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‘Big problem’: Rick Scott frets about lavish unemployment payouts

Scott worries people won’t want to work.

Sen. Rick Scott continued Tuesday to contend that the jobless would indefinitely languish on the dole if benefits were too lavish.

“If given the chance to make more on a government program than in a job, some will make the rational and reasonable decision to delay going back to work, hampering our economic recovery,” Scott, a Naples Republican and former Florida Governor, tweeted Tuesday.

The subject of Scott’s ire was a tweet from the Wall Street Journal.

WSJ noted that, with $600 of weekly pandemic unemployment assistance added to the weekly stipend for the jobless, the nation’s unemployed would bring in nearly $1,000 weekly.

“This is a big problem that I’ve been warning about for weeks now,” Scott, whose net worth is roughly $255 million at last count, said about the nation’s jobless potentially having as much as $955 a week coming in.

The Senator has continued to take a firm stand against making unemployment insurance too attractive, a long-term policy push begun when he was Governor, but continued in his current role.

Days ago, he fretted that federal coronavirus relief “means that workers could make more money by not working than they would make if they had a job,” Scott wrote for Fox News.

“Most families in this country survive by not being wasteful, but by clipping coupons, by buying necessities when they are on sale, by cutting their own grass and by reusing aluminum foil,” Scott added.

Floridians will be clipping more coupons and recycling more aluminum foil than most as this uncertain spring heats up into a long summer full of economic stops and starts. Especially given that Florida benefits are capped at $275 for 12 weeks, a slender stipend for high cost-of-living areas where the service industry and tourism were halted weeks ago.

Meanwhile, Floridians are still bearing the brunt of Scott’s decisions to neglect the unemployment insurance system as Governor, with his replacement saying the Florida scheme was “designed to fail.”

Gov. Ron DeSantis said Monday that he thought the $77 million CONNECT website, procured under Gov. Rick Scott, would take “three months to fix, given how bad the system was.”

“Before I was Governor, the state paid $77 million for this thing … no question about it, totally not worth $77 million,” DeSantis said.

DeSantis added that he wanted an investigation into the site’s procurement “once the dust has settled” to “just go and look and see what went on, why they paid this much.”

Written By

A.G. Gancarski has been a correspondent for FloridaPolitics.com since 2014. In 2018, he was a finalist for an Association of Alternative Newsweeklies "best political column." He can be reached at AG@FloridaPolitics.com

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