Unlike the leader that many in the media are portraying Gov. Crist to be, I'm starting to think of him as more of a Goracle. His ego fattens as his gumption grows with every new poll that confirms it's hard to dislike a Governor that get's out of the way. Crist was elected on assurances of "Jeb like" leadership, strong conservative fiscal policies and discipline, with promises of maintaining low taxes and opposition to tax increases, opposition to invasive regulatory policies and action, opposition to red tape and growth of bureaucracy. His actions today are in direct contradiction to those positions. There was nothing conservative, nothing Republican, nothing even remotely helpful about today's initiatives.
Press coverage of his environmental plans has been summarized to a few talking points - reduction of gas emissions, energy goals, new standards - but the scope and details of the executive order he signed is truly breathtaking, and thus far ignored or glossed over by the bleeding heart liberals who are cheering him on.
All conservatives, but especially the House and Senate leadership who will be dealing with Cristened benchmarks for the next ten years, should take pause to consider the appropriate reaction, and the appropriate tone in which it should be done. This is not a time for meek response and repercussions. Crist has laid down the gauntlet and if someone does not rise to accept it, then power will be perceived to have swung back to the Governors mansion. Today's actions show what a dangerous turn of events that would be for the state of Florida.
Today, Florida conservatives met Gov. Hyde. For a man who should be leading our economy and state in a responsible manner these sweeping, unexpected and unplanned changes to our budget, economy and culture should be rebuked swiftly. They are at once irresponsible and reprehensible. I should think that conservatives and responsible Republican politicians would expect slower, moderate and compromised movement.
His actions today, if fully implemented, will undoubtedly undermine the short term foundations of Florida's economy, and ratchet up by exponential amounts state spending... with no clear revenue source. If fully implemented, it's not overly gloomy to predict continued reductions in revenue and tourism, coupled with increased mandatory state spending and no line item as of yet for some of these dictates. The money has to come from somewhere, and the responsibility will fall to the Legislature to move cautiously, not to commit dwindling state resources to unproven (and sometimes disproved) claims of wild exaggeration.
Why would a state facing insurance crisis take actions that will only serve to drive up the cost of coverage? Why would a state that depends on tourism take an action that ensures the price of a nights stay in a Florida hotel will increase? Why would a state that prides itself in personal responsibility, low taxes and few invasive policies take such a breathtaking step towards doing away with all three? Governor Crist, Florida is not California, and for good reason. This is a big mistake. Every conservative elected Representative and Senator should consider it as such and respond appropriately.
My Forecast - monumental tax increases and a slowing economy, which will only get worse, are on the horizon. Stormy regulatory seas and unprecedented power grab opportunities at agency levels across the entire state will allow Gov. Crist and his new environmental regulation into your homes, your cars, your businesses and your checkbook. The only way he could have done more damage would have been to invite ELF - whose dictates include "to inflict maximum economic damage... " - for the weekend with a get out of jail free card.
How will the new environmental standards impact Florida, state agencies, business and industries? I plan to have more tomorrow.