TALLAHASSEE (CBS4) — Florida Governor Rick Scott took the oath of office shortly after noon Tuesday and spent the majority of his inauguration speech pledging to make Florida the most business-friendly state while just barely mentioning health care and education.
Governor Scott said former Governor Charlie Crist “could not have been more gracious during this transition period.”
Scott tried to inspire the large number of Floridians who are out of work and not convinced Scott’s pro-business, anti-labor ideas are going to solve the massive problems facing the Sunshine State.
“Once we take the right steps, I’m absolutely convinced Florida will become the best place to live and work,” Scott told the crowd.
As the inaugural speech began, Scott told the crowd, “Let’s begin by facing the biggest challenge of our time, the economy.”
“It requires magical thinking to expect government to create prosperity. Government has no resources of its own,” Scott told the crowd as he echoed the most conservative ideas of the GOP. “Government can only give to us what is has taken from us.”
Scott began to talk about the private sector and at one point was heckled by the crowd while he said, “The only path to better days is paved with private sector jobs.”
Scott said there was only one problem for getting jobs back into the Sunshine State.
“All that’s missing is the determination to provide the most favorable business climate in the country and we will,” Scott said. “Florida has to offer businesspeople the best chance to success.”
Scott said that there are three elements that form the “axis of unemployment,”: taxation, regulation, and litigation. “Florida has wisely refused to impose and income tax, under my plan, we’ll eliminate the business tax,” Scott told the crowd to cheers.
“Unless they are pruned, regulations grow like weeds; it’s past time to demand that every regulation be reevaluated,” Scott said. “Today, I will sign an executive order to review all proposed and existing regulations to examine their impact on job creation.”
Scott continued to hammer home Republican ideas on tort reform saying that whatever the super-majority GOP legislature does in Texas, “we’ll do better.”
The new governor said one of the roles of government is to say, “How can we, the great state of Florida, help you (small business owners.)”
Going back to taxes, Scott said Floridians “haven’t trusted us with their tax dollars,” and that “they badly need those dollars for their needs.”
As a result, Scott said the state government must keep its demands to an absolute minimum. He said, “We will require accountability budgeting in state government,” and “we’ll get rid of the programs that don’t work and expand the programs that do.”
Scott then jokingly asked the crowd if they could tell his speech was about jobs at one point.
After spending about the first two-thirds of his speech on turning Florida into a pro-business state in the mold of the country of Ireland, which is nearly bankrupt now, Scott turned his attention towards two other hot button issues.
“Few things matter to us as much as health care and the education of our children,” Scott said.
“We’re not going to cling to models created in the last century,” Scott said referring to Medicare, Social Security, and other successful government programs.
Scott said that he will have an education system that is the best for individual student learning, not for special interests. He also said that to capture the world’s best jobs, “we have to offer businesses the most educated work force and we will do it.”
Finally, when it came to health care, Scott railed against federal programs and in an obviously ironic statement, other health care bureaucrats.
“We’ll refuse to allow increased government incursion into the areas,” Scott told the crowd gathered for the inauguration. “We’ll allow Floridians to have more choice in their health care. We’re going to measure everything. We’ll implement changes based on those measurements. We will not allow bureaucrats and the federal government to trample on our relationship to make our decisions on our health care.”
The speech didn’t release many details about the programs and agencies Scott will cut or re-organize. It also didn’t have details on what kind of changes will be made to make Florida more “pro-business.”
But, one thing is for certain, Florida is taking a hard turn to the right on the political spectrum.