Florida Democratic Party Weekly Talking Points

MESSAGES OF THE WEEK: 4.25.22

  1. President Biden's Tax Plan Rewards Work, Not Wealth

  2. President Biden is Lowering Energy Prices and Fighting Putin’s Price Hike, as Veterans Unemployment Matches Record Low

  3. DeSantis Vs. Disney

  4. Redistricting

  5. Cuba: Migration Talks

1. President Biden's Tax Plan Rewards Work, Not Wealth

  • Monday, April 18th, marked Tax Day, and the difference in approach between President Biden and congressional Republicans couldn’t be clearer.

  • President Biden’s plan would give tax relief to tens of millions of families, and he’d apply new minimum taxes on billionaires and large corporations to make sure they’re paying their fair share.

  • Billionaires should not pay a lower tax rate than firefighters and teachers. President Biden’s plan will ensure working families see much-needed tax relief, while big corporations and the wealthiest pay their fair share.

  • President Biden’s plan wouldn’t raise taxes by a penny on anyone making less than $400,000.

  • The Republican plan, pushed by Rick Scott, could increase middle-class families’ taxes by an average of nearly $1,500 and take $100 billion out of the hands of middle-class families each year.

  • Not only that – but Rick Scott’s plan also calls for sunsetting federal legislation after five years, which could jeopardize Social Security and Medicare.

2. President Biden is Lowering Energy Prices and Fighting Putin’s Price Hike, as Veterans Unemployment Matches Record Low

  • On April 21st, HHS announced more than $385 million to all 50 states, territories and tribes to help families lower their home energy costs through the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).

  • Together with the billions provided in the American Rescue Plan, this brings the total funding for LIHEAP this year to over $8.3 billion – the most relief ever in the history of the program to lower out of pocket heating and cooling costs for hard-pressed American families.

  • This month, President Biden has taken a number of actions to lower prices, including:

  • Using executive action to fix the family glitch in the ACA.

  • Taking action on student debt by freezing payments through August.

  • Providing immediate student debt cancellation for at least 40,000 borrowers.

  • Helping another 3.6 million borrowers move closer to debt forgiveness.

  • Friday, April 22nd, President Biden marked Earth Day in Seattle, WA, by speaking to the need to bolster our nation’s resilience in the face of threats like wildfire, and the need to rapidly deploy clean energy. He will also call on Congress to pass his plan to lower prescription drug prices and energy costs. He will also highlight recent actions he’s taken to lower energy and health care costs, and give families more breathing room.

  • Our nation has a sacred obligation to America’s veterans and their families. Among other things, this means providing veterans with the tools and resources for economic opportunity, security, and dignity.

  • The Biden-Harris administration’s approach is working: today, the unemployment rate for veterans is 2.4 percent – tied for the lowest rate on record.

  • Veterans of all backgrounds are finally being cut in on the deal. Unemployment rates for white, Black, Asian, and Hispanic veterans—male and female—fell and were the same or lower than their nonveteran counterparts in 2021. And, the unemployment rate for veterans with a service-connected disability declined to 3.4 percent.

  • We are continuing to build on this record with initiatives to bring veterans into critical industries like trucking and ensure they are good-paying, quality jobs. And, we are continuing our work to reduce the costs veterans and working families face.

3. DeSantis Vs. Disney

  • DeSantis’ petty grudge with the States largest employer will result in a #Rubioapproved #DesantisTax for Orange & Osceola Counties.

  • Reedy Creek is a special District of Disney World. Disney pays taxes to Reedy Creek which operates its own Fire Department, Planning Department, Sewers and Public works department. Disney controls Reedy Creek.

  • DeSantis isn’t hurting Disney that much.The real victims are the people in Orange & Osceola counties.

  • Disney already pays the same local property taxes as every other landowner. Reedy Creek added an additional tax to pay for its projects. That tax – $163 million per year – is illegal outside of the district. When Reedy Creek goes away, that tax goes away, and Orange and Osceola Counties can’t do anything to get it back.

  • The counties will now be responsible for all of the services Reedy Creek provides and all of the debt it has accumulated. They will have to raise property taxes. Because the counties must tax every property equally it’s expected that property taxes in Orange County will rise as much as 25% next June.

  • Essentially, Disney will lose some control of its property, and get a $163 million per year tax break and ~$1 billion of debt passed onto taxpayers. We have yet to hear how this benefits Florida and especially the local residents in any way.

  • The residents, had no say in this vote, no say in their property taxes going through the roof, and no desire to have their communities staring at financial ruin thanks to 72 hours of orchestrated revenge.

  • We can always count on Govenor Desantis to choose settling a political grudge over actually helping Floridians. Thats why Families in orange and Osceola counties will get an estimated #DesantisTax of $2,200.

4. Redistricting

  • The Congressional Maps that Governor DeSantis signed last week are both a racial and partisan gerrymander.

  • These maps are exactly what the Fair District amendments to the Florida Constitution, which Floridians overwhelmingly passed over ten years ago, were intended to stop.

  • These maps don’t only diminish the ability of Black Floridians to elect a candidate of their choice, they are also deliberately drawn to benefit the Republican Party and punish voters who disagree with Ron DeSantis.

  • The Florida Democratic party supports the legal challenges that have been brought and expect the courts to enforce and uphold the Florida Constitution.

 5. Book Ban

  • Florida Department of Education, under Governor DeSantis’s control, banned 40% of math textbooks, with reports revealing that his purge means only one publisher will be providing math books available for Florida students from Kindergarten to the 5th Grade.

  • Reports indicate that the only publisher that has been approved to offer K-5 math books in Florida schools is owned by the Carlyle Group, a hedge fund with ties to the Republican Governor of Virginia.

  • A Leon county school official said “In the subject area as large as mathematics for grades K through five, it is unusual for there only to be one publisher to choose from.

  • DeSantis is still refusing to disclose the entire list of banned books, or details of why specific books were rejected while the small bits of information that have been revealed just raise more questions.

  • As Ron DeSantis continues to hide more information from Floridians, the Florida Democratic Party is calling on him to answer the following questions

  1. What is the full list of math books that have been banned along with the reason why?

  2. How much time of taxpayer-funded employees and taxpayer money did your administration spend to ban these books?

  3. How can Floridians be sure that no one in DeSantis’ administration benefited from creating a math book monopoly?

  4. How does the cost of the lone state-approved publisher compare to other math books for K-5 students?

  • Govenor Desantis is choosing Divisive politics over Florida Families. Governor DeSantis should stop substituting his opinion for the choices of parents and start answering questions.

  • So much for all the lip service Ron DeSantis has paid to parental choice, he is banning dozens of math books and refusing to provide information about it. Something doesn’t add up.

6. Cuba: Migration Talks

  • There has been a significant increase in irregular Cuban migrants to the United States, both via land and maritime routes. Cubans currently rank the second largest migrant group arriving atthe United States’ southwest border. The United States and Cuba maintain diplomatic relations and discussions on safe, orderly, and legal migration remain a primary U.S. interest.

  • DHS reported that encounters of Cubans at the southwest border exceeded 32,000 in March doubling February’s figure of 16,577. These figures far exceed the full-year Fiscal Year 2021 count of 39,000 and Fiscal Year 2020 figure of 13,000. Given the current pace of irregular migration, fiscal year 2022 arrivals at the U.S. southern border will exceed the 125,000 arrivals in the 1980 Mariel boatlift.

  • The Migration Talks provide an opportunity for important discussions on mutual compliance with the Migration Accords (composed of a series of binding bilateral agreements between the United States and Cuba signed in 1984, 1994, 1995, and 2017), which establish certain commitments of the United States and Cuba relating to safe, legal, and orderly migration.

  • Ensuring safe, legal, and orderly migration between Cuba and the United States remains a primary interest of the United States, consistent with our interest in fostering family reunification, and promoting greater respect for freedoms and human rights in Cuba.

  • The Migration Talks evolved from discussions following the 1980 Mariel boatlift, becoming a biannual occurrence following the signing of the 1994/1995 Accords. While the Talks have paused in the past, they have generally been held regularly since 1995 regardless of the changes in administration.

  • The United States and Cuba maintain diplomatic relations and regularly discuss issues of mutual interest.

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