Farid Khavari: Eliminate Corporate Welfare in Florida, the Real Cost Only Begins With the Rip Offs


(The following was originally published on Independent Florida gubernatorial candidate Farid Khavari’s campaign website.)

Big Money Special Interests spend almost $1,000,000 per legislator in Florida every year, just to pay lobbyists. This does not include the countless millions in campaign funds, PAC funds and other incentives offered to our politicians. Rick Scott brags that he will spend $100,000,000 in special interest money to win re-election. Charlie Crist won’t be far behind in the big money race.

Big Money Special Interests spend all this money because they get big returns. They buy the rights to trash the environment and let us pay to clean it up. They buy the rights to extract more and more money from all of us. And they charge more for every product and service to cover the costs of lobbying and political contributions, too.

Not only is this perverse corruption of our democracy costing us money, it is costing us jobs and destroying our economy.

You are paying about $500 per year too much for homeowners insurance. Gasoline and energy prices cost hundreds extra per year. Interest costs eat up years of your income. Health care costs are through the roof. Higher education is going up even faster than health care. Everywhere you look, something costs too much. Everything is going up except your paycheck.

All of this is courtesy of the Corporate Welfare programs put in place by Big Money Special Interests writing our laws and their pet politicians passing them.

We will never know exactly how much Corporate Welfare costs us, but no one would argue that it is less than $5 billion per year in Florida. Just for reference, $1 billion is about $50 for every Floridian, so $5 billion costs a family of four about $1,000 per year.

Now look at the real cost. $5 billion overpaying Big Money Special Interests is $5 billion taken out of Florida’s economy. If we kept $5 billion per year in Florida’s economy, that alone would support 50,000 good middle class jobs. But the $5 billion doesn’t sit still, it circulates and recirculates through our economy. That $5 billion would create at least $25 billion per year in economic activity in Florida, enough to support 250,000 good middle class jobs in Florida.

When you consider that adding one good job creates two more in the future, it is easy to understand why our economy is in the pits while a few special interests suck up all of the money.

There is one way to end Corporate Welfare in Florida: vote for an independent governor, who works for the people instead of the special interests, and whose loyalty is to the people rather than party dogma. As governor, I will veto every bill that benefits special interests over the interests of the people.

We may need several elections to finally weed out the legislators who work for Big Money instead of for the people. An independent governor with a veto pen can hold the line until we finally get Big Money out of our state government.

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