Jeb Bush Points Out How Badly Our Economy Faltered During His Father And Brother’s Presidencies

trickle-down-reaganJeb Bush accidentally bashed his father and brother’s presidential legacies yesterday – and basically said President Obama’s administration was doing a better job on the economy at the same time.

Recently, Republicans have started up their usual refrain of complaining about government regulations and it’s been unintentionally backfiring on them – as we saw with freshman senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) and his remarks about how the government possibly shouldn’t require businesses to have their employees wash their hands after using the bathroom. While this was a bizarre example, it does speak to the “free market solves everything” mantra of corporate-minded Republicans who believe that corporate profit takes precedence over everything else and that regulations should be confined to what people do with their reproductive organs, etc.

Jeb Bush spoke before a crowd at the Detroit Economic Club yesterday and was quick to pin some of the economic woes Detroit is facing on liberals:

“I know some in the media think conservatives don’t care about the cities,” he said. “But they are wrong. We believe that every American in every community has a right to pursue happiness. They have a right to rise.

“So I say: Let’s go where our ideas can matter most. Where the failures of liberal government are most obvious. Let’s deliver real conservative success.” (Source)

According to Jeb Bush, poverty in America is the result of failed liberal policies rather than the massive wealth transfer to the 1% thanks to the false promises of trickle-down economics. So what does Jeb Bush think we need to do to restore a prosperous middle class and lift people out of poverty? You guessed it, slash regulations on corporate America. Because you know, fewer regulations mean more money in the hands of businesses which will allow that trickle-down that’s been waiting for decades to finally wash the rest of us all away in a warm sea of jobs and cash.

“If a law or a rule doesn’t contribute to growth, why do it?” asked Bush. “If a law subtracts from growth, why are we discussing it? And for what it’s worth, I don’t think the U.S. should settle for anything less than 4 percent growth a year–which is about twice our current average.”

It’s also about twice the average growth achieved in the presidencies of Bush’s father and brother. George H.W. Bush’s single term, which an ill-timed recession played a big part in ending, saw average GDP growth of 2.1 percent. George W. Bush’s two terms, which began with a terrorist attack and ended in the subprime crisis, saw average growth of 1.6 percent.

Barack Obama’s terms, which started in the muck of that crisis, are unlikely to see an average GDP growth of 4 percent. The youngest Bush’s math today started the clock a year ago; over the last six months, average GDP growth has actually surpassed 4 percent, averaging 4.8 percent. (Source)

Well, here’s the problem, Jeb. Your brother was president during two economic slumps, only one of which was probably at least somewhat out of his control. Barack Obama inherited the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression and high unemployment numbers to start off his presidency and is now looking far better than either your brother or your father when it comes to the economy – as you seem to admit by saying we shouldn’t settle for less than 4 percent growth a year.

Beyond that, the bigger issue is the fact that GDP is great – but not if most of the money is ending up back in the bank accounts of the very wealthy and not in the pockets of the 99%.

In the eyes of the Republican Party and those who continue to buy the lie that is trickle-down economics, Jeb Bush looks great. He looks like the return of the country club Republican (as my fiercely conservative mother likes to call them) and a renewed GOP focus on the economy instead of abortion, vaccines and discriminating against gay people. However, in making this statement, Jeb Bush has shown that President Obama has actually been better for the economy than either Bush president – and when the usual comments from conservatives come that it hasn’t done anything for them, you can gently remind them that they’ve admitted trickle-down economics don’t work.


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