While it’s not clear exactly how Enterprise Florida’s corporate incentive programs can be compared to socialism, that’s what incoming Speaker Richard Corcoran is calling it. And by doing so, he has gone beyond the proverbial “line in the sand,” and now has completely dug in behind barbed wire, anti-tank ditches, and machine gun bunkers. The 2017 Legislative Session is shaping up to be one of the nastiest trench warfare battles in recent memory. All that’s missing is mustard gas, trenchfoot, and the pointy German helmets.
Thus far, the governor’s office has declined to engage in the fight, ceding the high conservative ground to Corcoran, allowing him to get away with labeling the governor’s request for $85 million in tax breaks as “socialism.” It seems quite simple to counter that on two fronts: first, a tax break is the complete opposite of “socialism,” and second, by pointing out that the governor weilds a mighty veto pen which he’s used to scuttle more than a billion dollars worth of legislative “socialism” during his term in office – and that number will only grow larger when legislators pack the budget with more of it this year.
Naturally, the easiest comeback for Corcoran would be to throw the governor’s own line back in his face about how “government shouldn’t be in the business of picking winners and losers.”
Perhaps that’s why the governor’s office has thus far refused to engage: when it gets right down to it, in a nasty fight between the House and the Governor, there may be a lot more losers than winners.