(The Center Square) – President Joe Biden and mainstream media are “gaslighting” the American people about the recession, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis says.
After the Bureau of Economic Analysis on Thursday reported a second quarter of negative GDP growth, signaling the U.S. is in a recession, Biden denied the U.S. is in a recession and some mainstream media outlets began redefining what a recession is.
The BEA reported that real Gross Domestic Product had decreased for two consecutive quarters, with the most recent data showing a decline of 0.9% from April to June.
“The decrease in real GDP reflected decreases in private inventory investment, residential fixed investment, federal government spending, state and local government spending, and nonresidential fixed investment,” the agency reported Thursday.
In response, DeSantis issued a statement saying, “U.S. GDP dropped for a second quarter in a row, which is the definition of a recession. While the Biden Administration and its legacy media cheerleaders are trying to gaslight people about the economic slowdown, we have seen Biden’s poor economic stewardship and the negative impact it has had on families. Now, Biden wants to tax and spend even more, which will only make things worse.”
Two months earlier, DeSantis warned that Biden’s policies would “plunge the United States into a recession” but Florida was prepared because its leaders were being “a good steward of people’s money.”
“We’re built for the long haul,” he said. “We have no income tax, very low tax burden. There’s nothing in the foreseeable future that would change that trajectory. It’s important that we govern that way because I think it’s very likely that Biden is going to plunge this country into a recession.”
He pointed to several indicators such as inflation, the Fed raising interest rates and market fluctuations, saying, “there’s a lot of concern about the overall economy.”
“Florida’s been doing well, and we’re happy about that, but when you have the inflation headwinds, when you have the Fed raising interest rates, when you have some of the other things happening in the markets, there is a possibility of a downturn and unfortunately that downturn will have been precipitated by a lot of really bad policies coming out of Washington, D.C.,” DeSantis said. He hoped he wasn’t right, but two months later, the BEA data and rising consumer costs indicated a recession was underway.
To combat inflation, the Florida Legislature took the opposite approach of Democrats in Washington, D.C., who are currently proposing tax increases. It passed a budget with the largest tax cuts in state history of $1 billion, which DeSantis signed into law.
The savings for Floridians was “immense,” House Speaker Chris Sprowls, R-Palm Harbor, said. It expanded “sales tax holidays, like Freedom Week, Hurricane Preparedness, and Back-to-School Holidays while also focusing tax relief on much-needed everyday items like diapers, tools, energy-efficient appliances, and pet supplies to make sure more money stays in people’s pockets.”
The Back-to-School tax holiday currently under way is expected to save Florida families more than $100 million.
Earlier this month, DeSantis announced a record surplus of $21.8 billion for the 2022 fiscal year, the highest in state history and more than 21% of the state’s spending plan.
“Despite the headwinds created by the Biden administration’s policies, Florida is in a strong fiscal position because we preserved freedom and kept our economy open,” DeSantis said. “Our responsible policies have allowed us to make record investments to support our communities, promote education, protect the environment, and provide record tax relief for Floridians, all while building record reserves to protect the state against the reckless fiscal policies from Washington.”
The state budget also expanded affordable housing programs by several hundred million dollars, the most in state history, and allocated bonuses and raises for teachers, first responders and those in law enforcement, including an expanded program to help “Hometown Heroes” purchase homes in communities where they serve. The program drew the attention of many out-of-staters.
A former police officer from Chicago and now Lee County Sherriff’s deputy, Raymond Arce, said “Gov. DeSantis talking about how he appreciates his law enforcement and Attorney General Moody saying, ‘if you need somewhere to go, come to us, we appreciate our police.’ That was a big factor in my move.”
A former New York State Guard member and New York resident, Paul Hanson, said he moved to Florida because of “the governor’s leadership,” which he said “was the deciding factor, not just on this issue but also on a lot of things we’ve seen over the past few years.”
Retro Fitness relocated to West Palm Beach from New York and New Jersey because “Florida is a business-friendly state,” CEO Andrew Alfano said. While gym owners in blue states were facing jail time for staying open during lockdowns, “Florida was the very first state to reopen gyms and health clubs, recognizing the importance of getting people healthy,” he said. “Because of the governor and state policies,” Retro Fitness survived the pandemic and came out of it “thriving and in growth mode.”