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Friday, October 21, 2016

“I have a message today to the people of New York, Illinois, California, Pennsylvania and others: Move to Florida!”

Such was the sunny welcome put forth by Gov. Rick Scott at his second inaugural last week in Tallahassee, FL.

Quit your jobs, pack up your families and get down here as fast as you can. Twenty million people aren’t enough — Florida needs more!

I was thinking the same thing the other day on I-95, when I glanced in the rearview mirror and actually saw about eight feet of air between my bumper and the tanker truck behind me.

The first thing that sprang to mind was: Hey, another car could fit in there!

Not a regular-sized car, true, but maybe one of those adorable little Smart cars that you sometimes see on the streets of Manhattan or Chicago. It was a revelation.

Probably 99 out of 100 drivers in Florida would say our traffic already sucks, with a little imagination and no concern for the quality of life, there’s always room for more.

So you go, Gov. Scott! Keep on spreading the word.

The thought again popped into my head as I passed a middle school where every classroom has about 30 students, which most teachers will tell you are too many.

Know what? That school didn’t seem so crowded, at least from the outside.

The county had trucked in rows of windowless portable classrooms and painted them the same earthtone color as the main school building, so they looked hardly anything like warehouse storage.

Also, there was plenty of space for more portables at the east end of the soccer field.

So, everybody, listen to Gov. Scott! Bring your kids down to Florida and, by God, we’ll find a way to shoehorn the little imps into one of our schools.

And don’t be spooked by the fact that we spend less per pupil on education than 47 other states, because we make up for it in so many other ways.

Low taxes, for example. The governor loves to brag about Florida’s low taxes.

You might think it’s a sore subject among Floridians, this being the time of year when many of us are staring at our property-tax bills and wondering why they keep going up, up, up.

It’s because irresponsibly jamming so many humans together requires somebody (and it’s never the developers!) to pay for the roads, bridges, sewers, fire stations, extra police officers and so on. That somebody who pays is us.

So what’s Gov. Scott really talking about when he says our state has low taxes?

Get ready, future Floridans! Here’s the big celebrated tax break that the governor and the Legislature gave to all residents last year:

They cut the cost of our vehicle license tags by an average of $25. That’s not a typo, folks. Twenty-five whole buckeroos.

I still haven’t figured out what to do with all of it. Treasury bonds? High-cap stocks?

If a double-digit cut in auto-tag fees isn’t enough to bring caravans of U-Hauls streaming into the Sunshine State, then I don’t know what will.

The other morning I was driving through the Everglades thinking: Isn’t this swamp water finally clean enough? Really, how much urban runoff could a few million more people possibly dump?

We’ve probably got enough fish, wildlife and wading birds to last one more generation. What we really need are more subdivisions full of humans flushing toilets.

Aside from water shortages, saltwater intrusion, sink holes, red tides and the ludicrous cost of windstorm insurance, one thing that might keep newcomers away is fear.

Please don’t judge by what you read in the papers or see on TV, or by the latest FBI stats, which show Florida has more violent crimes per capita than New York, Illinois, California or Pennsylvania — all the places Gov. Scott is urging people to flee.

True, all types of criminals love it down here because of the climate. But while our prisons have been wretchedly overcrowded, additional cell space has become available under Scott’s administration due to a surge of untimely (and unexplained) inmate deaths.

So don’t be scared of Florida. Hurry on down before South Beach is underwater. We’re desperate for more people. We love sitting in traffic. We love standing in line.

Promised the governor: “Over the next four years, I will be traveling to your states personally, to recruit you here.”

Go get ’em, you crazy Martian goofball!

Lie all you want about low taxes, and don’t say a word about the pythons.

Carl Hiaasen is a columnist for The Miami Herald. Readers may write to him at: 1 Herald Plaza, Miami, FL, 33132.

Photo: Gage Skidmore via Flickr

  • charleo1

    To be fair, the quality of life in most of Florida’s major cities has been deteriorating for years. But, ideologically, and not fact driven public administrators such as Gov. Rick Scott fail to realize, or just don’t care. That it takes diligence, hard work, and lots of public investment in Florida, to simply hold the line. To hold the line on overcrowded schools, crime, roads, the tons of low wage workers, and the intentionally kept, low wages in general. And, the pollution that comes with an urban sprawl, that devourers hundreds of square miles of Everglades, each year, with no end in sight. So, if you’re a land developer in FL. the word you’ll never hear from Gov. Rick Scott, or his unstoppable Red Republican, Legislature, is no, on anything! In fact, when they are in session, they act more like mob bosses, divvying up the pie between the various campaign donors, long time pals, and their never ending crusade to strangle Florida’s pubic school system, in favor of their religiously based, unregulated, (except Federally,) so called, “Charter Schools.” Where, “science,” teaches Global Warming is a hoax. That the World was created by God, in 6 days, is only about 5,000 years old. Evolution is a false theory. And Jesus remains a Republican today in Heaven. Just as He was when the Socialists crucified Him for being the Son of God. And to this end, Gov. Scott, and his pious politicians, handed millions of tax dollars to another of their cronies, to buy land on which to build these little Jesus Madrases. While the Miami School System hauled in more trailers, and scrambled to keep enough teachers on the job to keep from having to close dozens of facilities. All this was of course applauded by their base of 85 year old T-Party Geezers, who proliferate the Mid-State, and Panhandle areas. Where they bash the Federal Gov. and greedy protect their benefits. If it puts every poor child, or single Mother in FL. on the street and hungry. For now at least, run this pathetic mess. And turn Medicare swindlers, turned politician, like Scott, into the most powerful crook in the State.

    • KDJ54

      Amen! But of course no one is listening.. Sometime, maybe millennia or eons from now, some species will be digging up our remains, and trying to figure out what happened to us. Hopefully they will be able to sum it up in one word – greed.

      • charleo1

        Absolutely! But before they reach us, they’ll probably have to
        dig thru several hundred feet of cash, that buried our Gov. Just before the mysterious end.

    • joe schmo

      How many representatives on either side really care, Charleo. Washington is a different bird where people who are supposed to be looking out for our good live in a glass world like on the film ‘Elysium.’

      You can blast the Right and I can blast the Left, but who is really getting hurt by all this. US.

      • highpckts

        When was the last time a Rep or Senator ever ask a normal everyday Joe what they thought about a bill coming up for a vote? Were there any fliers asking how they should vote on any particular bill? NEVER! They vote according to their own ideals and wallets. This hasn’t been a representative Nation since before Reagan!

        • joe schmo

          I’d say Kennedy…. Johnson on…….

          Sorry, don’t agree with you on Reagan:)

          • highpckts

            Of course you wouldn’t agree about Reagan, the GOP idol!!

      • charleo1

        Okay, you know why our interests aren’t being looked after? That’s right, Because we don’t have 100s of thousands, or
        10s of millions to donate. So, where’s the concern about all the money? Is it on the Right, or the Left? I know they send you lots of requests to donate, me too. So, has any of them said, help us reverse the Citizens United Decision? Send, $10.00/$20.00/$100.00. Help us get the big monied/ special interests out of Gov. Any calls for public financing from the Right? So, no the politicians are not looking out for you. Unless you throw a lot of money at them. And I already hear you thinking. Yes, they all take it. Many may not want to, but they have to. Remember, 7 out of 10 times, the candidate that has the better funding wins. And every dollar has a string on it. I’m supporting the Party that has people who advocate passing laws to get a handle on the money. Not the Party, or the candidate that’s fine with the idea that money equals free speech. To me that’s like saying freedom of association means I have a Right to belong to the local Lamborghini Car Club. Which is true. All I need is the car. But the Lamborghini Car Club doesn’t set public policy. And I don’t expect it to be looking out for my interests.

  • joe schmo

    Gee, wow…..this sounds so eerily familiar. Only the state I’m talking about has some of the highest taxes in the union. Sure our property taxes are capped, for now, but we have to pay it through the nose on other things. Once the state with the highest gas prices now we are supposed to get another 75 cents as a gas tax, and while we’re at it lets not forget that this state has the most poverty of any other state and the widest margin between rich and poor. Not only that we have to flip the bill for all the freebies the ‘illegals’ now get. Well, to tell you the truth, we have been doing that for some time now only now our President made it legal to support ILLEGALS over citizens. We also have, or should I say had, some of the most crowded prisons in the nation but our governor decided to release some of the less hardened onto the streets……., and this state, well…..its not run by a Republican….. It’s run by none other than Governor Moonbeam. The very man who ran the state into the brink before. Welcome to California:)

    • stcroixcarp

      If you don’t like the California taxes and Governor Moonbeam coddling illegals with freebies, how about selling out and moving to Alabama or Mississippi. Both states need more white guys like you, but be sure to get your dental work done before you go.

    • highpckts

      So leave!! All the prisons are crowded because most states don’t believe in a living wage forcing some people to do things they wouldn’t ordinarily do. You don’t like the taxes? Leave! Go to one of the southern Red states where you will be right at home! They get more government help than anyone!

    • FireBaron

      California’s biggest problem is all the voter initiatives that get passed, but require the legislature to come up with the funding to pay for them!

    • bikejedi

      If you think that is f ked up you should see Democrat Public Union Illinois … We have high taxes high cost of living . Our Dem Gov cut the mental health budget to dead last in the U S and that is ironic since theire are so many poor Dem here in need of mental health .. The other Liberals who have money .. Well they all moved to wealthy White Suburban enclaves where they opine about Illegal Aliens and poor Blacks while living in their White Suburban Enclaves .. They all talk about inclusions and spout Liz Warren Gruber Level class warfare talking points while living in their White Florida Enclaves

    • Independent1

      As usual, you conveniently forgot to mention that one of the reasons California taxes are high is because this Republican governor named Arnold almost tripled California’s debts during his disastrous 8 years in office, putting California on the brink of bankruptcy. Kind of convenient for you to totally ignore that wasn’t it!! So Brown and the Democrats have been digging California out of an enormous 80 plus billion dollar hole!!!!! And they have!!!!! (*Actually if you included long-term bonds into it it was over a 150 Billion dollar hole.)

      And the CBO has stated that if the nitwit Republicans had voted to allow illegals to have the option of citizenship so they could come out of the closet, millions more of them would start paying their fair share of taxes (already over 50% of them pay billions upon billions in taxes and over 12 Billion into Social Security which they don’t qualify for so it’s extended the life of SS). The CBO estimated that granting illegals citizenship would have turned into a 179 billion positive for even federal revenues over the next 10 years and then up to 2.2 trillion going forward from that.

      So if there’s any problem with the illegals actually costing California too much, YOU CAN BLAME THAT ON THE GOP FOR HAVING DELAYED IMMIGRATION REFORM!!!

      And like a number of other NM posters have mentioned – if all you can do is be negative about California and the country – get the heck out of America and don’t let the door hit you on the way out!! YOU’RE NOTHING BUT AN ENORMOUS LOSER!!!!!!

  • Eleanore Whitaker

    Well, let’s see now. Florida? The Panhandle where poverty is the rule, not the exception. I have ex-inlaws who barely make ends meet who live in Hosford, Sopchoppy and Panama City. Miami and that region? White males will be outnumbered by Hispanics 100 to 1. So the closet bigot Great White Angry Middle Aged males won’t move there. Sarasota? Fort Lauderdale? Sure…if you don’t mind groceries that cost 10 time what they cost up north, seafood that reeks of BP oil and taxes hidden as “fees” (I also have several friends in Sarasota and Fort Lauderdale.

    So bois…anymore BS stories you righties want to feast upon while you live in La La land?

    • bikejedi

      If you think that is f ked up you should see Democrat Public Union Illinois … We have high taxes high cost of living . Our Dem Gov cut the mental health budget to dead last in the U S and that is ironic since there are so many poor Dems dealing with the mental disorder of Liberalism and the inner hypocritical Mayor here in need of mental health .. The other Liberals who have money .. Well they all moved to Low Tax Low Cost of Living Florida.. Where they live in wealthy White ONLY Suburban enclaves . There they opine about Illegal Aliens and poor Blacks while living in their Wealthy White Suburban Enclaves .. They all talk about inclusion and spout Liz Warren Gruber Level class warfare talking points while living in their White Florida Enclaves.. I cant count the number of Liberal elites I know that moved their businesses to the better business environment Florida offers while bitching about living there .. They all enjoy the low taxes and then they retire and bitch whine and moan while retiring to Wealthy White ONLY Suburban Enclaves .. Oh they left Chicago’s Boi’s town in the rearview mirror and would run and hide from their drag queens … and you should most of them are Dems with serious mental issues … They lord over people with their air of superiority never once living near an ILLEGAL ALIEN yet they want to tell you how great they are … Yeah come live in Logan Sq Chicago across the alley from one of the Sec 8 buildings that are set asides for Illegal Aliens and see if you still think it’s fabulous … Yes Liberals are full of hypocrisy and Bullshit and yes people like Eleanore prove ever more what more and more psychologists are saying … Liberalism is a mental disorder … Oh and in Illinois you cant get help for it … But in Florida you can

      • Eleanore Whitaker

        I was a Republican for 33 years. There is nothing you can tell me about the GOP. First of all, the GOP believes at its very core that Big Business IS government. Take a good look at the pieces of legislations your CON GOP politicians want to bash…every one of them are paid for by taxpayers who contribute to them through payroll tax deductions.

        EVERY RED state gets back well over a $1.50 for every dollar they pay in federal taxes. Why? Why does TX get $1.72 while NY, NJ, CT, MA and the rest of the blue states get an average of 65 cents for every dollar WE pay?

        You can get off your Bully Boy pulpit. The Democrats traditionally have voted to protection the Middle Class dollar. Here’s proof…From 2004 to 2009, the DOL reported huge job losses under a GOP president WITH a HARVARD MBA….you got an explanation for that?

        The only jobs CONS know how to create are in failing industries like Big Oil, coal mining, gun manufacturing and the military. VA is No. 1 in the amount of tax subsidies it gets for its military industries. TX, OK, ND, WY and Alaska gets tens of billions handed to their Big Oil interests every year for the past 40 years. Is that what our tax dollars are for? To keep Big Business in existence? When they don’t hire or create jobs in the US?

        You’ve got a long way to go before you can prove your gospels of The Great White Angry Middle Aged Man BS sticks to a wall.

        A majority of Americans today when asked in hundreds of polls which president they believe was better, Bush or Obama, they say “Obama.”

        After all, your boy had 8 years, with his MBA and still missed that his 8 years were failures that brought him the Sept. 2008 Financial Meltdown and massive bailouts taxpayers had to pay for while your CON skanks lapped up our tax dollars.

        Conservative men and women are freeloaders. All anyone has to do to prove that is spend a day watching the cockroaches boarding buses from NJ to Wall Street all sniffing out how to screw their investors using everyone’s money but their own.

        You fool no one but yourself if you think Americans will EVER again put full stock in your GOP BS that government should be privatized. Why? So every dime we earn ends up in Big Oil and the red states?

        Get up off those lazy asses and get a life and a job…one that isn’t 200 years old and failing to make it without tax subisidies.

        • joe schmo

          You were a Conservative? LOL, you must have been moderate as he**. Know of a woman who decided to become gay after age 50. Change of life obviously effected you too.

          I guess the below article wouldn’t be because of high corporate/business taxes and regulations would it?

          “Economic Death Spiral: More American Businesses Dying Than Starting.”

          “Contrary to the oft-cited 26 million businesses in America figure, Clifton says 20 million of these so-called “businesses” are merely companies on paper with zero workers, profits, customers, or sales. In reality, America has just 6 million businesses with one or more employers–3.8 million of which have four or fewer employees. In total, these 6 million U.S. companies provide jobs for more than 100 million people in America.

          Of the 2.2 million job-creating companies with five or more workers, the numbers break down accordingly:

          There are about a million companies with five to nine employees, 600,000 businesses with 10 to 19 employees, and 500,000 companies with 20 to 99 employees. There are 90,000 businesses with 100
          to 499 employees. And there are just 18,000 with 500 employees or more, and that figure includes about a thousand companies with 10,000 employees or more. Altogether, that is America, Inc.

          The Gallup CEO says the numbers paint an ominous portrait of America in a dire state of decline.

          “I don’t want to sound like a doomsayer, but when small and medium-sized businesses are dying faster than they’re being born, so is free enterprise,” says Clifton. “And when free enterprise dies, America dies with it.”

          American ingenuity hard at work regarding fracking and oil production. As hard as Obama tried to suppress the issue, American creativity was able to work around it but low and behold you….yet again he is trying to put the kabash on our success.

          “Obama targets oil and gas industry, demands massive reduction in methane emissions.”

          Guess what Eleanora, lower gas prices allow American’s to save money. As a result. the economy surges and families can afford to buy more. It even helps the poor. In my opinion, anyone who is against lower prices. is against the underprivileged. Obama’s recent economic success is a misnomer. It’s largely due to the oil surge which Obama tried to eliminate and now he is trying to do it again. Nothing like cutting off your nose to spite your face.

          • Eleanore Whitaker

            No…I have always been a Progressive Populist. Hate that, don’t you? I do not believe in any particular ideology…unlike morons like you. We do not owe ANY business our tax dollars. You cannot hope to ram that one down our throats. The last time the Robber Barons attempted to buy the US government was in the days of Mellon, JD Rockefeller, Carnegie, Westinghouse and Vanderbilt. And for their millions spent on that foolish venture, Teddy Roosevelt slapped them with a number of anti-trust violations.

            So..if you run a business, it’s YOUR business. If you can’t maintain it without being infused with MY tax dollars, you don’t belong in business.

            A schmomo like you can’t find a single reference in the Constitution demanding $50 billion a year in tax subsidies to the worst polluter industries the rest of us fund. Not to mention peripheral costs like spill cleanup, paying 50% of spill fines and the cost of healthcare for illnesses directly related to polluters.

            So..nothing in your post is valid. Now do take your mental handicap and seek professional help.

  • FireBaron

    I actually thought about moving to Florida once, but then my ex-wife waked between me and the gorgeous brunette in the barely there bikini.

  • Milord Cutter

    The latest piece of Orwellian idiocy from Gov. Voldemort: The phrases “global warming” and “climate change” are now banned from any and all official state documents.

    Come to sunny Florida: Governance through ignorance!