The political chattering class all seem to view Donald Trump as a clown with marginal views. However, the real clown in the GOP Presidential race is Jeb! Bush, whose adherence to right wing talking points makes him a politician extraordinaire on the cocktail party circuit, but increasingly irrelevant to regular voters. While Trump has offered some ideas that genuinely make Wall Street nervous, Bush is doubling-down on failed 1980’s Reaganomics which were then mimicked by his brother in the 2000’s. These policies helped trigger the global recession of 2008, the world’s worst economic crisis in three quarters of a century.
Bush’s views on tax policy mirror the worst of Reaganomics and again prove that rather than the being the thoughtful wonk so many in the media want to pretend he is, Jeb! is in fact nothing but an ideological lock-step zealot. Today, Jared Bernstein one of the best economic minds in this country penned an op-ed for The Washington Post that explains the Bush program and its potential ramifications in full detail.
Bernstein does a brilliant job of summarizing individual journalistic critiques of the Bush plan. It’s well worth a read. Again the link is here.
Bush’s world view is one of shameless entitlement and adhering to ideological talking points on the economy. While some in the media have claimed Bush’s position on immigration is “courageous” for a GOP Primary contender, he knows when it comes down to it those who fund and pull the levers of power within the Republican Party are single issue zealots. The motivating factor for those who fund the GOP is to reduce taxes on the wealthy, to shift the burden of responsibility in this state to the working class and to protect Wall Street and banking interests.
Issues such as women’s reproductive rights, marriage equality, immigration and guns are often used simply to rile up the masses of likely Republican voters. Those were similar to this issues one time used by southern Democrats to keep voters in line. However, unlike those southern Democrats, the GOP of Reagan/Bush lore is largely a subsidiary of Wall Street.
The chattering classes on the business channels CNBC and FOX Business (FBN) consistently echo GOP/Wall Street talking points in discussing the economy and tax policy. While Donald Trump comes from this class on Wall Street, his proposals particularly on Hedge Fund taxation are radically scary for the types that watch and/or work for CNBC/FBN. Trump’s view on this and his protectionist attitude toward free trade (something he has consistently said – I recall an interview he gave in the 1990’s in which he identified himself as a Republican but also said he admired House Democratic Leader Dick Gephardt for his anti-free trade views) make him dangerous to the Wall Street crowd.
So Jeb Bush has aligned his economic philosophy in lock-step with the Wall Street crowd. They fund his campaign, and they dictate how he thinks about economics. Much like his brother, Bush is not an original thinking of any note, but simply an ideological zealot who parrots failed economic arguments from those who back him financially.
Trump might be comical to some, but Bush is downright scary and overtly political. He’s everything voters that want real change should be against.