Gov. Rick Scott is still feeling pretty good about his plan to phase out corporate income taxes despite the proposal failing to win support in a Senate committee this morning.
"I'm confident with the most conservative House and Senate in history that we'll have a phase out of the corporate tax," Scott said with a wink.
Note the use of "most conservative ... in history."
It's a reference to this quote from Senate President Mike Haridopolos in the Palm Beach Post immediately following the November elections: "The overall body was moderate," Haridopolos said of the pre-Tuesday Senate. "It was very sympathetic to unions, very sympathetic to trial lawyers, very sympathetic to the idea that big government maybe doesn't need to go on a diet ... I think you're seeing right now the most conservative Senate ... in your history."
Haridopolos also posted on his campaign website a TCPalm story that refers to the Senate as the "most conservative."
Scott is implying that Haridopolos can't claim this mantle without significant tax cuts. Haridopolos, who is running for U.S. Senate in a three-way GOP primary, has said spending cuts would take priority over tax cuts this session.
But maybe there will be more spending cuts to pay for Scott's campaign promise. Scott said he getting intel that lawmakers will find money the money for him. (Perhaps in the budget negotiations happening behind closed doors.)
"There's funds there," Scott said.
Former Gov. Bob Graham, a Democrat, said tax cuts won't help job creation.
He says the state loses about $4 billion every year from the tax cuts passed under Republican Legislatures during the first decade of the new century. But he says only about 600,000 jobs were created during that time, compared to 1.9 million jobs in the state in the 1980s and 1.6 million jobs in the 1990s. Average wages in Florida have also dropped compared to the rest country.
"So we've had a decline both in numbers and in quality of jobs," Graham said.
Graham said he delivered that message to Scott during a 55 minute meeting the two had today.
"I told him we had a series of tax cuts in the first decade of this century," Graham said. "During that same decade our job creation plummetted."
Said Graham: "That doesn't seem to be a very strong recommendation that tax cuts are the way to even create jobs or enhance the value of jobs in terms of money in people's wallets."
Graham said he would invest in the environment ("That's our competitive edge") and education.