Governor Rick Scott may have just won the race to the bottom

The jobless are screwed in Florida. Governor Rick Scott may have just won the race to the bottom when it comes to unemployment insurance. Scott – one of America’s most disliked Governors – signed into law yesterday a huge reduction in Florida’s unemployment benefit system – cutting the number of weeks someone is eligible to collect unemployment from 26 down to just 12. The cut falls in line with Governor Scott’s promise to corporations to lower their unemployment tax payments by $630 million. So again – screw over poor people to give rich businessmen tax cuts.

The National Employment Law Project says Scott’s unemployment cuts, “go further than any other state in dismantling its unemployment insurance system.” Currently – Florida has one of the highest unemployment rates in the nation at 10.6%. And, as we’ve seen elsewhere around the country – when Republican Governors cut programs that keep the poor and middle-class above water – then economies shrink.

So expect the already high unemployment rate in Florida to get even higher, and cost the state even more in unemployment insurance.


anthony j semeraro's picture
anthony j semeraro 11 years 48 weeks ago

Mr. Hartmann, please consider asking all your listeners/viewers and all their friends to join in signing Sen. Bernie Sanders letter to President Obama. We all need to establish a working base and movement; an urgent calling of all the People. Thanks.

RichardofJeffersonCity's picture
RichardofJeffer... 11 years 48 weeks ago

The question should be what will democrats do if they take back these republican governorships? Will they reverse the policies of these conservative Governors or will they claim to have stopped the bleeding and leave it at that. Once gains are lost for the people they are very hard to recover.

Did these conservative Governors have an objective going into the governorship knowing full well their policies would cause them to be kicked out of office or at best be one term Governors? Was this the conservative strategy sent down from conservative think tanks: Like the Kato Institute or the Heritage Foundation? What jobs are waiting for these Governors when their terms are up? I would suspect they were willing to sacrifice their Governorship for greater gains down the road. I doubt the people who lost under these Governorships will regain what they’ve lost.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 11 years 48 weeks ago

Fantastic show today, Thom! You sure put down that "many initialed" guest with some really great arguments. One I particularly liked was your statistics about the percentages of Muslim "terrorists" (6%) that committed acts of violence in the US compared to the 94% done by all other non-Muslim groups. I also liked your retort (and I paraphrase...)..."what would you, as an American, do if Canada invaded, murdered a large percentage of our population, to get rid of Obama...and occupied our land?" Many of the Middle Easterners are just "defending their homeland" against the arrogant ruthless, murderous, and greedy invaders who I believe many of which have an ulterior motive that is anti-Muslim based. They really are on a modern-day Crusade against Muslims.

Maybe, one day, you will join the growing numbers of well-informed (many architects, engineers, and other professional people) who question the official 911 conspiracy theory. I know that many public people don't really want to touch on this very touchy issue and will just go along with the official conspiracy theory (the "politically correct" thing to do, I guess). Many don't even want to research it or read much about it because then it might urge them to go public with their new views and that would be, for some, a very difficult thing to do. The scientific paper that presents evidence of explosive residue (nano thermite and other things) in the samples of the 911 dust just minutes after the collapsed towers is hard to ignore or explain away.

louisehartmann's picture
louisehartmann 11 years 48 weeks ago

Where have you been? Thom has many so did Bernie last Friday.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 11 years 48 weeks ago

The "Taliban" attack on the hotel in Kabul, Afghanistan may be just a way of sending a message to the US not to pull out of Afghanistan. After all some people who are getting rich off our being there...including some ruling Afghanis, Pakistanis, and even American businessmen don't want us to leave.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 11 years 48 weeks ago

90 minute speech...Dear Mr. President: Bernie's 90 minute speech on the budget...June 28, 2011....CSPAN video.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 11 years 48 weeks ago

Bernie Sanders is really inspirational and I wish he was running for President. But I have to say that I was happy to hear President Obama say some of the things he did today..I wonder if Bernie's speech helped urge Obama to say what he did...but I am still not happy with Obama's Republican-like actions since he took office. Obama is still, however, not saying explicitly, that social programs shouldn't be cut. Any cutting of social programs will present a very real hardship for many Americans. I hope Obama doesn't think he is going to win the support of people when he cuts their only means of survival in trying to bargain or negotiate with the Republicans...we know how that went with health care. Obama may not really have "thrown us a bone" but he hinted that he would....we'll see! Yes, I believe that it would be absolutely disastrous if the Republicans regained the Presidency. But it is equally disastrous when you have someone who is supposed to be fighting for you ...just selling out to the enemy.

elisdinsb's picture
elisdinsb 11 years 48 weeks ago

Here's the long as our culture continues to be indoctrinated into the 'gotta have a JOB to survive', there will be people screaming about the breaks businessmen get.

Do you realize it's those same businessmen who PROVIDE the jobs in the first place?!?

Do you realize that if we taught our kids how to start businesses when they grew up instead of leading them on by instilling the job mentality in them from day one that there would be less people who needed jobs and more people out there making enough money working for themselves?

It's not the government's job or responsibility to create jobs for's OUR responsibility.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 11 years 48 weeks ago

"The Obama Administration’s Wall Street managers have kept the debt overhead in place – toxic mortgage debt, junk bonds, and most seriously, the novel web of collateralized debt obligations (CDO), credit default swaps (almost monopolized by A.I.G.) and kindred financial derivatives of a basically mathematical character that have developed in the 1990s and early 2000s.

These computerized casino cross-bets among the world’s leading financial institutions are the largest problem.
Altogether, the post-2008 crash saw some $13 trillion in such obligations transferred onto the government’s balance sheet from high finance, euphemized as “the private sector” as if it were the core economy itself, rather than its calcifying shell.

Instead of losing on their bad bets, bad loans, toxic mortgages and outright fraudulent claims, the financial institutions cleaned up, at public expense. They collected enough to create a new century’s power elite to lord it over “taxpayers” in industry, agriculture and commerce who will be charged to pay off this debt.

If there was a silver lining to all this, it has been to demonstrate that if the Treasury and Federal Reserve can create $13 trillion of public obligations – money – electronically on computer keyboards, there really is no Social Security problem at all, no Medicare shortfall, no inability of the American government to rebuild the nation’s infrastructure.

The bailout of Wall Street showed how central banks can create money, as Modern Money Theory (MMT) explains. But rather than explaining how this phenomenon worked, the bailout was rammed through Congress under emergency conditions. Bankers threatened economic Armageddon if the government did not create the credit to save them from taking losses.

Even more remarkable is the attempt to convince the population that new money and debt creation to bail out Wall Street – and vest a new century of financial billionaires at public subsidy – cannot be mobilized just as readily to save labor and industry in the “real” economy. The Republicans and Obama administration appointees held over from the Bush and Clinton administration have joined to conjure up scare stories that Social Security and Medicare debts cannot be paid, although the government can quickly and with little debate take responsibility for paying trillions of dollars of bipartisan Finance-Care for the rich and their heirs."

michaelb44's picture
michaelb44 11 years 48 weeks ago

Yes, if we all grow up to have our own business, we will have a country of 300 million one employee businesses. Every man for himself, Somalia!!

David Abbot's picture
David Abbot 11 years 48 weeks ago

Like all political monsters, Rick Scott was beaten from the moment he surrendered his soul to the republican party.

But on a lighter note, I would like to offer a few words on politics of a day gone by:


Once upon a december dreary, while I pondered, half-drunk and weary

through the shelves of Barnes and Noble, over much queer and curious lore

seeking a book that wouldn't bore,

a literary blossom unknown to me

when at my mind there came this sound

like a bipedal marsupial’s foot tapping the ground

or gently rapping, rapping at my noggin's gate.

“Tis but some cheap romance novel that I would abhore,” I muttered,

“tapping at my mental door - only this, and nothing more.”

Ah, distinctly I remember, it was that dismal, rainy December,

and each vapid volume wrought its unholy ghost upon my eye;

eagerly I wished the morrow- vainly had I sought to borrow

from those books, surcease of sorrow-

or at least another s'more from the Starbucks

at the other end of the store-

where for only a few measy bucks I could enjoy

the mushy, brownish goo that decorates the cookies- oo!

that dull my wit and make me cry, ‘Oh, I love thee, yes I do,’

Yet, nameless here, forevermore.

Ah, the silken, sad, uncertain snappings of those thinnest of paper wrappings

thrilled me- filled me with fantastic terrors oft felt before

of scarfing s'mores with that beautimous barista Lenore;

so that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating,

“Tis some visitor entreating entrance at my cranial door -

some late visitor entreating entrance to my mental moor

seeking to take advantage of the intelligentsia poor -

only this, and nothing more.”

Yet, with each bite of scrumptious s'more my soul grew stronger;

demanding that I hesitate no longer,

“Sir,” said I, “or Madam: truly your forgiveness I implore;

for I was intellectually napping when so gently you came rapping,

when so faintly you came tapping, tapping at my cranial door,

that I scarce was sure I heard you” -

here I clambered upon the highest shelf from the floor,

finding romance novels there, and nothing more.

Passionate those manly arms, and bosoms heaving and heaving,

'til I feared I, too, would soon be heaving,

long I stood there, wondering, fearing,

doubting, dreaming dreams of trying not to hurl

not in front of Lenore, the barista girl-

of whom this mortal should have dared to dream before

but with hands clapped firmly o’er my mouth,

the deafening literary silence was unbroken,

though the bookshelves gave, themselves, no token,

and the only word that was spoken

was the whispered word, "S'more!"

This I whispered, ere so faintly, and barista Lenore

echoed back the word, "S'more?"

Merely this, and nothing more.

Back into the bookstore turning, my soul-

no, perhaps my love handles burning

yet soon I heard a tapping, somewhat louder than before

“Surely,” thought I, “surely that is something at my mental bulwark

let us see, then, what thereat is, and this mysterious quark explore; -

Though surely ‘tis the s'more, and nothing more!”

Open here I flung the suspect book, when, with many a jiggle and a flutter,

looking like someone who's had a bit too much butter,

a literary blossom, oh indeed, a bipedal possum with no grits,

upon the pages with great speed that I viewed now sits

and then up hops ol' Pogo, bare feet flapping

summat a raven a'tapping, tapping

at my mental bulwark sturdy,

“Tis a brain-chemistry hurdy gurdy,” said I -

“only this and nothing more,”

and yet ol' Pogo, with just a touch of art

perched upon George Bush's biography and cut a sonorous fart.

Perched, and farted, nothing more.

Quoth ol' Pogo, “Bush, nevermore.”

Much I marvelled this swampy denison to hear discourse so plain,

and his action deep meaning, not to mention a skid-mark stain-

great relevance bore; for we cannot help agreeing

that no living human being

Ever yet was blessed with seeing

ol' Pogo's butt upon George Bush's face,

with such a comment as “Bush, nevermore.”

But ol' Pogo, sitting solo on that vapid photo, spoke only

those two words, as if his soul in those two words he did outpour.

Nothing further then he uttered – even his toe-jam did not flutter -

Till I scarcely more than muttered, “Other friends have farted on Bush before -

I fain wouldst not believe, and yet feel constrained, that by tomorrow eve

'ol Pogo will leave us, as our hopes have flown before.”

But quoth ol' Pogo, “Nevermore. Bush, nevermore.”

And yet the following morn, ol' Pogo

never flitting, still was there, still was sitting,

remaining artful and slightly fartful

on the vapid photo of Bush

on the book, on the bookcase, by the door

of Barnes and Noble, by the door;

And his eyes have all the seeming of a possum who is dreaming,

of a Bushless world and that is seemly- possum, true anon!

And by eventide, as the Hummer headlights through the window streaming

threw ol’ Pogo’s shadow on the floor;

and he farts on g.w. forevermore,

repeating his faithful refrain, “Bush, nevermore.”

And so I turned to the bitter-sweet Lenore

to ask her for another s'more

but seeming not to hear my plea,

she rather quoth, “Who's that I see-

the flatulent possum on the bookshelf by the door,

to which sonorous accompaniment he intones the phrase, “Bush, nevermore.”

“Why that possum, ‘pon my oath”

said I, with more than a little surprise,

“wouldst seem destiny itself, one might surmise

rubbing bush with his poignant, furry tush

for ‘tis ol' Pogo, who- unlike Bush-

speaks words we find that we can trust:

‘I have met the enemy, and he is us.’"

And when his time in the White House is through,

Bush to the south

to the south will go.

Yet further south than Texas

this I know

further south and hotter, too.

Penned late at night, so late

by David Abbot, in 2008's picture
johnmedici@bell... 11 years 48 weeks ago

All Republican lawmakers are bad for America. Ever since GW Bush came into office this country, the world, have gone into the tank. In the 8 years while "W" was in office we as a nation went from a zero national debt to a debt of over 8 trillion dollars. And the Republicans have the nerve and audacity to point their collective fingers at the Democrats for the economic calamity facing America and also most of the world's free nations. How pathetic of them. I suppose that the bigger the lie the more that ignorant people will believe it to be true. Now, back to my first sentence of this article. How can any group of legislatures consider not doing what is correct in dealing with the raising of the debt ceiling is not responsible behavior. They have always been ready to vote on bills that provide tax cuts for the rich and corporations, voting to eliminate banking regulations and safeguards, threatening to cut off the only financial security seniors depend on, namely, their monthly Social Security checks, increasing Medicare premium payments, and the list goes on and on. But ask them to come to the aid of those folks who are considered poor and middleclass and they become invisible. I am disgusted by their callous disregard for those Americans who need the most help. Show them that you will not accept that kind of behavior any longer by voting them out of office at the next election.

John Defalque's picture
John Defalque 11 years 48 weeks ago

I wouldn't mind my income going down to a fraction of what it used to be if my expenses particulary rent went down in tandem, but no inflation is relentless and there lies all the stress, tension and anguish.I lived in Mexico for 2.5 yrs made $450 a month as an English teacher, my rent for a fully furnished 1bdr apartment, utilities included was $80 mo.When I lived in China teaching English and Spanish, my rent was $80 a month for a 3 bdr apt and my income was $550 a mo.Here in Victoria, Can. my welfare is $900 mo, I make another $60 mo from dumpster diving, my rent is $582, phone $15 and internet $30.I can't afford much fun and vacations-forget it.

2950-10K's picture
2950-10K 11 years 48 weeks ago

One thing's for sure, Rick Scott is a world class sociopath. It's unfortunate his emotional poverty has to manifest itself in such a way as to create real physical poverty for so many who are unemployed for no reason of their own.

Society does in fact have a last straw, I wonder why guys like Scott are hell-bent to find it. It's gonna get real ugly!

gerald's picture
gerald 11 years 48 weeks ago

@2950-10K, the state we are in will get worse, much worse, and I do not know if our lives will ever be better.

leighmf's picture
leighmf 11 years 48 weeks ago

A: With a wet noodle.
Q.Do you think he will be beaten?

Bullhorn Journal's picture
Bullhorn Journal 11 years 48 weeks ago

At what point do we, all the while lamenting and gnashing our teeth in dispair, realize that the people in Florida who suffer at the hands of the corporate masters might just, in some small sense, deserve what they get? In other words, when do we take personal responsibility for our own complacence in the face of this utterly predictible rise of totalitarianism?

I feel bad for cattle pushed by electric prods to slaughter. I'm starting to feel rather 'eh' for the Americans brought to their own demise by the gross hucksterism of the Republican Party.

I will continue to fight for the liberal ideal. But how much energy do I have for those who skip giddily into a knowable destruction? Not much. Scott was a known monster. They voted for him. Floridians get what they deserve.

fatfax's picture
fatfax 11 years 48 weeks ago

I agree with the above post- Dumbs**ts Get What They voted For

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 11 years 48 weeks ago

And we got....Obama...didn't we?!! How is that working for us? "Voting" in a crooked system is just not working out for the little guy...most of us. It is going to take a lot more than voting and writing letters or making phone calls or tweeting or leaving messages on blogs. When you are attacked by knives, guns, bombs, or even just have to respond in any way that is effective.

When you are on a battlefield, facing the enemy, you don't say "hey, wait, timeout...let's talk about this...lets vote for the outcome...or let's wait for a savior to rescue us. Even 2000 years ago when the Jews were hoping a savior would show up to save them from the Romans they had Sicari activists who were "a real pain in the Roman's backs" applying their skills in crowded market places. You can later engineer history to change lions into lambs if you want. The Roman empire eventually fell...or did it?

People's lives....many, many people are going to suffer and die because of the advantage, and ruthlessness, the enemy has on the battlefield of crooked, rigged, politics. The system is corrupt.

It is a life or death situation for many...or soon will be. The system won't change until people get really, really, scary to the few wealthy and ruling individuals who make and control policy. It happened before in many countries...even the US....people got so upset and desperate that they scared the crap out of the ruling elite which resulted in a swing toward democracy...rule by the people.

dowdotica's picture
dowdotica 11 years 48 weeks ago

300 million one man businesses? that was good! lol. Visualize that one, hee,hee! me with my one man chili cart cooking my grool with out of date meat just to save costs, next to a guy with a garbage can willing to scrape bubble gum off the side walk for a penny per piece only to sell it back to the gum recycler three blocks down and 2 carts down a women seeling crochet underwear the sign above the cart reading, "wooly wear". cart after cart of peasant seller barters and brokers. A barby- Q stand selling fresh roasted rat on a spit or for more favorable fare roasted cat that ate the rat splayed between fresh made bread produced at yet another cart from grains and flour that came from who the heck knows where and as you anticipate your first savory bite you recall the last time and how as you looked at your next peasants meal a roach wiggled out from between the bread and the cat-rat meat. yum, yum! Oh to drool!!people working for nickles and dimes. meanwhile up on the hill? the rich still have all they got on the backs of the have nots. And the new order of over lords much like ancient past will be running shake down on all the vendors.

Strange don't you think. We have scarcely truly evolved! i think I'm going to vomit!

...funny i was reflecting the other night and jotted this down...

48 years of being told how to be a better man by the very people who otherwise stole,cheated and cared little for others in an effort to attain what they now possess.

seeing CNN news story about Ayn Rand now makes me want to read "Atlas Shrugged"

Thom I'll always have hope but admittedly I think we are all losing faith.

Keep rockin the air waves!

bicyclingjroad's picture
bicyclingjroad 11 years 48 weeks ago


You've nailed it. I'm a volunteer at SCORE, and a substitute teacher. I try to instill an entrepreneural attitude, show the kids how to start a business, and get out of their way.'s picture 11 years 48 weeks ago

Well, this is the same kind of mis information that we got during the Reagan attack on the working class - trickle down economics. During the depression ( like what we more or less have going on today as far as the economy - maybe a little worse) the government hired young strong men, to make parks, roads - whatever. They had to meet certain regulations. They had to have a poor family back home, they got 25 cents of every dollar they earned, were fed and clothed and provided with a place to stay. More importantly 75 cents of every dollar went back to the family back home. So don't tell me about giving breaks to business or even worse giving breaks to millionaires and billionaires, and how everybody needs to be an entrepenuer because - the government takes 38 percent out of my check, and I know trust fund babies, who get 2 and 3 times as much money as I earn for sitting on their ass and the government only takes out 15 percent in taxes for them,

boo hoo.

jprogrees1's picture
jprogrees1 11 years 48 weeks ago

I've noticed the gross lack of concern shown for citizens in all of the republican controlled states. It seems to me to be more than just ideology. It's closer to inhuman in the literal sense of the word. These politicians and their handlers act as if they are not human themselves. Not possessing any compassionate characteristics of humans at all. These politicians instead, display a hatred toward people.

What's not being given the proper attention are the many people suffering most along with their families including children by any in the media, who supported the GOP. Those are the people who need to be brought to the forefront.

I have lots of sympathy for those who are not enablers or simply through no fault of their own, are caught up in the turmoil. But for those at fault, they owe all of us an apology. and I have no sympathy for them.

Mark Saulys's picture
Mark Saulys 11 years 47 weeks ago

Speaking of races to the bottom, what good is a job that is at less than minimum wage? What good is job creation that doesn't enable people to subsist?

The Republicans want the pauperization of the United States. The Republicans are not for freedom. They want freedom for a minority segment of society. They only want freedom to enslave the majority.

Thom's Blog Is On the Move

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