Ron DeSantis Regifts Democratic Relief Dollars To Voters As Gas Tax Bribe Before Midterms
Last week Florida GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis gave his constituents a big, wet kiss in the form of a $1.2 billion tax holiday on various items, including diapers, appliances, and gas.
“You’re gonna see breaks for really critical needs, like gas, diapers, disaster supplies, tools for skilled trades, recreational activities, you name it,” he said Friday at a bill signing ceremony staged at a Sam's Club in Ocala. “Families are going to be able to save for things that really matter for them.”
And lest Floridians forget the source of this largesse, the cuts are rolling, with no sales tax on hurricane supplies for two weeks starting in the end of May,; Freedom Week in July where concerts, sporting events, and outdoor gear are tax-free; then a back-to-school tax holiday through the first week of August; power tools in September; and, for the grand finale, a gas tax holiday in the lead up to the midterm elections. What a coincidence!
"We have done more than any other state to step up against Biden-flation headwinds, to give relief to our citizens, and we are going to keep on doing that," DeSantis boasted.
And given the recent kerfuffle about math textbooks in Florida, perhaps DeSantis is betting that most people won't be able to do the arithmetic on this one. Because not only is this tax holiday a "gift" from Florida taxpayers to themselves, since they are presumably the ones responsible for the state's record budget surplus, but a big chunk of what DeSantis purports to be giving back to his voters is money from the federal government, as Insider points out.
See, the theory about American inflation is that Democrats pumped too much cash into the economy with their Covid stimulus relief packages, and it caused people to spend so much that it drove up prices, causing inflation. Never mind that there's inflation across the planet — Republicans are still going to scream bloody murder about "Bidenflation," even in the midst of unprecedented economic growth and full employment. Also Republicans are bigly mad that the stimulus checks made Americans unwilling to work for starvation wages, and how is that even fair?
In fact that gas tax holiday is being paid for with $200 million dollars from 2021's $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan, which was championed by congressional Democrats and the Biden administration — i.e. the same pot of money they're blaming for "Bidenflation." So it is more than a little ironic, not to say nervy, for DeSantis to use that money to "solve" inflation by encouraging people to spend more and drive up the price of gas.
And PS, Your Wonkette went to math class before it occurred to Republicans to lie about arithmetic being "woke." So we are able to work out that $200 million is one-sixth of $1.2 billion, which means that about 17 percent of the money DeSantis is "giving back" to taxpayers is actually a gift from the federal government. So remember Uncle Joey in November, Florida!
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Liz Dye lives in Baltimore with her wonderful husband and a houseful of teenagers. When she isn't being mad about a thing on the internet, she's hiding in plain sight in the carpool line. She's the one wearing yoga pants glaring at her phone.