Straight from TampaBay.Com, Gov. Crist signs $66.5 billion budget, breaks tax pledge. Yeah, Crist broke his pledge but after all, its not like Crist answers to the voters, right?
It is hard to decide what hit me the hardest in the article but I’ll start here:
Crist's decision to cancel the 2 percent pay cut on state workers earning more than $45,000 was met with cheers from Democratic Senate leader Al Lawson of Tallahassee. He said Crist would look like "a hero." Crist said the veto would protect the economy by ensuring the 28,000 state workers who faced a pay cut would have more money to spend. To make up for the loss of the $56 million pay cut, Crist directed all state agencies to trim their budgets. Salaries could still be among the cuts.
The wages of state workers from the lowest file clerk to the Governor’s personal aides far eclipse what their counterparts in the private sector earn, yet, at the detriment of the private sector, Crist made himself a hero in the eyes of state Democrats by refusing to cut state worker’s wages by a mere 2 percent.
Democrats crowed that next year's budget will be propped up with $5.3 billion in federal stimulus money made available by a Democratic Congress and president. Without it, the state's $6 billion budget hole would have been far harder to fill. The current year budget is $69.5 billion, including $4 billion in stimulus money.
Instead of doing the hard work of cutting the fat out of the state budget, Crist took a drink at the federal trough. However, I have to object to the paragraph above. The money was not made available by the Democrats in Congress and the president. The money was confiscated by every working man and woman in this country. It is one thing for the Democrats to crow, it is nothing short of galling for a Republican governor to join them in the celebration.
As a Floridian let me just say, “thanks, Gov”. November 2010 can’t come soon enough.