On June 14, 2005, Gov. Crist signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge in his race for Governor, committing to the taxpayers of Florida to "oppose and veto any and all efforts to increase taxes."  He signed the Pledge and up until last year he kept his word.  

On May 14, 2009, Gov. Crist signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge is his run for U.S. Senate.  

Two weeks later, on May 27, 2009 Gov. Crist signed a tobacco tax increase estimated to be a $2 billion tax increase over 2 years.  This tax hike was used to fund a budget of $66.5 billion for FY2010.  In turn, breaking the Pledge not to raise taxes as Governor. 

This year, Governor Crist has proposed increasing spending by $2.7 billion for the FY2011 budget.  If adopted, this would take the state budget to $69.2 billion.  Looking back to 2002, expenditures by the Florida government were a little more than $47 billion.  Gov. Crist is proposing a budget that would be a 68 percent increase over 2002 spending levels.  Even though he is not pushing tax increases this year, sooner or later the taxpayers of Florida would surely be asked to foot the bill for the extra spending.   

This is no way to show an example of fiscal restraint to those in Washington that need good examples from the states.  ATR requests that the Florida legislature wholeheartedly reject the Governor’s spending proposal.  Creating more spending and a larger government is not a good idea at any time, but saddling the backs of taxpayers with such during a recession?  One has to wonder how this could be considered a limited government approach. 

Photo credit: lilith121