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Sen. Rick Scott Bashes COVID Bailouts for Reckless Blue-State Spending

‘American families make responsible budgetary decisions every day…’

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Rick Scott/photo by MyFWCmedia (CC)

(Michael Barnes, Liberty Headlines) Congress is spending trillions of taxpayer dollars to combat mass unemployment and economic losses caused by the Wuhan coronavirus.

But Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., a self-made multimillionaire businessman, is warning about efforts to use new funding to bailout financially incompetent states.

“One thing we absolutely shouldn’t do is shield states from the consequences of their own bad budgetary decisions over the past few decades,” Scott wrote in the Wall Street Journal on Monday.

Scott alluded to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s recent line in the sand regarding vastly over-committed state pension programs designed to enrich government workers and public-sector labor unions.

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“Democrats predictably expressed outrage,” said Scott.

But the outrage is a fig leaf for a blatant cash-grab, he said.

In Illinois, Moody’s Investors Service calculated the state’s pension debt is in excess of 500 percent of its 2018 fiscal year revenues. California and New York face similar pension time-bombs.

But ignoring the source of the problem—spending on misguided priorities like generous public benefits for illegal immigrants—New York Democratic Rep. Max Rose characterized the call for fiscal restraint as telling police officers and firefighters to “drop dead.”

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“Leader McConnell said to our cities and states, to our cops and firemen and teachers, he told them to drop dead,” Rose said on the House floor. “Well, why don’t we put politics aside, rise up, and tell him that we put the country first.”

House Democrats, led by Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., were able to divert billions of dollars for special interests allies and donors by holding up the emergency $2.2-trillion CARES Act, also known as the Wuhan virus stimulus package.

Now that the small-business portion called the Paycheck Protection Program has exhausted its allotted funding, Democrats are once again holding up badly needed support for selfish reasons.

“That kind of rhetoric only distracts from Democrats’ true aim: using federal taxpayer dollars to bail out poorly run states—typically, states controlled by Democrats,” said Scott.

As the former governor of Florida, Scott resisted pressure from labor unions, political opponents and the news media to accumulate unaffordable public-pension debt. Instead, he presided over one of the nation’s most solvent public-pension funds during his two terms in office.

“American families make responsible budgetary decisions every day,” he said. “Well-managed states like Florida have done it for years. It’s time for New York, Illinois and California to do the same.”

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