Life and politics from the Sunshine State's best city

Today on Context Florida: Fuzzy budget math, accounting tricks, Ben Carson and ending meetings on time

in Apolitical by

Today on Context Florida:

Once again, the media is abuzz and many in the Florida Legislature are absolutely giddy at the prospect of what they call a budget surplus this year. State fiscal analysts are predicting a surplus of about $635 million and the Governor’s Office, using what Rich Templin calls a bit of fuzzy math that no one outside of his administration can understand to project excess revenues of $1.3 billion.

Frank Clemente says, surprisingly, Congress’s $680 billion holiday-season tax deal will bring some cheer to working families and not just to big corporations this year. Refundable tax credits putting extra cash in the hands of hard-pressed workers and parents were included in a huge year-end gift-wrapped package of tax breaks — the type of bill that usually only offers big rewards to corporate fat cats. It’s an accounting trick, Clemente notes. Tax cuts supposedly expiring in a year or two don’t make long-range budget projections look so bad, after all.

Bill Day’s latest:

Bill Day's latest ... #FlaPol

According to Marc Yacht, presidential hopeful Ben Carson found voters fickle. And as they say in the theater, “His star is fading.” After enjoying a top-notch rating since appearing on the political scene, the neurosurgeon seems fated to the dustbin of political history.  Carson sinks faster than a leaky wooden boat.  What happened to this Trump challenger?

Many of us have taken the rollover of the calendar as a chance to make changes and reaffirm commitments. Usually, says Michael Preston, these decisions take the form of the New Year’s resolution. We are great at making promises, but, unfortunately, are lousy at keeping them. Likely you are one of those who have made and failed to keep your resolution. But here’s one resolution Preston is going to try to keep this year: End meetings on time.

Visit Context Florida to dig in.

Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing and management experience, Phil produced material for both print and online, in addition to founding His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013. He lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.

Latest from Apolitical

Go to Top