Monday, March 2, 2015

The Last Time a Bush Was "His Own Man"

After George W. Bush's presidency, of course Jeb Bush wants to distance his own policies from his brother's. He assumes he can do that by simply declaring that he "is his own man."

Lots of pundits have commented on the fact that Jeb has hired a conference room full of campaign advisers from both his father's and brother's administrations. That is certainly a "tell." But it is the policies he supports that would really let us know if he is taking a different path.

That's why one of Jeb's statements at CPAC really stood out to me. He actually said:
You can lower taxes, generate economic opportunity, and increase revenues.
With that short statement, Jeb thoroughly embraced the trickle-down economics that George H.W. Bush called voodoo economics in 1980 when he was running against Ronald Reagan to be president. Of course Poppy Bush eventually became Reagan's running mate and had to buckle under - claiming he'd never said that. He also had to watch as Reagan's implementation of voodoo economics crippled social programs and caused our federal deficit to the point that when he became president himself, he sealed his own fate as a one-termer when he was forced to raise taxes.

In case that wasn't enough, son George W. fully embraced voodoo economics and left office as the country was careening towards a second Great Depression.

All of that tells you that somewhere deep inside George H.W. Bush's brain is probably a recognition that he's been right all along. But he learned the hard way that being your own man on this one get's you sent straight to the presidential retirement home.

And so now, along comes Jeb Bush touting the very same voodoo economics that not only wrecked havoc on both his father's and brother's presidencies, but are currently showing themselves to be such a failure in states like Wisconsin and Kansas. And yet no one in the Republican Party dares to "be their own man" in calling that out since Poppy Bush tried it 35 years ago.

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