Friday, February 23, 2018
Politics

What Rick Scott really said in that letter to Barack Obama

They are tighter than you know. Practically pen pals.

Hardly an economic crisis goes by without Gov. Rick Scott sitting down to jot off another letter to his comrade-in-arms Barack Obama.

Let's see, there was the time he asked him to intervene in a dockworkers strike. And the time he complained about a cut in federal funding for a particular Army aircraft.

There have been multiple letters regarding Obamacare or Medicaid expansion, and who can forget the sequestration letter that suggested the president was a total goof-off?

So it should come as no surprise that Scott sent another letter to the White House on Sunday, asking Obama to do something about budget cuts that have reduced the number of on-the-job hours for air traffic controllers.

The letter's language is stilted and the tone is impersonal, but I like to think that's just the official version the public sees. In my imagination, Scott sneaks in the kind of personal notations two colleagues might share.

Dear Mr. President:

On your March 29th visit to Miami, you highlighted the importance of transportation services to jobs and our nation's economy; yet, today the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) will begin to furlough 10 percent of the nation's air controllers because of sequestration …

(All right, don't get your shorts in a bunch. I am fully aware of the irony here, Mr. President. Two years ago, I killed a high-speed rail plan between Tampa and Orlando that would have meant jobs, $2 billion in federal funds and increased transportation services across the state. Hey, we all have our bad days.)

These furloughs will have a devastating impact on Florida families by creating unnecessary delays that will impact Florida airports …

(As opposed to the totally necessary traffic delays on I-4. See? I beat you to the punch.)

Equally disturbing is that the $637 million in reductions that the U.S. Department of Transportation (U.S. DOT) claims requires furloughs, could be addressed with common sense budgeting …

(And by common sense budgeting, I mean firing people. Lots and lots of people. Seriously, you should try it. It's quick, it's easy, it's forever. Furloughs are for wimps.)

Once again, this is another example of the federal government using a meat cleaver, when they should be using a scalpel to reduce government spending …

(Trust me, scalpels are more fun than cleavers. I'll even let you borrow one of mine. During my second year in office, we laid off nearly 1,200 state workers, says the Department of Management Services. That was more than the previous five years combined.)

The decisions by the FAA are a hindrance to our continued economic growth and job creation …

(Not to mention, a drag on my re-election campaign.)

I urge you to quickly take the steps necessary to avoid these furloughs and impacts on critical services. Florida families have done their job; it's time our federal leaders do theirs …

(You think I'm kidding about the sacrifices of Florida families? Florida's state workforce is the smallest per capita in the country. The state's payroll ratio is also the lowest in the U.S., and half the national average. In other words, I've already cut Florida to the bone.)

Sincerely …

(@&%! &*$)

Rick Scott

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