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This is a Code Red, five-alarm, public emergency warning for the people of Florida: Flee immediately, abandon the state, run as fast as you can – for a disaster is headed your way.
A tsunami? A plague? Martians? No, much worse. You’re about to be hit with Texas!
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Florida’s new governor, Rick Scott, says that his idol is Gov. Rick Perry of Texas, and that he will do to the Sunshine State what Perry has done to the Lone Star State by pushing a business-friendly agenda of “cutting business taxes [and] cutting regulations.” Indeed, Scott brags that he’ll out-Perry Perry.
In particular, Rick the Second praises Rick the First for his job policy, hailing the “Texas Miracle” of low unemployment. But wait, Texas does not have the best unemployment rate in the country, it ranks a mediocre 22nd. Plus, Perry’s specialty is low-wage jobs – Texas ranks a sorry 44th in the average hourly pay that workers get. That’s business-friendly alright, but it’s worker-hostile.
In fairness though, Rick of Texas can boast of several Number One rankings, including the percentage of both children and adults with no health coverage, dirtiest air, number of hazardous waste spills, clean water violations, cost of home insurance, cost of electric bills, people in prisons, and public executions. Perry’s Texas is also near the top in state poverty rates, people going hungry, the income gap between rich and poor, most regressive tax system, rate of high school dropouts, and teen pregnancies. On the other hand, we’re at or near the bottom on SAT scores, college graduates, spending on parks, open space protections, home ownership, and voter turnout.
By the way, while Florida has a $3.6 billion budget deficit, Perry has run the Texas deficit to $27 billion. Welcome to Rick’s world, Florida – and good luck.
“Scott looks to Texas, but both states have problems,” www2.tbo.com, February 20, 2011.
“UCLA Study: Perry’s claims on California jobs don’t hold,” Austin American Statesman, March 11, 2011.
“Texas on the Brink How Texas Ranks Among the 50 States,” www.texaslsg.org, February 2011.