Is there a compelling case to elect Alex Sink as our Governor? Forget for about the fact if she were elected, she would be “Florida’s first female governor”- it’s entirely more consequential for Floridians what she’ll do if she’s handed the reigns of power and what her governing philosophy is. Here’s the answer we arrived at– if you happen to believe that Charlie Crist’s tenure as Governor was a successful one, along with his ineffectual legislative ‘accomplishments’ and his never ending photo-ops, your candidate in this race to continue that type and style of governance is Alex Sink.
The problem with a second Crist term is that we are now approaching Year 3 under the Obama regime along with the devastating effects that his failed policies have already done to small businesses in the state. What the state really needs at this point in time is a firewall to insulate us from the effects of Obama’s policies and to put on sound financial footing. Sink essentially believes that she should be elected because, according to her, Rick Scott can’t be trusted. The campaign’s overall narrative goes like this- Rick Scott was involved with HCA and its 1.7 billion dollar fine; and his sealed depositions from civil lawsuits alleging crime and fraud at Solantic are proof positive of his very shady business dealings- ergo, Alex Sink is your best choice- plus she’s got business experience!
“My career was in business,” Sink says in a recent TV ad, ”but I’ve seen just enough of state government to know that the partisanship and special interests are even worse than you think.”
Sink is naive to believe that the problem with government today is “partisanship”- the real problem is that there are too many people who want to do things with government that are not very smart. If we’re lucky, a resistance builds up that stands in opposition to those bad ideas that almost always expand government. Wouldn’t it be great if all politicos were “partisan” against dumb ideas that grow government? As we all know, they are not, and politicos always want to “do something” even if it happens to be monumentally dumb to do so.
Republicans have ham-handedly attempted to criticize Sink’s tenure at Bank of America because of the layoffs that occurred during her tenure, but that’s a stretch. Layoffs happen– whether they’re due to direct health of the company, or as the result of a downturn within the larger business cycle.
The problem with Sink is that she isn’t going to be any kind of serious reformer that will take on entrenched interests in Tallahassee to cut government down to size. Her governing style would be much more eager to compromise and cut deals rather than make the difficult but necessary decisions in order to downsize government. Sink’s career in public service is unremarkable in its accomplishments, she bears some responsibility for state’s pension losses that occurred on her watch, and in her quest for more power, she was way too eager to associate with the wrong people.
Sink rightly admits that small businesses are key to the state’s economic health. But far too often her instincts are to expand government and increase regulation to achieve her goal to “stabilize and expand small businesses”, and that is where she goes wrong. For example, Sink wants to give state workers raises, create a small business ombudsman, as well as an ‘Accountability’ Office. This is simply more of the same- we don’t need these “new supports” for small businesses, we need a friendlier tax and regulatory climate for businesses to incorporate in Florida, not these additional wastes of tax dollars.
Sink complains that we haven’t spent all of the $10 billion that Florida was given from the Obama “Stimulus” but we’ve only spent $4 billion of it, and the rest of that money ought to be out on the street putting Floridians back to work- and yet she continues to deny wanting to bring Obama’s policies to Florida- policies that are proven failures. In our era of trillion-dollar annual deficits, this approach is beyond naive. There’s nothing “new” here in Sink’s business plan that is going to jump-start business formation here in the state. What’s more, a glaring omission from her business plan is that she does not offer any kind of serious reform of Citizens’ Property Insurance Corp., nor does she state how we can restore a real market in the state for homeowners insurance.
Sink’s approach to governing appears to be more of the same failed Charlie Crist approach to governing. In fact, the two have strikingly similar positions on a wide array of issues. There’s no doubt that she would be all too eager to work with Florida’s congressional delegation to increase Florida’s share of federal handouts- and of course, Obama will be more than willing to accommodate her. But how would that be a break with the failed government practices of the past?
While there are a few good ideas in Sink’s much-touted business plan, her plan only tinkers at the margins of state government and does little to root out systemic waste or make necessary cuts where needed, even as her rhetoric attempts to make her sound much more fiscally conservative than she actually is. Don’t buy it. The choice in this race is between a Porsche and a Prius in terms of economic plans for the State, and you should accept no substitute– Rick Scott’s business competence and economic plan to streamline Florida’s government beats Ms. Bill McBride’s– by a mile.