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What's Behind Rick Scott's Campaign Slogans? An Economy Rigged Against the Middle Class

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Florida's middle class is struggling, but Rick Scott just doesn't seem to notice. As he campaigns for reelection, Scott is hoping his money and spin will speak louder than the facts of Florida's economy.

The fact is, it's not working. It's failing.  Rick Scott's Florida is a nationwide leader in the amount of people who have been out of work for more than six months. Even worse, thousands of discouraged workers have dropped out of the labor force completely. According to Rick Scott's own experts, more than half of the drop in the unemployment rate is due to people dropping out of the labor force.

Florida's middle class is hurting because thousands of discouraged workers are no longer searching for work.  If Rick Scott's policies hadn't forced Floridians to leave the workforce, the state's unemployment rate would be 8.5%.

Rick Scott has spent over $260 million on tax giveaways to special interests that promised to create jobs — but 96% of those jobs have never materialized. And the bulk of the new jobs in Florida are low-wage jobs that won't help Floridians get into the middle class.

No wonder PolitiFact says that Rick Scott's bragging about Florida's economy is "mostly false."

Because the people of Florida know better than to trust Rick Scott's campaign spin, their confidence the economy will get better has been lower than the national average for months.

"Rick Scott can try to wrap his economic message in campaign spin, but Scott's record is clear: he would rather give taxpayer handouts to wealthy special interests and the biggest corporations instead of fighting for Florida's middle class. Thousands of Floridians have fallen out of the middle class because of Rick Scott's wrong priorities," said Florida Democratic Party Chair Allison Tant.

Background: 

Florida Ranks 2nd in Nation for Long-term Unemployment. Despite creating more than 460,000 jobs since 2010, Florida ranks second among states with workers who have been unemployed for at least six months, researchers say. (Orlando Sentinel, 2/8/14)

Over Half of Unemployment Drop Due to Workers Leaving the Labor Force. Florida’s unemployment rate would be 8.5 percent if the number of people looking for work was at the same level as Jan. 2011 when Scott took office. '53.1 percent of the drop in the unemployment rate is due to people dropping out of the labor force or delaying entrance.' (Florida Times-Union, 2/3/2014)

Florida's Consumer Confidence Trails National Levels. (Tampa Bay Times, 1/28/2014)

Gov. Rick Scott Annoyed at Questions Over State’s Unemployment Rate. “ 'Florida’s long-term unemployment rate, however, has continued to rise in 2011, reaching record-high rates and making it number one among states,' reads the FIU report. 'No state has ever had a long-term unemployment rate as high as Florida’s, which was 53.0% in 2011. (Miami Herald, 9/18/2012)

Mostly False: Rick Scott Brags About Florida's Declining Unemployment Rate. Thousands of discouraged workers have given up on finding work in Florida.The shrinking workforce can be attributed to a number of factors, but the fact that Florida is last in the nation when it comes to long-term unemployment can’t be ignored. A major factor in the drop in unemployment is the exodus of people who have simply given up looking for work. Job creation, meanwhile, has been below-average. (PolitiFact, 9/13/2012)