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Rick Scott Plays Mob Enforcer for his Corporate Welfare Racket

February 15, 2017 - 9:45am

Gov. Rick Scott is attacking state House members who voted last week for a bill to eliminate failing corporate welfare programs like Enterprise Florida. It is hard to believe but Scott is going to the representatives’ districts and publicly attacking them for standing on free market principles. Of course, the governor claims he is on a “jobs” tour to promote his failed economic incentive programs but, coincidentally, his schedule puts him in the districts of the representatives whom he has targeted for revenge.

The governor can’t defend his bad judgment when it comes to supporting failed corporate welfare programs so he has resorted to political strong-arming representatives in their home districts. By demonizing representatives who disagree with him, Scott is practicing the politics of personal destruction, something which should be beneath the dignity of a governor.

Granting “special privileges” to well-connected corporate interests is unfair to our local small businesses which are buried in regulations, taxes and fees. Even worse, these programs are failing.  Amy Baker, the state’s chief economist, reported that nearly 70 percent of Florida’s state-level incentive and investment programs lost money over the past three years. Baker found that 18 of the state’s 26 economic incentive programs failed to bring in enough tax revenue to break even. Three of those programs were a total loss and required additional funding, including Enterprise Florida’s Quick Action Closing Fund which had a return of 60 cents for every tax dollar awarded.

The members of the House Careers and Competition Subcommittee who support eliminating Enterprise Florida should be commended for voting to stop waste and fraud.  They should not face reprisals from a sitting governor who chases them down like a schoolyard bully.

Scott should quit advocating for the continued theft of our tax dollars to pick winners and losers. We the consumers should have the power to decide which businesses we like to patronize and support. The governor should be encouraging 1,000 new small businesses that can compete on a level playing field by reducing taxes and regulations for everyone, instead of subsidizing one huge corporation at a time.

With his business background, Scott should know that government does not create jobs. As any good business person can tell you, it is the hard-working citizens and business owners in Florida who do that. Rick Scott, don’t steal the fruits of their labor for your corporate welfare scheme.

Alexander Snitker is president of the Liberty First Network. He was the Libertarian Party’s U.S. Senate nominee in 2010.  


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Comments

Those of you who don’t work in the industry from the “buyer” side don’t realize how important Visit Florida is. I am a co chair with a National Convention this coming summer in Orlando. Everyone says “Well, you’re going to come anyway, why should Florida spend the money? Why should we give your organization ‘corporate welfare’?” We were up against two other locations for the 2017 Convention. We were up against Kansas City, MO and Melbourne, Australia. Through the efforts of Visit Orlando and Visit Florida we won the bidding war. The two agencies spent money by hiring staff and promoting the state and location. The hotels we stayed at with our national staff picked up the tab for our rooms and meals. No one paid those hotels or reimbursed them for what it cost for our rooms. You’re thinking, “Come on, Kansas City? Of course, you’re coming to Orlando.” Actually, Kansas City was the leading contender. We were third. Based on the site visits by our national organization we won the bid. Why? Because Visit Florida and Visit Orlando went all out to promote the state and Central Florida. What are we receiving? Let’s see, a welcome sign over International Drive. Welcome signs at the Orlando airport. A welcome reception for our leadership. 12 complimentary airport transfers (paid by Mears). 4 car rentals for a week (paid by Hertz). Complimentary hotel rooms (paid by the hotel). So, where’s the “corporate welfare”? Can someone tell me? We certainly didn’t get any. Yeah, people such as couples, friends and families come here for vacations. And Visit Florida doesn’t ignore them either. But the convention business is where Visit Florida shines and is needed.

"...Mob enforcer for his Corporate welfare racket.." ?!?! Oh Mr. 'Snit'-ker,... THAT's a "little over the top", din't you think??? (You're burning your credibility my friend);...and forever linking your name with "whining and weeping tantrum-throwing" (Pssst: you might even owe the Governor an apology...But, don't tell him you heard it from me...)

Scott has always been good at using government money as his own cash cow. It's called skimming off the top and playing "fast and loose" with the law and regulations. See his United Healthcare settlement with DOJ.

Speaker Corcoran is right on the money with his approach to the state budget. Let's zero fund all agencies and build up with worthwhile projects instead of just approving increases every year. Cut the fat and these corporate welfare programs that benefit the vested special interests. Cut the budget and re-order priorities like good Republicans should do.

What a very biased and prejudiced article. You, sir, should not call yourself a journalist. You are a political hack. Scott is a GREAT governor who has done everything he promised. Stop complaining about tax monies. Scott LOWERED your taxes. He promised 750,000 jobs, but brought in over 1 million. He paid for his own campaign and does NOT take a salary. You people who are complaining are either mislead and misinformed, or just plain stupid. Go Governor Scott!!!!!!!

It sounds like the governor is making his resume' sound good for a run for the US Senate. in order to get contributions you have to bow to the big boys and ISRAEL!!! or you won't get funded. I am so sick of this state because we constantly have to hear about the holocaust and support Israel, along with the Israeli companies in the US. If you're not a Zionist you will go nowhere politically in Florida!!

"Freedom to move and relocate is Constitutionally assured,... and so is ignorance "Barb"...

I have been TRYING to set up a "legal" business - work would be AT HOME, and trying to set up as a "DBA" name. You would NOT believe the BULLCRAP and FEES to get this all accomplished! Couldn't believe it, but I must also check my home ZONING to get approved! I ready to go ROGUE and just DO IT and not tell the State of Florida ANYTHING... the only thing I REALLY need is a Tax Exemption Certificate so I do not have to pay "Sales Tax" on items I plan to RE-SELL. So what do I do? NO-ONE in Hillsborough County "Tax Collector" can do anything EXCEPT keep PAYING my money for every little HOOP I must jump through. "SMALL BUSINESS" in FLORIDA is a really BAD JOKE!

well stated, I knew they were not making money. However, the House should now publish the facts to show just how badly the return on investment (ROI) is on this shell game and then show how much tax dollars were wasted for zero to no return. At the end of the day, you can run around on a "jobs" PR campaign with no substance other than rhetoric, but it is hard to argue with the facts...classic.

Out of curiosity, anyone have the stats on how many of these jobs Rick created were fast food, cheap retail and service industry? I voted for the man twice. Again, like I told a communist friend of mine regarding the national election.... "the ballot had two choices. One was Hillary. The other was "anyone else". Anyone else won." Does anyone outside politics think we need to spend hundreds of millions of tax dollars trying to talk people into coming to Florida?

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