Gov. Rick Scott Believes In Income Redistribution, Too

Some call him Gollum. Others call him Lex Luthor. But Rick Scott is his name, and redistributing income from the poor to the wealthy is his game.

Scott's budget is so draconian to the poor and middle class and so enriching to corporations and their wealthy overlords that he makes Simon LeGree look charitable. And as Ed Kilgore notes, the entire budget is intended to redistribute wealth from the bottom 90% to the top 10%.

Yes, Scott is proposing $5 billion in state spending reductions (in absolute terms, not reductions from some sort of current-services budget). Many of these cuts seemed to be ideologically driven, such as the decimation of the state Department of Community Affairs, which runs growth-management programs hated by developers; and a (roughly) ten percent cut in K-12 education, part and parcel of the state GOP's war with teachers and other state employees.

But the size of the cuts wouldn't be nearly so high if Scott were not also insisting on major tax cuts, notably in corporate taxes (due to be phased out entirely in a few years) and in state-controlled property taxes that support public schools.

Moreoever, nestled in his budget proposal are spending increases that are designed to redistribute resources according to conservative ideological prescriptions. Most remarkable is his request for $800 million (over two years) for "economic development incentives," which almost certainly means a gubernatorially-controlled slush fund to be used to bribe companies to relocate to Florida through tax abatements, free government services, and other subsidies. And even as he sought major cuts in public school funding (in a state already facing something of a school financing crisis), he managed to find room to propose $250 million in private-school vouchers.

The thing you have to know about Rick Scott if you don't already is that he is utterly amoral. He has no sense of right and wrong, only an overdeveloped sense of greed. This is why the Gollum moniker fits him so well. The other thing you have to know about Rick Scott is that he stands to personally benefit from a reduction and phase-out of corporate taxes.

As co-founder of Solantic, a chain of doc-in-the-box health care centers, Scott has a vested interest in seeing corporate taxes go away. As a venture capitalist, that interest multiplies. Money and multiplied wealth is all he cares about, so it stands to reason that he'd craft a budget for the state of Florida to maximize his potential return in the process. Cutting public school funding, privatizing mental health and Medicaid services all benefit his business ventures, present and future.

There is no recall process in Florida for the governor. Local officials, yes. But not governor. Imagine what this man will do in six years, assuming he doesn't get caught committing a crime first.


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