Thursday. July 9, 2015.
“Republican presidential hopeful Jeb Bush spoke at a town hall meeting at the Hudson VFW”. Photo by Barry Chin, courtesy of the Boston Globe.
I see Jeb Bush has inherited the family gift for eloquence.
He's got that vision thing tripping merrily off his silver tongue.
“My aspiration for the country and I believe we can achieve it is 4 percent growth as far as the eye can see. Which means we have to be a lot more productive,” Bush said. “Work force participation has to rise from its all-time modern lows. [It] means that people need to work longer hours and through their productivity, gain more income for their families.”…
After a town hall meeting at the Hudson VFW, Bush sought to clarify the remarks…
You probably know how Jeb eloquented himself into trouble the other day by saying or, more accurately, sort of sounding like he was saying that he thinks that all it will take to get the economy rolling again was for regular American working folk to work longer days, as if we've all been cutting out early or by putting in a mere eight hours a day on the job we were slacking off on our patriotic duty to devote ourselves exclusively to increase the nation's economic growth. Jeb wants it up to 4 percent a year. The implication of the second possibility is that one of the first things the third President Bush would do is sign legislation returning us to those glorious days of yesteryear when people worked twelve, fourteen, and even sixteen hours a day during the week and at least half that on Saturdays---no weekends, no vacations, no rest for the weary back in that golden age. People understood then that their sole purpose in life was to make their bosses rich and they buckled down and got to it with no whining about low pay and dangerous workplaces and the need to see the light of day except on the way into the factory and the coal mine, if they were lucky enough to start work after dawn.
Jeb claims that neither's what he meant. His remarks were taken out of context.
"Taken out of context" is weasel politician speak for "You weren't supposed to report what I actually said. You were supposed to report what I now wish I'd said instead."
What Jeb's claiming he wishes he'd said was that he wants more Americans to have jobs, good jobs, full-time jobs that will earn them the money they need to thrive and prosper as members of a rising middle class.
I think that's his claim. Hard to tell for sure because he was still speaking Bushspeak when he tried to clarify.
He himself seems shocked and insulted that anybody wouldn't. This from someone on record as suggesting that the way to save Social Security is to fix it so that fewer people live to collect it---he wants to raise the retirement age so that more of us will have to work till we drop. But I believe him. To a point.
It's a longstanding critique, coming from both the Right and the Left along with whatever constitutes the Middle, of the impressive job creation that's taken place during the Obama years is that too many of those new jobs have been part-time and minimum wage jobs and also that the near halving of the unemployment rate is a combination of people dropping out of the labor force and counting someone working two jobs as two people.
I don't know how much basis that critique has. The way Republican politicians aren't scientists, I'm not an economist. Difference is that tends to stop me from spouting off on the subject. In Republicanland these days, not knowing what you're talking about makes you more of an expert on what you're talking about than actual experts.
Whether or not it's the case, creating more jobs and more good jobs is a good thing that even most Republicans are for. There are those who aren't. They're the ones who see an ever more desperate workforce as the greater economic good. But what most Republicans believe is that no new jobs should be created in any way that redounds to the credit of President Obama. Otherwise, they're for people having work. It's just that another thing they believe is that good jobs are magically created by cutting taxes on the rich and on corporations and letting businesses do whatever they want to make money, including and exploiting the workers doing those new jobs.
And that's what was really wrong with what Jeb was trying to say.
The whole purpose of the Republican budget plan---which Jeb and all the other Republicans running at the moment have adopted as his and her own. Paul Ryan has graciously let each of them tout "their" budget plan as if they'd thought it up.---is to cut taxes on the rich and on corporations to virtually nothing. But, as they claim the purpose is to end the deficit, they have a problem. It doesn't do that. It adds to it, in fact. That's what happens when there's not enough money coming in. (See the Presidencies of Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush) So where do you get the money if you're not taxing the people who have the most of it?
From the rest of us.
The more of us who are working good jobs, the more of us are paying taxes---and the better our jobs, the higher our tax brackets, so the more money we'll be paying in taxes, as well.
Jeb's plan is the same as the other Republicans'---not to create new members of the middle class, but to use us to make up for the money they're planning to save their corporate masters.
Even phrased as inelegantly as it was, clumsily put in the clumsiest of Bushspeak, Jeb still made clear his basic corporatist Republican's indifference to working people as people. He and his avaricious ilk see us not as human beings but as widgets.
We're universal parts in the money-making machine they think the entire nation was built and is run---for their benefit---to be.
As far as they're concerned or care or can even imagine, the purpose of life is to make them money. And that's what other people are for. To be put to use making them money.
That’s the context in which Jeb said what he said and said exactly what he means.
Read James Pindell’s whole article, In N.H., Jeb Bush says people need to work longer hours, at the Boston Globe.
And for Jeb’s plan for saving Social Security and why I’m glad we have Bernie even though I’m going to vote for Hillary, see Sanders slams Jeb Bush over Social Security remarks by Rebecca Shabad at The Hill:
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) on Wednesday slammed former Gov. Jeb Bush’s (R-Fla.) recentcomments about raising the retirement age for Social Security.
Bush suggested the age to get Social Security should be raised from 65 to 68 to 70.
“At a time when more than half of the American people have less than $10,000 in savings, it would be a disaster to cut Social Security benefits by raising the retirement age,” the Democratic presidential candidate replied in a statement.
“It is unacceptable to ask construction workers, truck drivers, nurses and other working-class Americans to work until they are 68 to 70 years old before qualifying for full Social Security benefits,” added Sanders, who has pushed to expand Social Security benefits.