TALLAHASSEE — The staggering unemployment exploding on President Donald Trump’s watch would worry any incumbent running for reelection, but troubles in Florida are injecting an added dose of fear into a jittery GOP.
Already anxious about Trump’s chances in the nation’s biggest swing state, Republicans now are dealing with thousands of unemployed workers unable to navigate the Florida system to apply for help. And the blowback is directed straight at Trump’s top allies in the state, Gov. Ron DeSantis and Sen. Rick Scott.
Privately, Republicans admit that the $77.9 million system that is now failing Florida workers is doing exactly what Scott designed it to do — lower the state’s reported number of jobless claims after the great recession.
“It’s a sh– sandwich, and it was designed that way by Scott,” said one DeSantis advisor. “It wasn’t about saving money. It was about making it harder for people to get benefits or keep benefits so that the unemployment numbers were low to give the governor something to brag about.”
Republican Party of Florida chairman Joe Gruters was more succinct: “$77 million? Someone should go to jail over that.”
Congress last week delivered relief in the form of a $2 trillion stimulus package that directs cash to the unemployed. But to get that money into the pockets of Floridians, the state will have to duct-tape the rickety web-based unemployment system to deliver it.
The new online system was part of a series of changes designed to limit benefits. The ultimate goal — which it delivered on — was to lower unemployment taxes paid by Florida businesses.
Now, as thousands of people try to get help, the system crashes or denies them access. Nearly 400,000 people have managed to file claims in the last two and half weeks. It’s not known how many have tried and failed.
Most of those who do submit applications won’t qualify for aid, and the benefits that are paid out are among the most meager in the country — a maximum of $275 a week.
“This is horrible for people. I don’t want to minimize that,” one DeSantis adviser told POLITICO. “But if we have to look past the crisis, it’s bad for the president and it’s bad for the governor.”
Republicans in the Legislature share the blame, said Rep. Jose Javier Rodriguez, a Miami Democrat.
“Rick Scott is the most culpable human being when we look at who’s responsible for the failed system,” Rodriguez said. “But I don’t know of any Republican who resisted these efforts to make Florida the most Scrooge-like state in the nation.”
6 responses to “Direct from Scott’s Bowels”
I pity the newly-unemployed in Florida. Dealing with unemployment insurance here in Oregon (when I needed to last year) wasn’t too bad, but this state has been run by Democrats for as long as I can remember. It really does make a difference which party is in charge, something many people may be just now realizing.
The ultimate goal — which it delivered on — was to lower unemployment taxes paid by Florida businesses
I was thinking that that outfit absolutely does not suit Rick Scott, then I noticed the coronavirus buttons. So maybe it’s appropriate. And I hope those shit sandwiches are enjoyed by all, or at least by all those who voted for them.
The biggest shit sandwich goes to Racist Ronnie in Tallahassee. He goes right along with all the other Rethugs, and then karma comes along and kicks him in his ass. The same with the other Rethugs. They push each other out of the way in order to be Twitler’s favorite, and when push comes to shove, he’s the first one to shit all over them. As Floriduhhh’s death rate goes up, Twitler will rewrite history once again and say he never backed Racist Ronnie. In face, he hardly knows him.
Governor Snot needs to get off the pot and realize his state is what he is supposed to represent. Not the Insane Clown in the White House.
Governor Snot is now Senator Snot. He has never represented anyone but himself. He stole billions from Medicare and bought himself the governor’s office. He also did everything possible to make sure his walk-in medical clinics profited from his policies while in office. I’m sure his shitty clinics are making money hand over fist now and will make a lot more when tests are available, just as they made tons of money when he made it law that state workers and welfare recipients had to be drug-tested. It was only a coincidence that his clinics did the drug-testing, right?
In short, things are bad in Florida and all everywhere. I feel that the states are on the verge of collapse. I see not a damn thing that is positive at this point. May all the politicians rot in hell and hopefully DeSantis and Scott will rot first.
I am having a lot of trouble finding any positives, too. Things are going to get a lot worse before they get better. If the red state governors think they can ignore the pandemic until it goes away, they have a rude awakening coming. They deserve it, but their citizens don’t.