Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Rick Scott's 10 Point Plan

I was watching Rick Scott declare victory as our next senator from Florida, and he said that no one in the press read his Ten Point Plan. I'm not in the press, and I guess I'm reading it a bit late, but after having read it, I'd like to wish Senator Scott the best of luck with his list. I'm not saying the ideas are bad, but I'm also not saying any of them will happen while he's in Washington. In fact, he probably won't even suggest most of them, but we can take a look in a few years. For now, I'll just go through the list with my opinion on each point.


1. Implement Term Limits
If Scott wants to hear crickets, he should go ahead and suggest this one right away. It's the first item on his list, and it seems to be a thing here in Florida, but it's not going to happen. The goal of every millionaire is to become a senator, increase his wealth while in Washington, and then keep it rolling. Also, people are used to it. I can remember growing up in Wisconsin, where Herb Kohl was always the senator, and we all knew what we were getting. Senators eventually get power and clout in Washington, but it's not right away. I'm not sure Nelson ever got to that point, which might be why he wasn't the obvious choice. If Scott gets on the right committees for Florida, we'll WANT him to stay. Does Congress self-regulate this, or is it a Constitutional Amendment kind of thing?


2. Full-Time Salary for Full-Time Work
Nelson should have been at those hearings he skipped. Where else was he going, really? Scott didn't take an official salary as governor, only making money off investments. I don't know how shady any of those deals were for Scott, but the good news for Americans is that he won't get away with it in the Senate. But will he take a salary now? If he does, it's a pay cut, and he'll have to sit through all kinds of boring hearings when he could be spending time on the beach. I missed one day of teaching in twelve years, so I know about working for my pay, and I agree with this point. Back in 2014, the average votes missed by senators was 2.5%. With 100 senators, that means between two and three of them were gone for each vote. That doesn't even count all the other hearings and whatnot they skipped while chasing interns. Marco Rubio was 4th worst a few years back, so Scott can at least encourage his co-senator from Florida to show up. If someone is going to be gone, that person should be forced to watch C-SPAN.

3. Stop Congress Members From Cashing in as Lobbyists
Remember the anti-Swamp platform? Same swamp, different reptiles. Being a member of Congress is the absolute best qualification for getting a high-paying lobbying job. You understand the system. Organizations will still lobby for their causes, and if we don't let former congresspeople work for them, they might come back and run for governor again. The explanation suggests maybe a cooling off period of ten years. But most senators are grandpas when they're done, so they want to cash in right away.

4. End Congressional Pay Raises and Pensions
Since most senators are millionaires, I'm good with eliminating outlandish pensions. I don't know if they are outlandish, but they're really not. Scott will have this option once he serves five of his six years:
A three-term congressman (or one-term senator) who has now reached retirement age would be eligible for an annual pension of $17,588 for six years of work.
That's enough for Scott to buy a watch, but not the extravagance I was imagining. It looks like this one came out of a mass email that was debunked. 

5. Stop Unfair Big Government-Run Insurance Subsidies
I think Congress has a decent insurance plan. Better than mine, anyhow. But when Senator Scott unveils ScottCare to replace ObamaCare, we'll all have decent healthcare. Go get em, Tiger! Actually, Senator Scott might not want to provide healthcare to all people, even though he grew up with a family in public housing and a sibling with a health issue. Generally, everyone wants the healthcare Congress has, so let's just do that. There might be family similar to Scott's out there that needs his help, and he will do all he can to make sure that family has the coverage necessary. Hey, it's what the ad implied, right?

6. Supermajority Vote to Approve Any Tax or Fee Increase
Again, isn't this set up already? I don't think 2/3 would ever happen, so that means no taxes or fees until one party takes full control. Republicans had a majority and could barely get stuff passed the last two years, so I'm not sure how this will work. Sounds strong like bull, though. 
 
7. No Budget, No Pay
This is another one that's easy for a multi-millionaire to say. Does that apply to ALL government or just Congress? Anyhow, I can go along with this. However, it does allow the wealthiest senators (and there are some) to wait out the poor suckers just trying to get by with a net worth of a million or so. 

8. Line Item Veto
I think this can work. Wisconsin seemed to give a little too much power to the governor, so we'd have to be careful here, especially since our two most recent presidents have used executive orders in power-grabby ways already, so I'm not sure the American people would be in favor of allowing the vetoes to come from him (her). Or maybe it's not a presidential line item veto being suggested. This one seems like it might be another Constitutional change, right?


9. End Government Waste
Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! Drain the swamp. Affect change. End government waste. Both parties, every election, always the same. This one made me think of the Bold Florida Palm Tree fiasco, or the Sunpass fiasco, or whatever went on here before I arrived. Government waste is going to happen. Let's just say we'll limit it. Go for it. 

10. Improve Transparency and Accountability
Yes, we should, as Florida residents, know exactly where our senator's money is invested, and whether his votes could benefit his own financial standing. Great idea. 

So there's the 10 Point Plan from Senator Scott. 1-8 could be implemented. 9-10 are more like dreams. In six years, I'd say maybe one of the suggestions happen. Maybe. I'd rather Scott get to work to help Florida in ways that he can while in DC rather than focus on making enemies.