Back when he was running for Governor, Rick Scott promised that he'd add 700,000 jobs in Florida over seven years in addition to what the economy would produce regardless of who was Governor. It seemed like a simple enough promise at the time, but now ten months into his term he's still apparently tying to figure out exactly what he meant.
Here's the statement he released today:
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"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."
Sneaky. This latest clarification makes it absolutely impossible for anyone to hold Scott accountable for his campaign promises. By promising to add 700,000 jobs in addition to regular growth during a Gubernatorial debate, we assumed he implicitly agreed with the current projection of state economists of what that regular growth would be. By dismissing things like "math" and "experts" though, there's absolutely no way to measure whether Scott is holding his promise.