St. Petersburg businessman James MacDougald is co-chairman of David Jolly's finance team and the founder of Free Enterprise Nation, a pro-business, anti-regulation advocacy group that Jolly has lobbied for in Washington D.C.
But the CD13 GOP candidate has emphasized that he's not on the same page with MacDougald regarding some of his stances, such as turning Medicare into a voucher program, drilling for oil off of Florida's shores, or privatizing Social Security.
Independent-minded CD13 voters might want to know how much Jolly's philosophy jibes with the worldview that MacDougald espouses in the 2010 book Unsustainable: How Big Government, Taxes and Debt are Wrecking America, which at times evinces the elite disdain for the less fortunate that reeks of Mitt Romney's clandestinely recorded "47 percent" speech.
For those of you who forget, the term "47 percent" refers to the number of Americans who paid no income taxes in 2012. (According to the Tax Policy Center, that dropped to 43 percent in 2013.)
"Millions more exist on government-provided welfare," MacDougald writes. "Millions are receiving government-provided unemployment benefits. Millions of individuals and companies rely on contracts with the government for their living."
Like Romney, MacDougald fails to note that many of the 47 (or 43) percent of these folks who aren't paying taxes — including many retired workers who live on Social Security — do not have to do so because they earn too little income, or they qualify for breaks via the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Child Tax Credit.
The first half of Unsustainable is an assault on government workers at all levels, though his concerns about pension plan benefit payouts will undoubtedly be shared by local and state governments in the future. But he sets out his own views in the preface, declaring that the country is in a "cold war" that will eventually determine whether the U.S. remains a free enterprise economy or social welfare state.
Among other interesting nuggets, MacDougald would like to see the Department of Education, whose creation he calls "unconstitutional," eliminated.
He's also not a fan of the Affordable Care Act, which certainly shouldn't be a surprise. How much does he abhor the law? He writes, "The new Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act represents one of the most serious abridgements of human rights that the U.S. government has ever attempted."
And you can mark down MacDougald as one of those financial titans whose feelings are easily hurt by criticism of what Wall Street bankers have done to our economy in recent years. He calls such criticism one of the preconditions for the "absolute control" of a central government.
"The demonization has broad appeal to union members and union organizers, to those who don't pay taxes (most students, welfare recipients, low-income earners), to most public sector employees and to everyone who feels that they should get their 'fair share' via a government reallocation from others to themselves."
As for his prescriptions for fixing the government — like getting rid of as much of it is as possible — McDougald writes, "All public sector jobs, and every function currently performed by any public sector entity that could be performed by the private sector should be ceded to, or outsourced, to the private sector."
Regarding wants vs. needs, MacDougald apparently is a strict "Constitutionalist." How else could one understand why he writes, "Nowhere in the Constitution does it say a person has a 'right' to food, clothing and shelter, although those are basic human needs." He later makes the same point about health care.
The Social Security Trust Fund? A Ponzi scheme, the author writes, echoing comments made by Rick Perry, Rush Limbaugh and other conservatives over the years, although a number of economists have dismissed that notion.
Jolly spokesperson Sarah Bascom tells CL that "the work David did was for Free Enterprise Nation, not personally for Mr. MacDougald or his book. David has been very clear on what specific issues he was hired to advocate for for FEN, and they did not include his personal views in his book." She adds that "to assign every personal view of Mr. MacDougald to David would not only be untrue but unfair."