Florida Under Rick Scott... where the rich get richer

With Florida’s economy suffering under the Great Recession, Rick Scott had the opportunity to put working and middle-class Floridians back on a path to success. Instead, he ignored the struggles of Florida families and used our taxpayer dollars to dole out millions to his wealthy donors. One of the defining characteristics of Rick’s Recession is that corporations and the mega-rich have simultaneously gotten richer while everyone else has struggled. And that’s no accident.

How Rick Scott's Economy takes care of Florida's wealthy special interests and connected class:

Rick Scott’s Enterprise Florida doles out millions of our tax dollars to corporations who fund his campaigns while small business and rural counties are left behind.

Enterprise Florida was created with the idea of helping expand and diversify Florida’s economy. The investment of public money in this public-private partnership was supposed to be followed by an investment of private money. However, under Rick Scott the private dollars aren't following:

Gov. Rick Scott wants $85 million this year to fund Enterprise Florida...But Enterprise Florida and other state economic development programs are not producing enough jobs or return on investment to justify the expense...The agencies are also failing as producers of revenue for the state government....When Enterprise Florida was created, the promise was that private money would follow state money to create a steady revenue stream to fund incentives. It hasn’t happened.
— Orlando Sentinel · February 6, 2017

As a result, this incentives program championed by Rick Scott functionally establishes a rigged system that disadvantages hard-working, smaller Florida businesses as Enterprise Florida hands out millions of public taxpayer dollars to big corporations.

An ABC Action News report revealed that the same corporations who were funding Rick Scott’s political campaigns were also being funneled our taxpayer dollars through Enterprise Florida. Rick Scott directly oversees Enterprise Florida as chairman of their Board of Directors.

More broadly, nearly 70 percent of Florida’s state-level incentive and investment programs lost money over the last three years.

Despite receiving over $200 million to spur job creation under Rick Scott, Enterprise Florida has had almost no definitive impact on helping rural communities recover economically. The public money handed out to Enterprise Florida’s failed or incomplete business ventures cannot be returned to Florida taxpayers. At the same time, Governor Scott refused to expand health care for an estimated one million Floridians because he claimed the state didn’t have the money to support such a program.

All the while, the rich get richer...

While Florida families have been hurting, Rick Scott has been rewarding his wealthy campaign donors with taxpayer dollars funneled through Enterprise Florida and the rich have gotten richer:

  • Florida ranks fifth-highest for income inequality in the United States.

  • From 2009 to 2013, the top 1% in Florida captured all income growth, while, the bottom 99% of Floridians saw their incomes fall by nearly 5%.

  • As of 2017, Florida’s top 1% makes nearly 35 times more what the bottom 99% of Floridians earn.

  • In some areas in Florida the margin is even larger: the top 1% in the Naples-Immokalee-Marco Island metro area makes an astounding 73 times more than the bottom 99% - the third most unequal region in the country.

  • To make matters worse, Scott’s administration refuses to hold employers accountable for wage theft resulting in Florida workers losing an estimated $1 billion a year that workers are owed for their labor.