Now that disgraced former health care executive Rick Scott has officially won his Republican gubernatorial primary in Florida, he is turning his attention to his general election campaign against the Democratic nominee, Florida CFO Alex Sink. And part of that campaign is evidently leaving no doubt as to where he stands regarding the Bush tax cuts, which are scheduled to expire at the end of the year — Scott very clearly wants them all extended, even for the richest two percent of Americans, per his campaign spokesperson:
Floridians want an answer: Will Alex Sink stand with Obama and let the Bush tax cuts expire, thereby increasing Floridians’ taxes, or will she stand with taxpayers and demand Obama work to extend the Bush tax cuts?
Scott has also touted his opposition to the Bush tax cuts on both national and local television. Watch it:
This tactic is puzzling because, as governor, Scott wouldn’t have any say over whether or not the Bush tax cuts get extended. Neither would Alex Sink. Sure, he could advise Florida’s congressional delegation, but at the end of the day, federal tax policy is not within the purview of the nation’s governors.
However, Scott would be able to influence Florida’s tax system, which at the moment is one of the nation’s most regressive, with no personal income tax and a high reliance on sales taxes. Florida’s poorest 20 percent currently pay 13.5 percent of their income in taxes, while the richest one percent of Floridians pay just 2.6 percent. In fact, Washington is the only state in the nation where a poor family can expect to pay higher taxes than in Florida, according to the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy.
So what does Scott propose to do about this? He wants to completely eliminate the state’s corporate income tax, reduce property taxes, and leave the rest of the tax code as it is. Of course, he’ll then have to balance the budget with less revenue coming in, cutting services to the same poor families who are bearing the brunt of the tax burden and to whom he won’t even pay lip service.
Clearly, Scott thinks tying himself to an anti-Obama stance will pay off, but his state has some serious tax problems of its own that he doesn’t deign to mention, and which his economic plan will only make worse.