Rick Scott: Florida Should Be 'Number One' for Job Creation

Monday, 25 Oct 2010 07:44 PM

By Jim Meyers

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Florida gubernatorial candidate and former healthcare industry executive Rick Scott tells Newsmax that Obamacare will be “devastating for everybody” and “one of the biggest job killers in the country.”

He also says his Democratic opponent, “Obama liberal” Alex Sink, was responsible as Florida’s chief financial officer for losing billions of dollars in the state pension fund.

And Scott vows that as governor he will slash property taxes, eliminate the tax on businesses, and cut back on spending to make Florida the “number-one state for job creation.”

Story continues below.




A political newcomer, Scott has won the support of former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour — chairman of the Republican Governors Association — the National Rifle Association, and the Florida Family Policy Council. He was endorsed by Newsmax last week.

In an exclusive interview with Newsmax.TV, the successful businessman was asked why he wants to be governor of the Sunshine State.

“I started school in public housing. I’ve been working since I was in the second grade — I started off selling TV Guide. I’ve spent my whole life working and building companies, and I’ve lived the American dream,” he says.

“I want that same dream — that you can do anything in this country — to be true for my daughters, my granddaughters and grandsons, and I want it true for everybody in Florida.

“So I’m running because I’m concerned about the future. Our taxes are too high in this state. We have way too much regulation — we’re 45th out of 50. I want to turn the state around. And I have an economic plan to do that.”

Scott — former head of the huge Columbia/HCA hospital chain — explains why he has been such a vehement opponent of the healthcare reform legislation rammed through by President Barack Obama and the Democrats.

“The goal with healthcare is reduce the cost. Obamacare is going to be devastating for everybody involved,” he says.

“First off, for patients. They cut Medicare spending by $500 billion, so it’s horrible for Medicare recipients.

“Second, the cost for a consumer is going to be way more than anybody anticipated. We won’t be able to pay for it as taxpayers and it’s going to be one of the biggest job killers in the country, because companies are not going to be able to pay for it. We’re going to create incentives for people not to cover employees or to move these jobs out of the United States.”

Elaborating on his economic plan for Florida, Scott tells Newsmax: “You run the state the way you run your household, the way you run your business. Step one is accountability in budgeting. You watch how you spend every dollar.

“Next, we have to downsize state government. It’s gotten way too big in the past few years. Every time the public sector grows, the private sector shrinks and jobs go away.

“Third, we’ve got to freeze our regulation.

“We’ve got to keep only the regulation that’s important to consumers. We need a governor in our state that’s going to go out there every day and talk to people in our state and outside our state and say, why don’t you grow in our state? Why don’t you expand your business in our state?

“We have great universities. We need to team those universities up with the private sector so we build companies around our universities.

“Next we’ve got to drop taxes. I’m going to drive property tax rates down by 19 percent and I’m going to phase out the business tax. This will be the number-one state for doing business in the country.

“And it should be. You look at the expansion of the economies in Central and South America. Look at the Panama Canal expansion. We don’t have an income tax. We’re a right to work state. Our weather, our beaches — we should be the number-one state for job creation.”

Scott says he will make it a priority to control the state budget by deciding what is important and what can be reduced or eliminated.

“You go through every agency,” he says, “and you say, can I do that less expensively? There’s a lot of dollars to be saved doing that.”

Scott was asked why Alex Sink’s past position as president of NationsBank Florida is a factor that should be considered by voters.

“You have to look at people’s background,” he declares.

“In her case she was responsible for NationsBank Florida. While she was president the tellers in her bank were paid kickbacks for referring elderly consumers from safe bank deposits to risky investments, and they lost money. The bank was sued. They paid fines — all on her watch.

“We’ve got to be very careful electing somebody like that.”

As for her performance in her current job, chief financial officer of the state, Scott says: “My opponent is an Obama liberal, a Tallahassee insider. She was warned multiple times that she was in risky investments. One investment they put $250 million in and it was written off to zero, a real estate investment. They lost billions of dollars while she was responsible for it, and she takes no responsibility.

“When she went in four years ago as chief financial officer for the state, our state pension fund was seven percent overfunded. Now it’s 13 percent underfunded. Think of the problem that’s going to cause for people relying on that pension fund.”

Scott vows that he would not raise taxes to pay for increases in Medicaid spending that could be necessitated by Obamacare.

“As governor I will not increase any taxes at all. And I believe that if we all work hard at this, we will repeal Obamacare so it will never apply to us.

“My opponent has backed tax increases in her past. She’s backed property tax increases. She’s backed sales tax increases. She’s got spending plans that total $12.5 billion. I don’t know what tax she’s going to want to raise to pay for that.”

He also says he is thankful for the widespread support he has received from the tea party movement.

“The tea party has been very supportive of my campaign. They believe in my principles. I believe in limited government. I believe in fiscal responsibility. I believe in personal freedom.

“So I’m very thankful for the unbelievable tea party support I’ve gotten all across the state.”

Scott suggests voters can learn more about his campaign by visiting his website, www.rickscottforflorida.com.




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