Gov. Scott Claims Credit For Avoiding A Shutdown

April 12, 2011 9:52 am ET — Kate Conway

Gov. Rick Scott

Gov. Rick Scott (R-FL) has been on a power trip for months now, so it was really only a matter of time before his ego expanded to encompass the federal government's activities as well. Now, Scott wants you to know that he is actually the one who helped avert a federal government shutdown last week, even though he's the governor of Florida and not a part of the federal government at all! Isn't that amazing?

It's so amazing that you probably won't even understand how it happened. You see, Rick Scott was able to save that boondoggling federal government of ours despite the fact that he's been unable to get his own state's budget deficit under control (probably because he's trying to cut off its sources of revenue). But then again, who really knows how these things work?

So how did he do it? In a press release titled "Governor Rick Scott Helps Avoid Government Shutdown and Save Federal Taxpayers $1.5 Billion," he explains:

This weekend as Washington, D.C., insiders struggled to find billions to prevent a government shutdown, they found $1.5 billion worth of taxpayer money exactly where Governor Rick Scott left it: in the boondoggle high speed rail proposal.

"I am proud to have brought this waste to the attention of those in Washington," Governor Rick Scott stated in response to the news. "These funds should either be returned to taxpayers as tax cuts or applied to reducing the burden that our national debt is passing to future generations."

According to media reports, the final continuing resolution from Congress will include a $1.5 billion reduction in funds for high speed rail. Governor Scott rejected $2.4 billion for the project in Florida.

Yes, $1.5 billion in high-speed rail funding will most likely be cut from the budget. Yes, Rick Scott shortsightedly rejected money for high-speed rail development in his state. No, these things do not add up to the governor of Florida helping avert a federal shutdown. In fact, the proposal to cut rail funds is such old news that President Obama included it in his 2012 budget, which came out in February. As dismaying as cuts to infrastructure development may be, it is certainly not what lawmakers in D.C. were up late haggling over last Friday.

Rick Scott's constituents already think he's doing such a bad job that in a rematch he'd lose to his Democratic opponent 56-37 percent. Absurdly claiming credit for a deal he obviously had nothing to do with won't gain him any favor — it's just one more tactless misstep for Gov. Scott.