Small Government Equals Bad Government
Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty criticized then President-elect Barack Obama's stimulus package. Pawlenty was asked if he would turn down federal aid to maintain his small government principles. Pawlenty balked.
"I'm not a big-government fan," said Charlie Crist. "But there are times when government needs to help." Crist hopes to use stimulus money for schools. There is a snag. Crist and the Florida legislature cut education funding below 2004-05 levels. Florida may not qualify for education stimulus money.
But the state is below that threshold. In fact, school funding coming directly from the state is now lower than it was in the 2004-05 school year. With Florida's budget shortfall for next year ballooning toward $4 billion, it's not clear it could meet that requirement.
That would mean it could not get the $3.5 billion in estimated stabilization funds, though it would still be eligible for about $2.3 billion earmarked to help poor kids and to renovate schools, among other items.
Crist wanted small government. The result was an underfunded education system.
All This Happened Before
Jeb Bush cut Kidcare to the bone. The cuts made Kidcare ineligible for $20 million in federal funds. The result were children placed on a 700,000 waiting list. Crist is right. There are times when government needs to help.