Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) started out as the jobs candidate, promising to create 700,000 jobs “on top of” the jobs added from Florida’s normal growth. He then revised that plan down to just “700,000” before recently declaring, “I don’t have to create any jobs.”
Scott’s need to divorce himself from his own job-creation promises is not surprising, since many of his policies have actually killed job growth. While admitting that his preference is to cut “people,” Scott has directed his focus toward corporate tax cuts rather than job creation. In fact, his legislative affairs director Jon Costello publicly admitted as much. Asked about the value of Scott’s most recent corporate tax break, Costello admitted “quite frankly” that the tax breaks might not be enough for a company to hire even one person:
Rep. Evan Jenne, D-Dania Beach, asked Costello of the governor’s plan would require that companies create jobs in exchange for the new tax breaks.
“The last thing we would want to do is just have a CEO pocket the money and just say ‘Thanks for the cash,’” Jenne said during a meeting of the House Economic Affairs Committee .
“Quite frankly, depending on the size and scope of the company, their savings and tax breaks might not be enough to bring a new person on,” Costello answered. “But it might be enough to buy a new piece of equipment or do something that injects money back into the economy.”
In a state with 10.7 unemployment rate, Scott chose to kill a high-speed rail project that would’ve created 71,000 jobs, boasted about laying off 15,000 government employees, and plans to reject funds from Obama’s new jobs plan that would create more than 60,000 jobs.
Instead, he champions corporate tax breaks that even his own administration says likely won’t work. We’ve noted before how it is exceedingly unlikely that Scott’s corporate tax cut — particularly his original plan to eliminate the corporate tax entirely — would create any jobs.
Asked point blank whether Scott is “backtracking” from his promise to create at least 700,000 jobs, Costello admitted, “it’s a very difficult question.” Given his policy choices, the answer actually seems pretty obvious.