Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Deflating Jeb Bush’s Absurd Economic Plan

Jeb Bush claims that he is "his own man" yet has surrounded himself with many of the same advisers that surrounded his cretin brother, George W. Bush, who oversaw disasters in the Middle East and the greatest economic crash since the Great Depression.  Equally disturbing is the fact that Jebbie is basically offering a warmed over version of his brother's failed policies, including tax cuts for the rich which will then supposedly magically create an economic boom.  It's the same voodoo economics preached by the GOP since 1980 and having not worked in the past, there is zero reason to think it will work after 2016.  A piece in Salon looks at Jebbie's absurd economic plan.  Here are highlights:
The Jeb Bush vision for growing the American economy seems straightforward enough. It basically goes like this: Jeb is elected president, then he cuts some taxes and shows some “leadership,” and then blah blah etcetera etcetera four-percent annual growth for the foreseeable future. The details of how we arrive at this lovely sounding and thoroughly unrealistic sustained rate of growth have yet to be fleshed out, so for the moment we’re just supposed to take it on faith that there exists within John Ellis Bush a special form of economic magic that will be unlocked only when he is safely ensconced in the White House.

[T]he core of Jeb’s pitch on the economy: he knows how to grow the economy at a blistering rate because he’s done it before. It’s largely nonsense.

The Washington Post’s Jim Tankersley has been assiduously picking apart Jeb’s economic boasting and trying to nail down just how much of Florida’s economic growth during the 2000s was Jeb’s doing, and how much was attributable to the state’s massive housing bubble, which popped shortly after he left office and left the state in economic ruin. Last month, Tankersley reported that “almost all of the gains [Jeb] talks up today, including three-fifths of the job creation, were wiped out in the four years after he left office, once the bubble burst.” This week he wrote a follow-up, looking at how the bubble that grew unchecked during Jeb’s administration ultimately “benefited rich investors at the expense of middle-class families.”

Jeb’s campaign, Tankersley notes, is trying to credit Jeb’s policies for the growth during his tenure, but won’t accept any blame for the devastation that came with the collapse of the housing market. His economic pitch is basically that he can replicate the effects of a housing bubble, but just without the nasty bubble part:
But economic analysis suggests that much of that superior performance — at least half of the difference between Florida’s growth and the nation’s — was driven not by any policy initiatives but by a rapid increase in housing prices. When those prices fell sharply, the state’s economy crashed.

It is a “huge stretch” for Bush to hold up Florida’s growth as a model for the country, said Stan Veuger, an economist at the ­conservative American Enterprise Institute
Bloomberg Politics also dug into Jeb’s dodgy economic rhetoric this week and found that he is wildly overselling the impact of his policies on Florida’s rapid growth: “When the effects of the bubble and population growth are taken into account, Florida probably still grew faster under Bush than the 3 percent rate at which U.S. economy was expanding at the time, but not by much and likely not because of his tax cuts.” 

He’s [Jeb] proposing the same raft of conservative economic policy prescriptions we’ve been hearing for decades: cut taxes on income and investments, slash spending, get rid of regulations, trust the free market, etc. Those policies didn’t produce sustained four-percent growth when other Republican presidents pursued them, but with some careful shading and flagrant exaggeration of his own record, Jeb is making the case that in his hands they’ll somehow become the most potent force for economic growth the country has ever seen.

We DO NOT need Jebbie in the White House.  He apparently believes that all Americans are idiots (OK, he's right in terms of the GOP base, but not the rest of us).

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