Archive for the ‘Florida’ Category
By Betsy McCaughey on 2.26.13
Betsy McCaughey is a former Lt. Governor of New York and author of Beating Obamacare.
Governors buying into Medicaid expansion are acting venally and short-sightedly.
On Fox News’ “Special Report” columnist Charles Krauthammer said it was “honorable” for Florida Governor Rick Scott to recommend the state buy into the Obama health law’s Medicaid expansion, despite Scott’s earlier opposition. In truth Scott’s decision is venal and short sighted. If the Florida legislature agrees to expand Medicaid, it will doom Florida to bankruptcy and Floridians to enormous state tax hikes in the coming years. The expansion will add 42% to the state’s Medicaid enrollment.
Packing the Medicaid rolls is Obamacare’s primary way of dealing with the uninsured. The law lays out a red carpet for politicians to expand their state’s Medicaid programs, adding richer benefits and many more enrollees. The health law promises the federal government will pay 100% of the cost of the expansion until 2018, and then 90% of the cost thereafter. That’s a 9-to-1 match.
In the past, states have set eligibility rules based on what state budgets can handle. This expansion puts the feds in control, and it’s way beyond what states can afford.
That’s why this red carpet invitation is a trap. The federal government usually breaks its promises. What will happen then? It’s inconceivable that states will be able to undo the expansion and reduce the burden. Taking back entitlements is generally a political impossibility. Instead state taxpayers will be clobbered with huge new bills. (more…)
Go for the Gold, Mitt!
Stephen F. Hayes and William Kristol
Mitt Romney will have many opportunities over the next three months to demonstrate to voters that they should choose him over Barack Obama: his acceptance speech at the Republican convention, the three presidential debates, major policy addresses, and more. But it may be that nothing will speak louder than his selection of a running mate.
Voters seem to care. In a recent CBS News/New York Times poll, 74 percent of registered voters said the selection of a running mate will matter—48 percent saying it matters “somewhat” and 26 percent saying it matters “a lot.” In a close election, as this one seems likely to be, Romney’s pick could help determine the outcome.
It’s not the first time we’ve said it, but it could well be the last: Go bold, Mitt! Pick Paul Ryan, the Republican party’s intellectual leader, the man who’s laid out the core of the post-Obama policy agenda and gotten his colleagues in Congress to sign on to it. Or pick Marco Rubio, the GOP’s most gifted young politician, the man who embodies what is best about the Tea Party and a vision of a broad-based Republican governing majority of the future. Barack Obama was right about this (if only this): Modern democratic politics is about hope and change. Ryan and Rubio, more than anyone else, embody Republican hopes and conservative change. (more…)
The Rise of Rubio
Will a longstanding friendship block his vice presidential prospects?
Stephen F. Hayes
Shortly after Mitt Romney won the Wisconsin primary and, in effect, the Republican nomination, I asked a prominent Republican strategist whom he thought Romney would choose as his running mate. He answered without hesitation.
And whom should he take?
“Marco Rubio,” he responded, in a tone that suggested the answer was obvious.
Not everyone agrees. Skeptics argue that Rubio is too young and too inexperienced. Valid concerns? Perhaps. But not enough to keep Rubio from strong consideration as Romney’s running mate. One thing might be: Rubio’s longtime friendship with Representative David Rivera.
Rubio’s name has appeared on virtually every “veepwatch” list compiled by the media. There’s a reason for that. In late March, Wisconsin talk radio host Charlie Sykes asked Romney about prospective running mates and mentioned both Rubio and Paul Ryan. Romney, the man whose list is the only one that matters, said that Rubio (along with Ryan) was one of a dozen “leading lights in the Republican party who could be part of a national ticket.”
The fact that the de facto nominee would mention Marco Rubio as a possible running mate is rather extraordinary. Just three years ago this month, Rubio was a longshot candidate for the Senate in Florida (the first poll had him at 3 percent) whose shoestring campaign was struggling to raise enough money to enable him to travel around the state to raise more money. Then on May 12, 2009, Charlie Crist, Florida’s popular governor, announced that he, too, would be running for the Senate. The National Republican Senatorial Committee immediately declared its “full support” for Crist, and top Republicans in the state, including former state chairman and Rubio mentor Al Cardenas, urged Rubio to drop his bid—something he strongly considered.
Rubio ultimately stayed in the race. He won the nomination and then a three-way contest that included Crist, running as an independent after it became clear he would lose the Republican nomination, and Democratic congressman Kendrick Meek. It wasn’t just the fact that Rubio won that was remarkable, but how he did it: Rubio carried
49 percent of the vote in a state with the oldest population in the country, running on a promise to reform Social Security and Medicare.
Since his arrival in Washington, Rubio has followed the Hillary Clinton model of conduct for new, high-profile senators. He has kept his head down, studied hard, and mostly resisted the temptation to weigh in on the micro-controversies that get Washington talking. Rubio has focused on big issues. He has devoted much of his time to foreign policy and national security, with seats on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and the Foreign Relations Committee. (more…)
Infrastructure projects to fix the economy?
Don’t bank on it.
By Chris Edwards, Published: October 21
In a recent television ad for her network, MSNBC host Rachel Maddow stands below the Hoover Dam and asks whether we are still a country that can “think this big” — Hoover Dam big. The commercial is built on the assumption that American greatness is advanced by federal spending on major infrastructure projects.
If I had my own television commercial, I’d stand in front of the wreckage of Idaho’s Teton Dam,which, like the Hoover Dam, was built by the federal Bureau of Reclamation. The Teton Dam was based on shoddy engineering and a flawed economic analysis. It collapsed catastrophically in 1976, just a year after it was built.
Increased infrastructure spending has significant support in Washington these days. President Obama wants a new federal infrastructure bank, and some members of both parties want to pass big highway and air-traffic-control funding bills. The politicians think these bills will create desperately needed jobs, but the cost of that perceived benefit is too high: Federal infrastructure spending has a long and painful history of pork-barrel politics and bureaucratic bungling, with money often going to wasteful and environmentally damaging projects.
For plenty of examples of the downside of federal infrastructure, look at the two oldest infrastructure agencies — the Army Corps of Engineers and the Bureau of Reclamation. Their histories show that the federal government shouldn’t be in the infrastructure business. Rather, state governments and the private sector are best equipped to provide it.
The Corps of Engineers has been building levees, canals and other civilian water infrastructure for more than 200 years — and it has made missteps the entire time. In the post-Civil War era, for example, there were widespread complaints about the Corps’ wastefulness and mismanagement. A 1971 book by Arthur Morgan, a distinguished engineer and former chairman of the Tennessee Valley Authority, concluded: “There have been over the past 100 years consistent and disastrous failures by the Corps in public works areas . . . resulting in enormous and unnecessary costs to ecology [and] the taxpayer.” (more…)
- OCTOBER 17, 2011
U.S. Will Inspect Cuban Rig
Deep-Water Drilling—60 Miles From Florida—Prompts Concern About Oil Spills
- By RUSSELL GOLD
U.S. officials are trying to make sure the American coastline will be protected as Cuba begins drilling a deep water oil well later this year about 60 miles off the Florida Keys.
Administration officials will tell nervous congressmen this week that the U.S. will inspect the China-made drilling rig before the Spanish energy company in charge of the project, Repsol YPF SA, moves the rig into Cuban territory.
But it remains unclear whether the U.S. government or American companies could respond if there were a disaster like the 2010 Deepwater Horizon explosion, which fouled beaches along the Gulf Coast, government and industry experts say.
The state of Florida has repealed its 30-year old growth management law (also called “smart growth,” UN Agenda 21 , “compact development” and “livability”). Under the law, local jurisdictions were required to adopt comprehensive land use plans stipulating where development could and could not occur. These plans were subject to approval by the state Department of Community Affairs, an agency now abolished by the legislation. The state approval process had been similar to that of Oregon. Governor Rick Scott had urged repeal as a part of his program to create 700,000 new jobs in seven years in Florida. Economic research in the Netherlands, theUnited Kingdom and the United States has associated slower economic growth with growth management programs.
Local governments will still be permitted to implement growth management programs, but largely without state mandates. Some local jurisdictions will continue their growth management programs, while others will welcome development.
The Need for A Competitive Land Supply: Growth management has been cited extensively in economic research because of its association with higher housing costs. The basic problem is that, by delineating and limiting the land that can the used for development, planners create guides to investment, which shows developers where they must buy and tells the now more scarce sellers that the buyers have little choice but to negotiate with them. This can violate the “principle of competitive land supply,” cited by Brookings Institution economist Anthony Downs. Downs said:
If a locality limits to certain sites the land that can be developed within a given period, it confers a preferred market position on those sites. … If the limitation is stringent enough, it may also confirm a monopolistic powers on the owners of those sites, permitting them to raising land prices substantially.
This necessity of retaining a competitive land supply is conceded by proponents of growth management. The Brookings Institution published research by leading advocates of growth management, Arthur C Nelson, Rolf Pendall, Casey J. Dawkins and Gerrit J. Knapp that makes the connection, despite often incorrect citations by advocates to the contrary. In particular they cite higher house prices in California as having resulted from growth management restrictions that were too strong. (more…)