Less taxes, more spending?
As a candidate for governor, Charlie Crist is promising to spend a lot of money. He has committed to putting tens of billions of dollars into reducing class sizes, as the state Constitution requires, even though Gov. Jeb Bush and other top Republicans still would rather repeal that requirement.
But that's just the start. Crist's other priorities include:
The "antimurder" bill, which would crack down on probation violators and would cost, by one legislative analysis, $118-million a year by 2010; Giving 10 percent annual pay raises to the top 25 percent of teachers in Florida. First-year cost: $150-million; Adding reading coaches to all public schools, at an annual cost of $100-million; Spending at least $1-billion more every year on public schools, just as Bush did.
At the same time, Crist is pushing the biggest property tax cut in Florida history. He wants to double the homestead exemption to $50,000, subject to voter approval. In the first year alone, the state estimates counties and cities would lose $2.1-billion in tax revenue.
Is Crist promising more than Florida's budget can deliver? Story is here.