Columns

Florida Gov. Rick Scott is at the Top of the Class

By: Lloyd Brown | Posted: December 11, 2012 3:55 AM
From the Right Coast
It's official. Rick Scott is the best governor in the nation. 

Well, OK. It is a tie with the governor of Kansas. But there is no playoff.

That's not my assessment, although I would not dispute the finding. It is according to a ranking of governors by the highly respected Cato Institute.

In its annual Fiscal Policy Report Card on America's Governors, Cato said Scott “ended Florida's corporate income tax for thousands of small businesses. He is also moving ahead with cuts to property taxes on business equipment, which are a big hindrance to economic growth.”

Gov. Sam Brownback of Kansas also is a leader in providing tax relief. Both are Republicans. Only four governors, all Republicans, received A grades.

Gov. Paul LePage cut Maine's top individual tax rate and simplified income tax brackets. His ultimate goal is to phase out the individual income tax and cut the corporate tax rate in half. Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett trimmed the state's capital stock and franchise tax and hopes to repeal it by 2014.

Compare them with the Democrat governor of Illinois, ranked the worst by Cato. Pat Quinn championed a $7 billion tax increase. Typically, he doled out special tax relief at the same time – to some favored businesses that had threatened to leave the state.

We can be reasonably sure those businesses would not have been heading to California, which is raising taxes willy-nilly, without any curb on its profligate spending. The state is totally controlled by Democrats and several cities are bankrupt. Gov. Jerry Brown was given a D grade. (He must have done extra credit work to avoid an F.)

Cato contrasted the leading governors in the nation with the federal government. Washington, incredibly, is arguing about how much to increase the already record debt it has rolled up in the past four years, and the president is demanding the authority to raise the debt to infinity.

Meanwhile, in the real world, millions of Americans struggle without jobs or prospects, unable to take a $4 million vacation in Hawaii, as the president plans to do while Congress tries to avoid the fiscal cliff, although he would take credit if they succeed.

If they fail, the life savings responsibe people put away while denying themselves necessities will be whittled away with higher tax rates. Thrift is punished and irresponsibility is rewarded. In this looking-glass world, the Red Queen's observation stands: "It takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place."

States are supposed to be the “laboratories” where good public policy is fashioned so that national politicians can emulate them. In today's bizarro world, political “leaders” seem to select from the worst.

As Cato said, state capitols are the only place where there is real fiscal progress. Maybe the word “progressive” needs to be redefined.



Lloyd Brown was in the newspaper business nearly 50 years, beginning as a copy boy and retiring as editorial page editor of the Florida Times-Union in Jacksonville. After retirement he served as speech writer for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.


Tags: News, Columns

Comments (11)

William
8:03PM DEC 12TH 2012
Rick Scott has done a wonderful job. He could be slightly more conservative on a couple things here and there, but overall he has been fantastic. Our unemployment rate has gone down, he has undertaken projects that will benefit our economy for years to come, he is trying to reform the way the state government operates and spends its money, and he is a conservative on social/cultural issues.
Frank
12:06PM DEC 13TH 2012
Yes, he must be doing something right, because we rank:

(1) 37th in unemployment (near the worst)
(2) 41st in per capita student funding
(3) 45th in high school graduation rate
(4) 50th in foreclosures (worst)
(5) 34th in poverty rate
(6) 32nd in infant mortality

Pathetic . . . .
bakersacres57
6:41PM DEC 11TH 2012
Written by another Jeb sock puppet, Scott will be one term, likewise Bondi.
wbp
5:25PM DEC 11TH 2012
a complete joke. the rickhead has been a disaster for the environment, education, voting, ethics, and governance in general. disgusting would be a good term to use for the first two yrs of his administration.
Greg
3:17PM DEC 11TH 2012
I have family in California and some real estate there. I don't want to live there again. But I won't even drive through Illinois. Florida's future looks brighter now. Rick Scott took on a dirty job, shoveling out the manure shed. He might have got some on him. If you need more government, you need to move to one of the blue states.
Ted
4:25PM DEC 11TH 2012
It's funny how all your Red States generally rank "The Worst" in a lot of categories, e.g., higher unemployment, lower wages, poorer academic achievement, more poverty, more people on welfare, most federal moneis received relative to federal income taxes paid ... and on-and-on-and-on!

You want poverty, stupidity, and total lack of progress ... well ... those Red States are where you need to go!

Chuckle, chuckle, chuckle!
tess
2:14PM DEC 11TH 2012
Has the author of this article taken a look at Dick Scott's approval ratings, or shall I say lack thereof? The only entities that have made any economic gains in Florida are the cronies of Dick and company...those and the lawyers that are fruitlessly defending all of Dick's unconstitutional legislation. Rick Scott and his regime are the ultimate definition of robber barons. Plain and simple.
Frank
10:45AM DEC 11TH 2012
Anyone who believes this nonsense has a nice warm padded jacket waiting for them that ties in the back . . . . . "best governor in the nation" - no intelligent adult can utter those words with a straight face . . . .

Unbelievably pathetic continuing politics of the "Big Lie" . . . only this one's a whopper . . . . king sized . . . .
tess
2:48PM DEC 11TH 2012
Thank God....I was afraid I would come down to the comments and see that people agreed w/ the article.
less
10:41PM DEC 13TH 2012
Thank God...I was afraid I would come down to the comments and see that people agreed with idiots like Tess. Great job Governor! Number 1 in the US. Not bad for your first term...4 more years, and we can rid ourselves of all the losers from NY...I hope!
Frank
10:28AM DEC 20TH 2012
Too bad the facts aren't on your side, as I've pointed out above.

Neither is the re-electability of Rick Scott . . . . . by far the worst Governor in my 41 years in Florida . . . .

Pathetic . . . .

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