January 22, 2018

2009 Industry Outlook

The Obama Factor in Florida

How will the election of Democrat Barack Obama as president affect Florida in 2009?

Amy Welch Brill | 1/1/2009
Barack Obama
Barack Obama [Photo: Getty Images]

Mark Vitner

Senior economist, Wachovia Corp.

Mark Vitner, a lifelong Republican, thinks Barack Obama could be good for American businesses because “the mood toward America had soured so much that it was hard to do business overseas. Putting a fresh face in the White House could help if it improves our standing in the world.”

Mark Vitner
Mark Vitner
But, Vitner says, a lot of Florida business people are complaining about the Obama-supported Employee Free Choice Act, known as “card check,” which would establish the union as workers’ bargaining agent once a majority of the workers had signed petition cards, eliminating the requirement for a secret-ballot vote overseen by the National Labor Relations Board. Vitner calls it “the worst single economic proposal in the history of this country.” The second worst? Universal healthcare, says Vitner. Hopefully, he says, Obama will “hit it down the middle of the fairway instead of slicing it to the left.”

Larry Ross
Anne and Bill France distinguished professor of business, Florida Southern College

Larry Ross
Larry Ross

“Spending on infrastructure could have a major impact on the construction sector, which in turn would begin to stimulate the retail sector as paychecks are converted to shopping receipts. Plans to increase healthcare access and reduce the cost of prescription drugs may have a dampening effect on what is currently the strongest performing sector of the state’s economy. With a large proportion of the state’s population currently eligible for Medicare, we will not see much of a short term ‘bump’ in workers’ disposable income from a new national healthcare program. More than likely we will see a moderation of the cost of healthcare and in turn a slowing in the growth rate for revenues in the healthcare sector. Offsetting the impact of the healthcare policy will be dramatic increases in the education sector. While declining state tax revenues have recently dampened spending for the public school system, Obama plans to invest heavily in higher education and education transition assistance. The net result should be a dramatic improvement in revenues for the state university system and in particular the community college system.”

More on the next page.

Tags: Politics & Law, Government/Politics & Law

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