Earlier this morning Florida's Republican Governor Rick Scott announced his 2014-2015 budget for the State of Florida. The 356 page budget, titled the "It's Your Money Tax Cut Budget" would lend people to believe the budget has been reduced, when in reality it has actually increased. The budget proposes spending $1.3 billion more than last year - it is a far cry from when Scott considered $70 billion as being "bloated" and promised to reduce state government spending. Scott is no different than any Democrat or Republican politician running for office; say one thing to get elected, then do the complete opposite once in the chair.
Scott is acting more like Barack Obama on the campaign trail handing out as many extra tax dollars as he can give out to convince Florida voters he's more like Santa Claus than the Grinch.
Florida spends approximately 38% of its government spending on health care, the largest slice of the pie followed by education which takes 16% of the spending. In fiscal year 2012-2013 health care was approximately 41% of state spending and education was at 17%.
Adrian Wyllie, Scott's opponent in the 2014 gubernatorial race, said this morning, "Rick Scott announced his budget proposal at the event this morning, and then quickly ran out of the room to avoid questions. Basically, Scott's election-year budget only a slight increase over last year's massive $4.1 billion increase, but it brings the total in big government spending increases to over $8 billion since he's been in office."
While Scott does propose reducing a few usage fees and taxes such as vehicle registration costs and commercial rent taxes of approximately $500 million, Scott's budget increases government spending. Scott's budget proposes a huge cash infusion for Florida's ailing education system to the tune of about $542 million.
Libertarian-leaning think tank James Madison Institute (JMI) is lauding the budget proposal. JMI President Dr. Bob McClure said this morning, "As for the spending side of the proposed budget, the Governor – like a college coach recruiting high school players -- has targeted areas of need. For instance, even though government is a poor substitute for good parenting, the state of Florida needs to do a better job protecting the children who are placed in its care. The Governor is proposing more state money for that purpose – as well as for education, environmental protection, and infrastructure."
Outside of the proposed budget we thought it would be interesting to add government spending of tax payer dollars for the State of Florida and all local government spending within Florida utilizing USGovernmentSpending.com. In 2013 state and local governments took $159.7 billion from Floridians and visitors. In 2014, it is expected to increase to $167.2 billion and is expected to rise to $177.9 billion in 2015.