(Dunkelberger, 1) This is, of course, a statement of direct reflection on
the approach taken by lawmakers to building a lagging budget, which
determines to impose heavier fines and fees upon members of the public.
Rather than raising taxes, here the economic struggles are in a certain
matter only compounded amongst those who have in some manner run aground of
local or state law.
And as point of fact, the article points to another recommendation
which seems to reinforce this tack. As Dunkelberger tells, “one of the few
winners in the budget process was the Florida Highway Patrol, where
troopers will be in line for a 5 percent pay raise on Oct. 1. Lawmakers
approved the raise after hearing the agency was steadily losing personnel
to other law enforcement agencies that can pay higher salaries.”
(Dunkelberger, 1) To say nothing of the fact that this pay raise was a
reactionary step designed to prevent a dangerous deficit in personnel in an
area where such is absolutely essential, this is a demonstration of the
states heightened commitment to an agency which has the capacity through
the intensity of its efforts to actually directly improve overall state
revenue. Such is to say that fines and fees accumulated through highway
patrol pull-overs, ticketing and court costs can be effected at will
according to patrol agency quotas and goals. Again, this is a manner of
budgetary improvement which directly taps members of the public to build
state coffers. This does nothing to add money to the actual Florida
economy. Instead, it further restricts commercial movement by members of
the public. Thus, relying to heavily upon this approach and creating a
culture of such intention amongst courts and patrol agencies is both
questionable with regard to the upkeep of civil liberties and, even more
central to the articles discussion points, will likely only further
magnify the economic stagnation that is at the root of such budget cuts.
The recommendations in Dunkelbergers article precipitate the
conclusion that though key areas of the budget have been cut, the state has
sought to create a budget that balances key resource losses with a renewed
commitment to the most crucial areas of state spending.
recommendations do little to nothing to help improve Floridas condition.
In fact, the slashing of public positions and agencies as a means to
offsetting the call for higher taxation is a regressive step which caters
more directly to political motives than real economic rationality.
A more sensible recommendation would be to actually raise the states
budget through a progressive tax which targets the incomes of Floridas
wealthiest corporations and citizens as a means to returning revenue to the
state. This revenue should be used to create new and more efficient courts
and probationary facilities, which will in turn create new positions. New
jobs will stimulate a cycle of revenue growth that will ultimately be
returned in dividends to the wealthy taxpayers, who stand to gain the most
from a re-ascendance into American affluence.
These recommendations stem from a recognition that Dunkelbergers
article is concerned with the broader set of budget cuts that will be
socially disruptive in many ways to Florida citizens. Indeed, the premise
above should be seen as commutable to any of the areas where resource cuts
have been devastating. Creating new public agencies creates new jobs.
Therefore, it is sensible to raise taxes in order to begin a process of
healing. The current approach and the upcoming budget suggest that at
present, Florida is politically committed to.