Jeb Bush Does Not Think Tax Cuts for the Rich Will Jump-Start His Campaign

Jeb BushPaul Krugman wrote a recent post, Jeb The Unready. And he started with some great sarcasm, “I can’t help noticing that Jeb Bush has now come out with the highly original proposal that we give rich people and corporations big tax cuts.” And then he marveled at the fact that Bush seems to think that he can jump-start his campaign by appealing to Stephen Moore and other big promoters of supply side economics. I think it is fair to say that people like Bush and Trump really do live in an alternate reality. They really don’t know how the other 99.9% live.

Let’s think about this for a while. One thing I hear from conservatives all the time is the Democrats have no new ideas whereas they are just bursting with them. Well, when they do burst with them, two things become clear. First, they are clever — but still often good — ideas. But they have to be clever, because the ideological base of the Republican Party forbids doing obvious things that will work. Second, the Republican Party as a whole will never back these ideas. So the “great” and “new” Republican ideas are constrained by ideology, but it still isn’t enough to make large numbers of Republicans support them.

As a result of this, Republicans stick with the tried and true. Reagan cut taxes, so let’s cut taxes! Reagan cut aid to the poor, so let’s cut aid to the poor! Reagan greatly increased corporate welfare, so let’s increase corporate welfare! And that’s all we are getting from Jeb Bush: more supply side economic. That is the idea that if we give more money to the rich, they will invest and create jobs. We’ve been doing it for forty years. It has been completely demolished as a policy idea. It doesn’t work. But still Bush is pushing it.

But here’s the thing: the American people don’t buy it. The Republicans have been great at destroying confidence in the government. But the good side of that is that people are especially skeptical of Republican economic ideas. That’s what happened in 2005 when the newly re-elected George W Bush decided what the people really wanted was for the government to privatize Social Security. Bush pushed hard on that and the people pushed back even harder. They are used to being conned — especially by Republicans.

This is not to say that Republicans won’t get elected and then implement supply side tax cuts. But it does mean that the people will not elect Republicans because they are promising economic growth through the magic of tax cuts for the rich and corporations. I have given up hoping that the electorate will ever pay enough attention to vote against the Republicans for this reason. Ted McLaughlin recently provided a good rundown of the fact that, Democratic Presidents Are Best For Jobs and the Economy.

Does Jeb Bush really think that hauling out the old supply side economics — which is being hocked by every candidate except for Trump — is going to jump-start his campaign? I doubt it. I suspect he is just signaling to the power elite that they shouldn’t give up on him and that they (and not he) need to find a way of getting rid of Trump. After all, their tax cuts depend upon it.

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About Frank Moraes

Frank Moraes is a freelance writer and editor online and in print. He is educated as a scientist with a PhD in Atmospheric Physics. He has worked in climate science, remote sensing, throughout the computer industry, and as a college physics instructor. Find out more at About Frank Moraes.

12 thoughts on “Jeb Bush Does Not Think Tax Cuts for the Rich Will Jump-Start His Campaign

  1. Ooooh, back in 2005, I went to a JD Hayworth Privatize Social Security Town Hall in the very posh Fountain Hills area in Maricopa County. This was a crowd that was very well off and would never need Social Security. But when he foolishly asked them if they would support a tax increase to keep Social Security solvent, it was overwhelmingly approved by the crowd (only about four hands stayed down out of about 150 people).

    It got so bad that he hauled me up to try to save him (I had run against him in 2004) so I naturally snottily asked him a question he was never going to be able to answer about the obvious distorting of the market when the government buys parts of private businesses. I knew the answer of course but I wanted to snicker at his flailing around trying to answer a question he had no idea how to answer.

    Voters like getting something equally-it is one reason why a basic income stipend that everyone gets would be more popular than means tested aid has been. And often they are willing to pay for it.

    • Ah, well we now know who you are (in a public sense, anyway). Thanks for fighting to save Arizona!

      I agree with you about basic income and such. One of the great tools of the plutocrats is to make government spending on the poor look like “welfare” and government spending on the rich look like “the public good” or look like nothing at all.

      • Yep, I was a petty official as I used to proudly say. But someone wanted a better retirement and so here I be.

        • I thought you still were. You’re really missing out on all the fun of refusing to marry same sex couples. Some petty officials are more petty than others!

            • Yeah, the last two minutes were really great. I wrote an article about these recently where I talked about the two evangelical histories: liberal and conservative. The bigots of today want to associate themselves with the abolitionists and King. But during those times, there were lots and lots of Christians making the exactly opposite argument.

          • My four last weddings were for gay couples, one of whom said “I saw what you said about how joyful you were that we had another step forward in equal rights and knew I wanted you to be the one to marry us.”

            Unlike most of the rest of the bench, I could not see where it could be possibly legal to prohibit same sex marriage. I can see the reason to prohibit polygamous marriage (long history of abuse, every divorce case turn into an exercise in insanity) but not same sex.

            • That’s great! If only I had gone to law school — or seminary. Regrets, regrets…

              I’ve never seen how the polygamous argument worked. But I’m not necessarily against the idea. What bothers me is that it doesn’t seem to be so voluntary — and very often the “women” are far too young. But I don’t see it as analogous to same same marriage — any more than “pet marriage.”

              • I had a discussion about polygamous marriages with someone and he was shocked to hear that women get to marry other men or else it would fail under equal protection.

                He thought it was going to be just men getting to marry other women. -.-

                • Yeah, I’ve often thought I would be a much better husband of many. I’m far too self-involved to be a good husband 100% of the time. But I could probably do 10%. In fact, I might be great at 10%! On the other hand, I can certainly see a woman only wanting 10% of a husband. Unfortunately, I don’t think it works that way. The problem really is one of power — but then isn’t it always?

                  More interesting to me are these people who have marriage collectives — with multiple people of both sexes. That sounds more like the kind of thing that people would go into knowledgeably. But I don’t know. I’ve long ago given up trying to figure out people’s romantic lives.

                  • So basically you are Fry in the relationship with Colleen from the Futurama movie the Beast With a Billion Backs?

                    • Actually, that’s not a bad example! Although I think there were only 4 in that group, and I doubt I’m up to 25%!

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