Courtney: Rick Scott said the quiet part out loud. We should listen.

The Republican senator from Florida accidentally said what he (and much of the GOP) believes. Will it hurt their electoral chances this fall?


by Zach Courtney

This fall, Minnesotans will be casting their votes for the U.S. House, governor and both houses of the state legislature. Ahead of the elections, voters everywhere are trying to decide which candidates to cast their ballots for. As split ballots become more rare, the choice becomes less focused on specific issues and more on what each party stands for.

In short, voters are asking: Should I vote for Democrats or Republicans?

Of course, I can’t – or at least shouldn’t – answer that question directly. Instead, what I think I can do is offer some perspective into what the two major parties have to offer.

A few months ago, I offered my take on what the Democrats have to offer. Now, I plan to focus on the Republicans – specifically Florida Sen. Rick Scott and his “12 Point Plan to Rescue America.”

There’s a lot to get to, but I’ll try to be brief, so you don’t need to read it yourself (unless you really, really want to).

While Scott organized his plan into 12 points, I could only decipher five. As I analyze his plan, I’ll separate it into my five categories – the economy, lies, things that sound good but are actually bad, fear mongering/buzzwords and contradictions.


Scott’s plan for the economy is detached from reality, to say the least. Though backlash led to Scott removing this specific quote from the currently published document, it originally said that, “All Americans should pay some income tax to have skin in the game, even if a small amount.”

This would raise taxes not just on the poorest Americans, but more than half of Americans. It doesn’t take a Ph.D. in political science to recognize that his proposal is bad politics, but it’s bad policy, too. Raising taxes on the poor despite inequality being at its current level would be detrimental to the economy.
The idea that poor Americans need to pay income tax to “have skin in the game” fails to recognize that poor Americans do pay tax, just not income tax — things like the gas tax, sales tax and FICA tax, for example. Despite quietly removing this problematic quote from his published plan, does Scott still hold the radical belief that taxes should be raised on the poorest of Americans?

In addition, Scott’s plan calls for the “Do It Better” Test, where work will be done by American businesses if it can be done cheaper and better than the government can do it. Since studies show that the public sector would do a better job in the world of healthcare than the private sector currently does, should we consider Scott onboard with Medicare For All? Or does he simply want to shrink our government so private businesses can profit at the expense of the average American?


Scott’s plan doesn’t shy away from denying climate change or pushing false narratives that the 2020 presidential election was stolen from Donald Trump.

In other words, his plan doesn’t shy away from lying. Endless court cases found Trump’s claims of fraud to be baseless, and the overwhelming scientific consensus is that human-induced climate change requires more action to be curbed.

Sounds good, actually bad

Scott also proposes sunsetting all federal legislation after five years. This is radical. It would mean Congress needs to pass one-fifth of all federal legislation each year. This sunset requirement would mean many good, bipartisan laws would go away simply because Congress doesn’t have the time to renew them. It could also mean the end of medicare, medicaid, and social security. But maybe that is exactly what Scott and the GOP wants to happen.
Next in Scott’s laundry list of proposals to ruin our economy, Scott calls for the prohibition of raising the debt ceiling absent a declaration of war. My opinion on the debt ceiling is no secret — it’s a bad idea that sounds good to well-meaning fiscal conservatives, but it would almost certainly mean an economic recession or depression.

Fear mongering/Buzzwords

It says we should “stop socialism” despite there being zero socialists and a handful of self-declared Democratic socialists (I’d argue none of them legislate as one) out of 535 total voting members in Congress. President Joe Biden – a lifelong moderate who is far from a socialist – is president.
It says we should ban critical race theory, despite the topic rarely being taught in K-12 schools.
It says we should build a wall, despite there being little evidence to suggest a wall would stop illegal immigration.
Scott’s plan dedicated a whole point to transgender people as if it is a large issue facing our country. It isn’t. If a trans woman wants to play girls’ high school basketball, who cares? Let her live her life and be happy. Utah Gov. Spencer Cox released a statement as he vetoed a transgender athlete ban in March — I concur.


Scott’s plan is rife with contradictions, but I’ll just mention two.

His plan calls for no social indoctrination of children in schools, but it also says that we will teach students to love America. Which one is it?
His plan calls for enforcement of all laws, but it also calls for a 50% decrease in IRS funding. This drastic cut in funding would limit the ability for the IRS to collect taxes — in short, it would limit their ability to enforce the law. So Scott isn’t actually in favor of enforcing all laws, just the ones whose enforcement won’t negatively impact his wealthy donors.


I’m not going to act like the Democrats are perfect. But as Scott’s plan – and much of the GOP – goes further and further to the right, they also go further and further from the truth. They stand for ideas that would undoubtedly put us into a recession, and they think the 2020 election was stolen. Will voters hold this all against the GOP this fall? I sure hope they do.