Pensacola, Florida
Tuesday September 23rd 2014

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Winners & Losers 8/11/11

WINNERS
COLLIER MERRILL The chairman of the Community Maritime Park Associates Board of Trustees did a masterful job in handling the latest CMPA “crisis”. When Quint Studer asked for a special meeting on the confusion over his pledge to the public improvements at the park, Merrill didn’t hesitate. The meeting provided the community the opportunity to hear directly from the man who, along with his wife Rishy, wrote a check for $2.25 million to help build the multiuse stadium.

WORKFORCE FLORIDA Florida earned the top spot in the second annual Enterprising States report released by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Chamber Foundation. The ranking was based on Workforce Florida’s efficient job placement system, high share of high school students in advanced placement courses, and affordable and efficient higher education system. The state placed in the top three in all four measures and was also touted for its Quick Response Training Program.

COUNCIL ON AGING OF WEST FLORIDA The non-profit was recently honored with three 2011 National Mature Media Awards for editorial published in its Coming of Age Magazine. The Council’s awards were earned for President/CEO John B. Clark’s 2010 advocacy series and two articles written by Jeff Nall, vice president, marketing communications.

LOSERS

FEDERAL GOVERNMENT S&P downgraded the U.S. credit rating from AAA to AA+ on Friday, Aug. 5, just four days after President Barack Obama and Congressional leaders declared victory with the Budget Control Act of 2011. The bill raised the debt limit by $2.1 trillion, enough to allow the federal government to continue borrowing money until 2013. It cut discretionary spending by $917 billion and capped it for the next 10 years.

There was one problem. The cuts in spending and subsidies weren’t enough. The Simpson-Bowles Commission report said that, at a minimum, $4 trillion in deficit reduction over 10 years is needed. The Budget Control Act of 2011 would cut, at most, less than $3 trillion. The federal budget will continue to grow at a higher rate than the economy because of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.

The nation watched Congress and the White House for weeks hoping that its leaders would act like statesmen and come up with the right mix of austerity and stimulus strategies to turnaround our economy. What we got was a bad episode of “Jersey Shore” where everyone screams, attacks each other and winds up in bed with each other.

S&P gave the federal government the butt-kicking it deserved.