No Federal Money for Florida

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The leadership of Florida is comprised of climate deniers. This is costing all of us billions of federal tax dollars to pay for their hurricane damage. This is in spite of the fact that 16 Florida state representatives voted against receiving Federal relief funds. In the face of the State’s climate-related financial obligations, Governor DeSantis is busy cutting taxes.

The myth of educated leadership

Florida is an outlier state. It deserves zero federal funding for the impact of Hurricane Ian, a Category 4 Atlantic hurricane that killed more than 100 people and leveled or flooded thousands of buildings with an estimated cost of tens of billions of dollars.

Nearly every Florida Republican in the U.S. Congress—16 representatives— voted against a bill containing billions in funding relief. This is not surprising given Florida’s history. Florida’s representatives, led by Ron DeSantis, also voted against relief for hurricane Sandy, which hit the East Coast in 2012.

Florida Republicans, Senators Marco Rubio, and Rick Scott, voted against last year’s bipartisan infrastructure law, which devotes $50 billion to help prepare for climate-related events, like Hurricane Ian.

And in August, they joined every Republican in the Senate to oppose a new climate law that would invest money in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Florida has spent years systematically denying the impacts of climate change. The State has threatened climate and environmental scientists while depreciating the role of the federal government in leading climate action. Florida as early as 2011, for instance, actively banned state workers from using the term ‘climate change,  ‘global warming or ‘sustainability’. Rising sea levels were referred to as ‘nuisance flooding. It ignored a 2014 national climate assessment warning of an imminent threat of increased flooding due to climate change. 

This climate denial strategy was confirmed by Christopher Byrd, an attorney for the state Department of Environmental Protection, the agency responsible for conservation policy and enforcing environmental laws. The Florida Center for Investigative Reporting uncovered a direct link between the then-Republican governor Rick Scott’s campaign and this policy of climate denial. When asked about climate change, Mr. Scott replied “I’m not a scientist.”

Florida’s current Governor, Ron DeSantis, has shifted federal funding for welfare programs to state programs to prepare coastal areas for climate impacts and flooding. When asked about the origins of climate change, greenhouse gas emissions from industry, DeSantis replied that climate change is something cooked up by the radical left. He then blocked the state pension fund from using climate remediation as a measure of investment.

Florida’s state representatives ostensibly are educated and care about its citizens. In the face of present and future climate impacts, estimated at $76 billion, for example, DeSantis has signed the biggest tax relief bill ever, $1.2 billion based on ten sales tax holidays. He states, “this tax cut will give people more control over their hard-earned money.” Apparently, DeSantis’s math skills are highly lacking, or he intends to rely on the federal government to get bailed out. What’re a few billion bucks among friends or voters?

Scientists estimate that over 30 storms of high severity will most likely hit Florida over the next 10 years. If this prediction is anywhere near accurate, large parts of Florida will be destroyed and unfit to live. The true cost of living in or near coastal areas will be well beyond the reach of most Floridians, and certainly unfavorable to tax cuts. The Sunshine State is destined to become a disaster state in a short time.

A State of Morons   

Florida representatives are elected by voters. Unfortunately, most of these voters can be classified as morons. Morons, as referred to herein, evidence three characteristics that form a coherent world view—and voting pattern:

First, denial of science: Morons deny climate science, even after 50 years of data and empirical evidence from thousands of scientists worldwide. They simply refuse to accept mathematical models, causality, and studies linking greenhouse gasses, global warming, and climate disaster. The evidence is clear everywhere but in their minds.  

Secondly, State’s Rights are asserted at all costs. Morons are radically anti-Federal government, anti-taxation, anti-immigrant, and anti-portrayal of slave history. Governor DeSantis is, in fact, actively trying to eliminate slave history from Florida’s classrooms and history books. Florida, it may be recalled, was the third state to join the Confederacy. It raised a 10,000-man army to fight against the North, which recruited 2,500 locals.  It was heavily committed to slavery and promoted racist laws long after the civil war. These laws are not unlike many of the voter suppression laws Florida representatives are trying to enact today.

Thirdly, a sizeable portion of the population has a faulty, and self-serving historical narrative based on the need to dominate others who are less fortunate. Morons are ideologically driven, like churchgoers who believe in divine providence over evolution.

A narrative of disaster

Florida has the highest concentration of Cuban Americans in the US, approximately 70% are concentrated in Florida, or 1.6 million. This is mostly due to Florida’s proximity to Cuba. The majority of Cubans immigrated to South Florida post-Fidel Castro’s takeover of the Cuban government, 1959.

Cubans comprise a significant voting and lobby group. They are overwhelmingly conservative, consistently supporting Trump and Republican allies. As Republicans and pollsters like to say “the mini-red wave came through,” “it was a train wreck for Democrats.” Cubans pride themselves on their sense of independence, anti-Castro and U.S. government politics.

The U.S.,  under every Republican president and congress, has done all it can to defeat the Cuban government. Cuban immigration has been profoundly impacted by U.S. policies.  Leaders on every level of government, not to mention churches and non-governmental institutions invited and welcomed Cuban immigrants. These immigrants were among the most privileged immigrants in history. Most were provided with automatic visas, money, housing, and connections. Their well-being was guaranteed by elected officials who espoused anti-Castro, and anti-communist diatribes over decades.

No immigrants in American history have ever received as much special treatment as the Cuban population.  In fact, this priority treatment sent a message to Cubans in Cuba and caused even more to join the wave of migrants. U.S. policy toward Cuba has actually expanded the numbers of Cubans on U.S. shores exponentially over five decades.

Yet, in spite of the positive role of the U.S. government in helping Cubans every step of the way, the Cubans in South Florida have voted or lobbied to block further immigration from Cuba and reduction of the U.S. blockade, which has crippled Cuba and made it very difficult to earn a living. Cuba cannot trade in U.S. dollars, for example.

Florida’s Cubans consistently cast votes for the most right-wing Republicans at every level of government, including candidates who are anti-vax, and anti-climate change, to mention a few issues. This is in spite of the fact that most Cuban voters have no direct experience with Castro, Cuba’s government, socialism, or communism. It’s all idealogical.

The majority of Cubans in South Florida are, for the most part, morons suffering from social amnesia, an elevated sense of self-aggrandizement, and a perverted sense of history. Large portions of them continue to embrace former President Trump and Florida’s right-wing Republican leaders. Sadly, they are blocking progress on U.S. alternative forms of energy on the world stage. Florida is perfect for off-shore wind power, for example.

What to do

  1. Agree with Florida’s representatives. Send a note to the White House stating that you oppose any Federal dollars being sent to Florida for hurricane relief. If their representatives don’t want the money, why send it?
  2. Support democratic candidates in Florida, even if they are not 100 percent the kind of candidates that you would normally support.
  3. Send email messages to Miami newspapers, websites, and official government sites urging Floridians to wake up and get real about climate change and its impacts. Every resident of Florida should be contributing a minimum of $20.00 monthly to a climate fund to mitigate climate impacts.
  4. Urge insurance companies to make property insurance for Florida conditional on multiple factors including proper structures and building designs to withstand hurricanes. Urge people to move several miles away from the coast or nearby waterways impacted by the sea. Quadruple insurance rates if plans are not followed to mitigate climate change. Why should we all pay more for property insurance due to the behavior of morons?

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