Rick Scott promised to create 700,000 jobs in Florida. He was voted into the Florida governorship on that promise but his term in office has, by far, become the most debacled and horrifying in recent history.
The Miami Herald is currently in the midst of publishing a three-part series on Scott administration’s broken promises, specifically about jobs. In the series, entitled “Jobs in Florida: The Rick Scott Record,” the Miami Herald indicated that despite lofty promises of an exploding job market, Scott has all but failed to deliver on that promise.
In order to bring work to Florida, Scott promised incentives and tax breaks to companies who offer work to state residents.
In certain deals, Scott has either created a minute fraction of the jobs he promised, or created nothing at all. The report pointed out that in Broward and Miami-Dade counties, Scott created only 61 jobs since taking office. He promised to create 5,546. And in the two counties, Scott pledged over $24 million in incentives to companies but only paid out just over $1 million.
In 2011, Scott announced that firearms manufacturer Colt Manufacturing was going to set up a branch in Kissimmee. On the day of the announcement, Scott said the new branch would mean 63 new jobs, and he pledged $250,000 to renovate the warehouse that Colt was supposedly going to use. The money was spent; however, no one is working.
When asked about the standstill in job creation, Scott simply said, “These things take time. It’s years.”
But not only have the promised jobs been stalled, Scott has lost more jobs than he has promised. Between January 2011 and last month, there was a loss of nearly 50,000 at companies employing over 100 people.
The private sector suffered a horrendously severe loss of its labor force, in an even shorter amount of time. From January 2011 to December 2012, over 1 million private sector jobs were lost. And with the stalled progress on job creation and the lost jobs on top of that, it would mean that those incentives are null, correct? Not true in this instance.
Public and private companies alike have been laying off hundreds of their workers, yet some have still gotten there Scott employment incentives. “Florida offers tax breaks in most cases when a company creates the jobs it promised,” according to the report.
Defense contractor Northrop Grumman Corp. announced the impending layoff of 85 workers at the Cherry Point’s Tactical Training Range in Panama City, but they are set to get $19 million in hard currency as well as tax breaks. Boca Raton software company Digital Risk got $2 million after firing 112 people.
It’s unknown whether Scott will be able to deliver on his job-creation promises by the Florida governor elections of next year. Democrat Charlie Crist recently declared his candidacy for Florida governor. He has been running a strong campaign against Scott and has been leading him in the polls.
This article was a very brief recapitulation of the Miami Herald’s six month-long endeavor. The final part of the Miami Herald’s series will release today here.
Josh is a writer and researcher with Ring of Fire. Follow him on Twitter @dnJdeli.