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Politics / Issues

Is Governor Scott Halfway to Making Good on His Jobs Promise?


Florida Gov. Rick Scott says his campaign pledge to create 700,00 jobs in seven years is right on schedule.

PolitiFact Florida says that claim is mostly false.

In a letter the governor sent out to explain his line item vetoes in the new state budget, Scott said, "Our unemployment rate has now dropped to 7.2 percent -- well below the national average -- and we are already almost halfway to our 2010 goal of creating 700,000 new jobs in seven years."

But, Katie Sanders of PolitiFact says that really depends on how you look at it.

"In 2010, this was his big mantra -- 700,000 jobs in seven years... 7-7-7.  But reporters in a debate tried to clarify that. Do you mean jobs that they state's going to generate anyway or do you mean extra jobs because you're the governor? And, he said these 700,000 jobs are going to be on top of what the state would grow anyway, regardless of change in policies. But ever since he's been in office he's totally backed off of that and we've been keeping score on our "Scott-O-Meter" that's measuring his promise to create 700,000 jobs. The bottom line is we gave this a mostly false. If you just look at the sheer 700,000 jobs number by itself, there's a grain of truth.  But, put in the broader context of what he ran on, we've been holding him to 1.7 million jobs because that's normal growth plus 700,000 jobs."

There were also a lot of numbers being tossed around on Capitol Hill recently by Tampa Congresswoman Kathy Castor.

She was on MSNBC's Hardball to talk about the devastating effects of automatic budgets cuts -- also known as sequestration -- on Head Start, the early learning program for disadvantaged children.

Castor said, "70,000 3-year-olds and 4-year-olds across America will lose access to the preschool Head Start classroom. Now Head Start is intended for students who don’t have every advantage in life to ensure that they are ready for elementary school. It’s also important because it ensures that their parents are ready to work. [That’s] 70,000 students across America and 2,000 in the state of Florida alone because the Republicans refuse to replace the sequester or sit down with us to negotiate a balanced plan."

"This is a classic half-true for us," said PolitiFact's Sanders. "Castor isn't just pulling these numbers out of anywhere. They came from the White House and from the agencies that oversee programs like Head Start. But when you dig into the numbers, you find that local school districts and counties and the people who are managing Head Start programs are dealing with these automatic budget cuts in different ways that so far haven't affected that many students. They may affect more students next year... but they haven't cut seats yet."

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