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Nancy Smith

Can Florida Afford a 'Governor Andrew Gillum'?

October 17, 2018 - 6:00am

James Madison Institute's just-released analysis of the two main governor candidates' economic platforms could wither a cactus. 

Most of us realize Ron DeSantis and Andrew Gillum have wildly contrasting economic plans, but I don't think we ever truly understood how much our choice on Nov. 6 could cost Florida and affect Floridians' way of life, perhaps for generations. As the analysis points out, "every single sector of our economy will either reap the benefits or suffer the consequences of the decisions our elected leaders make."    

Ron DeSantis' platform would maintain Florida’s status as a low tax state and a national economic leader; Andrew Gillum's "would cost $2.6 billion in additional state taxes, not including his support for Medicare-For-All, which will raise taxes significantly more" and put Florida on an economic par with some of the highest-taxed nations in Europe. 

If Gillum proposes paying for his spending proposals through Florida’s corporate income tax, the report concludes that ... "his corporate tax rate would have to rise to 11 percent, just above Pennsylvania’s tax rate, and even surpassing California’s rate."

Blow this study off at your own peril. This is JMI's business. It's what they do. For more than 30 years, the Tallahassee-based think tank has provided elected leaders and everyday Floridians with objective, compelling and timely information on policy issues affecting Florida's economy. 

This analysis, "Election 2018: Platforms, Proposals, Projections," is only a continuation of JMI's mission. To produce it, JMI partnered with the Washington Economics Group and Arduin, Laffer, and Moore -- both recognized internationally for their expertise and objectivity. Please take the time to read and share it.

"Election 2018" gets inside the central elements of each candidate’s economic agenda. It analyzes the fiscal implications of major proposals and projects the overall impacts from each on the economic climate of Florida.

There's no sugar-coating progressive candidate Andrew Gillum's policy agenda. It is to increase the corporate tax rate significantly, almost double the minimum wage, sharply expand government-controlled health insurance and mandate a $50,000 starting salary for teachers. According to the report, this is something that "would adversely impact the business climate of the state through higher taxes, a sharply higher minimum wage and state mandates to expand government-controlled health insurance."

All told, the policy agenda Gillum proposes would require an increase in the corporate tax rate to the second highest in the United States, an increase in Florida’s sales tax to 39 percent, or the imposition of a state income tax as high as 37 percent (and a state income tax is only possible through a constitutional amendment).

It's concerning that this report was prepared before Hurricane Michael virtually leveled an entire Florida tourism region, destroying whole towns -- people's houses, businesses, jobs and security. My husband and I went through Katrina on Mississippi's Gulf Coast. I've seen the wreckage, the homeless and the long process of relocation, the mental illness the storm's aftermath wrought, the hopelessness of people who may leave Florida and never return. Yes, Florida is resilient and it will rebuild, but I can tell you that in the end, the federal government will not pay all the bills.

Keep the rising Hurricane Michael bill in mind as you read this analysis.

If Florida chooses Gillum, "the economic impacts of abandoning the current low tax/top business climate rankings of Florida, based on the experience of the higher tax states presented in this brief, would ultimately cost Florida direct employment losses of 155,000 jobs and $28.2 billion in economic losses per year," say the authors.

Gillum also favors the legalization and taxation of marijuana to offset the cost of his education proposals. Possible marijuana revenue would gain the state $67 million a year in new revenue. But Florida legalized medical marijuana four years ago and again in 2016 and still it's ensnared in bickering and red tape.

DeSantis' agenda, to largely maintain the pro-growth-oriented strategy of Florida through low and stable taxes, "would preserve and strengthen the state’s business climate, which supports the attraction, retention and expansion of employment-generating business enterprises. This agenda also includes investing in the "classroom" the savings from lower educational administration costs, and in technical/vocational programs to improve workforce development. Ultimately," the report concludes, "this agenda would lead to the creation of 215,000 jobs annually and $26.6 billion in annual economic output."

The analysis includes much more about health care, criminal justice and education, and you'll want to have a look at that, too. But I worry about the strings Gillum's billionaire donors will have on his agenda if he is elected. I see no cost anticipated for the demands of environmentalists to fight climate change, re-program water projects, impose clean-energy mandates.

As JMI points out, elections have consequences, and policy agendas have costs and benefits. In the end, it's Florida voters who must weigh the costs of each candidate’s agenda and choose which policies/candidates they believe will create a brighter, more prosperous future for Florida. I hope Andrew Gillum will have a chance in the upcoming candidate debate to explain how Florida can afford to elect him without becoming another bloated, big-government fiscal failure like the states people up North are anxious to leave.

Reach Nancy Smith at or at 228-282-2423. Twitter: @NancyLBSmith


Mayor G. and his supporters regarding taxation. Do you not realize corporate taxes are part of their cost for doing business and are, therefore, added into the price of their products or services? Subsequently, any corporate tax increases are paid for by those who purchase corporate products or services. Ultimately, you and I wind up paying their taxes so wake up people. Raising corporate taxes, adding personal income taxes or increasing sales taxes to pay for more free stuff is nothing more than a ruse to appeal to greedy people that will, in the long run, advance the socialist agenda/pipe dream!

Why has anyone not worried about open borders and abolish ice which that Gillium wants. I'm not for that!!!

I have worried about that! I worry when a news person has ANTIFA show up at their personal home harassing and terrifying the family. I worry that somehow miraculously thousands upon thousands of ballots are “found” well after the election. I worry that people are surrounded by mobs and screamed at when they are out for dinner with family. I worry that migrants not even in our country are throwing lead piles at Mexican police. I worry about the hostility being formed. I worry that people seek to blame trump for these hostile behaviors instead of saying I don’t care who you are or what your political affiliation is that behavior is unacceptable but I worry when I see media and others “excuse” it or defend it for reasons why they are led to do x,y,z there is no more individual accountability but it is always finger pointing and seeking to place blame elsewhere. I worry that people seem to think anyone should walk into this country at anytime which what is next? I will have to allow anyone into my home? What next? People scream at me saying I should house and feed them because they just want shelter and a better life? I worry that people have just gotten into this bandwagon that Trump is the enemy and they simply act and behave out of their thoughts and opinions instead of working to find their next candidate and what they stand for and will accomplish. I worry that people have become a bunch of cry babies having temper trantrums because they don’t like Trump and fail to accept in elections they are not always the results we want but that is elections. We accept and move on. I am worried about the integrity of elections.....I worry that in 2016 ballots that were questionable were destroyed before they should have been. I worry that constantly all we hear is this person or that person voted this way or did this and that because of race or gender. I am sick and tired of it all. I watched one voter group being asked questions in a forum to get various perspectives and opinions and one guy said free college education for everyone. That sounds wonderful of course but how is that paid for? I mean wouldn’t it be nice to give everyone a piece of property, a home, free healthcare, free food, free electric, free cable, free phone, free college education, increase wages, free car blah blah blah sure would be nice and I believe that is called heaven but it is not realistic here on earth. I worry we have candidates in elections spending billions of dollars for campaigns - mega money thrown out the door for politics ads etc. I worry that we have voters that even cast a vote based on any political ad they may have seen. I worry we have voters who do not even know some of the very basics such as who is Vice President of the United States. I worry we have people waving flags of other countries while they stand on and burn the American flag. I worry we have people seeking to enter this country yet wave their home country tires flag with pride (why come to America then?) I worry we have people in this country that say negative things about the country and say they are not a proud American yet thousands of people in other countries want to come here....go figure.

If you are happy with Florida being 45th in Education, 7,000 teaching jobs open because people won't work for that low pay, emergency rooms flooded by people without any access to insurance, a bunch of $10 an hour jobs, and an enviornmental disaster on both coasts, then yes, vote for DeSantis. If you think Florida can do better, then vote for Gillum.

Let’s just look at common sense for a moment.....if you owned a company and were going to expand and thinking about opening operations in FL......knowing Gillum proposes a large corporate tax increase which would effectively make FL among one of the least friendly states for corporations.....would you build your company operations in FL with higher tax ramifications or pick another surrounding state that is lower for corporate taxes? It is a very simple common sense concept, tax corporations highly and they will leave and go to a friendly tax state or they won’t come to FL. Corporations create jobs and as they thrive employee wages can increase and hence they begin to prosper and don’t need Medicaid and allow other businesses to grow as people frequent their stores or restaurants etc. take Nucor Steel for example, seeking to build a micro plant close to one of the highest poverty rate counties in the US (among the top) Nucor would create jobs and higher wages. It benefits the people, the other businesses that gain business as a result.......but why would Nucor pick FL if they could go to virtually any other state such as GA or TN etc and have lower corporate taxes?

I agree....the $10 minimum minimum wage jobs need to go. The corporations in Florida are making billions in tax- free income while workers starve. Legalized slavery is what this kind of pay amounts to.... taxed income adds to the insult.

people take short cuts in life, maybe people should have paid more attention to their life like going to college or trade school and getting a degree in a field that pays a lot of money, a field that there is a demand for, but instead we took the short cut because it was easier, and now we want the taxpayers who choose to pay attention to their future to now provide us with stuff that we should be providing for ourselves

I have to agree with that! You are SO right...However in this service economy that is Fl, the working poor are the majority, they want hand outs and feel they deserve them....Thus Gillum will win...Then in 8 years those SAME PEOPLE will be complaining, "I cant find a job" and "Why is milk 8$ per gallon"...People who want free crap NEVER think ahead, and those that do...Are already on thier way to increased success.... R could of won....if they paid attention to Red Tide and if Trump didnt look like a moron to Puerto Rico...Those 2 things are atleat 5% of the vote..... So here we are a perfect storm. Im a *** R, however I think Fl needs a HARSH reality check on what socialism really is ...All these people want free crap...Well U are about to find out what that means...just like Venezuela did. Its funny...those hurt the MOST by Socialism are those who support it. Business owners will just move...and successful people will just move thier $..... the working poor will NOT Have a job...and then they will either A) See the light or B) Like cali go DEEPER into the socialist hell hole.... Imagine Orlando with Shit on every corner! Increase that homelessness !

people take short cuts in life, maybe people should have paid more attention to their life like going to college or trade school and getting a degree in a field that pays a lot of money, a field that there is a demand for, but instead we took the short cut because it was easier, and now we want the taxpayers who choose to pay attention to their future to now provide us with stuff that we should be providing for ourselves

Your comment on education is K-12 and not the University/College system. Florida is ranked #1 by the U.S. News report. They have moved up to #40. To comment you need "more" money to be successful is a fallacy when it comes to education... Look at Utah. Utah spends the least on students. The State ranks #3 in best for education by U.S. News. More money doesn't directly equate to better education. By contrast NY spends some of the most on students and ranks #23. Interestingly, FL is #1 in higher education per U.S. News. Again, it's the system and not the money. Look at Finland they spend as much as Ohio (#41) and rank among the best in the world for education. Fix the education model... And that model should include strong family bonds like in Utah and Finland. It's nonsensical to leave this obvious key to the formula of a better model. Do I really need to mention Asian family bonds, work ethic, and higher education? Please get updated information at the U.S. news website.

Gillum can't do better. He can only steal money and spend it on nonsense like every other democrat.

I presume you are backing Rick Scott, who stole $1.7 billion from Medicaid. Your values are remarkable.

But this isn’t about what Scott did or didn’t do, this is about looking at a candidate and simply listening to what that candidate stands for. I don’t care if Gillum is a democrat, white, black, Hispanic, male or female. I could care less about any of that but I do care about the economy. If you owned a business would you come start your business in FL under Gillum who proposes among the highest corporate tax rates for companies in the US or would you select another state that has friendly tax rates for your company? Raising taxes on corporations isn’t going to allow FL to thrive, it will leave FL with service industry jobs only and tech companies and plants etc will simply go to a more favorable state. You have to have an incentive for a business to start operations in FL and a business has initial costs of developing a plant or business operation center, the hiring and stabilizing all of the initial expenditures it costs relocating or starting up in FL and over time that means jobs and over time I means higher wages and not just service industry jobs.


I take it you've never run a business? Do you really think the thousands of mom and pop businesses can afford to pay $15 and hour and retain all their employees? Gillum will destroy Florida's economy and send thousands to the unemployment lines. This is from a Washington Post article on Seattle's minimum wage increase. Not exactly the bastion of conservative journalism. When Seattle officials voted three years ago to incrementally boost the city's minimum wage up to $15 an hour, they'd hoped to improve the lives of low-income workers. Yet according to a major new study that could force economists to reassess past research on the issue, the hike has had the opposite effect. The city is gradually increasing the hourly minimum to $15 over several years. Already, though, some employers have not been able to afford the increased minimums. They've cut their payrolls, putting off new hiring, reducing hours or letting their workers go, the study found. The costs to low-wage workers in Seattle outweighed the benefits by a ratio of three to one, according to the study, conducted by a group of economists at the University of Washington who were commissioned by the city. And that's the problem with Leftists, they have NO economic sense.

Except Clinton balanced the budget, and Obama reduced the deficit. So yeah, we don't understand economics.

Reduced the deficit but doubled the national debt. FKNG MORON. GILLUM will put florida out of business.

This is a red herring and a naked lie aimed at fooling the ignorant ( or a person who just don't understand how the world really works) to vote against their own best interest again. There will be no increase in taxes for the average Florida business. That's a lie. Only a very few businesses in Florida actually even pay a corporate tax, and those are the largest 2-5 percent. They can afford it, if they pay a corporate tax at all

Only the first 50k is not taxable. So any small business with an income of 100 grand is going to get a 20% tax. So that individual who barely breaks 100 pays taxes and now will pay another 20 thousand. Along with Minimum wage increase this business is now out 30 grand. There again why stay in business if you can’t get ahead. Just shut it down and put more people on welfare. I am a small business owner the writing is on the wall for me. So while it really doesn’t affect you in the short Term. It does destroy small businesses. Now that you know it will hurt small business will you still vote for gillum?

SOCIALIST GILLUM IS NOT READY FOR PRIME TIME As an ardent supporter of U.S. Representative Ron DeSantis since he got into politics after a distinguished military career I looked forward to his election as governor of Florida. His record in Congress is exemplary from a conservatarian view: National Taxpayers’ Union awarded Ron their "Taxpayers' Friend Award." Citizens Against Government Waste named Ron “Taxpayers’ Super Hero.” Heritage Action rates Ron at 87%, highest in Florida. -He’s the best!

I find it hard to believe even the dimmest among us would vote for Gillum, too busy working, hopefully.

Gillum wants to tax the wealthiest companies. Taxes on businesses are taxes on the employees of the businesses. The first way employees pay the taxes is that they are not hired or they are fired. The second way is that their pay is held down because of the extra cost of taxes This is proven by how quickly big companies have given bonuses and wage increases after the Federal tax cut. Walgreens is the latest to do so. Gillum does not care if workers are hurt. Democrats should vote against Gillum.


Wow, aren't you just a lovely little fascist...get out much?

Aw, you called him a fascist, how original. Don't tell me, you're part of the party of political violence and intimidation, aren't you? You know, the ones following their mentors, the Brown Shirts. Most normal people want jobs, not mobs.

Aw, you called him a fascist, how original. Don't tell me, you're part of the party of political violence and intimidation, aren't you? You know, the ones following their mentors, the Brown Shirts. Most normal people want jobs, not mobs.

You know I really try to understand why people would vote for a party that wants to raise taxes and stop the progress that has been made. Right or left, black or white, we as a state, and country are doing great why would anyone want to stop this progress when it is working so well for everyone?

Even GOD fears for Florida, and sent "Michael" (The Archangel) to give Florida a mere "taste" of the destruction that will befall Florida under the "reign" of Democrat socialism .... (People seem to far easily forget Detroit, Chicago, Calif., NY, and every other government entity, that has stunted or destroyed the inherent freedoms bestowed upon American CITIZENS by our "Founders" Constitutional foresight and efforts...)

Michael hit the predominantly Republican North Florida. If your opinion of God intervening is to be believed, then God doesn’t want Republicans voting and tried to wipe them out!!!! So stop C Breeze.

There is no god girl.


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nancy smith


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