St. Petersburg, FL – With slow economic growth across the country Republicans, both locally and nationally, have been calling for steep spending cuts that would eliminate many government jobs on the state and federal level. This has caused many Democrats to question Republican desires to grow the economy by cutting jobs at a time when the national unemployment rate is over 9 percent.
With GOP cries of “Where are the jobs?” many democrats have begun directing that question at both state assemblies and governors across the country, who many argue have a more direct effect on job growth within states.
In Florida where Governor Rick Scott has been lauding himself for adding over 76,800 jobs to the state others have been questioning his decision to cut roughly 100,000 jobs since he swore in. Where Scott sees growth others note that when put into perspective Florida actually has a net loss of 3,000 across the state. Florida still lags the rest of the nation with an unemployment rate of 10.6 percent, though many note that the economy will most likely grow despite of massive cuts being made and proposed by the first term governor.
Many Floridians argue that the Governor, in his attempt to appease his Tea Party base, has caused the state the opportunity to add over 5,000 new jobs and flex it technological muscle by turning down 2.4 billion dollars in Federal Funds, already allocated to the state for high speed rail, sending the money to other states for lesser projects in which they were more than willing to accept.
Nationally states that have resisted deep budget cuts and decreased spending are seeing faster job growth in the private sector, lower unemployment rates, and stronger economic growth, while those who have been calling for steep cuts are experiencing much slower economic growth. Since the “Great Recession” of 2007 economic indicators show a negative relationship between steep budgetary cuts and states unemployment rates, whereas states with increased spending have experienced a decrease in unemployment rates.
With every 10 percent cut in state spending being associated with a 0.4 percent increase in states unemployment rates, according to the Center for American Progress, many Floridians may find themselves slow to leave the ranks of the unemployed.
Adding to Floridian concerns is the relationship between bigger state spending cuts and private employment losses. State economies lost 1.5 percent of their private-sector jobs for every 10 percent cut in state spending. It appears too many that governors such as Florida’s Rick Scott have largely ignored the delicate balance that exists between state spending and private job creation.
Certain basic economic principles have been largely ignored as it seems state Republicans have found what they think is a silver bullet to balancing state budgets. With national attacks on unions, teachers, police officers, firemen, and other state employees reaching Florida, the prospects of faster economic growth and job creation seems dim.
Florida’s Republican held Legislature and Senate, along with its Republican Governor, have decided that employing Floridians must take a back seat to massive short term cuts that will only stagnate the state’s economic growth. This prospect has many Floridians asking Governor Scott and not the President, “Where are the jobs?”