What's a governor to do when he signs a budget with $2.2 billion in new taxes and fees when he repeatedly promised to oppose new taxes? If you're Charlie Crist, change the emphasis of the discussion.
In signing the budget Wednesday, Crist repeatedly stressed that the budget has no "broad-based tax increases." Crist pointed out that only 2 million people smoke in Florida. So the new tax they pay isn't "broad based" because there are about 18.3 million Floridians.
"It's broad based, if it's a majority," Crist said. "Clearly."
Here's what's clear: The state has about 15.6 million driver licenses and about 18.8 million motor vehicles. All of them will have to pay more.
Is that "broad based" enough?
When asked to discuss the increased burdens that drivers will shoulder, Crist said: "We have to balance a budget. And we have a responsibility and a duty here. And these people behind me take it very seriously."
Who are "these people?" Those are the legislators. So blame them for anything "broad based." Clearly.