Gov. Scott on Florida's approach to boosting jobs

Inside state's steady drop in unemployment


This is a rush transcript from "Your World," June 24, 2013. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

STUART VARNEY, GUEST HOST: What happens when you combine low taxes and a business-friendly environment? You get more jobs.

Just ask Florida's Republican Governor Rick Scott. Under his watch, Florida's unemployment rate has fallen nearly four points and is below the national average.

Governor Scott, welcome to "Your World."

I believe you're down to 7.1 percent now; is that correct?

GOV. RICK SCOTT, R-FLA: And we're not stopping there, Stuart, 7.1 percent, 330,000 private sector jobs. It's clearly working in Florida. We hope you come down soon. But this is a state that we're focused on lower taxes, less regulation, more jobs for Florida families. It's working in Florida.

VARNEY: You are very much part of the national debate that is going on between and among states, because you are one of those states which has no income tax. I don't think you have got an estate tax, and you are business-friendly.

There are other states like that, and they say that they too are doing well economically, whereas a California, a New York, high-tax, business- unfriendly in many respects, they're not doing well. You're right at the center of debate amongst the states.

SCOTT: Well, we're going to be the winner.

We have got our great beaches, our great weather, 90 million tourists, but no income tax, no estate tax, one of the lowest business tax. I have got 2,500 regulations in a little over two years and that's why companies like, just today, Deutsche Bank added 300 jobs right here in Florida. Last week, as with the Paris Air Show, we had companies from France, companies from Virginia moving into Florida.

So it's clearly working in our state, and hope you will buy a one-way ticket and do your show down here.


VARNEY: That's an invitation I might just take up.

Quickly, though, Deutsche Bank, they're bringing 300 jobs to Florida. I think they're going to Jacksonville.

SCOTT: Right.

VARNEY: Can you tell me, did you offer them something special? Did you say I will build you an exit off the freeway, I will -- no property taxes for a time? Did you do anything like that at all to get them in?


What we do is we make sure we have an educated work force. You can't have lower income tax than zero. Our business taxes are going down every year. So, that's happening. I cut the -- I got rid of the sales tax on machinery equipment for our manufacturers.

So every year, we're trying to make our state a state that no one can compete with, because we like jobs. We like businesses. I'm going to make sure we're the number one state for your family to get a job, get a great education, and afford to live.

VARNEY: I have to ask you about a national issue, which is the IRS. There's an attempt, it looks like, to kind of make it go away, make the scandal go away, sweep it under the rug, say that there's nothing going on here, move along, please. You happy with that?

SCOTT: Well, look, we cannot have any government agency that targets anybody. So we have got to understand why this was happening. Were they targeting people?

Look, I want to make sure every citizen in our state is treated fairly. I represent all 19.2 million people. They all have to be treated the same way. Our federal government has got to make sure all of our citizens across the country are treated fairly. But, you know, in our state, it's about jobs.

VARNEY: Let me jump in for a second, because I want to ask you more before about this IRS issue.

Would you be prepared to say that, in your opinion, the machinery of government was used against the present political opponents in the election last year? That's really the nitty-gritty of this debate. Are you prepared to say that?

SCOTT: Stuart, we don't have enough information. But look, when -- something like that, when somebody -- there's enough information out there, you need to go look at it. Like, if something happens in my state, I have to go back and look and say, did somebody do something wrong?

But, look, we have got to make sure all of our citizens are treated fairly. That's what people want. They want their shot at the American dream. They want to be treated fairly. Give us our freedom.

VARNEY: OK, Governor Rick Scott, 7.1 unemployment, we thank you very much indeed for joining us, sir. Thank you.

SCOTT: One-way ticket, Stuart. Come on down.


VARNEY: If you're not careful.

Thank you very much, Governor.

SCOTT: All right.

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