“End the Embargo!”: Will Romney Take Ryan’s Advice On Cuba?

August 13, 2012

Mitt Romney decided on Paul Ryan as his VP selection to shake up his campaign that still can’t gain traction in the polls. Many Republicans from Florida had been praying for Romney to select Florida Senator Marco Rubio, but there are very good reasons — disclosed by polling — Romney decided against him.

When Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan visit Miami today, the smartest thing they could do to put Obama on his heels in Florida is to come out against the Cuba embargo; a position that Ryan has repeatedly endorsed. Read the rest of this entry »


Florida’s Fraudsters: The Toxic Lies of the Growth Machine

August 1, 2012

In Miami-Dade County — Florida’s most populous and politically influential county– a billion dollars is needed immediately to replace just the most deteriorated and vulnerable sections of the wastewater system, according to a five month internal study. It is scarcely news. Miami Dade County government has been concealing its infrastructure deficits for years. County commissioners kept the crisis away from the sight of voters.

The purpose of the concealment was to make the region attractive to cheap development. The billion dollar infrastructure bill is the tip of the iceberg, and it is only emerging because a federal agency, the US EPA, had the guts to insist that Miami-Dade do something to prevent a catastrophic sewage break. At the height of the housing boom, cheap development and jobs servicing more cheap development ferried more than a thousand people a day to live in Florida, a state that boasted one of the highest growth rates in the nation. In 2010, Florida was home to one-third of all homeless families who have no shelter at all — people living in their cars, under bridges, in parks.

It is more than trickery to claim — as Florida’s Growth Machine does– that the ad valorem tax base has to be increased to cover infrastructure needs. The claim was spurious twenty five years ago,when I learned how local power brokers in the Florida Keys set their sights on development at any cost, enlisting the political class to its service. On face value, encouraging more development in order to fill in funding for infrastructure, like roadways, schools, prisons, and water infrastructure, is institutionalized fraud. Read the rest of this entry »