- Faith & Family
There is a contradiction in what Republicans say and what they do. At the Republican convention there was an electronic clock that showed how much the federal debt increased every hour. Governor Scott has been a fierce critic of federal spending, but before the convention, he sent a letter to federal leaders in the House and Senate to stop an estimated $500 billion 10 year reduction in defense spending.
President Obama gave a special congressional deficit reduction super-committee the responsibility to come up with a way to cut the deficit by $1.2 trillion. The automatic cuts, known as the “sequester” are part of last year’s deal to raise the nation’s debt ceiling. Since the super-committee could not agree on a plan, the budget would face an automatic cut of $1.2 trillion over a decade, split evenly between defense and domestic programs.
The automatic cuts were a bipartisan agreement made by both Senate and the House, and is planned to start in January 2013. But Republican governors and lawmakers are arguing that the president is putting the nation’s security at risk if the military cuts are implemented. Nevertheless, in Governor Scot’s letter he said, “While I agree with many Americans that the federal government must reduce spending, reduce taxes and create an environment conducive to private sector job growth. I urge you to prioritize the safety and security of our nation and the strength of our economy as you focus on the issues related to the budget and sequestration. I encourage you to replace the impending and disastrous defense cuts with reduction in other non-essential government services.”
It appears that our governor cannot make up his mind on bringing down the federal debt with hard choices or let the deficit increase. Out of one side of his mouth our governor is saying our president is not doing anything, and when he does something our governor wants to stop the plan with other Republican governors and lawmakers.
Governor Scott goes around the state and the world and tells everyone that he is a job creator for Florida. But many Florida residents remember that our governor rejected more than $2 billion for a high-speed rail at the beginning of his term, and he is cutting public jobs statewide. In his first year he cut $615 billion in the state budget and a large percentage was in education.
With all the problems in Florida, our governor has decided to advise the federal government on how they should spend their budget. In his letter, he suggested that the cuts would not only harm the state’s economy, but could jeopardize the safety of Floridians. Instead of making military cuts the governor suggests a far more responsible and sensible step toward balancing the federal budget is repealing the Affordable Care Act.
I am sure our governor will get an answer, because he is the governor of a powerful state, but I am wondering what certain congressional and federal leaders did with the letter.
By Roger Caldwell
Miami Times contributor