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Politics

Florida in Grave Peril, State Leaders are Advised

March 3, 2013 - 6:00pm

Gov. Rick Scott can't say he hasn't been warned.

Sequester is coming.

Washingtonites planned to spend $3.8 trillion, but will have to get by with $85 billion less. If my spreadsheet is correct, that is like wanting to spend $38 for dinner and falling short by 85 cents.

Take back the breadsticks!

Scott is upset about politicians he accused of playing politics. The Florida economy has been doing comparatively well in the jobless recovery, during which more people have gone on welfare than have gone to work.

The impact on Florida was described to Scott in a letter from, I think, the third assistant secretary to the undersecretary to the oversecretary of the deputy assistant to the secretary of defense. (You know how the manpower shortage is in D.C.)

It announced gravely that $85 billion in budgetary resources or, for the layman, other people's money would have to be cut or, for the layman, that much less increased spending would be spent. Of that, $41 billion additional budgetary resources would not be going to defense.

Florida, the apparatchik noted, has defense installations and would have adjustments. For example, the Air Force would have to suffer a cut of at least $37 million in their Florida operations.

However, the letter did not say, we are able to spend nearly six times that much to send F-16s to Egypt, which is now run by the Muslim Brotherhood, which hates pretty much everybody and calls Obama a liar. But maybe the Egyptian Air Force will do the flyovers at our football games.

The day after the sequester went into effect, I ventured cautiously outside. Despite my best efforts, I had not been able to escape the media's constant drumbeat of doom and naturally expected the landscape to look like Key West after the 1935 hurricane.

Strangely, my neighborhood was intact.

I went to the local naval air station to get a prescription at the pharmacy refilled. The sailor at the drive-in window announced, impromptu, that the pharmacy might be closed soon because of budget cuts.

Noticing the walk-in portion of the office was closed, I asked if that was because of cuts. No, he said, they were replacing the computer system with a brand-new system.

Presumably, the new computers will be humming along nicely when the pharmacy gets the Blue Screen of Death.

My next stop was the gym. Recently, all the expensive Nautilus and Cybex machines had been replaced with apparently more expensive machines of another brand. Spiffing up for the gym's imminent closure, no doubt.

Yes, we can't refuel aircraft carriers or provide drugs for veterans because Obama's sequester plan is forcing him to make cuts that he says are stupid. But, what else can he do? The Republicans made him do it. Probably at the behest of that evil genius George Bush, who somehow is still preventing Obama's economic boom from occurring.

Scott should brace for more bad news. After the fiscal cliff and the sequester scam, the next crisis is coming in April, according to the Mayan calendar used in Washington. Something about debt ceilings, which are imaginary barriers to politicians who want to spend everything they can get their hands on and more.


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.

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