Sunday, December 25, 2011

Jeb Bush (the Smart Bush?) Writes Gibberish in the Wall Street Journal

Lack of Freedom (Unspecified)  and “Ruinous” Taxes (Unidentified) are the Problem According to This Bush

One of the few good things of the current political season has been the absence of the progeny of George H. W. Bush from the political spotlight.  George W. has left the building, (thank you very much), and Jeb has declined to run for the Republican nomination (thank you very much).  For the last few years there hasn’t been a single Bush in the political news, something that hadn’t happened since 1979.

But Jeb Bush, the former Governor of Florida has jumped back in the news with an opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal.  It looks like this Mr. Bush penned the piece himself, because the sheer level of incoherence is so great that a ghost writer, even a bad one could not have achieved this blather.  Here is just a sample, see if anyone can make sense of it.

We either can go down the road we are on, a road where the individual is allowed to succeed only so much before being punished with ruinous taxation, where commerce ignores government action at its own peril, and where the state decides how a massive share of the economy's resources should be spent.

Or we can return to the road we once knew and which has served us well: a road where individuals acting freely and with little restraint are able to pursue fortune and prosperity as they see fit, a road where the government's role is not to shape the marketplace but to help prepare its citizens to prosper from it.

Really, what does that mean?

Mr. Bush apparently forgets an important fact.  Until 2009 his father and his brother were in control of the executive branch of the government for 12 of the 20 years dating back to 1989.  Really, they were, it’s in all the history books.  So if Mr. Bush has a complaint shouldn’t he be airing it at the family Christmas gathering instead of the Wall Street Journal, that is, going to the source of the problem. 

As for this “ruinous” taxation thing, Mitt Romney is certainly exhibit A why that is not true.  Mitt can testify that he has made tens of millions of dollars, and has so much wealth that he is embarrassed to release his tax returns and most people think his tax rate is less than that of the average employee.  The facts of course are that the U. S. has the lowest tax burden of any of the advanced countries of North America and Europe. 

But in the spirit of the holiday season, The Dismal Political Economist has perused the Bush piece to try and find something he would agree with, and he found this.

We need to let people fight for business. We need to let people take risks. We need to let people fail. We need to let people suffer the consequences of bad decisions.

So yes, Jeb Bush is saying all those corporate executives who ran their companies into the ground should not be rewarded.  Those bankers who cost their shareholders and the taxpayers billions should lose everything they have, and maybe go to jail.  Yes, we agree with Mr. Bush, a major problem is that those who make bad decisions do not suffer the consequences, and we await Mr. Bush’s call for much harsher penalties for those who collected millions from unethical, incompetent and illegal actions.

But looking at the piece as a whole, it is pretty disappointing, filled with generalities and lacking any specifics.  If Jeb Bush is the smart Bush, we can only be thankful that the country was never subjected to governance by the dumb Bush.

 Uh oh, wait a minute.

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