Next year promises to be quite the political donnybrook in Florida as Governor Rick Scott seeks a second term, and it seems the Democrats are in a bit of a quandary.
The problem for Democrats is that the economic and business climate in Florida is and has been improving steadily. In just the last three years over 2,600 regulations have been eliminated. Taxes on families and businesses have been cut over 25 times. The state’s debt has been paid down by $3.6 billion. That’s billion, with a “B.” Florida has paid back to the federal treasury $3.5 billion in unemployment insurance, and Florida now has a $1.5 billion “rainy day” fund.
But wait! It gets even worse for our Democrat friends!
If you believe that it is, as they say, “all about jobs,” then Floridians have to be quite pleased at the jobs picture in the Sunshine State. They’ve seen the unemployment rate drop from 11.1 percent to 7.0 percent — below the national average.
While the Democrats are absorbing the good news from Republican-led Florida, they’re watching the bad news pour in from Democrat-controlled states.
Kentucky, with its Democrat governor, has an unemployment rate of 8.5 percent. Kentucky residents are saddled with a hefty state income tax rate as high as 6 percent and the third highest state debt as a percentage of GDP. Move to Kentucky from Florida to start a business or look for a job? I think not.
And Democrats can’t help but be dismayed at the story from their leader’s home state, Illinois. From December 2006 to December 2010, the Prairie State experienced a 5 percentage point jump in their unemployment rate. Since then, Illinois Democrat leadership has only managed to ease that pain by 0.3 percent. Illinois Democrats have had four years to implement smart policy decisions to revive their economy and yet they remain 49th in the nation for unemployment recovery.
So if you’re a Democrat, and you want to take back the governor’s office next year, what do you do? Apparently, if you listen to critics of Governor Rick Scott, you ignore the statistics and the successes, and loudly proclaim that all economic recovery in Florida is ascribed to one national figure — President Barack Obama. But isn’t Barack Obama the president in Kentucky as well? And Illinois? Why is it that Rick Scott has Florida in a much better position? Can Florida Democrats explain that away?
Governor Rick Scott has paved the way for countless businesses to invest in Florida, and they are. His success with the Florida economy and our debt picture cannot be ignored. With the businesses come jobs and economic growth.
Sure, Democrats would like to return to power in Tallahassee, but that’s the voter’s decision; and in making that decision we need to ask ourselves one simple question: “What really works for Florida?” I don’t know about Obama, but Rick Scott seems to know. And the numbers prove it.
Neal Boortz is an author, former radio host and political commentator.