Governor Scott: “Finally, a Budget That Balances”

By  //  April 6, 2015

TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA — Below is an op-ed column by Florida Governor Rick Scott, which was originally submitted to The Washington Post.

Gov. Rick Scott
Gov. Rick Scott

After years of failed leadership by President Obama and Democrats in Congress, the new Republican majorities in the House and the Senate are finally taking steps to deal with the most pressing political issue of our time: the unsustainable debt and the long-term negative impact it has on good jobs for Americans.

Whereas the president’s proposed budget never balances — in fact it doubles the deficit over the next 10 years — the House and Senate budgets balance in 10 years, and take steps to reform our health care system and tax code, all of which will help create good jobs for Americans.

Rising health care costs (a problem that Obamacare has only exacerbated), federal taxes higher than other developed nation’s and an anti-business attitude by the Obama administration has caused stagnant wages and a diminishing workforce. House and Senate Republicans should be commended for seeking to address these systemic challenges that President Obama has either ignored or made worse.

Republican governors around the country have understood this, and have taken significant steps to create state budgets that prioritize job creation and fiscal responsibility. It’s time for President Obama to take note.

In Florida, I have a mandate to sign a balanced budget. Over the last four years, we’ve worked hard and made some sacrifices to balance our budget, a task that requires leadership and the ability to work together for the good of all Floridians.

And our work has paid off noticeably. We’ve eliminated $7.5 billion in state debt over the last four years while increasing funding to education, infrastructure and the environment. Over the same period of time, the private sector in Florida has created over 800,000 new jobs.

I grew up in a family that struggled for work and learned the importance of a good job at an early age when I watched my parents struggle to put food on the table. So to me, those are not just numbers on a page: Every one of those 800,000 jobs represents a family that has been given the opportunity to live their version of the American Dream.

In Florida, we take action because the success of our children and grandchildren depends on what we do today. Each and every family deserves effective political leadership, not the weak-kneed ambivalence that has come to define the Obama Administration.

A budget that balances is a budget that reflects a fundamental ethos of the United States: that we should work to make this country a better place for our children and grandchildren for generations to come.

In Florida, I work every day to ensure that our state is the best place in the world to get a job, get a good education and raise a family in a safe environment.

The federal government needs to follow our lead. President Obama needs to see this as an opportunity to change his ways; to stop spending money that we don’t have and forcing our children and grandchildren to foot the bill.

This issue is too important to ignore.