is an attempt to pump revenue into the state office that oversees the trail system. The Office of Greenways and Trails has faced cuts in the recent past and underwent a structural shift this year that irked trail proponents. An identical bill was filed by Wise during the last legislative session but died in committee. [emphasis added]
Brilliant, because every visitor to Florida’s greenways and trails will appreciate the advertising for, let’s see, incontinence and bottled water, guys twirling “We Buy Gold” signs, and maybe bug spray and laxative. It died last year, but a resurrection was apparently in order. Please, please, let the dead rest in peace.