Like California, Florida has beautiful, diverse landscapes. This natural beauty is only surpassed by weather and climates that make both states a destination and a home for millions. An unfortunate similarity is that both states have been hit hard by the collapse of the housing market and a strained economy.
How we have each weathered the economic storm is where the states’ paths diverge. California follows the misguided path of expanding government and passing the financial burden onto their citizens by raising taxes, proposing government can spend its way to prosperity. Florida’s unwavering commitment to making tough decisions in tight financial times equates to a more prosperous state. Florida is constitutionally required to balance its budget, and has reduced its debt by $2 billion in the last two years. These sound financial decisions have preserved our AAA bond rating.
Our actions send the clear message that our state takes seriously its responsibility to keep as many dollars as possible in the pockets of Floridians.
It’s no wonder that this week the professional golfer Phil Mickelson voiced his frustration with the direction of his home state and our federal government. Exasperated, he indicated he was on the verge of leaving his birthplace for a new home where success is championed rather than punished.
The issue raised by Mr. Mickelson, is greater than the divide between income tax and no income tax states. It speaks to a larger issue and question our nation is facing—what is the role and scope of government responsibility?
Government must be the champion of free markets, not stifle growth with unfair regulations, cumbersome processes and oppressive taxes. In putting our citizens first, not bureaucracy and politics, we can continue to cultivate an environment that nurtures the entrepreneurial spirit.
Creating a sustainable economy and a vibrant market for new jobs is critical for the long term prosperity of our state and nation. By branching out, fostering innovation and planning for the success of future generations, we can pave the way for greater success.
I’m proud to call Florida my home and privileged to have the opportunity to keep our home great. I invite Mr. Mickelson to our state just as I invite anyone who faces crippling taxes and regulations that stand in the way of growing our economy and their pursuit of happiness.
You can connect with CFO Atwater at https://www.facebook.com/
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- CFO Jeff Atwater: Overreaching regulations costly, serve no meaningful purpose - October 29, 2015
- A message for the overtaxed: Make Florida home - January 23, 2013
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