Sen. Nan Rich is one of the most liberal, and most loved, members of the Florida Senate. So it's no surprise that she has serious heartburn with Gov. Rick Scott's proposed budget. But beyond Rich's partisan language, which matches Scott's, understand that much of what she's saying on the record is what many Republicans on both sides of the state Capitol are muttering under their breath.
“While the governor campaigned against career politicians and against business as usual in Tallahassee, his budget reflects the same old policies we’ve seen for the last 12 years that helped dig the hole we’re in. If government has been the problem, then the problem has been themselves.
“Twelve years of Republican control of the Legislature and Governor’s mansion have left us with one of the highest unemployment rates in the nation, despite having one of the lowest tax rates for big business. It is foolish to believe that lowering corporate taxes any further – a tax first approved by the residents of this state in the interest of fairness – will now magically spur job creation.“
“The retreaded voodoo economics we heard today will not right this ship. But it will drill more holes in our already badly damaged public education. It will further eliminate the life rafts hundred of thousands of Floridians have had to turn to for basic survival because their jobs, their benefits and their homes have disappeared.
“So too the attack on tens of thousands of state employees. Hitting the average public servant making well under six figures may make for catchy campaign ads. But squeezing working class Floridians who haven’t seen a cost of living increase in five years is the real trickle down effect, affecting like falling dominoes everyone from the local grocery store owner to the McDonald’s franchise operator.
“Rather than his top down approach, the governor might be better served by starting bottom up where the real battles are fought. Working and middle class Floridians accustomed to paying their bills and maintaining their homes have been under siege just trying to hold on.
“They need leadership that values a commitment to education, especially higher education and the new careers it launches and the unemployed it retrains; a dedication to preserving essential state services and programs, along with the employees that provide them including our first responders; an investment in our state’s infrastructure that has been ignored and imperiled for far too long; and an emphasis on aiding small businesses, the real power house in any economic recovery, and the regulations and tax policies that strangle their job creating ability. All of this is what’s desperately needed and sorely missing from the words I heard today