‘The epitome of hypocrisy’: Ron DeSantis 'bashes' POTUS' tax policies while reaping the benefits
Although far-right MAGA governors often rail against federal taxes, that doesn’t necessarily mean that they will reject federal tax dollars. A case in point is Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who stridently rails against the economic policies of the Biden Administration and Democrats in Washington, D.C. What DeSantis doesn’t like to mention, according to Orlando Sun-Sentinel reporter Jeffrey Schweers, is how much money Florida has been getting from the federal government.
“Gov. Ron DeSantis has been on a spending spree for months, taking credit for millions of dollars in federal stimulus money he’s handing out to mostly rural Republican counties while at the same time, bashing President Biden’s big government spending,” Schweers reports in an article published by the Sun-Sentinel on May 17. “Federal bucks have bolstered the state budget for two years in a row, shoring up the state’s reserves, and funding such things as the governor’s job growth program, climate ‘resiliency’ against rising waters, road projects, broadband expansion, college training programs and tax cuts.”
Ben Wilcox, research director for Integrity Florida (a government watchdog group in Tallahassee), believes it is disingenuous of DeSantis to condemn Biden’s economic policies while taking advantage of them.
Wilcox told the Sun-Sentinel, “I think it’s hypocritical. He’s taking credit for something that’s not really his to claim credit for.”
It remains to be seen whether or not former President Donald Trump will run in 2024; if Trump doesn’t run for president two years from now but DeSantis does, the Florida governor would likely have a very good shot at getting the GOP nomination. But his priority for 2022 is getting reelected in Florida.
When DeSantis defeated former Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum in the 2018 midterms, he did so less by less than 1%. Some polls, however, are indicating that Florida’s 2022 gubernatorial election won’t be as close. Polls have said that if former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist is the Democratic nominee, DeSantis would win by 8% (Mason-Dixon), 6% (USA Today/Suffolk) or 3% (Susquehanna). A University of North Florida poll found DeSantis leading Crist by 21% in a hypothetical matchup, but a Philips Academy poll released on May 11 shows DeSantis winning by only 1% if Crist is the nominee.
Veteran political strategist Mac Stipanovich believes that DeSantis is trying to excite the Republican base when he takes credit for federal tax dollars spent in Florida. Stipanovich was a Republican in the past, but he is vehemently anti-Trump and showed his disdain for the MAGA movement by becoming a Democrat and endorsing Biden in 2020.
Stipanovich told the Sun-Sentinel, “(DeSantis) is solidifying or trying to make sure that his bases are motivated and jack up the turnout. He’s serving up red meat for the base in an ongoing ‘Truman Show’…. DeSantis is the epitome of hypocrisy on issues like distribution of federal funds, the appropriation of which he criticizes and then touts.”
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