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Current Republican governor of Florida, Rick Scott, used to be the CEO of health care provider, Columbia/HCA. While he was CEO, Scott's company was raided in 1997 by the FBI....
Among the crimes uncovered were doctors being offered financial incentives to bring in patients, falsifying diagnostic codes to increase reimbursements from Medicare and other government programs, and billing the government for unnecessary lab tests.
As one would expect, this FBI raid was, you know, embarassing for Columbia/HCA and it's CEO, Rick Scott....
Following the raids, the Columbia/HCA board of directors forced Scott to resign as Chairman and CEO. He was paid $9.88 million in a settlement. He also left owning 10 million shares of stock worth over $350 million, mostly from his initial investment In 1999, Columbia/HCA changed its name back to HCA, Inc.
Crime....obviously....pays. And quite handsomely.
The findings against Columbia/HCA?
In settlements reached in 2000 and 2002, Columbia/HCA rose to public attention when it pleaded guilty to 14 felonies and agreed to a $600+ million fine in what the Justice department then called the largest fraud case settled in the history of the Justice department.
Then, in 2010, Florida voters elected Rick Scott to be their governor. Yeah, they did.
If the story of Rick Scott simply stopped there.....there would still be ample material to fill a dozen Law and Order episodes....as well as a new Reverend pilot series called WTF's Wrong With America.....but the story doesn't end with the felonious Scott being elected Florida's governor.
Now, Scott is taking apart the state of Florida like he did Medicare.
At a Tea Party event held at the First Baptist Church of Eustis yesterday, Governor Scott rolled out his plans to cut spending in the state of Florida. The church....
....which seats 800, was filled to overflowing, and people waved miniature American flags and sang God Bless the USA and God Bless America. Warm-up speakers criticized President Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, and praised Roger Vinson, the federal judge in Pensacola who last week struck down the Obama health plan as unconstitutional.
Before the public event, Scott hosted a private lunch for tea party activists at a nearby civic center.
What were the TeaBaggers so excited about?
Scott proposed a $4.6 billion cut in Florida's state budget. That is not unusual....most states are faced with cutting their budgets right now. But with Felonious Rick, it's all about HOW he proposes to slash the budget.
1) Eliminate 7 percent of the state's government jobs, about 6700 people. Scott....astonishingly...said this about the layoffs.....
“As long as 1.1 million Floridians are out of work, we can’t afford a government that runs wild with taxes, regulations and excessive spending."
Solution? Increase state unemployment through eliminating 6700 jobs.
2) Cut $4.8 billion in education the FIRST YEAR. Through imaginative accounting wizardry.....possibly the same wizardry for which Scott was forced to resign as CEO of Comubia/HCA.....Scott's final budget proposal, it is reported, will only cut the state's share of public school spending by $154 million. Doesn't sound quite right, does it?
And to help out Florida's revenue shortfall, Scott isn't just proposing big cuts in spending. Don't be silly. In today's Bagger Economics, the way a government raises more revenue is by.....wait for it....cutting taxes. Rick Scott's Florida has a huge budget shortfall. Florida doesn't have enough revenue to pay it's obligations. Scott's solution is to reduce revenues even further through tax cuts.....
He’s cutting $1 billion in property taxes over two years and nearly $1.5 billion in corporate income taxes in the same time frame.
Here we have a state which elected...well.....a criminal. Now, this criminal fraud artist is proposing a steaming pile of Voodoo Economics bullh*t to deal with Florida's huge budget shortfall. Cutting state employee pensions, cutting government jobs, cutting public education spending....while simultaneously cutting taxes.
Who benefits from this insanity?.....I mean other than Floridian Tea Partiers getting their rocks off at the prospect of doing damage to state employee unions while starving evolution-teaching schools.
Here's a clue....
The prison system loses most staff under Scott’s budget, with 1,690 jobs eliminated. But rather than reduce the prison program by $1 billion, as Scott suggested on the campaign trail, the budget measure is just a $82 million reduction in spending over the governor’s first year. Scott wants to privatize prisons, close two facilities and privatize three state mental institutions and many juvenile-justice programs.
See....Governor Rick Scott was going to reduce prison system costs by one billion. But then, after, you know, further review, he is settling for only $82 million in prison system reductions, only 8.2% of his original plan. Why only 8%? Scott needs money to pour into his government privitization plans.
The moral of this very sad story?
Scott, a veteran in the dark arts of deception and fraud, is as cynical a prick as America has to offer. His job as Tea Party Governor of Florida is the same as his job was at Columbia/HCA......use government as a means to enrich yourself and your closest business associates.
Children, the working class, public schools, those who have paid into pension plans all their lives, the state safety net......all be damned.
The new Tea Party America.....coming soon to Ohio.