Gov. Rick Scott has just released a statement "setting the record straight" on his top campaign promise: to create 700,000 jobs with a pro-business agenda that hinges on corporate tax cuts and fewer regulations.
The statement casts doubt on a prediction from state economists, including those who remain on the governor's office payroll, who estimated before Scott ran for governor that current state policy would create about 1 million jobs the next seven years. Scott's 7-7-7 plan covers the same time.
The statement also says something Scott has been unwilling to in recent weeks: that his plan will indeed create 700,000 jobs in addition to normal growth. Scott's statement points out that the state unemployment was increasing when he was elected, a trend that has since reversed. Scott does not mention the state started adding jobs before his most significant policies took effect.
Here's the PolitiFact Florida report. Keep reading for the chronology of events this week, including the PolitiFact video, Scott's first response to PoltiFact and then Scott's statement and graphic from today.
Statement from Governor Rick Scott: 700,000 jobs in Seven Years: Setting the Record Straight
“Let me begin by saying that regardless of economic predictions that shift with the wind, my promise to create 700,000 jobs over seven years has not and will not change.
“During my campaign for Governor last year, I unveiled a plan to fix Florida’s economy and turn the state around. It was called the 7-7-7 Plan: Seven Steps to 700,000 Jobs in Seven Years. As I said during my campaign, this plan will create 700,000 jobs over seven years no matter what the economy might otherwise gain or lose.
“No one, not even economists, can predict the future. What can be verified is actual job creation data. From July to December 2010, before I was in office, Florida’s job creation numbers show that the state lost 20,100 jobs. For 3.5 years before that the state lost more than 800,000 jobs, and the unemployment rate skyrocketed hitting its peak at 12 percent in December 2010.
“Since then, we have begun implementing the 7-7-7 plan and creating an environment where jobs can grow. Sure enough, Florida has gained 87,200 private sector jobs so far this year and the unemployment rate has started going down, bucking the trend at the national level.
“Instead of focusing on hypotheticals, I’m focused on what I know will be accomplished through my 7-7-7 plan - the creation of 700,000 jobs over seven years regardless of what the economy might otherwise gain or lose. Floridians will judge me not on what an economist in Tallahassee predicts, but on actual job growth each month. Those are the numbers I will be held accountable for and that’s what
I remain focused on.”