- Faith & Family
The Republican governor and Republican legislature cut $1.3 billion from education last year and $466 million the year before. Governor Scott is now pushing to raise funding for education by $1 billion. Even if the legislature complies with his “dream,” the public education system funding will still be $766 million short. Scott is not adding funding to the public schools — he is replacing some of the funding that he cut. Even with his replacement, the State of Florida will still be below the national average of spending per student. The level of hypocrisy of Scott is amazing. You strip a public education system that was poorly funded and then replace 58 percent of the funding and act like you care about our students.
Florida is facing a $2 billion budget deficit. The Republicans are fully in control of our state government. Why do we face this deficit if they are fiscally more responsible than Democrats? Why do we face this deficit if Scott, the great business person, was going to use his business acumen and fix everything? What happened to the great fix?
All things considered, the real tragedy is that in order to replace some of the stolen funding from the public school system, he intends to cut Medicaid payments to hospitals. Most of our public hospitals are already facing huge deficits — now the Governor plans to exacerbate the problem by further reducing funding. Public hospitals are the medical providers to millions of poor people including children and the elderly. Does Scott intend to strip hospitals to the bone in the midst of a major health care crisis only to later put back some of the money and act like he a savior?
When will someone try some real statesmanship and come up with real solutions to our debt problem. Republicans have beaten up the unions and blamed them for the debt crisis, then reduced the number of workers and their benefits. Now, who do they blame? The unemployed who are using health care services without paying because they lost their jobs and health insurance?
Perhaps the Republicans can blame it on the trial lawyers? But didn’t the Republicans pass all this legislation reforming the system? Perhaps we can blame immigrants? They are always a good target. But did they pass immigration reform?
At a certain point Republicans will have only one group to blame —themselves!
By Reginald J. Clyne, Esq.
Miami Times columnist