Capitol Punishment From Tallahassee

For all those appalled that the University of South Florida and the Hillsborough school district will be taking a serious budget hit in the coming school year, these thoughts:

*No way is a shortfall not going to hurt. And no way did this have to happen. Florida’s toga-party of a Legislature keeps giving incompetence a bad name. Long-term, revenue-raising solutions? There’s a better chance of bringing back Ol’ Sparky.

Obviously it does no good to write your representative. But here is a perverse suggestion. Send out some thank you cards. One to Jeb Bush, who can’t reconcile Republicans and Libertarians and saves his passion for FCATS, vouchers, affirmative action and presidential visits. One to Johnnie Byrd, who would rather cut a critical service or tap a trust fund than repeal a gaggle of special interest, sales tax exemptions. One to Kendrick Meek, who never got over being kicked out of his governor’s sit-in. The former state senator and now a Congressman from Miami-Dade created Amendment 9 to reduce class size. And the rest to this state’s (but not this county’s) voters who were too clueless to see where their yes vote on Meek’s amendment would lead.

*Florida’s budget is so hamstrung by having to live within Johnnie Byrd’s means, that it was almost shocking that the money would be found to fund a special session to finalize the budget.

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