Fresh from losing the sound bite game during his trip to California, Gov. Rick Scott is now aiming to poach jobs from Louisiana.

 

Ignoring reality as he typically does, Scott says that state’s new Democratic governor is a disaster.

He contends that his “good friend” Bobby Jindal had been following the correct path when he occupied the governor’s office before John Bel Edwards took over last January.

That path, of course, was the Scott way: cutting taxes to build a “better” business climate.

The reality is that Jindal left Louisiana with a $1 billion deficit headed toward $2 billion next year and a credit rating that has been downgraded twice.

Perhaps that’s why the Jindal “magic” that Scott applauds got Jindal nowhere in the Republican presidential primaries.

I can imagine what Scott’s pitch will be to Louisiana’s business owners and executives.

Scott: Move to Florida, and our taxpayers will even help pay the cost with what we call, ahem, incentives.

Executive: That sounds intriguing.

Scott: And you guys raking in the big bucks don’t have to worry because unlike Louisiana my Sunshine State doesn’t have an income tax. Instead, we rely on regressive sales taxes that hurt the poor more than people like you and me. On top of that, we’re cutting all kinds of taxes, so you can put more money in your pockets.

Executive: Keep talking.

Scott: You won’t have to pay your employees that much because I’m keeping Florida a low-wage state, which also means more money for you.

Executive: I’ve heard you brag about bringing Wawa convenience stores to Florida. I do need some skilled workers, but mostly I need employees like those who will fill Wawa jobs. How can I know there will be enough people willing to work for low wages?

Scott: That’s easy. We don’t fund education. For instance, my state ranks 39th when it comes to paying for pre-K programs. Those, of course, are the most critical years for learning.

But it gets even better. Florida consistently ranks near the bottom when it comes to spending on K-through-12 education. That’s producing a steady stream of students who can’t qualify for anything but low-wage jobs.

Executive: How do people like you keep getting elected in Florida?

Scott: Florida voters are gullible. Here’s a little story: The hospital company I ran had to pay a $1.7 billion fine for defrauding Medicare. I walked away with a $300 million golden parachute and spent $75 million of my own money to buy the governor’s office. I still got elected twice.

Executive: Sounds like my kind of state.

Scott: Here’s another reason to move to Florida. Look at all the water around Louisiana. Heck, it’s even called the Bayou State. With climate change and sea-level rise, New Orleans will be a goner. Flooding will be common. You had better get out while you can.

Executive: Uh, doesn’t Florida have the same problem, actually a worse problem since it’s surrounded by water?

Scott: Of course not. I have a plan to combat that.

Executive: What’s that?

Scott: I don’t let anyone working for me utter those words while in my state. If you don’t talk about something, it doesn’t exist. That’s why the thing that can never be spoken isn’t a problem in Florida.

Executive: What about the flooding that’s already taking place in Miami?

Scott: Jobs, jobs, jobs.

ron.littlepage@jacksonville.com, (904) 359-4284