During Rick Scott's "State of the State" address today in Tallahassee, he made a claim that few Floridians would agree with: "It's working!" By "it" he must have meant the policies that have made him one of the least popular governors in the country. It is hard to say what he meant by "working" because whatever he is doing is clearly not "working" for working Floridians.
When Rick Scott became governor, he promised to create 700,000 more jobs in Florida than the one million economists already projected would be created within seven years. According to Politifact, only about 154,000 jobs have been created since the beginning of Rick Scott's reign. Even though Scott insisted that he is not a politicians several times during the "State of the State," when asked about his pledge to create a million and a half more jobs, he did what you would expect from a politician. He denied that he ever made that promise.
When you look at Florida's job creation record in 2012, you get a clearer picture of what (and who) is working and what isn't. Last year, Florida added 7,800 private sector jobs but lost 9,600 public sector jobs. While Rick Scott seems proud of the fact that Florida's unemployment rate is "nearly down to the national average," he forgets to mention that our unemployment is still worse than 33 of our 50 states.
But what's most infuriating about the "State of the State" is our governor's sudden love for Florida's teachers and students. In 2011, Scott cut school funding by $1.3 billion only to pat himself on the back for supporting a $900 million increase the following year, still leaving our schools with $400 million less than what they started with in 2010 (before he became governor). But with his newfound belief that "an investment in Florida teachers is an investment in Florida's future," Scott now wants to give every teacher in Florida classrooms a $2500 raise. Don't get me wrong; our teachers more than deserve it if you consider that they are among the lowest paid in the nation. Even with Scott's long overdue $2500 raise, our teachers' pay would still be below the national average.
The fact is: Rick Scott is unpopular because his policies are not working. Last minute political stunts won't change the hardship that working Floridians are facing, the boarded up business they drive past, or the foreclosed homes that litter their neighborhoods. Rick Scott stated today that he wants "a war on failure." If so, then let's start with the failed policies of our Tallahassee politicians.
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