January 29, 2012

Newt Gingrich Caught Lying About Romney's Lying

OK, I wasn't going to start in on the race to select the next Republican candidate for President.  I figured I'd wait until they select one.  First, because none of the candidates are very good choices, and second, I figure "why not let them select the worst of the lot and make Obama's campaign a slam-dunk?"

Of course, I'm less confident of that since shitheads like Frank Paruas elected Rick Scott as Florida's governer, even though they thought he probably really was guilty of the largest Medicare fraud in the nation's history, because "he was the Republican candidate."

But now Newt Gingrich of all people is questioning someone else's honesty. That's right, Mr. "Sorry you're fighting for your life against cancer but I'm leaving you for this woman I've been cheating on you with" thinks he has some moral high-ground in this campaign.

From the CNN article:
In particular, Gingrich cited claims in Romney ads that he resigned in disgrace from the House in 1999 after being cited two years earlier for an ethics violation.

"I did not resign in disgrace," Gingrich declared, and he also rejected the assertion that the $300,000 he paid to cover the cost of the investigation against him was a fine.
Oh, really.  So I suppose Newt would have us believe he resigned in victory.

ABC News also spoke with Gingrich:
“It’s fundamentally false,” Gingrich told me Sunday on “This Week.”  “It’s typical of [Romney's] whole campaign.  He knows… that this is a purely phony charge.”
- Jake Tapper's ABC News Blog
What a shame that we can't go back in time, back to 1998, to see what... wait a minute - WE CAN!
Rep. Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.), the charismatic soul of the Republican Revolution whose members turned on him after unexpected losses in Tuesday's election, announced yesterday he will quit as speaker of the House.
- Washington Post, November 7, 1998
I guess they "turned on him" in adulation, huh?
Sources say Gingrich made the choice when he was told that as many as 30 Republicans would refuse to vote for him on the floor of the House. A close associate of Gingrich said the speaker did not want to be the center of attention and distract his party for the next two years.

Earlier Friday, Oklahoma Rep. Steve Largent announced he is seeking to replace House Majority Leader Dick Armey in the No. 2 House leadership post.

"On November 3rd the Republican Party hit an iceberg. And I think the question that is before our conference today is whether we retain the crew of the Titanic," said Largent, an ex-pro football player and member of the Hall of Fame.  "Clearly the last two years are nothing to be proud of."
- CNN, November 6, 1998
It seems that Newt wants us to believe that Largent was comparing Gingrich to the team responsible for the worst shipwreck in recorded history in a good way.

 "At least Newt didn't kill 1,517 people"

But those are his jealous co-workers; members of his own party that Newt could reasonably argue had an agenda to frame his resignation in negative terms.  What did the American people think of his untimely resignation?
Americans overwhelmingly gave a thumbs up to Newt Gingrich's resignation...
The poll showed 70% of respondents favor Gingrich's departure... Ninety per cent said Republicans should find a speaker who tries harder than Gingrich did to work with the Democrats, not against them.
- NY Daily News, November 9, 1998
I dunno, when everyone is glad you're gone, comparing your leadership to that of the Titanic's, I don't see how you can say there isn't some element of shame in there.

Oh, wait, what about the $300,000?  Was it a "fine," or merely a "reimbursement" as he claims?

First, let's determine what a "fine" actually consists of:
fine (noun);
3 a: a sum imposed as punishment for an offense
   b: a forfeiture or penalty paid to an injured party in a civil action
- Merriam-Webster.com
OK, so a fine is a sum imposed as a punishment, or a penalty paid to an injured party.  What did the media say about it at the time?
The House voted overwhelmingly yesterday to reprimand House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) and order him to pay an unprecedented $300,000 penalty, the first time in the House's 208-year history it has disciplined a speaker for ethical wrongdoing.

In addition, five Democrats voted "present," many of them saying they believed the sanction was not severe enough. "If Newt Gingrich did what they said he did, he should have been censured," said Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), one of the five who voted "present." A censure, second only in severity to expulsion, would have threatened Gingrich's speakership.

The speaker was barely visible yesterday, staying away from the House floor during the 90-minute debate and vote on his punishment.
- Washington Post, January 22, 1997
So Newt is lying his cheating little ass off when he claims that he wasn't fined for his ethics violations.  And he's lying when he says that Romney is lying about it.

When you examine the facts, when you look at the history, it's clear that Newt Gingrich was found guilty by his Congressional peers, that he was charged a massive penalty - which he did pay, by the way - and that he did resign in shame a year later.

Everything that Gingrich claimed was "fundamentally false" is in reality "factually correct."

Fact - his Congressional peers found him guilty of ethics violations.
Fact - the $300,000 was a fine intended to punish him.
Fact - he did resign under a cloud that would have shamed any man of conscience.

Gingrich said something else:
"You cannot be president of the United States if you cannot be honest and candid with the American people," Gingrich said.
- CNN, January 29, 2012
Well, I hate to say it, but I agree with Newt on this one.  Newt, I expect you to withdraw from the campaign by the end of the week. It's the honorable thing to do.

Which is why I won't hold my breath waiting for you to do it.

January 25, 2012

Forbes' Bogus DeBunker

Forbes' Paul Roderick Gregory can beat the shit out of a strawman.  But when it comes to "debunking" the "myth" that there's anything wrong with the tax code, he falls short of the mark.

In case you missed what  Shah Limb Guru referred to "Obama's disgusting use of Warren Buffett's secretary,"  Mr. Gregory's article is being used to refute Buffett's - and Obama's - assertion that the differences between what Buffet is taxed versus what his personal assistant, Debbie Bosanek, is being taxed, demonstrates a problem with our tax code.
Warren Buffett’s Secretary Likely Makes Between $200,000 And $500,000/Year
Warren Buffet’s secretary, Debbie Bosanek, served as a stage prop for President Obama’s State of the Union speech. She was the President’s chief display of the alleged unfairness of our tax system – a little person paying a higher tax rate than her billionaire boss.

Bosanek’s prominent role in Obama’s “fairness” campaign piqued my curiosity, and I imagine the curiosity of others. How much does her boss pay this downtrodden woman?
Did you see it?  No?  Let's go a little further...
....we need to determine how much income a taxpayer like Bosanek must earn in order to pay an average tax rate above fifteen percent. This is easy to do.

The IRS publishes detailed tax tables by income level. The latest results are for 2009. They show that taxpayers earning an adjusted gross income between $100,000 and $200,000 pay an average rate of twelve percent. This is below Buffet’s rate; so she must earn more than that. Taxpayers earning adjusted gross incomes of $200,000 to $500,000, pay an average tax rate of nineteen percent. Therefore Buffet must pay Debbie Bosanke a salary above two hundred thousand.
Do you see it yet?
I have nothing against Debbie Bosanke earning a half million or even more. Buffet is a major player in the world economy. His secretary deserves good compensation. At her income, however, she is scarcely the symbol of injustice that Obama wishes her to project.
OMG!  She possibly earns over $200,000 but no more than half a million a year! 

Isn't it cute how he slipped that higher figure in like it was cold hard fact?  He boosted her from making "over $200,000" to "over a half million" in the blink of an eye; I wish I got raises that quickly!

Here's the big lie Mr. Gregory is feeding you; that anyone is arguing that Warren Buffet is underpaying his secretary. 

This isn't about what she's paid. Her salary isn't the issue being argued. It's about the percentage of her income that gets taxed.  Bosanek is taxed 35.8% of her salary, while Buffett pays only 17.4%.  To put it in other words, his tax rate is less than half of her tax rate.

Buffett thinks that it's ridiculous that he is taxed at a lower rate than she is.  Gregory's counter-argument, picked up by the witless Right, is that she makes a lot of money, therefore Buffett is wrong.

By the Numbers

Let's assume, for the sake of argument, that she really does make a half million a year to be Buffett's personal assistant.  It's not unreasonable, considering what her boss makes.

She makes a great living, no doubt.

But Warren Buffett makes a fucking gi-normous wage.

Let's compare their incomes, shall we?  Buffett reported his income to Huffington Post last year, so we can compare his income to what Mr. Gregory has decided Ms. Bosanek probably makes.

Warren Buffett's total income:             $62,855,038.
Debbie Bosanek's maximum income: $     500,000.

A couple of other ways to look at it:
  • Every month, Buffet makes more than ten times what his secretary makes in a year
  • Every week, Buffet makes more than twice what she makes in a year.
And his tax rate is less than half of hers. 

That's not to say that he doesn't pay a shitload of money in taxes; he does.  But this isn't about the numbers; it's about the percentages.  The GOP would love nothing more than for you to believe this latest line of bullshit they're spreading. But it's simply bullshit.

The bottom line is that anyone who thinks that Paul Roderick Gregory has refuted anything in this argument is simply wrong.  His arguments lack the substance of the strawman he pounded on today.

January 23, 2012

Miamians Duped by Casino's Siren Call

I was reading the Miami Herald's article about how Miami-Dade voters are split evenly on both sides of the casino issue.
In a survey of 400 registered voters in Miami-Dade, voters split almost equally over the idea of large-scale casinos. The electorate is similarly divided over putting a destination resort and casino in downtown Miami on The Miami Herald's waterfront property.
Yesterday, we discussed how casinos are bad for business; how they suck in all the tourists, and keep those tourism dollars inside the casino.  Casinos have their own five-star restaurants, so the hungry gambler can dine like a king and return to the gaming floor. Casinos will bring drinks right to you, wherever you are on the gaming floor, so you don't have to stumble out for a drink.  They have beds, so you don't need to find a hotel.  They have gift shops, so you don't need to go hunting souvenirs for the folks back home.

We mentioned that there was a 40% reduction in restaurants, and that they essentially wiped out most of the other businesses, from 3,500 the year the first casino opened, to under 1,400 at the turn of the century.

But for some reason, people are still supportive of casino gambling in Miami.

Let's examine their opinions, shall we?
It brings the tourists here. It gives them something to do besides sitting on the beach, said Barry Haber, a gambling supporter from Kendall.
- The Miami Herald, Jan 23, 2012
Well, Barry is right about casinos bringing in more tourists.  He's also right that a casino will get people off the beach.  And out of the restaurants, and out of the hotels, and away from other local attractions.

Yes, casinos brought in droves of gamblers to Atlantic City.  They clog the streets and airport.  And they spend almost every dime in the casinos.  Great for the tax base, to be sure.  But 2,100 closed  businesses testify that those dollars won't help keep local businesses open.

nj08h57 Atlantic City Live Nude Show, New Jersey 2008
Well, some businesses managed to hang on.

You can't see a movie in Atlantic City.  You can't even buy gasoline anymore - you have to cross the bridge into Absecon or Pleasantville to do that now.  Want groceries?  You're leaving town again, to Absecon on the mainland, or Ventnor Heights, on a neighboring island. (I'll bet you forgot that Atlantic City is on an island).

Actually, one industry, besides the casinos, has increased in Atlantic City since 1977.  Pawnshops multiplied ten fold in the first ten years.

There's usually one within a block of each casino.

Reading the comments  attached to the article, it seems that most of those supporting the casino bill believe that it will bring jobs to Florida.

Anybody if they bring jobs.Miami unemployment is in the double digit numbers. Miami needs the jobs and once a miamian has a job who cares who hired him or her.This is a win,win situation.More jobs,more tourists that will bring more taxes and jobs.
MarkGarcia wrote:
Miami you need to get a reality check.  You need jobs or you can close the city and turn off the lights.  Miami needs to entice every business possible regardless of what it does, to come here, hire the 30% of unemployed workers that we have, raise wages and create benefits for all the underpayed and underemployed workers of this Banana Republic.
It sounds like Mr. Garcia needs a reality check.  "Regardless of what it does?"  Really?  So, if it's a factory that spews waste that kills everything for miles, we should jump on it?  It seems to me that jobs at ANY cost is a pretty stupid philosophy.

Fred Mariner:
Give us a chance to vote on this and it will pass overwhelmingly.  Theres too much at stake to let the elitist jobkillers steal our chance to create thousands of jobs for South Florida.
Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/01/22/v-fullstory/2602584/poll-miami-dade-voters-evenly.html#storylink=cpy
Here's the thing; if casinos create lots of jobs, then places with lots of casinos should have low unemployment rates, right?

From the Bureau of Labor Statistics:

Unemployment Rates for Metropolitan Areas
Monthly Rankings
Nov. 2011

286     Miami  FL Metropolitan Statistical Area              9.4
354     Atlantic City NJ Metropolitan Statistical Area    12.4

Well, so much for THAT idea.

It seems to me that all the nay-sayers prefer to have empty buildings full of drug users, prostitutes, and vagrants versus tearing them down and giving life to an area that badly needs it.  There is no way that a Destination Resort can increase the crime that already exists in the area.  Have any of you tried walking around that area at night?  Definitely not safe.  Nothing like going to the Adrienne Arsht Center for a show, in your finest clothes and looking across the street at hoodlums and vagabonds.  Not exactly the optimal theater experience.
As long time readers know, I'm not exactly a Norman Braman fan.  He got us to waste millions to recall a mayor with barely a year left on his term.  He killed a much needed expansion of mass transit.

But there's "no way" that a "destination resort" can "increase crime that already exists in the area?"  That's a whoppingly stupid statement.  If there's no work, there's no money, there's nothing to steal.  Anytime  you increase jobs, you increase money, and crime increases because now there's stuff to steal.  Theft is always higher in the rich neighborhoods.

So to StopBraman, I have to issue the challenge to walk around Atlantic City at night.  Specifically, I challenge him (or her) to walk from the Taj Mahal to the Golden Nugget, straight across the city.  Almost impossible to get lost;

It's only 1.8 miles through the worst neighborhood on the island.

I wouldn't do it alone.  And I'd tape your insurance card to your body, because you probably won't get to keep the wallet all the way across.

...and through the second worst neighborhood, too.

I also have to point out that when the Kravis Center was built, you wouldn't have wanted to walk over to Roxy's after a show. I know - I lived there at the time.  Same for the Broward Center.  Of course, now you can walk from these beautiful venues to any number of excellent restaurants or bars, because there are any number of excellent restaurants and bars to be walked to. 

Arts and cultural centers have a track record for attracting complimentary businesses.  Check out Actors' Playhouse in the Miracle Theater.  Of course, Miracle Mile wasn't quite blighted, but it was home to wedding supply shops that shut down at 5pm.  It was dead down there at night.  Now, Miracle Mile is a destination in and of itself; fine dining, clubs, galleries: it's a thriving business district.

Kids trick-or-treating along Miracle Mile in Coral Gables.

Build a casino, and that will be the only thing around for miles. And it will still be unsafe to walk there from the Arsht Center or the Museum, just as it's unsafe to stray from Atlantic City's boardwalk at night.

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/01/22/v-fullstory/2602584/poll-miami-dade-voters-evenly.html#storylink=cpy
Miami needs more of everything and anything if it is to become a REAL city and not just a playground to visit. A convention center focused hotel casino would be good for business.
As noted, not so much. A convention center - yes!  We desperately need a new convention center.  But without a casino; we have lots of great things to see and do, that need more people seeing and doing them.

todd scott:
Miami could become a world class city and attract even more tourist with a well constructed high end casino.
Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/01/22/v-fullstory/2602584/poll-miami-dade-voters-evenly.html#storylink=cpy
You mean, like Atlantic City is a world class city?  It's got over a dozen high-end casinos, including the Borgata.  I think you should be able to buy groceries in a world-class city, don't you?

Several people pointed out that most of the long-term jobs at the new casino will likely be low paying, menial jobs. 

Here's how Bultproofsol put it:
The jobs the Genting would create will be mostly service industry jobs... custodial, bars and restaurants, retail, hotel, and other menial paying jobs. Construction jobs are temporary.
Manny Rodriguez responds to Buletproofsol:
So you're saying that bartenders are going to build the most futuristic project on the planet?

You, sir, are an imbecile
No, Manny, he's saying that construction workers will build the most futuristic project on the planet - for a year or two. Then they'll be unemployed again.  We have a pretty good idea who's actually the imbecile, here.

John Balzer seems to be sharing a brain cell with Manny:
The notion that a world class resort can be run with "menial" jobs is ludicrous. While there will likely be a spectrum of jobs, is there anything wrong with having them? Right now, there are many people are out of work in Miami and they are eager to get employed. The Genting Group has a reputation for paying the highest salaries in the industry.
John, nobody is insinuating that a world-class resort can be run with menial jobs.  The suggestion that anyone is claiming this is idiotic.

As you point out, Genting pays top wages.  And they pay top wages to attract the best people.  What's really ludicrous is the notion that the best people to run this new world-class casino are hanging around Miami waiting for this casino to open. World Class employees don't sit around collecting unemployment.  They get hired, because they're, well, World-Class.

Any world-class resort would want to staff itself with the best people from around the planet; you don't want the former night-desk manager from the Sinbad Motel on Biscayne Boulevard running the place.

Contrary to popular belief, they don't have hourly rates.  Anymore.

And last I checked, we didn't have hundreds of experienced dealers in the neighborhood.  Unless they get hired away from the Seminoles and Miccosukees. And if that happened, then they'd have to bring in dealers from Vegas, Atlantic City, Hong Kong, Macau, and any place else that has exquisite, world-class casinos.

So, since it's likely that they'll be hiring resort management from the top resorts on the planet, and they'll be bringing in dealers from the most exquisite casinos in the world, what does that leave?  Bellhops, maintenance staff, waiters and waitresses, and all sorts of other menial, minimum wage positions.

I left out security.  Who would you hire locally to protect your assets?  Miami cops?  TSA agents?  Hey, let's hire a bunch of folks who've been unemployed in South Florida for the last couple of years, stuck with mortgages ten times the value of their homes!  They wouldn't be tempted to skim. Much.

But John Balzer isn't done being stupid, yet:
This argument doesn't stand up because it implies that it would be better to have NO jobs.
News flash for you, Johnny: saying that casinos are the wrong industry to bring into South Florida doesn't imply anything of the sort.  We definitely need jobs.  But we need them in an industry that's not going to put other businesses out of existence, as casinos have a track record of doing.

We could build a convention center; South Florida's convention centers are dire pieces of shit.  And I say that with all due respect.  They don't meet the needs of the convention industry; they lack mission-critical amenities, and I don't mean slot-machines.  A hotel with a convention center, equipped with all the latest technology; it's clean, it creates jobs, attracts visitors, and it compliments the existing infrastructure.

Wendy Frish:
I voted in the poll and I votes YES on casinos in Florida.  I need a job and so do all of my friends.
Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/01/22/v-fullstory/2602584/poll-miami-dade-voters-evenly.html#storylink=cpy
Enjoy making those beds, Wendy!  Unless you've been dealing baccarat someplace.

Can you even spell 'baccarat', Wendy?

In which case, they'll probably still pass you over because any baccarat dealer worth anything wouldn't be lollygagging in Florida.  You'd be working.  If not at one of the Seminole or Miccosukee places, then on a cruise ship.  And if you were serious about pursuing casino work, you'd be part of the 12.4 unemployment rate in Atlantic City instead of the 9.4 unemployment rate down here.

The people funding this opposition and negative lies are coming from the ones that will loose the most, The indian casinos, Cruise to nowhere Casinos and the Islands Casinos. None of them contribute to our taxes and if this passes we will get a big income in taxes as well as employment.
Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/01/22/v-fullstory/2602584/poll-miami-dade-voters-evenly.html#storylink=cpy
Joe, you left out the biggest constituency of all; those of us who aren't idiots.  I do not work for a casino, or a cruise line, or indians (native americans.)   I'm a guy who's lived through this. I watched as the casinos sucked the life out of Atlantic City  I know what casinos do for a city; they put local businesses out of business.

But Joe7911 has more to say:
WE are already filled with prostitution, and petty thief's, Major casinos will bring the money for better and more police presence, The crimes would be better controlled and much of eliminated. It would be a Major windfall for south Florida.
"Crimes would be better controlled?"  Interesting approach.  Why reduce it when you could control it?  Maybe the Mafia will come in, and give us a piece of the action when they run the criminals.  Let's just quit pretending, and give in to wholesale corruption.  Great idea, Joe.

Since, as you say, we already have prostitution, why don't we skip the casinos and license some good old fashioned brothels?  Talk about 'Miami Vice!'

January 22, 2012

Casinos are Bad for Business

Miami Today reports that the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts is concerned about the casino proposed for the site of the Miami Herald. 
Concerned that the Arsht Center area would be overwhelmed by a giant resort casino, the Town Square Neighborhood Development Corp. is asking lawmakers not to approve mega-casino legislation without fully considering the traffic impacts
That's a legitimate concern; I'm from Atlantic City.  And I can tell you that it gridlocks twice a day due to the sheer volume of buses dropping off gamblers in the morning and picking them up in the evening.  Pacific Avenue becomes almost impassable for several hours twice each day, lined with tour buses trying to loop through the city streets and back to the expressway.

But honestly, the traffic should not be our biggest concern about the proposed casino.  While traffic in that area completely sucks now, and adding a casino will indeed make it into the worst area on the planet to traverse during rush hour, it's just an inconvenience.

The real problem is where the people coming in on those buses will be spending their money.  They'll be spending it in the casino.

Now, you're thinking, "of COURSE they'll spend money in the casino, that's why they want to build one!"  But you're missing the point.  People coming in to spend money in the casino will ONLY be spending money in the casino.  They won't step outside for a meal; the casino has restaurants, and they'll passing out vouchers or coupons for them on the bus.  Want a drink?  There's service right at the poker table, or even the slot machine.  Want a souvenir?  The casino gift shop has everything you need.

What anyone from Atlantic City can tell is that while casinos do indeed bring millions of gamblers to that city every year, casinos haven't stimulated the local economy for non-casino related businesses.  Quite the opposite.

In 1979, there were 3,500 independently owned business operating in Atlantic City; restaurants, clothing stores, gift shops, nightclubs, and movie theaters.  In 2000, there were only 1,400 independently owned businesses. 

There are no movie theaters in Atlantic City.  There isn't even a supermarket; residents either drive off the island to a neighboring town, or use one of the ten corner markets still operating.

Here's a photo of a typical grocery store in Atlantic City.  You can see the Claridge poking over the top of the building.

While that Popeye's Chicken is relatively new, there's a been a 40% decline in the number of restaurants in Atlantic City.  Most of those were fine dining; a fast food joint with 6-8 people per shift isn't an improvement over a restaurant with a wait staff of a dozen or so people collecting tips, not to mention kitchen and bar staff.

The bottom line is that we have to consider is this; what benefit does this proposed casino really bring to Miami?

Atlantic City was a blighted city before the casinos came, and it's mostly a blighted city now; only there are fewer places for locals to work; most of those promised jobs went to people with experience who came in from out of state.  And while some locals are employed at casinos, the jobs lost as local businesses folded erased the gains.

 That also means that there are fewer places for tourists to spend their money.  And this despite the fact that the number of visitors skyrocketed with the advent of casinos.  Casinos, by design, keep people inside the casino.  So yes, you have HUGE acts coming to play the casino stages, and people drive for miles to see them.  But every dime is spent inside the casino.  They have a meal in the casino, see the show, maybe try their luck by dumping their pocket change into a slot machine, then head home.

The Performing Arts Center is drawing people who would love to have dinner before the show, and a drink after.  This demand is not yet being met by area development, but the Arsht Center is only a few years old; we can turn to the Broward Center and the Kravis Center, both of which were built in blighted areas, both of which are now at the heart of destination neighborhoods, to see the promise of the futures.  The museum will do the same, and some folks might see a show and wander to the museum, or stop in first before seeing their show.

While people come  primarily for the shows, they don't come only for the shows; now that there are nice restaurants, they come for meals, they come for the galleries and shops.  And in fact, some who come for the live bands at the bars see the big venue up the street, and go to see larger acts: so the local businesses drive business the other way; it's true symbiosis.

Miami should be looking for development that would enhance the Performing Arts Center, and infuse the area with new businesses that will work in symbiosis with it and the soon to be opened Museum. 

A casino is absolutely the worst thing they could bring to the city.  It will be black hole that strips dollars away from the local businesses, creating a zone of blight around it.

January 10, 2012

Scott Isn't Increasing Education Budget.

If you're following the story in the news, you might believe that Governor Rick Scott is increasing the education budget by a whopping one billion dollars.  And there's a reason you might believe that; it's what The Miami Herald is reporting:
TALLAHASSEE -- Gov. Rick Scott opened the annual legislative session Tuesday with a State of the State address punctuated by a vow to not sign a new budget unless it increases school spending by $1 billion next year.
But in fact, he's not increasing spending.  He's only restoring most - but not all - of the money he cut away from the education budget last year.  And in fact, The Herald does include this information, but sort of blows past it as it re-affirms the fictional increase:
Scott last spring signed a budget that cut school spending by $1.3 billion. But in a series of meetings with parents across the state, he said they resoundingly favored more money for schools...
Are you doing the math?  Just in case you can't slip your shoes off to count your toes, if the legislature gives Scott what he wants, he will have reduced the education budget by 300 million dollars since he's taken office.

The Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel did a better job of reporting the matter:
With anti-Scott protestors crowding the Capitol halls, the Republican governor used his 34-minute State of the State speech to a joint session of the Legislature to reiterate his demand that lawmakers boost classroom spending by roughly $1 billion – after cutting $1.35 billion last year.
Makes it a little easier to see the chicanery in action, doesn't it?  And look, they didn't round down an additional $50 million like The Herald did.

The bottom line is that Rick Scott is spending $350 million less on education than his predecessor did.

And how is Governor Scott getting this $1 billion dollars, since he's slashed taxes and other sources of revenue  in order to give tax breaks to corporations and a thousand or so of the wealthiest Floridians?

He's taking it from the poor.
Scott's budget calls for cutting $1.9 billion from the $21 billion Medicaid program that treats nearly 3 million poor, sick and elderly.
I guess the ran the company that committed the largest Medicare fraud in history figures that if you're poor, sick, and dying, what's a little more pain and suffering matter?  Or perhaps this is a clever attempt to lower the unemployment rate; dead people don't show up as unemployed!

Nah, I'm sure that's just a happily opportunistic coincidence.

At least some Democrats are paying attention:
"To say we're adding money is disingenuous," said Senate Minority Leader Nan Rich, a Weston Democrat who complained cutting health care to fund schools was a bait-and-switch. "The same people are ending up paying the cost of what he's asking for."   - The Sun-Sentinel
So under Rick Scott's plan, Dick and Jane might still be able to go to school, but Mom and Dad might be too sick to help them with their homework, and might even die. 

Maybe then Dick and Jane can get into foster care!  They might not be among the thousands of children who are abused and neglected, and there hasn't been a case of foster parents killing their wards in months!

Oh, wait, Govenor Scott gutted THAT agency, too.  He fired 14% of the DCF workforce in order to create more jobs.  So how is an agency that was already overwhelmed supposed to improve?
“I believe in the protective power and prayer and hope,” Governor Rick Scott’s Department of Children and Families Secretary David Wilkins said at a stop in Miami last week. - CBS4 Miami
Dick and Jane are so boned.

And we have Frank Paruas to thank.