Daniel Tilson: Florida GOP's secret 2010 post-election economic training


On behalf of ALEC, the American Legislative Exchange Council, I want to thank you, especially you, Governor-elect Scott, for having me here.

What can I say? Jobs are first, last and everything. Jobs. J. O. B. S. Create enough more jobs – the right kind – and drive down those ugly unemployment numbers, and you’re on your way to getting almost anything you want on your political agenda.

John and Mary Q. Public, your social conservative base? They keep seeing unemployment going down, they’re not going to whine about low wages, stagnant incomes and no benefits. Long as you keep repeating “job growth,” keep them angry about handouts to poor folks, give them a few dollars back in their pockets every year…they’ll stay by your side.

Now, you do have to grow the economy too, got to keep an eye on revenues, pay for whatever big government handouts you’re still stuck doing. Thank you, liberal do-gooders – Am I right?

But just like liberals used to say about Civil Rights, we too shall overcome – Am I right?

You’re already on the right track on taxes. You’ve got one of the most regressive, sales tax-reliant codes around, with poor and middle-class folks paying way more than their fair share.

You’ve also got maybe the stingiest unemployment benefits, plus millions of freeloaders you’re denying health care to. Well done

And you’re treating your corporate titans and old money folks like the kings and queens or dukes and duchesses most of them want to feel like when you come calling for maximum campaign contributions. What do they pay, maybe 2 percent of income in taxes, while getting almost all benefits of economic growth? Way to go, Florida!

But…you can do better! Gov. Scott, if you want to be a two-termer, and if the rest of you want to put your beautiful conservative Republican domination to good use, here’s what you have to do.

It’s about building on your success, nothing too new. Leave that to the Hope & Change bleeding hearts on the other side of the aisle – Am I right?

First, use the service sector to fuel your economic comeback, your job growth miracle. Nothing better than tourism. Spend whatever it takes, I mean $100 million if you have to. Shovel the marketing and PR crap nice and thick all over those old farts and other numb-nuts up north, get them to stop shoveling snow and head south.

Do it right, you’ll break tourism records every year. And sales taxes from hotels, motels, restaurants, theme parks and the like, they’ll keep your anti-tax fairness boat afloat – and camouflaged, for crying out loud! Just be sure to keep your job creator pals from having to pay more than current minimum wages, or from having to give sick-leave days and health care handouts. Leave responsibility for that to the middle class where it belongs – Am I right?

And, get more grannies and grandpas to move down here! Get them to put their money into your banks, hospitals, nursing facilities…and early bird specials!

But remember to keep all those home health care workers they’ll need from joining a union, or getting the pay and benefits they think they deserve. They’re not your problem.

Your problem is…you still have a corporate income tax, for crying out loud! What’s up with that? Let’s get into it after breaking for your grand-per-plate luncheon. That chicken better be tender – Am I right?

Daniel Tilson has a Boca Raton-based communications firm called Full Cup Media, specializing in online video and written content for non-profits, political candidates and organizations, and small businesses. Column courtesy of Context Florida.

Daniel Tilson


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