Before Herman Cain got America excited about numeric repetition with his storied (and secret!) 9-9-9 plan, Florida Governor Rick Scott was selling the state of Florida on his own triple-integer gem. As a candidate for office, Scott announced that he was going to pursue what he called the "7-7-7 plan." And no, it didn't involve decapitating Gweneth Paltrow. Here's the St. Petersburg Times, back in July of 2010:
GOP front-runner Rick Scott unveiled his jobs plan Wednesday, his first major policy proposal in the race for the governor's mansion. The plan promises 700,000 jobs in seven years. (And it's seven steps, so it's called the 7-7-7 plan.)
“As governor, I’ll be Florida’s Job Creator-in-chief. I’ll be focused on putting Floridians back to work, not securing my next political job, and I’ll be accountable to taxpayers not beholden to special interest,” said Scott. “My 7-7-7 Economic plan will grow the economy, create jobs and increase wages.”
The seven tenets: Accountability Budgeting; Reduce Government Spending; Regulatory Reform; Focus on Job Growth and Retention; World Class Universities; Reduce Property Taxes; Eliminate Florida’s Corporate Income Tax.
Now, here's a critical detail about Scott's ambitious promise. The 700,000 jobs he promised to create would be his own doing. These would be 700,000 jobs generated on top of whatever growth was projected to occur without instituting any changes. Politifact Florida remembers this well:
Let's rewind to July 2010. State economists had already estimated Florida's recession rebound — no matter who the new governor might be — would add more than 1 million jobs by 2017.
Reporters wanted to know: If the state's expected growth alone was projected to restore 1 million jobs, did that mean Scott's structural changes to spending, regulation and the tax code would add 700,000 more?
"Are those jobs that are in addition to the number of jobs that are going to be created automatically, just without any change in tax policy over the next five or 10 years?" a reporter asked Scott while traveling on his campaign bus. (We know, because we have the video.)
Scott answered yes, then pointed out that jobs aren't created automatically. The reporter then corrected himself.
"Well, projected. The job creation that is projected over the next five years," he said.
"It's what's projected, yeah. It's what's projected, yeah," Scott said, nodding. "It's on top of that. If you do these things we're going to grow 700,000 more jobs."
But as we've been telling you, that Rick Scott is a bit of a trickster! And he soon decided to start giving himself the credit for the job growth already in motion. As you'd imagine, the promises of old have changed. Let's toss this back to Politifact:
In June, Scott spokesman Brian Burgess touted news that Florida had added 50,000 jobs since January, saying that Scott was going to count every one toward keeping his promise.
In the same few days, another Scott spokesman, Lane Wright, brushed off a question about Scott's original promise to create 700,000 jobs "on top of what normal growth would be."
"Gov. Scott committed to creating 700,000 jobs in seven years, and we are on track to meet that goal," Wright said.
In August, the governor himself weighed in. An Associated Press reporter reminded Scott that his jobs plan was designed to generate 700,000 jobs on top of those restored by the state's expected growth.
"No, that's not true," Scott said.
So, the reporter pushed, statements by his campaign were totally wrong?
"I don't know who said that," Scott said. "I have no idea."
(Here's a hint: It was "Rick Scott.") Politifact rates this a "full flip flop."