*** UPDATED FOR 2014 GOVERNOR'S RACE ***
To balance its budget, fund its obligations and keep from having to raise taxes, Florida should follow the model of North Dakota and Charter its own state bank.
North Dakota has had a state bank, which by charter, must contain all the state's funds, and which, the Public Banking Institute's president, Ellen Brown, tells us, "was established by the legislature in 1919 to free farmers and small businessmen from the clutches of out-of-state bankers and railroad men." The bank has met its purpose fabulously. Today, North Dakota is running its biggest surplus in its history.
Florida lists nearly $12 billion in its current and (mostly) investable assets on page 34 of its 2012 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report. There is another $10 billion in long-term investments and so-called restricted investments (restricted by whom?). If even 10% of this combined total of $22 billion was used to provide a base for a Public Bank, Florida would have a $2.2 Billion bank (The Bank of North Dakota has $6.4 billion in Assets).
Instead of investing in Wall Street gambling firms, or out-of-state, or even out-of-the-country, this would be money invested in the state, for mortgages, small businesses, and whatever a prudent bank decides is good for the People of Florida!
Besides, who do you trust more to fund a bank: the depositors and borrowers of the bailed-out TBTF Banks of Florida (or, in remote deposits, New York), or the citizens of the state who must pay taxes every year? And why should the taxpayers borrow money and PAY INTEREST on money that have already raised through taxes? A State Bank would PAY dividends to the state! (The Bank of North Dakota has returned over $300 million in 10 years).
Florida has never defaulted on its obligations; whereas hundreds of banks have been closed by the FDIC nationwide since the 2008 crisis...so far, a new record for the country that shows no sign of letting up. In North Dakota, there have been ZERO bank closings in its State Bank supported system in over 10 years!
Democratic Gubernatorial Candidate and economist Farid Khavari has made creating a State Bank a centerpiece of his platform: http://www.khavariforgovernor.com/state-bank/. As Khavari explains, this new bank would charge only 2% for a 15-year home loan and use the proceeds to "Become the engine to drive an economic miracle in the State of Florida, bringing general prosperity and economic security for all Floridians."
The next Florida Governor must balance the budget under the state constitution. But, there is another option besides crippling taxes and devastating spending cuts. There is a way to balance the budget, create a surplus, and tell the out-of-state high-interest charging banks to "Go Jump in the Everglades."
CREATE A STATE BANK!