“No Man’s life liberty or property is safe while the legislature is in session”.

- attributed to NY State Judge Gideon Tucker

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Rick Scott Aims To Govern Florida As A Business

Stephen Moore wrote an interesting piece in the Wall Street Journal on December 31 regarding Rick Scott's aims as the new governor of Florida.

I tend to be suspect of governors who swear they will run their state "like a business." Which Scott does. Regardless of how wrong-headed or wasteful you believe a governmental unit such as a large state or the federal government to be, it's not a business. The government is a structure meant to effect certain necessary social and political duties of and for a group of citizens.

What is positive about Scott's focus is on job creation. His campaign had as its centerpiece the replacement of some 700,000 jobs lost in Florida since the start of the recession.

But when you read Moore's piece, the bulk of Scott's cost-cutting is pension- and health benefit-related. Sounds familiar to anyone from New Jersey.

Oddly, what Moore's interview with Scott demonstrated for me, along with familiarity with New Jersey's Chris Christie, is a reinforcement of my observation in this recent post,

"If you think about it, aren't our wealth-transfer payment programs the ones which are deemed 'non-discretionary' and breaking our budgets? Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and related transfers, enacted with no global or macro budgetary conditionality? As communal, unlimited spending pots, the withdrawals from which are on individual eligibility bases, not apportioned and pro-rated based upon budgetary limitations?

It's ridiculous! Thanks to Congressional idiocy in the 1930s and 1960s, we've elevated the poor and destitute ahead of every other need of our Republic. They never are required to share in the economies and belt-tightening shared by our other national governmental spending and taxation realities."

Now we see two large state governors struggling with budget issues which are overwhelmingly driven by state and municipal union compensation and benefits.

I find myself wondering why state workers, as well as government transfer payment recipients, should not be exposed to the vagaries of the fortunes of the taxpayers who ultimately fund their claims. Why are there no pro-rata, or normalizing conditions on any of those taxpayer-fund recipients?

It's as if those who actually create the value which is taxed are subject to risks and uncertainty, but those feeding from those tax revenues are immune.

It's completely wrong.

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