GOP Govs DeSantis & Abbott Cost their States Billions to Fuel Culture War & Further their Careers
Texas Republican Gov. Greg Abbott abandoned enhanced truck inspections at the border last week after it was widely reported that it had snarled traffic and was further slowing the national supply chain, the underlying cause for the inflation the country is now experiencing.
Apparently, Abbott was protesting President Joe Biden's decision to end Title 42, a border policy that allowed federal agents to immediately deport migrants attempting to enter the country. He wanted to demonstrate that, unlike Biden, he is superduper tough on illegal immigrants and won't allow them to sneak across the border with drugs in the back of 18-wheelers. Abbott was forced to cancel the enhanced inspections after a mountain of bad publicity and less than stellar results.
Laredo Morning Times: [Republican] "Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller stated in an email to supporters this week that the enhanced truck inspections cost Texas consumers and businesses an estimated $4.3 billion "despite not catching a single illegal alien or confiscating a single gram of illegal drugs."
Beyond the extraordinary cost, Abbott's plan also created insane traffic jams on both sides of the border with some trucks waiting more than 30 hours to cross with their freight. Those delays resulted in $240 million in spoiled produce and empty shelves at grocery stores, according to local news organizations.
In Florida, Republican Gov. Ron [I'm not Woke] DeSantis asked the legislature to punish the Disney Company because they criticized the Governor's mean-spirited "Don't Say Gay" law, that bans the mention of LGBT individuals in the state's K-3 classrooms and limits discussion for older students. The legislation was a culture war gift to the homophobic right-wingers and QAnon crazies in Florida's panhandle region and beyond. And, it was a solution in search of a problem. There is no reason to believe that the state's teachers are "grooming" gay or trans youth in second-grade classrooms.
The FL legislature responded as requested and passed a new law stripping Disney of special districting status that allows the company to act as its own city government, including paying for public services and municipal improvements. Apparently, DeSantis and the state's GOP-controlled legislature didn't think the whole thing through and their plot against Disney will cost the state's taxpayers a billion dollars or more. Stripping Disney of its special district status will place the regulatory burdens onto the counties in which Disney operates. Part of that will be offset by taxes Disney will now have to pay, but not nearly all of it. The state and taxpayers will be stuck paying for the rest, just so DeSantis can build his credibility with the Republican Party's homophobic right-wing base.
Vanity Fair: "Florida state Sen. Jeff Brandes, the only Republican to vote against the bill, said that “the cost to the state would be astronomical, potentially billions of dollars.” DeSantis trying to ram through the measure, Brandes said, “isn’t even really about Disney” but rather “staying on Fox” and “extending the media life of this storyline”—one that the governor, who is up for reelection this year and is widely seen as a presidential candidate come 2024, has seized upon in his culture-war campaign."
Abbott and DeSantis seem locked in a battle to demonstrate who is the Trumpiest southern governor and capture the hearts of America's right-wing. And neither seems to care if their constituents have to pay for their publicity.
By: Don Lam & Curated Content
Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore