On Friday, U.S. Sen. Rick Scott wrote an open letter to Florida families and businesses in recognition of the 40th anniversary of President Ronald Reagan signing the Economic Recovery Tax Act (ERTA) of 1981.
In his letter, Scott called for Americans to reject the economic policies of President Joe Biden and Democrats, insisting they are leading to more inflation and driving the federal debt toward $45 trillion.
Scott also called for Floridians to “join him in promoting Florida’s proven playbook of lower taxes and less regulations at the federal level which will lead to a thriving American economy and endless opportunity for families to live the American dream.”
This letter first appeared in the Tallahassee Democrat. It is also included below.
Dear Florida Families and Businesses:
This week marks the 40th anniversary of President Ronald Reagan signing the historic Economic Recovery Tax Act (ERTA) of 1981. The ERTA was landmark legislation that made significant but thoughtful reductions to the federal budget and lowered taxes for families at all income levels. This legislation ushered in a new era of fiscal conservatism that fueled American prosperity and growth following a decade of failed economic policy that saw inflation skyrocket and high unemployment strike communities across our nation.
Much like 40 years ago, we again find ourselves at a moment of critical importance to the future success of our country. This year, we have seen the disastrous policies of the Biden administration and Democrats in Washington wreak havoc on families and businesses in Florida and across our nation. Inflation is rising every month, resulting in increased prices of nearly everything that families and businesses rely on in their day to day lives. The cost of groceries, gas, energy and vehicles has increased significantly, hurting Florida families, especially those on low or and fixed incomes like mine growing up. I’ve heard from a mother of four in Wauchula and a father of three in Jacksonville. I’ve met with small business owners in Miami and heard from a restaurant owner in Tampa. Rising inflation is hurting all of them and their stories are heartbreaking.
Before the pandemic, businesses were creating jobs, taxes had been cut and the economy was booming. Now, we are seeing a concerted effort by the federal government, under unified Democratic control, to raise taxes, engage in dangerous and reckless spending and expand government to levels America has never seen before. This year alone, the Biden administration and Democrat-controlled Congress has pushed for more than $8,000,000,000,000 in deficit spending. Yes, eight trillion dollars in new debt.
First, it was the $1,900,000,000,000 American Rescue Plan, a “COVID relief plan” that dedicated less than 10 percent of its funding to fighting COVID. Then, the Senate passed a $1,200,000,000,000 “infrastructure” package that dedicated a fraction of its total spending on real infrastructure like roads, bridges, airports and seaports. This week, Senate Democrats also pushed through the first step to passing President Biden’s $5,500,000,000,000 reckless tax and spending bill. America is nearly $30,000,000,000,000 in debt and this new budget, crafted by Bernie Sanders, grows our debt to over $45,150,000,000,000 by 2031. That’s $15,000,000,000,000 in new debt over the coming decade. With reckless spending fueling a raging inflation crisis, our nation can’t afford this and neither can American families paying more and more for every day goods.
However, what gives me great optimism is that government doesn’t have to work this way. We can cut taxes and reduce burdensome regulations so businesses can thrive and create jobs while making big investments where they’re needed. It doesn’t have to be one or the other. I know this firsthand because we did it when I was governor of Florida.
During my eight years as governor, Florida families and businesses saw their taxes and fees cut 100 times, saving them $10 billion. We slashed 5,000 burdensome regulations, helping businesses create more than 1.7 million new jobs across our state. While implementing these proven, fiscally conservative policies, we also saw tax revenues rise tremendously, allowing the state budget to grow from $69 billion in 2011 to nearly $89 billion in 2018. The success of Florida families and businesses meant we could make record investments in the environment, transportation and education. In fact, when I was governor, Florida invested $85 billion in roads, bridges, airports and seaports. We made massive investments in real infrastructure and cut state debt by a third, paying off nearly $10 billion over eight years.
It’s time to bring this playbook to Washington. It’s time to say enough is enough. We must end the reckless deficit spending that is sinking America deeper into debt and driving a raging inflation crisis across our nation. We must rein in the ability for Congress to spend without consequence. We must resist the failed ideology that higher taxes and increased regulations are the solution to any of our nation’s problems.
In Florida, we’ve shown that less government works. We’ve shown that lower taxes can lead to bigger investments. As we celebrate the 40th anniversary of President Reagan’s signature economic policy, we must commit to return America to the position of financial strength we once held, free the American people of government overreach and breathe new life into the opportunity for every Floridian to live the American dream.