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Thursday, February 10

Cooking the Books

Bismarck, I think, said it best when he equated making laws to making sausage - you don't want to watch either one being made. It's a disturbing, lengthy and messy process.

So is setting up a budget.

Governor (p)Rick Scott of Florida unveiled his budget for next year at a Tea Party event back on Monday. Ho, ho. Judging from the list of organizations that sponsored the event, I'd expect it had the air of a tent revival. But I digress.

Scott unveiled a two-year proposal, which is rather odd considering the state constitution demands a one-year fiscal cycle. After his Tea Party function (with that forehead, one wonders how many times he can get teabagged) he took it to Tallahassee and handed it over to the legislators.

Now comes the sausage-making.

On Wednesday the Legislature slapped the Governor, saying "We'll take the budget in one year installments, so screw your two-year bullshit."

In a newspaper article today, part of the two-year budget was revealed to be smoke and mirrors, a shabby accounting trick to make the proposed budget cuts look larger than they actually are.

Of the $5.2 billion dollars of proposed cuts, only $3.5 billion are actual cuts in line items; the other $1.7 billion are just expenditures transferred from outside the state budget. Specifically, $1.3 billion from the state university system, and $453 million from the sixty-six county clerks of the court.

So yes, Governor Fraudulent has already started trying to pull the wool over our eyes, despite the slim majority of Florida voters who thought he was both the bee's knees and the wasp's nipples.

Scott also abandoned (for the moment) his stupid school-killing voucher program.

And there's still serious questions being asked about the proposed loss of 8,700 state jobs (in a state with 12% unemployment) and the possible 10 percent cut in per-student public school funding.

But you have to recall the Modern Republican Goal: Keep the masses poor, stupid and scared.

(p)Rick Scott is so far following the playbook.

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