Florida could be on the verge of forcing another Bush down your throat. Any hope I have that Florida is really a moderate state is dampened by the smarter Bush brother’s popularity here. Jeb! was just about as conservative as they come during his two terms as governor.
His apparent mantra of “I’ve never seen a government agency or program I liked” may play well with the voters, but it’s a f…ing disastrous way to run one. Countless appointments to led departments/agencies from the business community promoting “get tough” policies ran their departments into the ground. (Just ask my wife.) Privatization efforts tended to be boondoggles, contracts sometimes revoked and services “re-socialized.” Some of the largest tax cuts in state history were passed under his watch… in a state that already had one of the lowest tax burdens in the country. Unlike the federal government though, the “wean the beast” strategy of tax policy works in most states, due to constitutional rules forbidding deficit spending. Who tends to suffer when spending is cut? The people who can least afford more suffering. Conservatives like to think of welfare queens living high on the cash hog of government, but the reality is cash grant amounts for poverty stricken single parents haven’t risen in fifteen years (or more). A single mother with one child and no assets or sources of income is entitled to $241 per month – the same as when I started my career in public service in 1994. Per student spending on education (by most honest accounts) plummeted during most of his term. State universities were essentially told to go fend for themselves (while the tuition they could charge was capped by statute).
I shit you not, in one of his big speeches as governor he stood in front of the capital and said (I’m paraphrasing – I’m too lazy to look up the exact quote) “I look forward to the day when these buildings stand empty.” Nice sentiment when you think about departments devoted to law enforcement, but does anyone (besides a right-wingnut) think there will be a day in our lifetimes when there’s no need for any government – of any size or shape?
Come on, really? Have you been taking your meds?
And there’s even more reason for me to call my doctor and ask for anti-depressants: I’ve heard state Democrats talk about fielding a strong candidate to oppose him, but I never hear a name. Republicans OWN the state Senate, House, and elected cabinet posts. Why is this important? I always thought politics was like baseball, and many good teams only succeed if they have a good farm system. Legislatures and cabinet posts often serve as that political farm system – and there’s a severe shortage of rising Democrats. Republicans have super-majorities in both houses, so Democrats aren’t needed. They play minor roles in passing legislation (at best) – and thus, they’re irrelevant. Unless there’s some superstar, Democratic mayor out there (of a big city) that I’m not aware of… or a high profile business man (who’s a Democrat with an ounce of political smarts), that U.S. Senate seat has Jeb’s name on it, and I’ll bet he knows it.