By Robert F. Sanchez, JMI Policy Director
Riddle me this: What do you get when you combine Scott and Brown? No, not Scott Brown, the Massachusetts Republican who rode a wave of Tea Party enthusiasm to capture the U.S. Senate seat long held by “liberal lion” (and notoriously careless driver) Ted Kennedy.No, what you get is a chance to perform one of those compare-and-contrast exercises of the kind you were assigned as a freshman in English 101. In this case, the topics of the exercise are indeed Scott and Brown – as inFlorida’s Governor Rick Scott andCalifornia’s Governor Jerry Brown.The comparison step is easy: Both eschew toupees and proudly display scalps that are practically devoid of visible follicles.The contrast is also easy: Rick Scott has pledged to oppose raising taxes. Period. End of story. In contrast, Jerry Brown has just proposed a gigantic tax hike that would extract an additional $7 billion a year from the pockets of Californians, who are already among the nation’s most heavily taxed victims of runaway government spending. Brown wants to do this by raising California’s sales tax by half a cent and by raising the personal income tax rates for “the rich.” Why? “To plug a budget hole” currently projected to be $12.8 billion over the next 19 months.The aforesaid budget hole, of course, was caused by the exorbitant spending that began under previous administrations, including that of “Republican” Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, and has continued largely unabated under Governor Brown, despite the disturbing series of state deficits.So, as thousands of California’s more productive residents “vote with their feet” by moving away to other states where they’re allowed to retain more of the fruits of their labor, Floridians have one more reason to be grateful that the only thing our Scott and their Brown seem to have in common is their pates, not their states.